It keeps baffling me just how many people are either unable or unwilling to grasp the difference between ‘not believing something’ and ‘believing in something else’.
A non-deity centered example of this would be, say, the question: do you believe that my mother has ‘naturally blond hair’?
Never having met my mother – and therefore not holding an opinion on the topic of her hair colour – seems the most obvious and logical position.
Yet, to have some people explain it, not having any opinion on the topic either way somehow implies a belief that her hair is NOT naturally blond – or even that it is ‘naturally red’!
Like Pat Condell, I find the suggestion that a ‘belief’ should be treated with respect similar to or greater than ‘fact-based reality’ actively offensive! Whether that belief is religious or secular, it is a belief – a notion (perhaps deeply held, but a notion none-the-less). It must never be afforded the level of respect that the anti-blasphemy movements demand.
No, I will not deny them the right to believe whatever they want to. It is their right to believe whatever they wish.
But it is NOT their right to demand that I, you, or anyone else respects their beliefs and goes around pretending that just because they believe something, we must all behave as it it were true!
Yet that is exactly what the UN’s new anti-blasphemy laws demand…
Now, couple the religious beliefs with political ambitions and you have a recipe for oppression – of the worst kind.