Respecting Rights, Not Beliefs

Let’s get this straight right off the bat. We at Devout Atheist respect people’s right to believe whatever they want and don’t intend to change anyone’s mind about their faith or lack thereof. We mock beliefs, but we will always support your right to believe whatever you want. Respecting people’s rights and respecting their actual beliefs are two very different things though. Think about it. Do you respect the belief that some people have, that the world was created by aliens seeding the planet with life? Or that it is okay to stone a woman because she was raped? Or letting your children die because instead of taking them to a doctor, you felt that your faith would be enough to heal them? Do you respect Scientologists? Or to take this in another direction, the belief that one race is superior to another? Because conceptually this is the same argument: if you respect everyone’s beliefs then you need to respect all of them: racist, homophobic, primitive religions and the rest. This would be ridiculous and totally irrational. Respecting people’s right to believe what they want does not prevent one from having zero respect for their actual beliefs, since many people believe absolutely ridiculous, in some cases hateful things. For more on this, we have an upcoming blog entry on the egotism of faith.
At Devout Atheist we respect beliefs based on their rationality and scientific support. We consider all religions to make as much sense as believing we were all born from pink unicorns. But believe what you will and we will support that as long as your beliefs do not impinge upon anyone else’s rights and well-being. If a law is proposed based not on scientific fact but on religious faith and contrary to fact, then that is where religion crosses a line and starts to impose a people’s beliefs rather than facts.
We are pro-reason, not anti-religion. It is not our mission to convert anyone, because as we said, we respect your right to believe what you will. We are also very happy to be free to make fun of you. But seriously, when was the last time someone came to your door and wanted to change your mind about religion? I can guarantee it wasn’t an atheist. We don’t care what you believe, as long as you don’t force it on anyone else.

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