Lootoo, here is the abridged version.
You're using semantics. But that's okay. I can too.
Atheism = lack of belief of the existence of a god
Theism = belief of at least one god
Neither of these terms possess designs over belief systems. They are base matters of fact.
You say Stalin didn't kill religious people in the name of atheism. You could go further and say Stalin actually committed those atrocities in the name of his belief system - namely, Communism. Marx himself said that Communism is at its root atheism but not vice versa. This is important.
The same is true therefore the other way round. Atrocities aren't committed in the name of theism. They are committed in the name of a particular belief system. For example, the Inquisitions. People were tortured and killed not in the name of theism itself, but in the name of the Roman or Spanish church.
We're splitting hairs but what I'm trying to say is that both rules must apply. So for you to suggest that one way is mass human atrocities and the other way is removal of crucifixes is just absurd.
Next - As I mentioned before, in the context of having to discuss this, an ignorant atheist zealot is much more painful to endure than an ignorant religious zealot. Apply my assessment above and you ought to discern the differences.
Finally, you certainly did allude in your post to me being a lapdog of someone in particular. Be brave. Who did you mean? If you say Bryant, I'll get my coat :-D
There was one feeble attempt to argue that it wasn't really atheist because:
The original question, having been answered, then went through several rephrasings to arrive at this:
The attempt to dress atheism in a cloak of righteousness by denying that it is even possible for atheist ideas to ever lead to anything bad by some of my fellow atheists on here is both ridiculous and somewhat ironic giving what they purport to be arguing against. The reduction of the debate to tribal support for 'the atheist team' ill behoves those who have frequently in this debate claimed to hold the 'rational' high ground.
Much of the debate has been of a tone similar to Dawkins and Dennet's'cringe-making proposal that atheists should conceitedly nominate themselves to be called "brights"' which disgusted even as ardent an atheist critic of religion as the late Chriistopher Hitchens (the quote is from his book God Is Not Great; How Religion Poisons Everything).
Hitchens also argued that precisely what was dangerous about religion is that it sought to make itself immune from criticism. You seem to be attempting to do exactly the same with atheism.
Seriously, you lot make me embarrassed to be an atheist.
Who is trying to that exactly? How and where?Hitchens also argued that precisely what was dangerous about religion is that it sought to make itself immune from criticism. You seem to be attempting to do exactly the same with atheism.
Oh please! Somebody give the man a tissue......Seriously, you lot 'sniff' make me embarrassed to be an atheist. sniff, sniff...
This is where we differ - you assume men wearing turbans are doing so out of choice, but women wearing headscarves are doing it because they have to. Have you ever knowingly seen a sikh man without a turban? I haven't (but then again, how I would I know). Though I do know one muslim woman who doesn't wear a headscarf (chinese convert) and seen many wearing them in countries where there is no law requiring it.I assume that most of those mentioned wear it by choice, not because someone or some law forces them to. So it's quite different since the issue was oppression, not wearing religious clothing in general. Else I would feel the same.
Why do you think this? Can you give some examples?You are right, it is not representative as such but a good example of how oppressive it can be, and no doubt a lot of oppressive "Islamic rules" are being tried to be implemented in Western/European countries.
I agree that it is generally extremely strict - for both men and women. Ramadan has caused more arguments in my house than any other aspect of it. And in some cultures - specifically in the middle east - it is extremely oppressive towards women. But I wouldn't agree that Islam in general is oppressive towards women. Sexist, yes, discriminatory, yes - but oppressive, no.Even in moderate Malaysia renouncing Islam will make your life damned hard, so if you asked me if Islam is generally oppressive I can only answer with a clear 'yes'.
No, I understand your point. If there was a choice, there wouldn't need to be a law. If there is law, it can't be voluntary, and therefore it's oppressive. I get where you're coming from. My point is simply: which came first, the headscarf or the law? If you scrapped the law, would women stop wearing headscarves? Honestly, I don't think so. Maybe some would, some of the time. But I honestly think the vast majority would carry on wearing them, for the same reason that sikhs wear turbans, and jews wear skullcaps. It's simply a symbol of their faith and a sign of their respect for their god. If I was a muslim, and I thought that not eating pork, not drinking, and covering my head was the right way to live a good life, I would happily not eat pork, not drink and wear a headscarf - regardless of whether there was law demanding it or not.I think you are still missing the point - they can have all the rules they want and dress as they like as long as it's voluntarily and doesn't hurt or oppress anyone, because it's not the invisible man that is doing the punishing then.
Burkas to me are different though - I think those are oppressive and demeaning. I'm sure many muslim women would give those up if there was no fear of retribution. But personally I don't see a difference between a headscarf and a turban.
Should religion influence national policies and law? Absolutely not. But that goes for all religions, everywhere - it's not unique to Islam.
Somebody above seems to be saying there are no atrocities committed in the name of not-religion.
Football Hooligans anyone?
Occupy Central Rioters? G8 (and all the other G) rioters?
Many territorial/nationalistic disputes?
Strange comment to say atrocities are only commited in the name of religion!
I saw a documentary about afghanistan in which the male journalist tried wearing a burka to see what it was like (awful, unsurprisingly). But the thing that surprised him was that even dressed like that, as he walked down the street the men would whistle or make lewd comments. Clearly even wearing a tent doesn't protect you! So I guess it's not surprising they felt that it would be (even more) unsafe to dress normally on the street. But I agree with your point that this is more likely to be an issue of male dominated culture than Islam specifically- just look at India
Last edited by usehername; 04-06-2013 at 07:12 PM.
Nobody does ANYTHING in the name something that does not exist. Football hooligans riot in the name of their football club. If you don't have a club, you are not a football hooligan. Just some other yob.
Atheists just are. We don't go around negatively believing something. We believe in science, rationality, common sense, our own code of morality ... it's not a negative! I only care about religious people when they impact on me - try to convert me; try to make my children believe in rubbish and non-science; try to bomb me; try to make me follow their stupid laws or codes of conduct..... if it were not for the religious, atheism would just be being.