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Soldier beheaded in Woolwich, UK. Sickening.

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  1. #471

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lootoo:


    Sorry, I'd thought it was obvious that I was referring to the worst examples of "atheist zealotry" of which I was aware. I put it that way because I wasn't absolutely certain there weren't other, worse, examples, but as I have already asked you to mention any and you have declined to do so, I'm becoming increasingly confident that there actually aren't any. You may remove the "seems" from my statement if you like.



    Well, no, nobody has mentioned any worse acts committed in the name of atheism. Worse acts committed by atheists is, rather obviously, not the same thing. (And "in an affront to religion" isn't really relevant, is it?) Accordingly, I did in fact use the most extreme examples of both.

    Regardless, you still have not explained why you think atheist zealotry actually is worse than religious zealotry. Or was that just bullshit for "discussion purposes"?

    I don't know; that's why I asked.


    MOTHER F***ER! It logged me out after I had written a beautiful riposte which would have had you worshipping me as your new god! I don't have the will to write it out again.

  2. #472

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    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


  3. #473

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lootoo:


    Sorry, I'd thought it was obvious that I was referring to the worst examples of "atheist zealotry" of which I was aware. I put it that way because I wasn't absolutely certain there weren't other, worse, examples, but as I have already asked you to mention any and you have declined to do so, I'm becoming increasingly confident that there actually aren't any. You may remove the "seems" from my statement if you like.


    Well, no, nobody has mentioned any worse acts committed in the name of atheism. Worse acts committed by atheists is, rather obviously, not the same thing. (And "in an affront to religion" isn't really relevant, is it?) Accordingly, I did in fact use the most extreme examples of both.


    I don't know; that's why I asked.


    Well we've already had Pol Pot, I'm not sure how much more of cast-iron a case of a direct and specific project to implement an atheist, rationalist utopian society, eradicating the existing religious and cultural norms to create a new society from the ground up which went badly wrong and resulted in a series of atrocities you need?

    There was one feeble attempt to argue that it wasn't really atheist because:

    Quote Originally Posted by arrowsmith:
    Pol Pot murdered the entire intellectual class of Cambodia of which many would have been atheist themselves.
    but if we're going to use that argument then that presumably means that any religious atrocities where other believers in god (albeit of different creeds or dogmas) were killed is not really a religious atrocity because other religious people were killed. Which is clearly nonsense.

    The original question, having been answered, then went through several rephrasings to arrive at this:

    Quote Originally Posted by arrowsmith:
    Let's take the inquisition. Perfect example of where the atrocities committed were because of a doctrine held by the church and other peoples actions thought to be heretical. This was about religion, not politics or economics or anything else.

    Can anybody give any kind of similar example where simply not believing in a god has led anything similar? It's impossible.
    Now clearly if we narrow down the idea of 'an atheist text or idea' to simply a one sentence text stating 'God does not exist.' then for sure, I can't think of anyone who was inspired to commit an atrocity by that specific one sentence definition of atheism. But the same is true of religion, I'm not aware of a religious atrocity that was inspired by a one sentence text stating 'God exists.' without any other ideas or doctrine deriving from the implications of the existence of God. The example of the inquisition clearly doesn't meet that criteria (quite apart from the fact that the inquisition was very much also about politics and many other things).

    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.

  4. #474

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    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.
    Who is trying to that exactly? How and where?

    Seriously, you lot 'sniff' make me embarrassed to be an atheist. sniff, sniff...
    Oh please! Somebody give the man a tissue......

  5. #475

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    Quote Originally Posted by INXS:
    Oh please! Somebody give the man a tissue......
    Oh! INXS! The man who was crying about TheBrit's input before. Look at yourself. You're a blithering moron.

  6. #476

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raccon:
    I can't imagine that she felt happy either. Although I can imagine that you can get used to it if you were brought up in an environment where it's considered the norm.
    I suspect so.

    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.
    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.

    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.
    Why do you think this? Can you give some examples?

    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'.
    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

  7. #477

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    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!

    INXS likes this.

  8. #478

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    Quote Originally Posted by MovingIn07:
    I've read some books written by Saudi women (when I lived in Malaysia, fiction was limited!) and often they are happy enough in those black outfits because they perceive them to be "safe" and that they can be "anonymous" in one. However, if you dig deeper, why should women walking about the street feel UNSAFE in the first place? Rather because the entire culture tells both men and women that men are unable to control their urges and so women must be hidden away to avoid temptation. They cite rape in western countries as "proof" of this - without noting that for every rape there are several million women happily walking the streets, bars, shops, work wearing what I consider to be "normal clothing". I don't think this is religion though. Victorian England wasn't much different. More culture and entrenched male domination.
    Well..... if you believe the stats, 1 in 6 american women will suffer rape or attempted rape during their lifetime and many MANY more will be sexually assaulted. So the Saudi women have a point. Though I seriously doubt wearing a burka would have prevented many of those attacks.

    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

  9. #479

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    Quote Originally Posted by MovingIn07:
    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 think the point being made is that people don't go out in the name of 'NO GOD' and kill people. You don't see atheists lynching people, blowing up planes or bombing schools in the name of atheism. People do these things because of politics, oil, land, resources, entertainment... but they don't do it because there is no god.
    Last edited by usehername; 04-06-2013 at 07:12 PM.

  10. #480

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    Quote Originally Posted by usehername:
    I think the point being made is that people don't go out in the name of 'NO GOD' and kill people. You don't see atheists lynching people, blowing up planes or bombing schools in the name of no god. People do these things because of politics, oil, land, resources, entertainment... but they don't do it because there is no god.
    ? And your point is?

    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.