Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Why Can't You New Atheists Just Leave People Alone?"

"Their beliefs aren't bothering anybody. Why can't you just let people believe what you want to?"

Or possibly: "You can't judge them. It's their culture. If they get their sense of right and wrong from their god, who are you to disagree?"

This is Aisha. Her nose was cut off for shaming her family.

Five seconds after seeing that picture, it's very difficult to take the "leave them alone, you can't judge them" arguments very seriously. The common objection is "but you're taking an extreme case". Yes. Yes I am. But at least regarding moral relativism, if an extreme case is still objectively wrong with no room for debate, if even one extreme case is objectively wrong, then there's still a problem with moral relativism. But these issues were covered far more thoroughly and eloquently by Sam Harris at TED, when he argued that there are objective moral truths, but reason is the way to get to them? If you haven't heard it, now it might be time. You also might want to read something by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

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