“Examine the religious principles which have, in fact prevailed in the world. You will scarecely be persuaded that they are anything buy sick men’s dreams.”
Another snake worshiper dies of snakebite. He refuses medical treatment. It’s against his religion.
How do you react, as a rational atheist skeptic? I turn to the comics, but not without a nagging feeling that something is grievously wrong with these people’s minds. A primitive obsession with snakes lingers in their neurology, just as we have vestiges of organs we no longer need. Do these people need to be locked up and medicated for their own good?
But as a libertarian, I believe in religious freedom, even if that freedom involves the ability to commit suicide by the object of your religion…and have it be OK with your religion.
I guess I side with libertarian psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. who believes that psychiatrists should definitely not be in the business of deciding who gets medicated and/or incarcerated. The crazy are entitled to be crazy, as long as they don’t harm anyone against his/her will. By this logic, as long as they don’t proselytize, and as long as they allow people to opt out, the harm is limited to a few lunatics acting according to their free will and taking the consequences.
What do you think?