Three of my basics are
- don't mess with the see-able, touchable , measureable. The people who think
the whole matter lies in proving God is or isn't are trying to watch the sun
come up by staring intently into the west. It's a faith concern.
- don't be 'centric (we're the good ones and others are stupid, crazy, and
cause all the trouble in the world) whether you believe or not (or about race,
nationality, etc.) or you're a pain in the ass either way.
Take those in the offense in religious war, not those on the defense or who
wouldn't take part, same with non-belief (Stalin), race, etc., and nothing has
caused more unnecessary hurt or death than people being too 'centric. I think
that defines the problem without mischaracterizing a lot of nice people. Short
of a divine intervention, we're never going to have all the same believers, non-
believers, race, etc. We can get more relaxed about the differences. I think
that's the modern, forward-thinking way to look at it.
- nobody should be hurt or killed over these things. That includes that if
the belief or non-belief view is made law of the land, you get people hurt or
killed over something I don't think anyone should be hurt or killed over.
One exception I make is divine intervention--you could make a case for God's
prerogative for it. All three major Abrahamatic religions have it that Abraham
was told by God to sacrifice his son. I require the same: if anyone is to be
hurt or killed over it, I want to see the clouds part, Charleton Heston talking
from a shrub, and Bunny Berigan playing a few cadenzas with wings, or no deal.
So far, it hasn't come up.
The Dawkins quote is in the news lately because Ireland just established an
anti-blasphemy law. It's not much of a theology idea (off the top of my head, I
can think of various things wrong with the charge about God and homosexuality,
for example), more of a broadside swing. He's too hung up on the see-able,
touchable, measureable, and gets a bit 'centric about it. But the law offends
all three of my basics. I do agree that Ireland would be better to enforce
separation of church and state.