174 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a big believer in freedom of speech, but Pat is angry about what is going on in the middle east (as we all are), and therefore allows his emotions to get the better of him and oversimplify the situation. Over half the population are women and deserve our support from such a misogynistic religion.

  2. Free expression can’t be taken from us … ?

    That sounds dangerously and extravagantly complacent to me.

    Am I the only one who heard that a British Government Minister proposed censorship for Social Media today?

    Am I the only RDFRS reader who heard of ACTA?

    Am I the only person here fighting their Government over initiatives to snoop on citizens – such as Britain’s Communications Act?

    To my certain knowledge US citizens have won at least 3 votes in Congress so far this year against fierce lobbying – to maintain free speech in that country.

    Helping you to keep this freedom is hard work, and getting harder.

    WAKE UP!

  3. Because I am not trying to be amusing!!! Swearing and provacating is not freedom of speech! I will tell some in public “this guy should be killed” and some sick minded will go and kill him… And I will not have any obligation because of my words? Is that the freedom of speech!!!!

  4. Everything this guy says is true. Freedom of speech is important and even more is the freedom to think for yourself. Muslims do neither . A billion people all thinking the same thing! It makes no sense.

  5. Stand back a bit.  Perhaps this fury is much broader based than we think.  Recall that the USA invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq (Muslim nations) on false pretenses. There is also the business of US troops in Saudi Arabia that had bin Laden so annoyed. There is also the matter of the US funding Israel apartheid and siding with it against Palestine. This silly American movie might have been simply the last straw.  You also have to recall the Arab penchant for holding a grudge for extremely long times. They are still royally pissed about the Crusades.

    What do you want — to fix the situation or enjoy smugly believing yourself morally superior?

  6. I have to assume you’re asking me? Sorry but the iPad I’m using breaks the Net and this Sites comments appear more garbled than most.

    It also makes commenting a very laborious and error-prone task.

    For information on how free speech is threatened, Governments continue to seek greater spying power on innocent citizens and how copyright owners constantly lobby for copyright infringement to be criminalised and policed by on-line vigilantes with police powers (I know it sounds fantastic – but this is all for real) start at http://www.eff.org

    If you live in GB Search for the Open Rights Group.

    If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Canada or some other part of the English-speaking World you will need to use your favourite search engine.

    If you live in Poland you’re lucky – you live in the only country that takes these issues seriously mainstream. If you live in China or Russia …

    Peace.

  7. Not in the least offended, good to see you exercising your right. Now go to an Islamic country and speak up against these moronic maniacs. 
    Multiple wrongs do not make a right- yes, world wars were craziness, destruction and mass murder; the driving forces were very like Islam, hatred (Nazis for Jews), ridiculous ideology (Mein Kampf, or Stalinist communism), demagoguery (Hitler’s speeches) and the willingness of ignorant masses to be manipulated. Do you see a pattern here? 

    Islam is the problem- I know many muslims and have not met a bad one yet. This I attribute to the fact that NONE of them take islam seriously, in fact they seem a bit sheepish about it. So there is some small hope.

  8. No offence at all! Curse and insult all you like, you are proving the point that islamists just cannot understand, that mere words, pictures, all the screaming and yelling do not KILL or harm anybody. Simple, isn’t it? Yet Islam is so utterly stupid, its adherents so brainwashed that they just cannot figure it out. 

  9. Well, Stephen… how about doing something about it? Organise a march on Downing St or an on line petition or SOMETHING instead of telling others to ‘wake up’ How are you fighting the government?

  10. Stephen of Wimbledon – Sorry about that, I’ve posted the comment for you. Disqus has the annoying habit of occasionally marking posts as spam and there is no way to adjust settings other than “train” it.  We will be moving to our own commenting system, hopefully soon,  which we have written based on open source software and we will have complete control over all functionality.  It will be basic at first but it will be platform we can build on.

  11. The “Arab penchant”? Why are there protests in Indonesia and African nations, then? Closer to the Arabian peninsula, why are the Iranians (who are, quite vehemently, not of Arab ethnicity) swearing to hunt down the film-makers?

  12. Not 100% factual. Afghanistan was the Taliban paradise on Earth and haven for terrorism. Iraq, a mistake, perhaps in retrospect but at the time the removal of Saddam was seen as a good thing by Iraqi’s too. The blunder was having no plan for post-war reconstruction of Iraqi society. Now they get on with bombing and murdering each other despite US troops leaving. Israel/ Palestine- seemingly insoluble. The Balfour Declaration sounded like it would work but hey, who could tell at the time? Crusades- another Islamic myth. Those wars were an inevitable response to Arab aggression when the expanding empire threatened to engulf all of Europe. So the Crusades were indeed defensive. 
    Morally superior- certainly, judging by Islamic progress in recent centuries. Islam denies its believers the chance of progress in science, the arts, literature, music and just about everything we consider admirable.

  13. 21o1o12,you are a valid demonstration to ignorance.
    Pat was so right,bending free speech to accommodate intolerant primitive saudi cultures should NOT be an option,standards of free speech are not for negotiation.

  14. Hmm!!! are you sure? since you are the ones with open minds you can bend the rules!!! Have you ever came to your minds!!! Why muslims don’t make this kind of movies etc… not only their prophet but also any other prophet… Because we all believe they bring to same message from ADAM TO MOHAMMED!!!

  15. Islam is the problem- I know many muslims and have not met a bad one yet. This I attribute to the fact that NONE of them take islam seriously, in fact they seem a bit sheepish about it. So there is some small hope.

    Pussyfooting around has to stop, as does muslim immigration. Enough of liberal delusions.

    Are your many Muslim associates aware that this is what you really think about them? If none of them takes Islam seriously isn’t it because they’ve been exposed to western society and its liberal values which you seem to hold in such contempt?

  16. If that is the case why are you trying to tease all to time… Are you suffering some kind of addictiveness? Why don’t you let people leave with their way??? 

    If you are the ones with the knowledge and you have the knowledge of physcilogy why you are teasing people? This will solve the problems????I hope one day you will leave what middle east goes trough or africa or some asian step tribes.. Then i would like to see your fucking faces!!!

  17. Goodness me, you have got the ‘wrong end of the stick!’ I’m not muslim and hold western society in the highest esteem, being a member of it. It’s Islam I hold in utter contempt and my muslim friends do indeed live in a ‘westernised’ country, if I can call it that. Reference to liberal delusions is a comment on political correctness in the west pretending there is no problem with Islam!
    Incidentally, I was shocked and delighted to find my muslim neighbour reading “The God Delusion”
    How good is that?
    Hope that clears up your confusion.

  18. Much as I personally am not fond of Islam (or any religion for that matter) and as someone who grew raised in the faith and rebelled back in middle school (what can I say, science was just more convincing!), this is not constructive. A lot of people are angry due to ignorance. For example, people are more welcoming of you if you’re a Christian than if you’re an atheist (not unlike here in the US where atheists are more mistrusted than Muslims for example). In short, many don’t get it because they don’t really know much about anything. Conspiracy theories abound, literacy rates are often low and even when they’re not material seems limited in the local languages. There are also variations as Berbers in N Africa are often less religious than ‘Arabs’ or Arabic-speakers let’s say. The citizenry of Iran has lately become restive, but remains largely ‘Muslim’ in the nominal sense. 

    This is about modernity as well as information and circumstance. Being exposed to many different things and having a stable society and government help tremendously. It also helps when there’s leadership that takes bold stances to modernize rather than use religion to maintain power. Easier said than done, but blaming these relatively poor, uneducated and brainwashed people for what is mostly sporadic violence (AQ was behind the Libya incident and these demonstrations have numbered in the hundreds mostly, sometimes thousands and pale in comparison to the massive democracy demonstrations, which says a lot in terms of support and coverage in the West). 

    Fighting this is important, but has to come from within and the first step for those of us in the West and secular mindset is to support governments that don’t intervene and interfere over there. That means also not helping the Israelis, arming the Saudis, and giving money to the Egyptian military. Let it all sort itself out, which is far easier said than done given special interest control here in the US, but really those societies need to evolve out of religion on their own. On the plus side, technology will likely go a long way to fix this situation as more and more people use technology to communicate with each other what is going on in real time all the time. 

  19. OK, so you don’t make any disrespectful films about Adam or Mohammed. But wouldn’t it be nice if all Muslims gave as much respect to people living today, especially women, as they do to people who either never existed or died thousands of years ago.

  20. So there has never been, for example, an anti-Semitic film made by Muslims? I can think of at least one poorly-done stop-motion children’s program depicting Jews as monkeys. Or is freedom of speech only bad when it’s used to insult a “prophet” or a god? Would it be wrong to say “Zoroaster sucks!”, or to call Amaterasu a bimbo or Zeus a rapist? I guess it’s only wrong to insult the “true” god/prophets?

    Of course, I think taking offence at insults, whether personal or against someone you respect, is pretty pointless. All I might be tempted to do is to respond in kind, but if I did I’d end up looking just as childish as the person slinging abuse.

    Freedom of speech cuts both ways; it just has to. If you think it’s a good idea to spew ineptly phrased garbage at people, you are absolutely free to do so, just as others are free to ignore you, to insult you in return, or to try to convince you, through measured argument, that there are better, kinder, more mutually-beneficial ways to co-exist.

  21. It’d be great if Muslims did a lot of things, but really it doesn’t register even in casual conservation for some. Those living in the West may sometimes be receptive, but again there’s that feeling many exhibit that is a clear irrational fear of the unknown (suppose their ‘god’, that likely doesn’t exist if you’re a believer in physical evidence, does exist and so on). 

    Frankly, our expectations of the Muslim world here in the West are too high when you consider the situation in many of these countries. We can’t even really deal with Christian fundamentalists (and the pro-Israel lobby that keeps pushing us into wars over there) here in the US so how can we expect people without access to much education, information or knowledge of different ideas and ways of thinking to behave better? 

    All of us would be better off just not being involved and quietly funding universities and education that is secular. No overt involvement, no backing dictators or favoring our little buddy in the Eastern Med. The decades of Cold War and previous imperialism have slowed some developments down as well. Egypt was headed towards some level of development under Mehmet Ali before British and French interference for example. It all needs to take a natural course as it is now in Iran where people have grown weary of religious governance. This is inevitably where this sort of things goes. And without Saudi wealth to keep the masses in place (for a while), most countries can’t hope to keep a lid on progress in the not so distant future. 

