Originally Posted by Hotblack Desiato
It seems to be atheists in the firing line here, but what about when the major religious beliefs contradict each other?
Is it okay for a christian to draw a picture of a middle eastern man and write the name Mohammed underneath? After all even his followers state that he's a prophet, not a god, and christians certainly don't regard him as a god.
How about a muslim stating that Jesus Christ was a prophet, not the son of god? Blasphemy, or not?
What about when they dispute control of a site each regards as sacred, such as in Jerusalem or the former mosque in Cordoba which is now a cathedral?
Now as an atheist it's not really any skin off my nose to observe that it's whichever belief system is most powerful at that place and time which holds sway, but then again I'm not making any claims to the existence of an absolute morality.
It not just Islam - Judaism does not recognise the Christian Messiah as The Messiah - is that sacrilege?
Even within Christianity there is no consensus - there have been on a number of occasions when items that were considered sacred by one Christian denomination (usually Roman Catholic) were wilfully and deliberately destroyed in iconoclastic rages by other Christian denominations who considered such items, ironically, to be sacrilegious.
One the one hand to do an act that would be considered 'sacrilege' is to disrespect and could be seen, as I said before, as being 'dickish' - but... what about when one's own beliefs are deliberately disrespected by the religious/other religions?
Is pushing back against disrespect disrespectful?
Obviously Atheists do not have sacred objects so the concept of sacrilege does not apply - but we can, collectively, be disrespected. For example by being told what we 'believe', or that we have a 'religion', or 'tenets' - all of which happens in this forum on a regular basis.
Is it a case that to disrespect religion is out of order but to be disrespected by the religious is fair game?