You know that position you hold? Yeah – the one that’s very important to you? It’s really stupid. How can you be so foolish? It’s obvious that you’re wrong. It’s even more obvious that your position isn’t just wrong, but dangerous; it causes a lot of harm to people. Why are you so cruel? Stop being such an asshole!
Are you convinced to change your mind? Probably not. I wouldn’t be either. It’s always important for people to believe things that are true, and not believe things that are false. But if the above paragraph is true about a belief that many, many people hold, it’s even more important. If a belief is not just popular, and not just false, but damaging to society, then it’s of the utmost importance to try our very hardest to persuade people out of that belief.
Ridicule doesn’t do that; it merely offends people. Whether their offense is justified or not, they’re still offended. And when they’re offended, they’re far less likely to change their minds. So, if you think that religious belief harms people, by all means do not ridicule it – that’s not helping the problem at all. Quite the opposite.