  22. Hear what you’re saying however any sympathy I might have is seriously mitigated by the fact extreemist Muslims are pissed, not at murder, oppression, violence etc as such rather because they are not the ones doing the tyrannising.  It always leaves me feeling like vomiting to hear these excuses when many Muslim societies are so disgustingly mysogynistic, homophobic and prone to lop the heads off any of their citizens who so much as whimper a question about the divinity of the Koran of the character of Muhammad.  Pot calls kettle ultraviolet to my mind.

  23.  

    Some idiot on our side of the world made a stupid video; so
    what? No one here is taking it seriously. Do you really think we are all behind
    it? There’s 350 million people over here, all doing whatever they want.

    People
    here are free to make fun of any idea at all, we can make fun of any other religion
    or group or each other and don’t have to worry about being killed for it. But
    in your world, people should DIE for that. Ridiculous.

    To paraphrase you: “Why
    don’t YOU let people leave with their way????”

  24. Hope you feel better after that wee hissy-fit.

    “I do not support any violence or murder(er) of innocent people”… Who decides who is innocent?  In many Muslim countries leaving Islam is a death sentence no matter how deferentially ones contentions may be expressed think blasphemy laws in Pakistan. 

    Freedom of speech does not entail the obligation not to be offended at what someone says.  We are the creators of hate?  Frankly you doth protest FAR too much given your religion declares war on anyone who disagrees with it and has done so long before you or I were born: http://skepticsannotatedbible….

    Of course every culture can boast its murderous nutbags… but an ambassador and his staff are dead because a bunch of Muslim extreemists could not handle some completely different person laughing at their personal opinion about religion (I say personal because neither your god of prophet actually ever condescend to turn up and defend themselves the omnipotent one always seems to require a feeble human to do his dirty work for him)… if being offended and being homicidal were the same thing we would not require two words to describe them.

    I do not feel compelled to pussy-foot around what is at the end of the day for all you can show or demonstrate, your feelings.  Produce your deity and we’ll talk till then I will criticise your opinion about religion and laugh at it (or indeed make truly dreadful movies stating what can already be found on any number of internet sites and discussion boards) if I feel like it.  For the reasons I have given above if you complain then you are a hypocrit like many religiously inclined who expect and demand every consideration for themselves but seldom feel compelled to reciprocate.

  25. The problem in this current phase of ‘conflict’ goes to the heart of the problems in the region, social change and evolution. However, the ‘Greater Mideast’ as it were isn’t the worst hotspot, it’s just the most publicized as well. Sub-Saharan Africa is wracked by civil wars and conflicts over everything from resources to ethnic cleavages to colonial borders that divide related peoples. Religion also plays a role as with aggressive Islamic fundamentalists in Nigeria and so on, but the pirates of Somalia, while Muslim are more about financial problems obviously. 

    The current stream of protests remain relatively small and appear to represent a fringe element and it is now clear that inciting this group is easy to do and can lead to needless conflict. Also, it would be one thing if there was a true attempt at artistry (as with Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, which was not meant to offend, but to entertain) as opposed to a deliberate attempt at insulting people to get a rise out of them. Yelling fire as it were. Not that this sort of thing can be easily regulated or really put a lid on easily, but purposeful attempts to cause violence should be considered outside the context of the normal freedom of speech. South Park’s depiction of Muhammad, while offensive to locals was an attempt at real satire while this recent film was made (poorly) with destructive behavior in mind. With that said, far worse is said just in talkback forums like this one anyway, but really the tumultuous Islamic world requires a lengthy hands off approach in order to work itself out as opposed to a constant riling up of the proverbial hornet’s nest.

  26. Ostensibly US aid to Egypt is about Israel. Now that the dictatorships are gone, it remains about keeping Egypt friendly with Israel. Of course, anyone with even an ounce of knowledge of the region will note that Israel is not really threatened by any country in the region militarily given its nuclear arsenal and advanced military that can crush all of its neighbors in the conventional sense. Thus, it becomes about the occupation and our involvement over there. 

    As for the Saudis, they pay good money and we’re one of the many arms exporters in the world who sell to most countries with the cash to buy our arms. Sad state of affairs as many of those weapons end up being used on their own civilian population of course. 

  27. I’ll have another stab at trying to get my point across, Jim, as it didn’t take the first time round.

    You have Muslim friends who hold an agnostic or atheistic worldview. I maintain that this may be because they immigrated to or grew up in a part of the world which doesn’t take religion too seriously. Exposure to western liberal values has effectively cured them of religiosity. And yet you oppose Muslim immigration to the west and decry liberalism, the possible magic bullet for religious extremism, and call it delusional.

    Authoritarian regimes such as those in China and Saudi Arabia place strict controls on the internet and other media sources with the specific intent of keeping the natives in the dark.
    The governments in such places are only too aware that when the teeming masses are exposed to non-religious or non-ideological ideas, that’s when the trouble starts.

    I just cannot get my head around the worldview of people like you and this fool Condell with his moronic rant. Your response to ignorance isn’t to try and educate but to shun, to dehumanise, and if all else fails, to resort to infantile insults and playground challenges: “you will suck it up and like it.”; “bag-headed bimbo”; “[Islam is] indistinguishable from Nazism”.
    It’s reductive and divisive and plays into the hands of bigots.

    Doesn’t Mr Condell realise* that his views are manna to Muslim extremists? This is exactly what they want. Not being tolerated is their catnip; it’s the thing that fuels their dreams; it’s their raison d’être. Without wishing to be vulgar, it’s what gets them hard. I hadn’t heard of Pat Condell before today, although I get the impression that he’s something of a celebrity on this site, but my feeling is that his vitriolic and deliberately provocative rant was something of a tantrum, possibly because a couple of dumbasses like Terry Jones and the Innocence of Muslims guy are the cynosures in this affair, rather than someone clever and charismatic like your man.

    By the way, “And once again we in the civilised world are being urged to censor ourselves out of respect for a religion that violates the human rights of half the people on the planet” is a Ray Bolger argument: Islam doesn’t violate the human rights of half the population of the planet: there’s about a billion existent Muslims, I believe, in a planetary population of roughly seven billion, half of whom are female. My math is lousy but even I can work out that that equates to 1/14th. Militant Islamists may want to create a worldwide Muslim caliphate, but wishing for something doesn’t make it so.

    *rhetorical question; I’m sure he does.

  28. Why would one be offended by these particular words? I wouldn’t be displeased, angry, or feel any resentment, but perhaps it would hurt my feelings from someone that I love. Now if one verbally threatens to take my life or someone I love, I’m still not offended, just frightened and will take action to protect myself. Getting offended simply because someone mocks one’s beliefs or prophet shows a weakness in that individual – a individual who’s strings are easily pulled. 

  29. Of course there are people out there that will harm. There are people out there that will harm you if you look at them the “wrong way”. People out there that will hurt you for no reason. What’s your point?

  30. Does it not occur to you there are people, communities, nations, all over this globe that don’t care about the   Abrahamic myths and messages you believe? And that these people have their own that works for them. 

  31. Out of interest, during the Olympics, was he ever referred to as
    “Mohammed Fa-RAH” even once, on TV?
    What little I observed was all “Mo’ FA-rah”

    As if they were deliberately trying to make it more palatable for the British public.

    “Mohammed Farah (erstwhile of Somalia), takes gold for England!” doesn’t have a good enough ring to it?

  32. Excellent stuff from Pat Condell again – just telling it how it is in plainspeak and saying what most British and Western people think (as distinct from what we’re supposed to think as lectured to us by a political elite).

  33. ‘Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was — and it remains — incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society.’Andre Servier, in L’islam et la psychologie du musulman (1923)

    ‘Islam in its origins is just as shady and approximate as those from which it took its borrowings. It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or “surrender” as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing—absolutely nothing—in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.’
    Christopher Hitchens, god is not Great (2007).

    It is however possible to find someone that knew islam was good for them.

    ‘You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?’
    Adolf Hitler, as quoted Inside the Third Reich : Memoirs by Albert Speer, p. 115

  34. What has been done in the past GENERATIONS does not give license to those alive TODAY to kill children. More to be said maybe but those who do not have a choice need to be represented. Your comments of the past are erroneous as the enemies of those wars are now friends and allies Not killing others because of a book that, like all of them, is obvious fiction, and not even a good story.
    Swearing at people is not exercising free speech with an intellect. You say these obscenities to offend and offended some shall be, quite rightly so.   There is nothing wrong with critical offence
    Political correctness has made us all a bit like cry babies, to a point of having massive paddies ‘EVERYTIME’ something is upsetting.How can you tell people not to be offended in a rant ‘about’  free speech? You comment for the other side of the muslim field but read yourself back comrade, you sound rather familiar (and childish). Want offence? Capable of huge dishonest, especially towards those children who have no choice but to be soldiers in an attempt of  world dictatorship. As you quite rightly state when this happens in the world the rest of the world rally against it.

  35. Respects comrade. Activists unite.

    But I’m SURE your not “the only one”. The statement ‘self prophet’ springs to mind.
    Others efforts are pointed elsewhere. I am a father and my children’s education is the front line I stand at right now.
    Hope you don’t collapse under the weight of  Britains freedom. (giggle)

  36. 3lolol3

    I
    hope this is my last post on this website… And I am sorry about my
    grammatical and other English errors… Yes, I am ignorat about many
    thing and also English… But sometime ignorant people also can tell!!!

    Hi 3lolol3,

    Please don’t worry about your english. I hope it isn’t your last post on this site. You are very welcome here.

    However, for clarity, let me see if I can understand what you are saying?

    The recent narrative goes something like this:

    An Arab man makes a film that Muslims find insulting.

    Muslim men around the world (it’s mainly men, and not ‘all’ muslims, obviously, but quite a few) go out onto the streets to demonstrate, riot, burn, loot, maim, murder, and kill, and to call for the curtailment of the freedom of speech of all non-muslims in the world.

    Someone (a non-muslim) is offended by all this rioting, burning,looting, maiming, murdering, and killing (and the call for the curtailment of the freedom of speech of all non-muslims in the world) and points out (using quite harsh language) that this is what Muslims always do when they get offended.

    You (as a muslim man) are so offended that someone (a non-muslim) should point this out, you feel obliged to speak out and defend the actions of your fellow muslim men by showing non-muslims how they too (indeed, any ‘real’ man) would also go out onto the streets and riot, burn, loot, maim, murder, and kill etc’, if they too were so provoked.

    You show this by attempting to provoke non-muslims into rioting, burning, looting, maiming, murdering, and killing (and to call for the curtailment of freedom of speech) by swearing at them.

    Have I got that right?

    Anvil.

