May 15, 2009

Atheists Not Fully Human

The next time someone wants to instruct me in the art of fly catching (i.e., honey vs. vinegar and all that), I think I will note that it is helpful when communicating with others to have at least a modicum of respect for each others' dignity and basic human worth. Sure, we can disagree. We can even find our opponent's worldview to be somewhat contemptible. But as long as we can respect the other as an individual human being, we at least have the potential of some sort of meaningful interaction. After noting that, I will then direct the expert fly catcher to the video below.

Watch as a high-ranking Catholic official, Cardinal Cormack Murphy-O'Connor, clearly indicates that he does not consider atheists to be fully human.

Am I really to attempt meaningful dialogue with such a man? I think not. How could I possibly expect it to lead anywhere positive? I would not expect it to be any more fruitful than it would for my Jewish colleagues to attempt the same with a Nazi or my African American colleagues to try it with a Klan leader.

When one side refuses to acknowledge even the basic humanity of the other, the barrier to bloodshed is thin indeed.

H/Ts to Blue Linchpin and Evolving Thoughts