Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wicked Vicious Faith

My friend Nick has a typically considered post about the Nick Griffin trial. By contrast the Devils Kitchen is a bit ruder.

I can't, for the life of me, see why calling Islam a 'wicked vicious faith' should be considered as race hatred. There's a fundamental difference between insulting a religion, and insulting a race. The difference is that one is born into a particular race, whereas religion is voluntary.

It's easy to change religion. At various times in my life I've been a follower of the invisible pink unicorn, the flying spaghetti monster and the universal church triumphant of the apathetic agnostic (motto "we don't know, and we don't care"). At the last census I embraced the Force, putting my household down as Jedi Knights, and found myself a member of the UK's 4th largest religion, behind the Christians, Muslims and Hindu's, but ahead of the Sikh's, Jews, and Buddhists.

I was brought up in a Christian household, attended a cathedral school, my grandfather was a vicar, and my mother a missionary. I have been an atheist since I was 8 years old.

I vividly remember my damascene un-conversion. I was in bed, listening to my parents argue over something that I'd done downstairs, and thinking about theodicy. My thoughts went like this:
  • I was incapable of being good (or not being naughty).
  • Furthermore, I was doubly incapable of not wanting to be naughty, even if I managed not to misbehave.
  • God was omniscient, so he knew all this.
  • Therefore, there wasn't any point in even pretending to be good, because God would know that I was just pretending to get into His good books, and was naughty really.
  • Therefore I was going to burn in hell for all eternity.
It was with a considerable sense of relief that I resolved this by concluding that it was all a load of old hogwash.

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