  37. This whole business is getting a little too self righteous.  I wrote an essay a decade ago called Why you should not marry a soldier. It has had a recent surge in interest. It gets similar violent reactions from Americans that the movie gets from Muslims.  The reaction is the same, though on a smaller scale. Basically this is how humans behave when their sacred cow is gored. They forget all about freedom of speech.

  38. What is funny! This is your rule for this simple website but you are not
    able to use this rule for ISLAM which contains over 1 billion people.
    And Pat Condell  can make his hatred speech in this website and other
    idiots can swear peoples’ believe but when I swear people in this
    website my freedom of speech taken away!!!

    I can see your point that some non-Islamic people are spewing hatred,
    but this comes from the individual or particular group and is not
    written in their code or book that this is acceptable behavior. We, non-Islamic people, also have rules that prevent me from being discriminated. They allow me to dress as I like, say what I want and pursue a future of my own choosing. I am owned by no man. This is a freedom that I am deeply grateful for having. Billions of people all around the world can give me this respect, but Islam does not.

    Women walking alone to a library run the risk of being gang raped and then brought up on charges of adultery. If this happened here, the men would be brought up on charges of rape and imprisoned! The woman would receive medical and psychological care. Family member would rally around her and give her love and support. She would have the option of facing her attackers and telling them how they wronged her and ruined her life.

    Why have the burqa? It’s only true purpose is to hide women away from men. Where is the freedom of speech here? Hey everybody, I’m having a good hair day, but you cannot see it. I AM HERE, BUT YOU DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE ME OR WHO I AM AS AN INDIVIDUAL.

    Until all women are allowed freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom over choices involving her own body,  freedom to be autonomous, freedom to make mistakes! There will never be any common ground between our cultures.

  39. Crusades- another Islamic myth. Those wars were an inevitable response to Arab aggression when the expanding empire threatened to engulf all of Europe. So the Crusades were indeed defensive.

    Not strictly accurate….see the two part documentary, “The Crusades: The Crescent and the Cross…

     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… That is the propaganda that Pope Urban II was propagating at the time. Exaggerated out of all proportion. Here is an extract from his speech at Claremont….

    “Christians, hasten to help your brothers in the East, for they are being attacked. Arm for the rescue of Jerusalem under your captain Christ. Wear his cross as your badge. If you are killed your sins will be pardoned.”

     It seems that this was done because the papacy control of Europe was waning, also, the promise of unifying the schism between the Roman and Eastern Orthodox church in return for assistance was a prize too great for a pope to turn down. Let the lies commence.While there is much conflict between scholars in the real reasons behind the first crusade, it might be worth remembering that those that rose up against Islam, were to do so everywhere. Everything is not always as it seems.

     In short, the western knights’ glorious deeds, recorded in such lavish style by medieval historians and celebrated ever since, provided a cover story that only now has been revealed. Their bravery, heroism and piety, fodder for countless medieval romances, really were too good to be true.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02

  40. The US government has put out a commercial that it is showing in Pakistan and similar countries.  It shows various American politicians avowing freedom of religion in the USA. However, it also says Americans will not tolerate people saying rude things about other religions.

    I heard this report on the CBC Radio 1, so I did not get the precise wording of just what was not being tolerated. However, I got the impression he had gone too far, and proclaiming the rights of religious fruitcakes not to be offended by others laughing at their superstitions.

    One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.
    ~ Henry Louis Mencken 1880-09-12 1956-01-29

  41. I can see your point that some non-Islamic people are spewing hatred,
    but this comes from the individual or particular group and is not
    written in their code or book that this is acceptable behavior.”

    It’s written in their code through the example of Muhammad. He couldn’t take any criticism, either. He actually got quite violent when he was strong enough.

  42. So far, the “day of love” for the Prophet Muhammad (in Pakistan) has seen fifteen dead.

    This from the editorial of the Pakistan Observer:

    It is quite obvious that the West, led by the US, is deliberately provoking sentiments of the Muslim world and the latest incident of publication of a highly inflammable cartoon by a French magazine is testimony to that fact. While the Islamic Ummah is exhorting the need for inter-faith dialogue and harmony, the Western world is pursuing the path of clash of civilizations, and as a consequence there can’t be durable peace and security in the globe.

    Brilliant analysis. In the same paper the president of Pakistan calls for a worldwide law against ‘sacrilege’.

    This from a nation that has cruise missiles and nuclear weapons.

    The world just got a little scarier.

    Anvil.

    http://epaper.pakobserver.net/

  43. I would hate the thought that “bearded bufoons”  could be thought of as “anti-semitic”! But there again it is quite a colourful use of language! I’m glad he didn’t offend anyone by mentioning sandals! (With or without socks).

  44. Hi 2LOLOL2. 

    It’s not that we in the west can’t live without demeaning other people’s cultures. It’s that we have things we hold sacred too and one of those things is the freedom for people to be able to say what they want to say. Even if it’s something stupid that we disagree with.

     Letting authoritarian powers control what can and can’t be said is a slippery slope that were not going to enter down.  If we lived in the same country and a law passed that said Muslims couldn’t express the opinion, in writing or public places, that non-Muslims go to hell because it’s offensive to non-Muslims, you probably wouldn’t like that. Just like I wouldn’t like a law passed that said that I couldn’t simply reply back that I think the Muslim concept of hell is B.S.. I’m not bothered by the statement about me going to hell because I don’t think it’s true.

     In this system were both free to express our opinions without being censored. We just have to be strong enough in our convictions that some no nobody, like the no body who made the low budget Muslim film that no one had ever hear of , can disparage a concept we hold dear and it not effect us because were confident enough in our selves and in our beliefs.

  45. Well, I guess a man who endorses the EDL would know rioting when he sees it. Also, didn’t Condell fans send Richard Coughlan and others death threats when they criticised Condell? Just saying.

  46. James Martin:

    Well, I guess a man who endorses the EDL would know rioting when he sees it. Also, didn’t Condell fans send Richard Coughlan and others death threats when they criticised Condell? Just saying.

    Ah, so nothing to say about the content of the video, just guilt by smearing? A flea bite by any other name would itch as much.

  47.  All religions are harmful to human kind.  It seems to me that the Muhamad (Innocence of Muslims) trailer is made by Christians just to attack Muhamad/Muslims.  In other words, delusionals attacking other delusionals.   This bothers me.  As far as religion is concerned, I criticize both film maker and Muslims, because both believe in genocidal religions.  Islam is just younger of the two, this is why Muslims act more ferociously.  Secular humanism will push Islam back the same way it did to Christianity in free world (maybe not as much in the US yet, but it will).

    This does not mean I do not support freedom of expression.  I certainly do.  Christians are free to criticize Islam, but they also deserve criticism.  Just compare the old testament (when God was angry) and Koran (relatively more recent nonsense).

    Lets fight all religions while pointing the sharper edge of our weapons toward Islam.

    Cheers to all fellow rationalists!!

  48. In this clip Pat says that similar to radical muslems, we as atheist have a right not to give a damn about them either. I personally think there is good evidence( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… )
    that aggression is not going to solve this problem but will only worsen it. This clip gives good evidence that religion (although very unpalatable to us as atheists) is often not the root cause of the problem but a way religious people rationalise their actions (similar to we using our brains) . So in my opinion our options are the following – 1 continue fighting a loosing battle as at present and see things worsening -2 Stop fighting, set an example of rational behaviour, and assist moderate muslems to fight their own battle and modernise their religion – after all we have done this with christianity and it’s taken centuries and is by no means complete yet! 
    We can’t do this for them! It’s like trying to force a christian to become an atheist by violent means or vice versa. The next time I hear a Muslem radical (or Israeli radical or any radical) give religious rhetoric for some atrocious action I will do my rational best to see throught this to the underlying root cause of the problem which is often poverty, inequality, power, local politics, resource scarcities etc.   

  49.   tjkotzee

    This clip gives good evidence that religion (although very unpalatable
    to us as atheists) is often not the root cause of the problem but a way
    religious people rationalise their actions

    Indeed…’religion’ is just the façade that bigotry, hatred and ignorance cowers behind, it always has been and it always will be!

    Religion is a handy tool of the terminally arrogant and philosophically bankrupt, and the cash to be made is out of all proportion to its relevance.
    ‘There is literally  gold in that thar prejudice and intolerance…It just needs a little woo to frighten it out of the brain dead is all!’

  50. It’s good to see RDF linking to Pat Condell. Some commentators here feel that pushing back against islamic intimidation exacerbates the problem, and of course this is true; but the time for polite indulgence is long past. Far better now to strip the hypocrisy from both sides of this struggle. A vast number of ignorant victims have been infected by the vilest of cognitive disorders, and the continuance of our very civilisation is at stake.

    We need to be proactive: just as the muslims conspire to establish a framework of international law with which to blight the whole of mankind, we should start lobbying doctors and scientists to remove the ludicrous exemption in DSM-IV which allows anyone who is bat-shit crazy to get out of jail free by pleading “religion”. Delusion is delusion, it doesn’t matter how many friends you have who agree with you; that just makes the delusion more dangerous.

  51. Islam is just younger of the two, this is why Muslims act more ferociously.

    I agree with most of the things you say, but this is a non-sequitur. It might stem from a wide spread assumption that there exists a path of reformation Islam can go down similar to what Christendom and its church has done. It’s not necessarily so. Another view could simply be that Islam is just more ferocious of the two, which is why Muslims act more ferociously.

  52.  No doubt.  At this time of our history, Islam is the most ferocious.  You are right.  Islam may not be pushed back the same way Christianity has been by secular morality. But, it seems to me that this is valid for period of time: I have known people from Islamic countries who behave similar to today’s average Christian, i.e, they are not as ferocious as those rioters, or they are not ferocious at all.

    My concern is that, in this video, at least some critism should be thrown to the face of those Christians who are waging war  against Islam through the trailer (while we respect their freedom to express themselves), because they think their religion is the real worldview.  As an atheist, I am careful when I debate with any religious, i.e., I make sure that the opponent understands I am not giving credit to any delusion in any way.

    I just want to make sure that we do our best in raising awareness.  That’s all.

  53. I have known people from Islamic countries who behave similar to today’s
    average Christian, i.e, they are not as ferocious as those rioters, or
    they are not ferocious at all.

    I’m sure there are many people who call themselves Muslims but still behave totally un-Islamic; maybe even most Muslims, at least in the west.

    When one has studied Islam for a while, as I have, it’s easy to forget about the other religions, but I agree that this is not a good thing. In fact all religions legitimize the others, simply because they build on the same circular reasoning: the book is true because the book is true. With reasoning like that I guess it’s somehow natural that the youngest one becomes the most violent one in its enthusiasm to convince others.

