This Oatmeal comic has caused some controversy with my Christian friends. What do you think about it?
In defense of it, I've summed up the main points at the bottom of this and my brief commentary after it.
Source: The Oatmeal
Here's my own summary of the points and some commentary on them. It's a slightly modified version of my Facebook comment when some friends challenged whether I really agreed with this or not.1. Your religion shouldn't judge people as going to hell because they aren't inside your religion.
Seems like a fair point. Of course it's more complicated than this (it's based on beliefs usually not inclusion inside a community), but in general, if someone thinks someone is going to burn forever because they don't think a certain way about something that requires faith, then that's frustrating (especially since none of these things can be proven). People don't seem to mind this when they're in inside the religion, but when you're not, it's just bloody annoying — and sometimes dangerous.2. Your religion shouldn't hinder advances of science, technology, and medicine.
I agree. So many religions have hinder progress throughout history. This still happens with ideas like young-earth creationism, for example.3. You should teach your kids about other religions, too, and let them make up their minds for themselves.
I agree. Of course we should tell them what we think is right, but we shouldn't create robots
who believe something just because we do and because we beat them over the head with it. That's setting them up for a big failure and search for meaning once they finally get out of the house and get exposed to new ideas. Don't teach kids to parrot beliefs; teach them to think critically for themselves and support their decision and beliefs.4. Religion makes people "weird" and "feel guilty" about sexuality.
That's true in my experience. I think people should be more real when it comes to these issues.5. Keep your religion to yourself.
I'd prefer this, even though it's not possible because of the way humans are and how evangelistic religions are structured. People actually think they are helping people by spreading their religion (and in some cases, like when the convert is superstitious, weird, or have no moral compass, it could be an improvement). I don't think anything can be done about this. In truth, I love it when someone comes to my door to convert me because it's like Christmas — they walk out far more informed about their religion than when they walked in.6. It's hypocritical to mock other people for crazy beliefs (scientologists and mormons, for instance) but then have a bunch of your own.
This is a great point. I've seen this happen so many times — people apply the principles of skepticism to other people's beliefs, but when it comes to their own, they clam up and scream FAITH!7. You shouldn't vote solely on your religious beliefs.
In other words, don't be a one-issue voter. It's short-sighted and simplistic. It's principled… but not pragmatic.8. Your religion shouldn't be so shallow that a person can't draw a picture of your god or prophet and not fear for his life.
Absolutely! How stupid is that?9. You shouldn't be willing to kill yourself for your religion.
Seems like a good principle to me.10. You shouldn't be willing to kill any one else for your religion.
Absolutely! 11. You shouldn't be willing to hurt, hinder, or condemn any one else for your religion.
The first two are definitely true, and the 3rd I think should
be true, but we can probably all just agree that it isn't going to happen. Evangelical religions are just somehow made to condemn other people and make their members feel spiritually superior.12. If your religion inspires you to help people, then that's good.
It's good to help people. If your religion helps you do that, then awesome.13. If your religion makes you happier, then that's good.
Being happy is good. Though, I'd rather be right and unhappy than happy and wrong. But that's not exactly the happiest way to live and I don't generally recommend it.14. If your religion gives you purpose, then that's good.
Definitely. Beats not having one. If you can't make your own purpose, then it's nice to have a pre-packaged version someone hands to you. Sometimes it's even needed before you make your own.15. But still keep your religion to yourself.
Again, that seems ideal to me but it's just not gonna happen.