Why do atheists regard religious extremism as being representative for the majority of religious believers?

Atheists unfairly pinpoint religious extremists as being representative of religious beliefs. Many religious believers believe that God is Love. Certainly these believers have nothing to do with extremists who fly planes into buildings?

Posted: June 1st 2007

SmartLX www

Extremists have the same beliefs that the majority claim to have. It’s all the same texts, the same rules, just different interpretations. There isn’t a “Bible Lite” for the masses. Your copy has Leviticus in it, warts and all, same as mine.

The real distinction for me is that extremists hold the beliefs so fervently that they are willing to die, kill and inflict unlimited suffering on themselves and others rather than disobey a religious rule or even interpret one the slightest bit loosely. Whether they’re exulting in the servitude, greedily increasing their own heavenly rewards or both is a matter of opinion, but if God exists and is Love then he’s got a funny way of showing it through these people.

Any believer can begin a logical path to terrible acts by simply taking the original texts absolutely literally and seriously, which we are all free to do at any time. Someone’s life just needs to be in the way of the instructions.

Posted: November 21st 2007

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Atheists consider the difference between religious extremists and religious moderates to be one of degree, not kind. Both practitioners regard non-evidential, faith-based beliefs as being virtuous despite there not being any concrete proof regarding their existence.

Moderate believers, who may condemn the action of religious extremists, encourage this non-evidential, faith-based bandwagon to ride merrily along, unencumbered by the brakes of proof. Moderates, by hitching a ride in this same bandwagon as the extremists, give credibility to the extremists without ever being extreme themselves. The unholy glue uniting both the extremists and the moderates is believing that belief without any evidence is a splendid activity in which to indulge.

Posted: June 2nd 2007

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