Good day, Mel. I read your article and think it is worth pointing out a few things. Text from your article is in (italics).
According to Ligertwood, “Those who practice (religion) are worthy of our respect but the beliefs are not.”
This makes perfect sense. Do you respect the beliefs of ALL religions? I doubt it. You might respect the right for people to believe and say whatever they want (freedom of speech and thought) but I doubt you respect all the beliefs of every interpretation of every religion. Respect for a person and respect for ideas can and should be completely different things. After all, we should all recognize that a person’s ideas can change and often do improve as they gain more knowledge and life experience.
The opposite of respect is disrespect. If we disrespect someone’s religion, how can we say we respect the person?
One definition of respect is simply “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.”
I respect the opinions of Ligertwood and his atheist colleagues but I certainly disagree with the idea that anyone has all the answers, which members of the Centre for Rational Thought are convinced they do.
Please show me where the Centre for Rational Thought is promoting the idea that they have all the answers.
How is your disagreement with Ligertwood any less disrespectful of him than his disagreement with theist’s beliefs is of the theist?
Right now, as the world mourns the tragedy in New Zealand, is not the time to be disputing each other’s religions. Now is the time for finding common ground.
Right now is the perfect time to be pointing out that regardless of what a person believes, we are all humans with feelings and this is paramount over any collection of myths and superstitions. Compassion and empathy provide all we need to get in front of this sort of insane violence and these are natural human traits that need to be our focus.
Editor’s Note: My reference to the Centre for Rational Thought believing it has all the answers is in its self-confident conclusion that there is no supreme being. This pre-supposes that we humans have the intellectual capacity and knowledge to know what makes the universe tick. I long ago came to understand that I can’t figure it out, and therefore reside on the comfortable fence of the agnostic. However, I respect your right to believe what you believe.