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Should religion be a subject of criticism?

  1. Nov 14, 2008 #1
    Very interesting read http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/7636

    I think everything should be critcized. Nothing is holy! If you choose to follow certain doctrines, you can't expect others to respect those doctrines simply because you believe in them.

    I think the current devlopment is scary, in particular in Europe, where everything is done to avoid offending muslims.
     
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  3. Nov 14, 2008 #2

    Astronuc

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    I think the issue is defamation, as opposed to criticism. The two are different.

    I think the conflict lies when legitimate criticism of something is labeled as defamation.
     
  4. Nov 14, 2008 #3
    From a religious point of view, I think all criticism will be classified as defamation.
     
  5. Nov 14, 2008 #4

    Astronuc

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    Not at all. A valid criticism would to point out (criticize) inconsistencies in practice and profession. For example, if one were to espouse universal love and claim to be peaceful, but then commit acts of violence and murder, one's acts would be inconsistent with the profession of universal love and peace. It would not be defamation to point out that inconsistency.

    Similarly if one professes adherence to a meager or humble lifestyle while living in opulence and aquiring great wealth, that would entail an inconsistency.
     
  6. Nov 14, 2008 #5
    If I criticize the morality of Muhammed or God's behaviour in the Old Testament, would that be criticism or defamation?
     
  7. Nov 14, 2008 #6

    arildno

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    Well, Astronuc:
    If a religion happens to declare that infidels are to be fought until they are either killed, or in fear of their petty lives accept humiliating living conditions as dictated by the believer's community, and, essentially, that the community of the faithful retains the right to change those conditions at will, can we THEN criticize the religion without defaming it?

    Note in particular that such a religion could be perfectly consistent..
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  8. Nov 14, 2008 #7

    Kurdt

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    Depends specifically on what you were saying. I didn't realise we Europeans went out of our way to avoid offending muslims.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2008 #8
    I agree. Anyone serious about their religion will take any negative or destructive criticism as defamation.

    We americans do.
     
  10. Nov 14, 2008 #9
    Americans try to avoid criticizing Christianity. In Europe (with a few exceptions like Denmark and the Netherlands) people are more afraid of offending muslims.
     
  11. Nov 14, 2008 #10

    Astronuc

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    If one were to claim a religious position was ****, then that would be defamation. If one were to take the position, analyze it, and the make a statement of disagreement, then that would not be defamation, but criticism.

    The issue defamation seems to arise when a religion or some component (precept) is misrepresented.

    Certainly.

    There was recently an article on Catholic and Muslim scholars who began to study together to better understand each other. Why can't people do that instead of fighting?

    Why must animosities from historical conflicts persist?

    Take religion out of the picture and one still has racial and ethnic differences, or class differences, or cultural differences. Pick a difference, and it seems that some people will use that as justification for conflict.


    Nevertheless -
    Catholics and Muslims Pledge to Improve Links
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/world/europe/07pope.html
    It doesn't hurt to talk. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  12. Nov 14, 2008 #11

    arildno

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    Hmm..what if those animosities are celebrated as prime virtues in the holy books, and that lying and deception are glorified there as admirable tools in order to ultimately defeat the infidels?
     
  13. Nov 14, 2008 #12

    Kurdt

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    I don't know if there is any source for that or if that is just your personal opinion, but it is certainly not my experience.

    I do think that religion as with everything should be open to criticism.
     
  14. Nov 14, 2008 #13

    arildno

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    That depends on whom you are talking with, and what that person is actually doing, and advocating, on the sly..
     
  15. Nov 14, 2008 #14
    They cannot do that without ignoring their own religion. Religion and tolerance don't go hand in hand.
     
  16. Nov 14, 2008 #15
    Which is the case. For religious people - people who really believe in the doctrines of their religion, people of all other faiths (or lack of faith) represent a threat. The ultimate goal will always be to deefeat the infidels. Peaceful coexistence between the religions of the Middle East is never going to happen. Before we can have peace, we must get rid of religion.
     
  17. Nov 14, 2008 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    You are making threats against religion. It seems that you are the one out to defeat someone.
     
  18. Nov 14, 2008 #17
    The religions of the world didn't become what they are today because they were criticized, okay? I think if we started that now, they'd all collapse one by one.


    So let's get started.
     
  19. Nov 14, 2008 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    It seems that religious people have a right to feel threatened and respond in kind.
     
  20. Nov 14, 2008 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    I would suggest that there are two sides to the coin: Religious fanatics, and anti-religion fanatics.

    They all look the same to me.
     
  21. Nov 14, 2008 #20
    Why even have this law at all? Freedom of speech theoretically covers all sorts of speech even if it is criticizing or harshly negative. Defamation would be like me saying "Roman Catholicism is a cult that manipulates its members". It is a statement that makes a false claim in order to give a sect of religion a negative image. Nevertheless, it's still perfectly within my rights to say. This proposed law is absolutely idiotic.
     
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