Hell Yes! They should be tried and imprisoned
…But you must respect the beliefs of others, even if you disagree with them.
A common statement proffered by religionistas and their apologists, often after you have revealed to them how utterly ridiculous their beliefs are, or in order to avoid having to contend with logic and reason. It’s hogwash of course.
I will acknowledge the existence of their beliefs but I need not respect them, or treat their ideas respectfully. The fact is that many of them believe in imprisoning, torturing, even murdering people who have beliefs contrary to their own. Many of them believe that women have lesser rights and can and should be enslaved, raped, and even killed at the whims of their male masters. Many of them believe them many of my friends should lose their rights because of their race or their sexual orientation. They want me to respect those beliefs. They want me to respect them, supposedly adult humans who still talk to their imaginary friends in the sky and believe in magic clothing. They want me to respect their “faith”. Fuck that. I’ll acknowledge those beliefs, I may ignore those beliefs, but I’ll never “respect” their. That doesn’t mean that I won’t love some of them or enjoy their company, but don’t tell me I have to be respectful when it comes to these beliefs.
There is a heroic legend in the technology community about the man who invented elevator safety brakes. He claimed that any elevator fitted with his brakes, even if all the cables broke, would be safely and swiftly stopped by his new invention. No one trusted it. Did he get angry or indignant? No. He simply put himself in an elevator, ordered the cables cut, and proved to the world, by risking his own life, that his brakes worked. This is the very principle that has delivered us from superstition to science. Any claim can be made about a drug, but people are rightly wary of swallowing anything that hasn’t been thoroughly tested and re-tested and tested again. Since I have no such proofs regarding the resurrection story, I’m not going to swallow it, and it would be cruel, even for a god, to expect otherwise of me. So I can reason rightly that a god of all humankind would not appear in one tiny backwater of the Earth, in a backward time, revealing himself to a tiny unknown few, and then expect the billions of the rest of us to take their word for it, and not even their word, but the word of some unknown person many times removed.
Yet, if one returns to what was probably Paul’s conception of a Christ risen into a new, spiritual body, then the resurrection becomes no longer a historical proof of the truth of Christianity, but an article of faith, an affirmation that is supposed to follow nothing other than a personal revelation of Christ—not to be believed on hearsay, but experienced for oneself. Though I do not believe this is a reliable way to come to a true understanding of the world, as internal experience only tells us about ourselves and not the truth of the world outside of us, I leave it to the Christians here to consider a spiritual resurrection as a different way to understand their faith. But I don’t see any reason to buy the resurrection story found in the Gospels.
|—||Richard Carrier – Why I Don’t Buy the Resurrection Story (6th Ed., 2006)
Phenomenal half-hour Yale University speech touching pretty heavily on the historic story of Jesus and his resurrection.