Do We Call It Belief-ism?

by justin bolger

I’m not sure why there’s such a war between atheists and the religious communities; both have their blind, closed-minded extremists – just as both have their reasonable nuggets of gold.

(As the peanut-gallery from both sides cry, “Nuh-uh! THEY’RE the blind, closed-minded crazies!”)

Forgive my agnostic self while I pick on the atheists first. It’s just that most of my friends fall into this category, so I hear their side more often.

I was discussing, with a pal of mine, different ways humanity could better itself and save the world. Catching me totally off-guard, my buddy said, “But humans will never be able to save themselves as long as people still believe there’s some big man in the sky.”

First of all, this comment came completely out of nowhere. In no way were we talking about religion or even alluding to it.

Second, I found it offensive, even though it didn’t apply to me and I am not generally easy to offend. There was definitely some eyebrow furrowing action, but I mostly just dismissed the comment and moved on with the conversation. Sure, it struck me, but it took me until after the conversation to realize why.

It’s right on par with racism. In my eyes, he single-handedly created belief-ism with his belief-ist statement. And, yeah, I know it sounds a little goofy, but I think it’s a pretty apt descriptor.

“Wahhh! But religions oppress other people and their choices and personal freedoms!” Yeah, well, that’s exactly what your disgust of religion is doing too.

I think putting a blanket aggression over something as diverse as religion is completely foolish and blind. There are just too many flavors; it’s like harboring hatred for something as vague as meals that are cooked. The spectrum is just too great in regards to beliefs as well as for believers.

I appreciate that people need to have trust in something, whether it’s a particular ideal, philosophy, mentor, study, theology, or what have you. It gives people strength and drive regardless of their choice. If a person had zero total faith, why would they do anything at all?

I don’t know if you realize this, but there’s a certain degree of faith one puts into trusting science as well – just sayin’. Also, you can disprove spiritual beliefs about as well as you can prove them, so good luck either way.

Religious extremists are just as guilty, but I’m fairly certain they’ve been doing it a lot longer, so I’m going to pass on opening that can of worms from both ends right now.

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