Originally Posted by kdt26417
It is important to have differing beliefs, and yet be able to respect each other's beliefs. The only exception is when someone knowingly lies or commits an act of violence. If Dawkins can't at least respect sincere, considerate believers, then I'll be inclined to steer away from Dawkins.
It's important that people have differing beliefs, it's true. A "group think" society which was not exposed to new and challenging ideas would quickly stagnate.
However, I disagree that people should respect beliefs. I would say that people should be skeptical toward beliefs, investigate beliefs, and decide if the assertions supporting said belief are valid. If the assertions backing up said belief turn out to be lacking or absent entirely then the belief is deserving of the respect it has earned... none.
This idea of the "angry atheist" is very popular among religious moderates. It is true, some people approach their belief systems or lack thereof with varying degrees of gentleness and tenacity. When I encounter someone who is mean or violent in expressing their viewpoints I get the hell away from them. However, as the Westboro Baptist lunatics don't represent the common Christian, it is safe to say that these alleged "angry atheists" don't represent atheists.
Though calling Dawkins an "angry atheist" is fantasy. While I personally don't find him to be a warm personality, he's courteous to people who are courteous to him and who want to have a rational conversation with him. He does, however, only give propositions the respect that they earn...
No doubt I have already said enough for most religious moderates to call me an "angry atheist"