Are Christians delicate hothouse flowers?

In a comment on a thread on PZ Myers’ blog, Pharyngula, Sara and PhysicistDave point out that coddling people is not respecting them:

Sara (# 160) wrote:

If there is any lack of respect or anything anywhere, it’s precisely in the accommodationist movement which argues that some people, namely the believers, should NOT be treated like adult intelligent human beings who can be partners in any sort of intellectual enterprise.

That is, I think, an absolutely central point that got lost in the… sideshow.

Ruse and his fellow accommodationists are being incredibly, insultingly condescending towards Christians.

If a scientist disagrees with some other scientist’s pet theory, no one urges him to shut up because he might hurt the feelings of the other scientist. No one urges critics of Obama’s health-care proposal to silence themselves because any criticism might upset the emotional equanimity of poor Mr. Obama.

We assume that President Obama, scientists, etc. are grown-ups who are able to deal with the fact that other people will often disagree with their views.

The faitheists/accommodationists make the opposite assumption about Christians: i.e., even though Christians have loudly, publicly, and insistently made statements that many of us think are obviously and provably false (not to mention personally insulting to us), we should refrain from saying so loudly, publicly, and insistently, because it might hurt the feelings of the precious little Christians.

That is infantilizing the Christians, treating adult human beings as if they were helpless babies.

I suppose there is another interpretation: I sometimes think the only real motive of the faitheists/accomodationists is that they believe Christians can be tricked into funding their pet projects (in biology, cosmology, etc.) whose ultimate implications are to invalidate Christianity, but only so long as we do not let the Christians in on the ultimate implications of such work.

In the end, that may amount to much the same thing. Again, Christians are being treated as people who cannot be trusted to hear the truth, as little children who must be shielded from reality.

I disagree strongly with Christianity, but I actually like, and in many ways respect, most of the Christians I know.

And, that is one of the most important reasons that I do not hide from those Christians whom I know personally the fact that I think their religious views are wrong and at variance with science.

I respect them too much to deceive them.

They deserve to know the truth, or at least to hear my honest opinion as to what is true.

I of course do not (and can not) insist that they discuss the issue of religion if they choose not to do so. But, precisely because I do respect them as human beings, I do not falsely pretend that I respect their religious views.

The faitheists/accommodationists are no friends of the Christians: they are simply condescending to the Christians and refusing to treat them with the respect due to adult human beings.


Bili Ape: a new variety of chimpanzee

Bili-ape-hicksSomehow I missed this when it came out: there seems to be a special race of large chimpanzees in an isolated area of Africa.

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