  54. Why do all posts  have to be about the content of the video? I’ve seen plenty of fawning comments on this thread about the odious Condell that haven’t mentioned his rant.

    If he does support the English Defence League – more information here about this fascist group for anybody outside the UK  fortunate enough not to have heard of them:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E… - then it isn’t smearing, it’s informing.

  55. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
    Fighting Islam like this is like fighting a chip pan fire by throwing a bucket of water on it, it seems like a good idea, only it has disastrous consequences. I agree with the many criticisms that have been made about Islam and don’t think it deserves any special consideration, just like other religions, what someone chooses to believe in their personal life is their business as long as they keep it to themselves. If someone breaks the law, violence or abuse or whatever, they should be dealt with – their religion or lack thereof doesn’t come into it. I don’t respect Islam, and I don’t disrespect people just because they are Islamic. I’ve known too many (dedicated) Muslims that are kind, considerate, and thoughtful to tar them with the same brush as the insane socio-paths that take part in these riots. I still disagree with their world-view and am grateful that they are mature enough individuals to be able to have honest and plain speaking conversations with them. There are always going to be differences of opinion, the question is how to deal with them peacefully, and I think that this is different from the necessity to defend yourself and others from harm. The problem with political correctness is that it gets these two issues confused, it confuses immoral and illegal action with a justifiable and natural right to freedom of thought.

    What we need is a teflon coating, don’t give Islam anything to get a grip on – turn off the heat and take away it’s fuel.

  56. James Martin:

     

    No, chief, just pointing out the hypocrisy of Condell. I doubt you will understand. The followers of Condell never do.

    Well, my friend, I don’t agree with much of what Pat Condell  says, but I don’t disagree with him about religion. In no way am I his follower.Now if you you have something positive or negative to say about the video, please speak up, and don’t attack the man instead.

  57. Katy Cordeth:

    If he does support the English Defence League – more information here about this fascist group for anybody outside the UK  fortunate enough not to have heard of them:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E… - then it isn’t smearing, it’s informing.

    If  he supports the EDl then I oppose his politics. He may be “odious”, but I agree with what he says about these  “bearded bufoons” and those they manage to get to go out and destroy stuff, including human life.

    Don’t shoot the pianist, n’ all that?

  58. I’m sorry, but “don’t attack the man”? You endorse Condell’s video, in which he traduces 1/7 of the population of the planet, but when someone points out his possible affiliation with a far-right hate group and goes so far as to question his motives for producing inflammatory material, that’s somehow beyond the pale?

  59. … in which he traduces 1/7 of the population of the planet, …

    If you can’t differentiate between abstract belief systems and the actual flesh and blood of the organisms that harbor these abstract belief systems, you will probably never be able to wake up from the Matrix and see the enormous battery farm that you’re a part of.

    I quite like the EDL. You know what I do when someone labels me “far-right”? I post this picture:

    http://thedaily400.files.wordp

    And you pull a Wikipedia-article as evidence that the EDL is “far right”? Wikipedia? Which anyone can edit? Anyone! And it’s even part of a series on a non-existent subject, that of “islamophobia”. Hah! Grow up.

  60. I quite like the EDL. You know what I do when someone labels me “far-right”? I post this picture:  http://thedaily400.files.wordp

    At least it’s a step up from “sticks and stones may break my bones…”, I suppose. Unless what you’re saying is that the bullets that Bill, or is it Ted, is deflecting are representative of slavering Muslims trying to take away your way of life.

    You know what I do when someone posts a picture from a superhero movie in an attempt to make their argument? I make the mental note that they’re too immature to be worthy of any further attention from me.

    Just before I dismiss you forever, could you possibly explain what it is about these people that makes you admire them as much as you do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… 

    Please don’t say “it’s because they tell it like it is.”

  61.  By the way.  I was born in an Islamic country, and was forced to take Islamic courses at both elementary and high schools.  I left the country long long time ago.  I turned an atheist at around age 16, and had to shut up or face the danger of getting killed.  You know how atheists are “punished” in Islamic countries thanks to Muhammad.  I have also interacted a lot with Christian priests, as well as some Buddhists (some of my relatives and friends).  I have also read accurate references to Bible.  I always use contradictions and genocidal behaviours in the old testament in my debates.

    I really do not mean to brag :).  I am sure there are people who have had much more drastic experiences than I have.  Just would like my fellow atheists know that there are those small minorities like myself who managed to get out of one of the worst delusions in human history.  And, I am so proud of it!!

    Cheers!

  62. I know that this (Muslim riots)  is not just about religion.  it is also political.  It is the marriage of politics and Islam.  When one is attacked, both enter in action.  I have seen and experienced this first hand as an observer, and as a person who was born in an Islamic country I understand the mentality.  It just cannot be all about religion given all the antagonism that has existed between the west and people of middle east for such a long time.  The trouble is that religion is also being used not just as fanatical worldview, but also as unifying instrument.  Their (Muslim’s) anger is funnelled towards retaliation based on their perception of the west with deep misguidance of their delusional leaders.  Rational thinking suggests that they should start the piece anytime, and renew relationships as soon as possible. And, live in peace with one another if they really believe Islam is a peaceful religion.   But, they obviously prefer riots and killing to let their steam out.  Well, religion does not allow rational thinking anyway.

  63. I don’t much like the EDL either, Kathy, but could you not have found a video that illustrates your point other than one produced by PressTV, the utterly disgusting, state owned propaganda channel of the Islamic Republic of Iran?

  64. Why is it that it’s almost impossible for people regardless if they are atheists or cultural relativists to actually discuss the real issue instead of heaping into this broad discussion about Islam, religion and how we are allegedly in a war against Islam. I’m sick and tired to be honest.

    They main thing we should discuss is religious terrorism and how we can prevent similar incidents in the future. This is a complex issue but I’m pretty sure that self-censorship or criticising Islam as a whole is not very fruitful in this regard! We are talking about a few thousand protesters world-wide out of 1,6 billion Muslims! I guess that a vast majority of Muslims has not even contemplated this issue. To them these incidents are probably as irrelevant as some anti-abortion protest in Southern USA is for most Christians. You don’t here atheists and cultural relativists blaming Christianity as a whole when some crazy pro-lifer threatens to kill physicians performing abortions. No we regard these incidents as isolated acts. 

    Why do otherwise smart people fail (or perhaps refuse) to realize that these are political acts by certain religious leaders. Why do people not discuss how come a totally irrelevant amateur youtube trailer could spark such violent reactions. Most of us had not even heard of this movie before. But, still these incidents are portrayed as spontaneous acts by mainstream Muslims. People who probably don’t even have access to a computer. I’m pretty sure they have not even seen the video. But, still people assume they somehow came across it and became so outraged that they just had to go out and kill someone. Does anyone really believe that. I mean, that’s absurd. I think it’s so obvious how these acts are well-planned acts of terrorism. They take advantage of frustrated people who do whatever their religious leaders tell them. I don’t make excuses for these people. They should obviously be charged with murder and sent to prison for the rest of their lives. But, to define these people as mainstream Muslims is just absurd! 

    “Oh, but most Muslims probably support these actions even if they wouldn’t take part themselves”, some might say. Well, even if that was so. How is that different from religious accommodationists who think people who offend Muslims have themselves to blame. How is that different from political leaders in the west condemning the acts of people who offend Muslims while barely mentioning the actual acts of terrorism. If not even our political leaders have the courage or will to condemn the actual terrorists, then why would a Muslim condemn these acts? I actually think many do, although they probably aren’t to keen on expressing their views. In media, of course we hear all these Muslims expressing how offended they are. But, isn’t that exactly what we ought to expect. If the general opinion in our societies is that offending Muslims is despicable. Then surely Muslims who are willing to support that idea are much more likely to be covered by the media than Muslims who might not support it. And if most Muslims actually support terrorism, then why are we only seeing a few thousand protesters world-wide? Out of 1,6 billion people only a few thousands find their ways to these protests. That seems quite strange to say the least. 

    I’m not defending Islam. I think Islam is a quite awful religion (although I can’t say I regard Christianity as much better) and I think many Muslims hold despicable beliefs. Women, gays and apostates are treated inhumanely in many Muslim countries. Even if a lot of Muslims even have a certain amount of support for these acts of violence that is not the same as to say that these violent mobs represent mainstream Muslims. They don’t. If it was not for certain religious leaders urging for political power we would never have these acts of terrorism. Muhammed caricatures and movies would go largely unnoticed. A few local Muslims would perhaps be offended and write debate articles in some news-papers. But, that would be the end of it. There would be no spontaneous riots, because these are not spontaneous riots. They are planned acts of terrorism. By not labeling them acts of terrorism we are actually playing right into the hands of the religious leaders who initiate these attacks.

    What if after 9/11 we would have acted like we do now. Instead of talking about the actual terrorists we would discuss how we should not offend Muslims. We would regard the attacks as spontaneous. This is just what happens when you offend Muslims. We should be ashamed! Actually we should punish the people who offended Muslims in first place. We would ignore the actual attacks and discuss religion in a broader sense. That would be ridiculous. Well, so is this! These are acts of terrorism, still no one bothers to call a spade a spade! 

  65. Congratulations on your deliverance from ignorance (No Kidding Man) – and you’ve made some very good points in your posts in the last 24 hours.

    There are extremists on all sides and we need to be on the look out for all types of sky-fairy lunacy, wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.

    Yes, when Islam is bad, it is very, very bad – but, as history shows us, all other faiths are just as capable of being horrid too.

    Let’s face it, all those who blindly follow any religion without question are two fish fingers short of a Happy Meal and capable of anything in the name of their imaginary friend.

    It’s just that, at this point in time, Islam is by far the most belligerent of these delusions – and the Muslim masses, once whipped into a frenzy by the imams and the mullahs, seem quite incapable of expressing themselves using any other emotion than ‘rage’.

    We must not back down from our defence of free speech – but at the same time, we shouldn’t be playing into the hands of the extremists of other religions, who will use any excuse and any method in their attempt to expose the followers of Islam as barbarian animals.

    Yes, many of them (sadly) do act that way when provoked – but it’s hardly all 1.6 billion of them…

    Blimey, we’d soon be in trouble if they were all at it…

    Islam is a demonstrably violent special case – but it is religion itself, in all its forms (violent and peaceful), that carries the most serious existential threat to our species and we must not forget that.

