Discussion by: Joe Wolsing
I would like to put the following to discussion:
As a German citizen I do not suffer religious oppression or indoctrination as people in the US or in some of the Islamic states. I am free to express my lack of superstition (I still regret to give the fact that I prefer the null-hypothesis a name – atheism. I don't feel it is an “ 'ism”, this it becomes by the fact that you have to justify being a representative for the null-hypothesis. At this point I like to refer to that fact that amongst others Prof. Dawkins talks about the phenomena that concerning all other gods we invented throughout human history we agree that they are a human invention, only about the three left over monotheisms there is a discussion!). And even if I meet people who deeply believe in God(s) I can have an argument with them but it usually ends with the discovery of the fact, that we do not agree and everyone goes their way.
Nevertheless religion has a deep impact on the public life in Germany. As an example a lot of the social institutions under patronage of adopt their rules (you can't work there if you are not of religious confession and I talk about schools and nursery schools, in growing numbers! Living together with your partner without being married, or being gay excludes you as well), all the salaries of all the church members are paid by tax money, as well as the maintenance fees for all the buildings owned by the church! In my “Bundesland” Baden-Württemberg the Archiepiscopal Bishopric has to approve every school book! What (the “Hell”) can these people ad to a science school book? Nothing! Exactly! And there is a lot more – at least our Chancellor belongs to the Christian (CDU = Christlich Demokratische Union) named party!
Now the problem:
As religion is for the most not very aggressive here (there is the diffuse fear of Islamic terror like everywhere in the world today) it is even harder to talk about the absurd, bizarre and sometimes dangerous aspects of religion. The protection of religion in fact is enormously and deeply embedded in the society. You are always pointed to the good things they do, e.g. the abuse scandal is being largely typically church-like terminated. By denial, payment where unavoidable and insisting to deal with the things internal where possible.
Every kind of critics is interpreted as, you are taking something from the people away that they have an a priori right for. How should one argue in this situation? How can you criticize, if all critics are interpreted as an insult?
I posted this also in German on the German RDF site. But I do it as well in English here, because I’m afraid that the content of my question is exactly describing why there will be no discussion about it (and maybe this will make the German RDF site fail!) at all!