tt.humanist :: forum :: commentary :: religion
Jehovah Witnesses - a false religion? All or none!
17 March 2009 • 203 words
Why is a national newspaper allowing letter-writers to describe Jehovah Witnesses as followers of a false religion? Since all religions are based on beliefs which cannot be proved, either all religions are false or they are all equally genuine. The Rastafarian's belief in the divinity of a former Ethiopian emperor is no different, in essence, from that of the Christian in Christ’s and neither can accurately be described as "a false religious belief".
Humanists are in favour of unfettered free speech, including and especially the right to criticise religious beliefs. But free speech is free only if equally applied. We doubt that the newspaper would print letters ridiculing, say, the Muslim belief that eating bacon is displeasing to God or criticising the Christian sacrament of communion as cannibalism or saying that Hindus should enjoy a hamburger every now and then. In the absence of a specific situation provoking comment, such as the scandalous treatment by a dubious sect of an adolescent congregation member found to be masturbating, attacks on a particular religious sect serve no good purpose.
They should all be attacked or none should. The newspaper should ensure that, in choosing what to publish, it adheres to standards of evidence, logic, and fairness.