  66. What aspect of Condell’s video is inflammatory, the content or the delivery?  I’m not sure that there are any inaccuracies in the former but the latter, I suppose, could be seen as inflammatory but I see the way he conveys his ideas as indignant and passionate.  If people are inflamed by that, why should he be held responsible for how other people feel?

  67. Hi Pat,

     

    You appear to be wise and lived long enough to understand
    that majority of wars and atrocities that took place in the few thousand years
    that past was driven by religions (and I mean all of them!!).

     

    How do you see your speech demonising Muslims and inciting
    other religions to look at them as Nazi’s will help in reducing the religion fanaticism
    in the world.

     

    Can’t you see that the problem is religion in itself!!.  We should be driving the message that if you
    must have religion, then it is something that should stay between “you” and “your
    god”, regardless of your faith!

     

    You my friend is no different to all the Muslims fanatics
    that would like to lock up woman and disfigure male and female genitals.  Different sides to the same coin.

     

    You my friend is on the path to be the “Osama bin Laden” of
    the UK. J

     

    Today, i had to get a new e-mail address to be able to
    participate on this forum, which is the only way I can secure myself from the result
    hate speeches from both Christian and Muslim communities.

     

    Best Regards.

    Voice of an Arab

  68. This is a complex issue but I’m pretty sure that self-censorship or criticising Islam as a whole is not very fruitful in this regard! We are talking about a few thousand protesters world-wide out of 1,6 billion Muslims! I guess that a vast majority of Muslims has not even contemplated this issue.

    Perhaps you are right about the numbers involved, but that is little consolation to those that are losing their lives over this silly fiasco. Let me remind you that a few hundred fanatical’s held this country(UK) to ransom for 40+ years….Christians mostly…with the tacit support of lots of other Christians and Muslims, worldwide. I don’t think the numbers are as important as the mayhem they can create.

    To them these incidents are probably as irrelevant as some anti-abortion protest in Southern USA is for most Christians. You don’t here atheists and cultural relativists blaming Christianity as a whole when some crazy pro-lifer threatens to kill physicians performing abortions. No we regard these incidents as isolated acts.

     

    That’s a false equivalence. You might hear more of an uproar about it if it was a mob of angry pro-life Christians that ransacked an abortion clinic, burning it to the ground and murdering all those inside….especially if a US government official then went on TV to say “What did they expect, they brought it upon themselves because a backstreet abortion was carried out by someone in Cairo and it offends the sensibilities of pro-lifers the world over”.

    BTW, I do blame Christianity as a whole when some fuckwit takes their stupid book literally, resulting in the death of another defenceless human being…from blue mountain snake handlers to Jehovah’s Witnesses to pro-life fundamentalists….. how can it be otherwise?

  69. This story has taken a bizarre turn.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/s

    The Pakistani Minister of Railways has offered $100,000 out of his own pocket to anyone who will assassinate the makers of the film.  He says he knows this is illegal but feels obligated to discourage blasphemy.

    My mouth hangs open. This is a cabinet minister taking vigilante action, the last person you would expect to do something like that.

    I think the USA has to at least request his extradition, and request he be dropped from cabinet.

    It is one thing to pass a law outlawing blasphemy (which would apply to citizens of your own country), another to have the state assassinate people it does not like, yet another to take vigilante action, but a cabinet minister openly taking vigilante action takes the cake.

    I think Obama would be sorely tempted to ask the CIA to arrange an accident for this bird, like having a mosque fall on him.

  70. > I think the USA has to at least request his extradition, and request he be dropped from cabinet.

    The USA is quite generous to Pakistan.  If Pakistan refuses to discipline this guy, some of that aid should be withdrawn until that guy is removed from cabinet and tried, and his offer withdrawn.  The difficulty is withdrawing money that would most distress cabinet members without hurting Pakistan’s poorest citizens.  The core would be to withdraw military aid.

    Surely all the USA is doing is demanding Pakistan enforce its own law.

  71. “Perhaps you are right about the numbers involved, but that is little consolation to those that are losing their lives over this silly fiasco.”

    And, what is your point?

    “I don’t think the numbers are as important as the mayhem they can create.”

    I’m discussing how absurd it is to blame all Muslims for the acts of a very few. Do you blame all Muslims for 9/11 as well?

    “BTW, I do blame Christianity as a whole when some fuckwit takes their stupid book literally, resulting in the death of another defenceless human being…

    That’s called guilt by association (or collective guilt if you like). A common logical fallacy among our religious friends. This fallacy is the mother of most atrocities throughout history. It’s the process of refusing to accept people as individuals but mere members of a group. This is often the first step of dehumanizing people. It’s sad to see atheists use this ugly logical fallacy.

  72. Yes, this is promoting terrorism. I hope this man will get what he deserves. No, it’s not enough to force him to take back his offer or apologize. We can’t allow political leaders to make statements like these and get away with it. There has to be some grave consequences! He should be charged with supporting and initiating terrorism. Period! This is outrageous!

  73. I’m imagining a muslim riot scene and right at its climax out comes a huge speaker, that will resonate in their ears exactly like their god. I would love that speaker to echo this exact video by Pat Condell.
    Only then will they listen. Then, I would like god himself to appear, just once, and eliminate those rioters, so the rest of the muslims see his wrath and refrain from trying to shut other people’s mouths.
    sorry for day dreaming. Alas, this won’t happen and that’s why we must have speakers like Donell, Dawkins and Hitchens to be our darkness scarers for the sake of sane humanity.
    Thank you

  74. “That’s called guilt by association (or collective guilt if you like). A
    common logical fallacy among our religious friends. This fallacy is the
    mother of most atrocities throughout history. It’s the process of
    refusing to accept people as individuals but mere members of a group.”

    Indeed:

    “Your democratically elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible,
    just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim
    brothers and sisters.”

  75. What aspect of Condell’s video is inflammatory, the content or the delivery? I’m not sure that there are any inaccuracies in the former but the latter, I suppose, could be seen as inflammatory but I see the way he conveys his ideas as indignant and passionate.  If people are inflamed by that, why should he be held responsible for how other people feel?

    There’s no reason at all why he should. Anymore than the clerics in Libya who whipped up hundreds of people into a frenzy and then pointed them in the direction of the American Embassy should be held responsible. There’s way too much blame these days.

  76. Haha… well, I guess that could be a way to rationalize collective guilt. Although I think a much more common version is:

    “You look and smell different than the dozen or so people that I meet down the pub (who pretty much are the only people I’ve actually had a real discussion with in my entire life. I don’t like people who are different from me. They are dangerous. They all look the same to me. I don’t really care about actually finding out anything about these individuals. That would require me to actually read a book or two or, even worse, talk to strangers. Nuances make me confused. I don’t like nuances. Either you like beer or you don’t. Either you like ManU or you don’t. Either you are with me or against me.”

  77. And, what is your point?

    My point was, and if you had included the rest of my comment, that the dead care less about whether it is religious, political or religio-political terrorism…they are still dead. The Troubles in Northern Ireland were touted to the world as political, I can assure you they were about much more than that. A few arseholes is all it takes just as long as the greater community gives succour and support. This shit is about the religion of Islam, without it, there would be no issue about insults given or offence taken.

    I’m discussing how absurd it is to blame all Muslims for the acts of a very few.

    Who is blaming ALL Muslims? I’m blaming Islam and the silly crap it advocates. Those that follow the silly crap are guilty by association. Those that condemn the silly crap, and they are even fewer than those few that are advocating the silly crap, are not real Muslims in any case.

    Do you blame all Muslims for 9/11 as well?

    Nope, I blame Islam.

    That’s called guilt by association (or collective guilt if you like). A common logical fallacy among our religious friends.

    No it is not and I will explain why…the qualities that associate all members of the religion is the supposedly inerrant texts and they are anything but irrelevant to the issue.

    ” An association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association.”

    Look, if ones silly religious text advocates the death of a fellow human for some made up daft ass crimes, then anyone supporting that religion IS guilty by association. If they don’t believe the shit they read is accurate, then they don’t stack up as true Scotsmen…

     http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011

    More than the thoughts of just a few random pissed off Muslims I think.

    This fallacy is the mother of most atrocities throughout history. It’s the process of refusing to accept people as individuals but mere members of a group. This is often the first step of dehumanizing people. It’s sad to see atheists use this ugly logical fallacy.

    Yes, it would be sad if the fallacy applied in this case, but I don’t see it that way. I’m still waiting on the torrent of liberal Muslims on my television screen condemning this nonsense, given that there are so many that don’t take the fatwa seriously and all that, but I’m not holding my breath.

  78. Sorry, you can’t eat the cake and have it too. If you regard people who don’t follow the Islamic scriptures to the letter as not real Muslims then these people are not guilty by association. Since there are countless denominations with different opinions on a whole range of issues, then by definition there can be no real Muslims at all. They all interpret the scriptures. Hence following religious scriptures to the letter is a red herring since no Christians, Muslims or Jews follow their scriptures to the letter. That’s impossible. So, by your definition there are no Muslims. Great, we don’t have a problem! Man, this is so silly!

    “I’m still waiting on the torrent of liberal Muslims on my television screen condemning this nonsense, given that there are so many that don’t take the fatwa seriously and all that, but I’m not holding my breath.”

    By your logic the whole term moderate Muslim is an oxymoron, so why would you even wait for such people to appear on your television screen?

    My point is that you can play with words and definitions all you like. I can do it as well. But, in the end it’s just silly! This whole “your holy book says a and b, and if you don’t follow these instructions then you are not a true believer” is so pointless and naive. Religions are more than anything cultural constructs. Very few believers actually contemplate their beliefs on a constant basis. Most believers (regardless of what religion they confess to) are raised within their cultural tradition of which religion is a huge part. To talk about religions as a collection of individuals with well-defined beliefs and a homogeneous religious identity in every single way is to miss the whole point of what religions are… and what they are not! If religions were merely words in a few books then we wouldn’t have a problem on or hands would we? I’m not saying that there are no common beliefs among believers of a certain religion. Of course there are (although on closer inspection I’m pretty sure they are not as many and clear-cut as many like to think).

  79. Condell is not inciting to kill and behead.  That’s what the clerics you mention are doing.  Condell’s words are what count, not the manner of his delivery – conflating the two is not to see his very valid points.

  80. You make very good points “Nunbeliever”, and I just want to add, today there aren’t many liberal Muslims out there, just as there wasn’t many liberal Christians when the witches burned to the stake.  Islam and Judaism needs to evolve just as Christianity evolved into a more pink and fluffy religion away from all the scriptures! Questions: What made Christianity evolve from a “bloody religion” into today’s more palatable religion??

