I’m not perturbed by people who hold different views from me, as long as these people are genuine in their beliefs. What I mean is, if someone is using religion or political views as a pretext to advancing their own sinister agendas and do so with haughtiness and arrogance; I become livid. I don’t care if it is extremist Muslims like ISIS ( and I’ve had very heated debates with people of their ilk in the past) or militant atheists – these are pretentious bullies who have no personal boundaries and feel the need to descend on people and drag them away from ‘ignorance’ in shackles,if need be, to their view of enlightenment. Do you see how I described two opposing factions – religious extremist and militant atheists- in one vein? This is what I was getting at; it’s not their beliefs that irks me, it’s what lies beneath this. As an INFJ I can sniff out discrepancies miles away and this totalitarian ideology reeks of intense hatred. These people flock to whatever belief system of their choosing, propelled by a deep sense of insecurity and shame . Look at this chart below, and find the roots of narcissistic tendencies and rebelliousness.
This might make it clear that we define our stances, and not vice versa. Like Rumi quipped, “Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.” Violence and intolerance arise from the deepest recesses of broken individuals, and when this happens, they might channel this in different avenues, but the results are always despotic and totalitarian.
In this respect, I hold al-Baghdadi (ISIS) and Dawkins,Harris,Hitchens and their ilk in the same regard; I do not say that they are alike in beliefs but rather in motivation. Tell me how this statement of Harris’ differs from those of ISIS “Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them”¹ ?
Watch below a quite telling debate with Richard Dawkins who is a notorious anti-theist on a mission to eradicate religion. It’s quite interesting to see his visceral and facile reaction when brought under the microscope.
¹Sam Harris, The End of Faith, pp.52-53.