I was talking to someone on Twitter about the recent Sean Carroll/William Lane Craig debate and he said that while Craig lost the debate badly, in general he had a lot of respect for the guy. I don’t.
Respect, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t something that is just granted, it’s something that’s earned. A person has to do something that garners respect, they don’t get it just because they bothered to wake up in the morning. It’s something you get for actually being on the right side of an argument, for performing above and beyond the call of duty, etc. It’s not automatic.
William Lane Craig has not earned any of my respect and so long as he keeps being a dishonest, intellectually bankrupt religious moron, he won’t. Neither has Ray Comfort. Neither has Ken Ham. Neither has any religious person on the planet, at least with regard to their religion. Certainly, they can earn it via other avenues, but not with their religion. I don’t have respect for people who act in disrepectful ways and that includes those who are dishonest, disingenuous and disgusting, three things that I think apply to religion in general and most theists in particular.
So what do I mean? Anyone who holds a belief, any belief, without significant objective evidence to back it up, or at least a logical, rational framework, based on reality, to work from, is being disingenuous. In the modern age, there is no excuse for anyone not searching for the truth. You can find it in a minute or two on Google. I don’t care what you feel, I don’t care what you prefer, I care what is actually true in the one reality that we all share. Those who say they’ve studied their religious book and found it to be objectively and demonstrably valid are being dishonest. They simply cannot be justified that way, no matter how much you twist and turn and let’s be honest, there are a lot of theists who do convolute their reading of their holy books to make virtually any proposition true. Finally, those who use these ridiculous beliefs to rationalize away the horrors created by religion are out-and-out disgusting.
That reminds me of another guy on a forum who goes by the absurd handle of “Logicman”. He wouldn’t know logic if it whacked him upside the head. He firmly believes that the Bible is right because the Bible is right. Why? Because the Bible is right. He is utterly incapable of rationally evaluating his religious beliefs, he’s a complete fanatic and he’s happy to tell everyone that his mind cannot be changed. The problem is, he follows rational people around and tells them they’re wrong because they disagree with his Biblical beliefs. Should this person be respected? Is he any worse than William Lane Craig? I don’t think so.
I know these people don’t care and that’s a problem. They hold their beliefs and they have their fanatical followers and that’s all that matters to them. So long as their followers keep sending in money and buying their books, they’ll keep spouting their irrational, dishonest rhetoric. I only care what’s actually true, they only care what feels good and makes them money. Sorry, there will be no respect for them until they become better, more rational people and I just don’t see that happening.