  81. Hello Voiceofarabi,

    What made Christianity more palatable?  Well, the sufferings caused by religion makes people think and “revise” their faith by making up their own interpretation that makes religion a bit closer to secular morality.  This continues until secularism prevails,  as it is clearly in  progress and succeeded to a great degree in many European countries.

    Sadly, Muslims are going through the same lousy situation.  I have known many kind  Muslims who change their behaviour when it comes to religion.  Remember what Christopher Hitchens said: Religion makes kind people do unkind thinks, and it also makes intelligent people say stupid thinks.

    Atheists like RD are obviously trying to accelerate this process.

    The Islamic extremists, who are throwing gas to fire,  are one of humanity’s major enemies.

  82. I could not agree more “No Kidding Man”, and I am wondering if the suffering caused by religion alone will turn people around, as you and I know that the witches burned to the stake were someone’s daughter, sister, mother or grandma, and people continued to do it!!

    Female genitalia continues to be mutilated in some countries, and if we think about it, it directly impacts both men and woman of said country.

    I keep wondering if World War I, followed by World War II was the catalyst that made Europe see sense and understand that humanity and secular thinking should prevail.  (a process that many countries headed by the United States and Russia are trying to reverse and get people behind religion again to ensure some form crowd control!!)

    It appears as if we are heading towards yet another World War, and I am wondering if this is a price that humanity must pay to be able to wake up from the drunken religion madness?? Let us hope that I am wrong!

  83. Sadly, whilst I agree with both yours and No Kidding Man’s sentiments, I feel we have a long way to go – even in Europe.

    As the general population become less religious (and less passive in their antipathy), those that are left feel threatened and use their considerable power and influence to maintain what little control they still have over the people.

    In addition to the examples you give of the USA and Russia, we have Ratzinger thinking he is the reincarnation of Pope Innocent III and the nonsense of blasphemy laws in many European countries.

    How can blasphemy still be considered a ‘crime’ in supposedly civilised and developed 21st century European countries like Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland and the Netherlands?

  84. Sorry, you can’t eat the cake and have it too. If you regard people who don’t follow the Islamic scriptures to the letter as not real Muslims then these people are not guilty by association.

    Agreed, but it isn’t me that deems Muslims that don’t follow Islam to the letter of the law true believers though is it? It is other Muslims, lots of them, some of them in positions of some authority.
     

    Since there are countless denominations with different opinions on a whole range of issues, then by definition there can be no real Muslims at all. They all interpret the scriptures.

    Yes, again, agreed….but we are talking about specific tenets in particular. At the centre of this discussion is the issue in the fatwa of 2009 that I linked to…did you read it? Anyone not following that particular letter of the law, or those believing it to be righteous, are guilty by association. It is the same thing as gets trotted out here when we discuss the RCC abuse scandal. Support for those that are guilty of child rape and the institution that defends or cover-up the acts, is deplorable.

    Hence following religious scriptures to the letter is a red herring since no Christians, Muslims or Jews follow their scriptures to the letter. That’s impossible. So, by your definition there are no Muslims. Great, we don’t have a problem! Man, this is so silly!

    Perhaps I was’t making myself  very clear. There are many doctrines and rituals in all three religions that are despicable…those that support those doctrines and rituals are guilty by association. They are part of an environment that facilitates said doctrines and rituals to be allowed to continue. Those that don’t support those doctrines or rituals are seen by those that do, as ‘no true Scotsmen’, and in the case of this fatwa in question, are as guilty as the infidels that insult the prophet, hence the severe lack of Muslims speaking out against the violence in support of the freedom of speech.

    By your logic the whole term moderate Muslim is an oxymoron, so why would you even wait for such people to appear on your television screen?

    Exactly…the lack of condemnation is kinda proving the point. For a Muslim to be considered moderate to you or I, they are no longer considered a Muslim by the greater Muslim community, they have become kufir….I’m reminded once again of the wide mouthed frog joke.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… 

    My point is that you can play with words and definitions all you like. I can do it as well. But, in the end it’s just silly! This whole “your holy book says a and b, and if you don’t follow these instructions then you are not a true believer” is so pointless and naive.

    You are conflating these religions and the scriptures, with the religious.  

    Religions are more than anything cultural constructs.  

    I agree, although a bit of a generalisation, but I don’t see what relevance this makes.

    Very few believers actually contemplate their beliefs on a constant basis.

    Not sure about that. There are millions of people for whom religion is all they’ve got to cling onto, which makes manipulating them very easy indeed. For lots of people, contemplating their beliefs on a constant basis is of little regard. But them in a choice position and that all changes.

    Most believers (regardless of what religion they confess to) are raised within their cultural tradition of which religion is a huge part. To talk about religions as a collection of individuals with well-defined beliefs and a homogeneous religious identity in every single way is to miss the whole point of what religions are… and what they are not!

    Again, I’m not disagreeing here, with 38,000+ recognised varieties of Christianity, how could it be otherwise? The problem is that there are those that believe that putting someone to death for archaic misdemeanour’s…in all three flavours of Abraham. There are those that firmly believe that there is no harm being done by cutting off the foreskin of a one week old baby….even among the most liberal. There are certain aspects of these religions that are ridiculous, and are common, and are adhered to. A cleverer man than I made the following very astute comment…which I liked.

     Really you just have to ask  people who defend sharia law in the name of religious or cultural tolerance five simple questions to expose the utter hypocrisy or ignorance they hold.

    1) Do you think all citizens are equal before the law?
    2) Do you think human rights are crucial?
    3) Do you think human rights are universal?
    4) Are the beliefs of your parents more important than universal human rights?
    5) Would you accept that your 12 year old daughter to be married to an adult imam?

    If the answer to the first four questions are YES and the fifth NO, then you can’t possibly defend the right of sharia law to exist in our countries. Whether we are talking about a formal justice system or informal customs. You also have to acknowledge that sharia law is not compatible with the idea of universal human rights and as such should be considered unacceptable in a civilized country.

    Can’t you see a problem…..many Muslims in many cultures would agree with you? I don’t think so. Even those of other religions to Islam are defending their(Muslims) right to practice Sharia.

    If religions were merely words in a few books then we wouldn’t have a problem on or hands would we?

    Of course we wouldn’t,  no one has ever died over “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, at least I’m not aware of any. The problem is that the deluded have the beliefs that the words are the most important words they will ever read. Some are less deluded than others about this, but there are plenty of ignorants about that believe anything others tell them about the words. So, while there are factions of these religions that have moved away from the words meaning in part, there are still millions that believe the words are the end all and be all, and they castigate the dissenters for their non-conformance to the “true” word. 

    I’m not saying that there are no common beliefs among believers of a certain religion. Of course there are (although on closer inspection I’m pretty sure they are not as many and clear-cut as many like to think).

    Thank-you! It is the common beliefs that are at the core of the issue. Not even the common beliefs, the consensus beliefs seem to be enough. The consensus, in this instant, seems to be the belief that insulting the prophet, even in jest, is an unforgivable sin punishable by death. 

    “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sometimes chose to forgive those who had insulted him, and sometimes he ordered that they should be executed, if that served a greater purpose. But now his forgiveness is impossible because he is dead, so the execution of the one who insults him remains the right of Allaah, His Messenger and the believers, and the one who deserves to be executed cannot be let off, so the punishment must be carried out.  “

    http://islamqa.info/en/ref/228… 

    This all seems straightforward enough to me. To be a Muslim, one is obligated to undertake some nasty shit….they are not my rules.

  85. You are correct.  Religions most probably will not meet their demise for a long long time.

    My opinion relies on my observation and what I read on media.  I think, at least in my life time, I will see more and more decline in religiosity.  

    And, it is important to remember that now we are in the era of mighty Internet.  I turned an atheist when I was 16 in an Islamic country  (I am a middle age man now).  But, I came to know about RD, Hicthens etc through the Internet.  The first time I found about RD I felt that I have achieved an important triumph in my life: There are so many other people around the globe who share at least most of my worldview if not all (I am 100% an atheist and at times a militant one).

    We are going to witness exciting changes around the globe as far as delusions are concerned.   I am enjoying each minute of  it.

    Dr Bob: I kept missing your posts, because you are not replying to mine.   Thanks.

  86. Sorry – when I tried replying to you the other day, it ended up as a normal message (hence my edit to put your name in brackets so you’d know it was you I was replying to).

    Hopefully this one will work :-)

  87. I think Pat Condell expresses with a clear language, not devoid of elegance, the great weariness, boredom and disgust that we are beginning to feel for this mass of ignorant louts who call themselves “followers of the religion of peace” – if that is peace don’t let war come, . I think the new name given by Pat is perfect, “religion of permanent offense” I think we should ignore these people, except in the cases, quite common in Western media and demonstrations, in which they threaten with the death, assassination or decapitation of those who disagree with these lunatics; in cases of threats, which may lead to commit crimes, those responsible should go to jail.

  88. My point was merely that you can’t blame all Muslims for the actions of a few with regard to the recent riots. The fact is that we have 1,6 billion people who call themselves Muslims. When we talk about Muslims we have to take this into consideration. We can of course make our own definitions of Muslims or use preexisting fatwas, but still we can’t get rid of the 1,6 billion people who call themselves Muslims. 

    You wrote:

    ” I’m blaming Islam and the silly crap it advocates. Those that follow the silly crap are guilty by association. Those that condemn the silly crap, and they are even fewer than those few that are advocating the silly crap, are not real Muslims in any case.”

    When I asked you if you blame all muslims for 9/11 you answered “no, I blame Islam”

    Well, what is Islam? It is a community of believers. Hence, you can’t blame Islam without blaming the believers. That would be as weird as blaming the sin but not the sinner, as many Christians claim to do. Hence, I can’t interpret your comments in any other way than that you regard all Muslims who do not actively take a stand against certain beliefs as guilty by association when fundamentalist act out in violence on these beliefs. And, even more strangely we can’t really even call them Muslims. 

    I think this line of reasoning is both logically flawed and counter-productive. That would be just a s weird as blaming all Catholics that don’t actively speak out against everything the Pope says as guilty by association. Especially since there is no central authority in Islam. There is not a council that decides what the right or wrong beliefs or interpretations are. All we got is a bunch of imams and clerics who declare fatwas and other religious instructions. But who are the Muslims? What does Islam advocate? I know what a minority of fundamentalists advocate. But, honestly I don’t have a clue what most Muslims think or don’t think. As I explained in an earlier comment I would be most surprised if most Muslims actually had a clear view of their religious views since this does not seems to be the case with Jews, Christians, Buddhists or other members of the great world religions. Besides that, most Muslims live in local communities and with their local religious leaders who have their own religious views. The whole idea of a united Muslim world seems like a very superficial and elitist enterprise to me. I’m quite confident that a Muslim living in Indonesia does not have much in common with a Muslim living in Egypt.  Although I could be wrong. Yes, we have seen thousands of protesters in 20 countries. But, a few thousands out of 1,6 billion is a very small percentage. As far as I know we don’t know who these protesters are and what their true motives behind joining these riots are. I would not be surprised if most of them really don’t have a clue what these riots are about and they are just repeating some simple phrases some religious leader has told them to. We, don’t know and that is not relevant to my main argument. 

