February 15, 2009

Plagued With Disrespectful Comments

The "report" feature of Intense Debate is a useful way for readers to notify the blogger of objectionable comments (e.g., those that violate the blogger's comment policy). When a reader reports a comment, the blogger is notified via e-mail and can then check out the complaint. It is not used very often here because it is rarely necessary, but when necessary, it can be quite helpful. In fact, a reader reported a comment just yesterday. It was reported on the grounds that it was "disrespectful," but that is not why I am writing this post. I am writing this post because the "disrespectful" comment reported to me was written by...um...me.

I guess I'm just a disrespectful bastard, but you already knew that, didn't you? Here was my comment - the one which was reported:
You'll get no disagreement here about Islam. It has no evidence to support its claims and is clearly a destructive force in the world. I don't speak for all atheists, but I choose to address Christianity because I live in an environment where I am surrounded by Christian extremists. If I lived in Iran, I would undoubtedly focus on Islam. One of the crucial points I try to get across on this blog is that Christianity is no less absurd than any other religion.
And here is what the reader had to say about why this comment was being reported:
"Islam is clearly a destructive force in the world" and the word "absurd" about Christianity. nnI am a religious person. think these comments are disrepectful. I have no objects with the author of the article as one can make his or her argument in a respectful manner.nAsh
Getting past the typos and spelling errors, the crux of the objection appears to be my characterization of Islam as "destructive" and my application of the word "absurd" to Christianity. You can tell this is a new reader, can't you? The reader agrees to allow me to make my argument as long as I do so in a respectful manner. How gracious!

I have said it before and I'll say it again: irrational and destructive beliefs deserve no respect. In fact, those of us concerned about humanity are obligated to speak out against them. Christianity, Islam, and the other major religions are irrational and yes, absurd. They would be the mere objects of mockery if they were not so harmful.

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