I don't know about you but I'm sick of people being praised for their strong beliefs and I'm sick of people holding others hostage because of their stupid beliefs. I'm sick of coddling people so we don't offend their beliefs.
Everywhere you turn and no matter what the topic, people have strongly held beliefs. Whether it's religion, politics, the environment, medical issues or whatever, people are sticking up for what they believe.
People believe they will spend eternity with 70 virgins if they die as a martyr. People believe cutting taxes will raise revenues. People believe human activities cause global warming. People believe human activities don't cause global warming. And then we have all the crazies in the current congress. Their beliefs defy belief.
The truth is beliefs are little more than opinions or points of view. They may be strongly held beliefs that adherents will die for, but they are still beliefs. There may be some facts that affect beliefs but too often, beliefs are fact free and they can't be proven.
"But I believe …." is usually the boast of someone who has no facts to prove his points. Yet, some people die for beliefs they hold very strongly. Take the 900+ followers of Jim Jones who drank his Koolaid and died by mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana or the 9/11 terrorists who flew their hijacked planes into the World Trade Towers and Pentagon.
We must remember that people are gullible and that people have proven they will believe anything. Most of what people have believed is false. The earth is not flat, diseases are not caused by demons, bleeding is not a medical cure, and Ronald Reagan raised taxes. History is full of other examples.
Beliefs are often mutually exclusive. If I believe heaven exists and you don't then, by necessity, one of us is wrong. Devout Christians, Jews, and Muslims can not all be right because their beliefs are mutually exclusive. Either one is right and two are wrong or all three are wrong. There is no other way.
My point is that our personal beliefs are very suspect and, in most cases, more likely to be wrong than right.
So let's stop cowering to the "beliefs trump card." Let's require facts, peer reviewed studies, etc. Show us the money.
If all someone has to defend their position is their "beliefs," then let's accept their "beliefs" for what they're worth--little or nothing. Let's expose the crazies for what they really are, little emperors without clothes.