    All I am saying is that this idea that Muslims are somehow by default guilty by association if they don’t actively speak out against certain beliefs is quite absurd. I wasn’t talking about Islam and Muslims in general either, but explicitly about the recent riots and whether Muslims support them or not. Since there have not been many Muslims in the media speaking out against these riots then some assume most Muslims support them. But, that is a logical fallacy. That would be as wrong as to say that all people in the west who do not actively condemn “Innocence of Muslims”  by default support it. 

    I beg your pardon if I have misrepresented your views on this matter and you are more than welcome to correct me if that’s the case, but this is how I interpret your comments.

  89. in reply to Dr Bob & No Kidding Man

    It is comforting to hear the “voice of reason” from other people like yourselves, and I guess we have to be grateful to the internet, and ultimately the military & defence for pioneering such technologies.

    It is not until I started reading and picked up books on the three “main stream” religions that I figured out something was wrong!  You would be shocked when you find out how similar the Jewish and Muslim faith are, and it will make you wonder what the fight is all about!!  And if we think about it, Jesus had access to the Jewish books and Muhammad had access to the Christian books, and if you compare the three, you will jump into the conclusion that some “Cut & Paste” has taken place!!  There is even evidence that “Cut & Paste” have taken place even before the “Torah” was ever produced! 

    After expanding my search into other religions (Asia and South America), I came to the conclusion that in general, people who pioneered religion are generally good people and born leaders, and they have tried to do the best for their people at that specific time, but they are still people with “peoples shortcomings”. 

    But that’s not my point here… 

    My point is as follows: 
    People who are religious today are similar to kids who believe in Santa Claus.  Their religion is the only thing that validates them, and unlike kids who will still have the church when Santa Claus ceases to exists, when you take religion away from people, they end up with nothing to validate them.  Off course, some will start searching for more, like we did, but for the most, they feel like the reason for life ceases to exists.

    Therefore, I can’t see the masses turning away from religion anytime soon and the more we fight them, the more they will hang on to their religion.  I believe a better option is to accept that people will always be different, and free to choose whatever “drug/religion” they need to validate them, as long as it is kept between them and their god, whoever that might be.

    We need to help all religions to evolve into something more pink and more fluffy and away from the scriptures, just as Christianity did over the last 100 years! (If Christians followed the scriptures today, they would still be stoning woman and locking up homosexuals!)

    I have a lot of respect for Mr.Dawkins effort worldwide, but I believe the more we threaten religion, the more it will close up on itself and become fanatic, just as “Osama Bin Laden” did to Islam (the majority of the psychobabble that he came up with could be linked to the scriptures of the Qur’an!).

    So, I question if we are heading in the right direction??

    Best regards.

  90. After expanding my search into other religions (Asia and South America), I came to the conclusion that in general, people who pioneered religion are generally good people and born leaders, and they have tried to do the best for their people at that specific time, but they are still people with “peoples shortcomings”.

    People who pioneered religion are not generally good people at all, born leaders perhaps, but not good people. At the very minimum they are liars manipulating the gullible. Mohamed was not a good person, Joseph Smith was not a good person, Ron L. Hubbard was not a good person….but at least these people existed. If you believe scriptures, the people that pioneered Judaism were not good people. Abraham wasn’t a good person, Moses was not a good person, David was not a good person…not even Noah was all that good when ya look into it. The main snake oil peddler of Christianity wasn’t as pure as the driven snow either. Paul of Tarsus was apparently a misogynist and homophobe,  he was a persecutor of early Christians before his alleged miraculous conversion, ahem, ahem, and the start of the lies he told. He was not seen as a good man by his fellow Jews or the disciples he created a schism with.

    As far as the lesser early religious pioneers go, we could fill books on how not good those chappies were….there is a history of Popes being bad bastards including the present one.

    I’m sure there might be some obscure pioneer of a religion who was a good person, I’m struggling to identify them though…so any direction you can provide will be of great assistance and we can examine them together.

    Edited as corrected by Nunbeliever.

  91. Therefore, I can’t see the masses turning away from religion anytime soon…

    More than likely correct.

    …and the more we fight them, the more they will hang on to their religion.

    The evidence suggests otherwise. Perhaps not as quickly as one would like, but as Dan Dennett puts it….”Whatever happens, argued Dennett, religions will change more in the next 10 years than they have in the past 100, the reason he gave being the internet and modern communications making it much harder for religious leaders to hold their flocks together with ancient dogmas.”

    I believe a better option is to accept that people will always be different, and free to choose whatever “drug/religion” they need to validate them, as long as it is kept between them and their god, whoever that might be.

    This is all anyone here would like to see…”keep your rubbish to yourselves” …..unfortunately, for the religious, it would be the fastest way to their demise and not really an option.

  92. Well, what is Islam? It is a community of believers. Hence, you can’t blame Islam without blaming the believers.

    This is where it all gets confusing for me. You said that Islam is a community of believers, believers in what? What beliefs is it about Islam that makes one a Muslim? Being born in a stable doesn’t make one a horse. There must be certain criteria that defines one as a Muslim as opposed to one that merely claims the label. Is it fulfilling the 5 pillars? Is it about Sharia? Is it believing the Qur’an to be the inerrant word of Allah as noted by the prophet?

    I can claim to the world to be a member of the Ferrari Owners Club, but when I pitch up to a gathering of Ferrari Owners with a Volkswagen Beetle, I will be told to get lost in short shrift.

    As far as I can deduce, to be a member of a group, the rules of that group must be followed. You’ve already stated that there is more than one flavour of Muslim, so it is nonsense of me to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few. Which is true, if the other flavours do not follow the doctrines in question, but in the eyes of those who do follow the doctrines in question, those others are not proper Muslims. Remember, this is other Muslims making the assertions. Wiki has the core beliefs as…

    “The core beliefs of Islam are that there is only one god – unitary and beyond comprehension – and that Muhammad is the prophet of God, the last in a series of prophets beginning with Adam.
    The Qur’an is upheld as the eternal, literal word of God, and revelations to earlier prophets, as seen in the Jewish Torah and Christian Gospels, are believed to have become distorted by human
    intervention. Muslims believe that the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel, and belief in angels as God’s servants is part of the Islamic tradition. Belief in the Day of Judgment, when all people will undergo bodily resurrection and be judged by God, is another core tenet.”

    Do you agree that Muslims that support the beheading of those that insult the prophet are guilty by association, the association being their support and succour they provide to the actual perpetrators of such heinous activities? If not, why not? The common denominator here is Islam…which I blame for the problems.

    So when I say Islam is to blame, I mean as in the “ Qur’an is upheld as the eternal, literal word of God” as the very minimum…no cherry picking aloud to enable someone with a bit of sense to avoid the issue…it is what it is and it is mental. There are 1.6 billion mentally deluded people if they sincerely believe the Qur’an is the eternal, literal word of an invisible entity, those who don’t, are not following Islam and are not real Muslims, anything else is theological clap-trap and we all know what theological clap-trap amounts to? It’s the contortionist pretzelmania of someone who should know better, in order to fit the square peg into a round hole.

    That would be as weird as blaming the sin but not the sinner, as many Christians claim to do.

    Well it’s not really, it’s more like blaming Christianity for inventing the sin, but however, Christianity is just as barking mad. Each flavour claiming default, but it is not the same as Islam, there is no central doctrine or core beliefs that binds the worlds 38,000+ versions of the madness. So each is taken on its own merits.

    Hence, I can’t interpret your comments in any other way than that you regard
    all Muslims who do not actively take a stand against certain beliefs as guilty by association when fundamentalist act out in violence on these beliefs. And, even more strangely we can’t really even call them Muslims. 

    That is your prerogative, but I’m with Sam Harris on this one…he called it when the Danish cartoon fiasco unfolded….http://http://www.samharris.org/site/full_te... …and I don’t see the present situation as being any different.

    “The idea that Islam is a “peaceful religion hijacked by extremists” is a dangerous fantasy—and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge. It is not at all clear how we should proceed in our dialogue with the Muslim world, but deluding ourselves with euphemisms is not the answer.  It now appears to be a truism in foreign policy circles that real reform in the Muslim world cannot be imposed from the outside.  But it is important to recognize why this is so—it is so because the Muslim world is utterly deranged by its religious tribalism. In confronting the religious literalism and ignorance of the Muslim world, we must appreciate how terrifyingly isolated Muslims have become in intellectual terms.“

    Sam Harris

    That would be just a s weird as blaming all Catholics that don’t actively speak out against everything the Pope says as guilty by association.

    Well call me old fashioned if you like, but Protestantism was born out of just such an activity so there is a precedence. Of course a lot of Catholics take what the Pope says with a pinch of salt, but other Catholics denounce them for it. There is also a place for the association fallacy you raised earlier, in this case, it rather depends on what the Pope is saying and in what capacity.

    Especially since there is no central authority in Islam.

    But there is, that is the point, it’s called the Qur’an.

    There is not a council that decides what the right or wrong beliefs or interpretations are. All we got is a bunch of imams and clerics who declare fatwas and other religious instructions.

    It seems that that is sufficient to fuck things up for the rest of us.

    But who are the Muslims? What does Islam advocate?

    I know what a minority of fundamentalists advocate. But, honestly I don’t have a clue what most Muslims think or don’t think.

    A bit of a contradictory statement. Given that the question of “who are the Muslims?” exists. A problem don’t you agree?

    As I explained in an earlier comment I would be most surprised if most Muslims actually had a clear view of their religious views since this does not seems to be the case with Jews, Christians, Buddhists or other members of the great world religions.

    Whether true or not, what difference does it make as long as there is blind allegiance to a silly book, the problem remains?

    Besides that, most Muslims live in local communities and with their local religious leaders who have their own religious views. The whole idea of a united Muslim world seems like a very superficial and elitist enterprise to me. I’m quite confident that a Muslim living in Indonesia does not have much in common with a Muslim living in Egypt.

    Probably so, but it’s the bit they have in common that concerns me most at this time.

