Labnut’s anger over New Atheists’ attacks was understandable; his refusal to face fundamental reasoning procedures regarding his hypothesis of the soul as information uploading into god is not. He offered a theory; I critiqued it; he responded that the critique was an ‘attack.’ This makes no sense. A theory stands or falls on its logic, not on any presumption of belief.
The outcome of this is that I am more convinced than ever that rational dialogue between believers and non-believers is not possible.
I write this on the day after an atheist Bangladeshi blogger was killed by Islamist extremists (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/terrorism-security/2015/0227/Atheist-US-writer-killed-in-Bangladesh-familiar-attack-on-free-expression).
And believers are ‘insulted’ by atheist rhetoric? Are they kidding? We non-believers put our lives on the line, and they feel ‘insulted’?
I would really rather pursue my central interests in culture, semiotics, and secular Buddhism. But I posted my argument with labnut out of a sense that, having been trolled at Scientia Salon, he deserved some space to confront reasonable arguments against his hypothesis and respond to them. I have been trying to find some conciliatory discourse by which believers and non-believers can agree to disagree, and find common ground on non-faith issues.
But the murder of an atheist – because he was an atheist – changes things.
I don’t care what anybody believes. But what they do matters much to me, especially when it threatens others’ lives.
Believe what you will. When you believers threaten us, ‘this time it’s personal.’ Who are you to judge? even your corrupt sacred texts tell you to leave well enough alone.
But you will not. You will not rest until we are converted or dead.
You feel threatened, you are ashamed at the infirmities of your touted rationality. You think that if there is any reasoning individuals who disagree with you, you might happen to be wrong. And on that point you happen to be right. There is something fundamentally wrong with your faith to which a reasoning person can no longer agree.
Mystery belongs to detective stories, not to guides for human behavior.
You threaten us with hell – occasionally even with death. Faced with having to accept your fairy tales, I prefer to be dead. Your religion (any religion) offers exactly:
– 0 –
– to any reasonable person.
If there is to be true debate, then, if there’s anything that grounds committing pain or destruction to other persons, get rid of that from your cruel and unforgiving ‘theology’ – admit it, admit its anti-humanism, disown it – or leave the whole of your theology at your doorstep, I’ll none of it.
(Oh, just by the way, Mohammed was a mentally diseased pedophile with delusions of grandeur. Cut me up if you want, but this will still be true.) (Same with “eat me” Jesus, “I heard voices from a bush” Moses, and that blue pansy, Krishna. Super heroes belong in comic books – they are fiction.)
I may back-step some of the virulence here; but I am really, really pissed off at the nut-cases thinking they can salvage their precious fairy tales by killing any who disagree with them.
Image by way of Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/.
(I haven’t asked permission to re-use it, but I don’t think Dr. Coyne would mind its further propagation.)
Muslims reading this, here’s the challenge: Allow the Qu’ran to be read entirely metaphorically. Let it be poetry, however spiritually inspired. Release the laws and adopt an open attitude to differences of opinion. Realize an Enlightenment in your religion and culture.
Otherwise, there will only be blood for blood, to the end of time – which may be a long way aways.
Edited to remove an obscenity; but I am really tired with religionists asking special favor while non-believers are ostracized, jailed, beaten, and killed in various parts of the world, yet insane yo-yos like Pat “yoga is satanic” Robertson and Mitt “magical underpants” Romney are treated with respect, Isreali politicians call for Judgment Day, a fundamentalist Hindu with known ties to murder gangs governs India, and Western politicians bend backwards for Muslims, some professing the need to execute apostates.
Yes, there are kind, good, caring people of various religious faiths; but they do not speak loudly enough against the wild brutality of their brethren. They are too fearful for their own faith, they hope history will somehow spin around and reproduce a golden age of communities of the faithful.
It will not. The world just is as it is, and it is a mess, and it is time we learned to live with it. There may be a god, but it’s clear he doesn’t give a damn, so in any event we are left to our own devices. And if Judgment Day is coming, no human mind can know of it -so let it go.
How did we lose our sanity? When did we go back to the Weimar Republic, preparing for the next Reich?
Either we will be guided by reason, or we will be the beasts we claim to have evolved from.
Again, sorry for the anger and rancor. Hope to be more charitable in near future.
But all religious laws are void. Think for yourself.
Thanks to those with patience enough to tolerate my rant. My hopes for the recovery and well-being of the wife of Avijit Roy, brutalized in the attack that took her husband from her.