    There seems to be too “much, most, and seems to be” in parts of your reply which is not at all totally satisfying.

    Although I could be wrong.

    I really hope you are not and it is me that is wrong, but I can’t help my scepticism.

    Yes, we have seen thousands of protesters in 20 countries.

    Doesn’t that ring alarm bells at all? What other institution could mobilise in such a way? Not too shabby for a group with no perceived central organisational body don’t ya think? We will know all about it if they get organised.

    But, a few thousands out of 1,6 billion is a very small percentage.

    A few thousand activists out of 1.6 billion you mean…in 20 countries? But what of the numbers that agree with the activists? Do those that support murder not deserve any condemnation?

    As far as I know we don’t know who these protesters are and what their true motives behind joining these riots are.

    We know that something was a unifying factor…Islam perhaps?

    I would not be surprised if most of them really don’t have a clue what these riots are about and they are just repeating some simple phrases some religious leader has told them to.

    That’s okay then….but wait, what simple phrases would a religious leader have told them to repeat then? Islamic?

    We, don’t know and that is not relevant to my main argument.

    It is relevant to mine though.

    All I am saying is that this idea that Muslims are somehow by default guilty by association if they don’t actively speak out against certain beliefs is quite absurd.

    I was tempted to apply a bit of Goodwins there, but refrained. }8O)~ Is it wrong to condemn all paedophiles for the actions of some? There is a place for guilt by association in the right circumstances.

    I wasn’t talking about Islam and Muslims in general either, but explicitly about the recent riots and whether Muslims support them or not. Since there have not been many Muslims in the media speaking out against these riots then some assume most Muslims support them. But,
    that is a logical fallacy. That would be as wrong as to say that all people in the west who do not actively condemn “Innocence of Muslims”  by default support it.

    Again, it is not the same thing at all. My ignorance of the content of the film affords me a defence. Even if I have seen it, supporting it or condemn it is not the same as supporting or condemning unwarranted murder and mayhem on a global scale. If these douchebags want to be considered as part of society, then I’m afraid the unequivocal condemnation of wanton murder in carried out in the name of Islam is a prerequisite. I have no doubt in my mind that both you and I would
    have no compunction in condemn a wannabe free thinker in the same circumstances…regardless of their motives.

    I beg your pardon if I have misrepresented your views on this matter and you are more than welcome to correct me if that’s the case, but this is how I interpret your comments.

    Well I’m not the most articulate of folk, things that I think in my head have a habit of not translating into the written word as I’d desire. My optimism on this issue does not appear to run parallel to your own, but that’s what discourse is for I guess. Even if we only discover a little bit of common ground.

    Best regards in anycase…as always.

    Edited for formatting problems…Disqus sucks!

  93. I think you have a very rose-tinted view of modern Christianity if you think it is ‘pink and fluffy’…

    Christianity is STILL responsible for more pain and suffering in the world than any other religion – whether it’s the rampant misogyny and homophobia that pervades most of the denominations, the evil of institutionalised child abuse by the clergy, or the banning of contraception in sub-Saharan Africa, that leads to the deaths of so many women and children each year from HIV/AIDS.

    Christianity, in many (if not most) parts of the world, DOES lock up homosexuals – and I’m sure they would stone women to death too if they could get away with it.

    The pink and fluffy ‘Christians’ on this planet ARE NOT true Christians – for instance, you simply CAN’T be a true Christian if you don’t believe that the Talking Snake Incident in the Garden of Eden actually took place.

    If you take away the creation myth, you take away the ONLY reason for Jesus’s existence (to redeem us from the sin that we all apparently bear thanks to God deciding it would be clever idea to put a tree with lovely fruit in the middle of the garden and then slap a ‘WARNING: DO NOT CONSUME – ETERNAL DAMNATION MAY RESULT’ sign on it)…

    Not to mention the rank stupidity of actually allowing the talking snake into the garden to compound the temptation…

    If you don’t believe in The Fall, then you must therefore accept that Jesus was either a Figment, a Fraud or a Fruitcake.

    One final thing I’d like to pick you up on – neither Jesus nor Mohammad created their respective fan clubs – it was the people who followed them (not that there was anyone to actually ‘follow’ as such in the case of Jesus)…

    Your final point about threatening religion – we don’t actually need to threaten anything (that’s the faith heads modus operandi).

    All we need to do is keep telling the truth. If people do not want to listen, then that is their lookout.

    Eventually, though, the tide will turn (and is already) – Softly, Softly, Catchee Monkey my friend… :-)

  94. Yep……Mo appears to have been real, Allah is defo fictitious, both definitely shitty as young Randolph Churchill would say ….glad your reading and keeping me straight…thanks.

  95. Hey “Ignorant Amos”, when I say people are generally good, I mean people like you and I, who are generally harmless, but could turn if presented with opportunity.  For example, I would normally buy blended whisky, but if you are offering to buy, I will ask for the best single malt  :-).

    I believe my ancestors were generally good people too, but history tells me that they played a key role in the slave trade. (at the time, the community did not think it was a bad thing to do!!)

    The English people are generally good people too, but recent history tells me that majority of black slaves in the USA were traded by the English people. (Again, at the time, the majority of community did not look at it as a bad thing!)

    I believe what we perceive as bad changes with the times, and one day, we may view killing animals to eat their meat as a very evil thing to do!!    

    Majority of religion pioneers have gone into the game to harness power, as every leader does, but they have also introduced some good into the community as a whole (and a lot of bad too!)

    All religions are the same.  They are means to gain control and power over people, and in return they give people “false” HOPE.  Interestingly, Hope (just like the placebo) can sometimes help people!!

    I agree that religion is a bit like the coccyx “tailbone”, it was once useful, but now it is as ugly as a monkey’s armpit, yet some people love it!!!.. so go figure!

  96. I agree with the majority of the points you make Dr Bob, and just want to add the following….

    I don’t have a rose-tented view of any religion, especially not Christianity, and to see it in full view, you must visit the Philippines to see true atrocities committed by the church on a daily basis.

    When I say Christianity is all pink and fluffy, I mean relative to other “main stream” religions.  But all three had very bloody history, and if left to their own devices, they will get even bloodier by following the scriptures to the letter to gain more power!

    Christianity, I believe, had to bow to the pressure of the broken people of Europe after two World Wars, and some churches started deviating from the scriptures in order not to lose people.

    If you look back into history, you will learn that never have people adhered to the scriptures as they are doing today, especially since everything gets interpreted as they wish!!

    The church knows that their power comes from the people, and that’s why they will change the rules to keep the people. 

    No one is going to let go of their life savers in the middle of the ocean just because you tell them “Sciences says if you keep enough air in your lungs, you will float!”.  You will need to help them and re-assure them and win them over.

  97. I agree with what you are saying – Liberal Christianity is one of the least dangerous religions on the planet and can be considered Pink and Fluffy when compared to some other religions or more ‘conservative’ forms of Christianity itself.

    I also agree with why this is the case – the church simply had to adapt as society itself changed in Europe, in a vain bid to cling on to the enormous power that it once wielded across the continent.

    The worry I have is that Liberal Christianity is dying out faster than you can say ‘More cake vicar?’, with people either becoming atheists (good news) or instead turning to more radical, intolerant forms of the religion (not such good news).

    In the end, there won’t be a middle ground of ‘sensible’ faith-heads – it’ll simply be those like us who have thrown off the totalitarian shackles of organised belief in the absurd, lined up against the foam-mouthed raging lunatics of the religious hoi polloi…

    Let’s hope it doesn’t end in tears…

  98. Hey “Ignorant Amos”, when I say people are generally good, I mean people like you and I, who are generally harmless, but could turn if presented with opportunity.  

    Too much of a generalisation in that case…define what ya mean by good then the chat can move forward. The word ‘good’ is too subjective it means different things to different folk.

    For example, I would normally buy blended whisky, but if you are offering to buy, I will ask for the best single malt  :-).

    In my ignorance, I would just buy the best single malt and probably have the same. But if I already knew ya usually drank blended, I’d tell ya ta piss aff and ya are a chancer.
    Now if I didn’t know, but found out later on that ya were trying ta stroke me, well lets just say we wouldn’t stay friends for very long.

    I believe my ancestors were generally good people too, but history tells me that they played a key role in the slave trade. (at the time, the community did not think it was a bad thing to do!!)

    Yer kidding me right? Apply the golden rule, that’s all one has to do, anywhere and at any time. There was never a time when enslaving another human was not a bad thing, it was just easier to live with because more people were doing it.
     

    The English people are generally good people too, but recent history tells me that majority of black slaves in the USA were traded by the English people. (Again, at the time, the majority of community did not look at it as a bad thing!)

    Ease up with the generalisations already…ask an Irishman what he thought of the English until moderately recently and you’ll get a surprise…there are good and bad people everywhere, but again, it depends on ones definition of what is good or bad.

    I believe what we perceive as bad changes with the times, and one day, we may view killing animals to eat their meat as a very evil thing to do!!

    Without a very good viable alternative, I doubt it.    
    Majority of religion pioneers have gone into the game to harness power, as every leader does, but they have also introduced some good into the community as a whole (and a lot of bad too!)

    All religions are the same.  They are means to gain control and power over people, and in return they give people “false” HOPE.  Interestingly, Hope (just like the placebo) can sometimes help people!!

    Amen to that Bro!

    I agree that religion is a bit like the coccyx “tailbone”, it was once useful, but now it is as ugly as a monkey’s armpit, yet some people love it!!!.. so go figure!

    Having broken mine a long time ago, I can tell you on no uncertain terms, like religion, the very thought of it gives me a pain in the arse, it hurts like feck…so good anal-ogy }8O)~

  99. No one is going to let go of their life savers in the middle of the ocean just because you tell them “Sciences says if you keep enough air in your lungs, you will float!”.  You will need to help them and re-assure them and win them over.

    Unfortunately for your argument, but fortunately for everyone else, the evidence says you are wrong.

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/

  100. Your first paragraph:

    Religion also gives the opportunity to good people to act unkindly and say and think stupid things.

    13 year old girls are forced by parents to marry men.  This is not a good thing, and is approved by the religion.  Sexual act with children (at least 14 years and younger) is pedophilia based on sociological and scientific (psychology and psychiatry) findings.  Just look for yourself through scientific leterature.

    “Good religious people” can stone a woman to death because of adultery.  This is not a good thing according to our 21st century moral codes.  And, it has never been moral according to our 21st century moral codes.  If a married woman commits adultery, it is between her and her husband.  They can decide to divorce, and no one from above or on the earth has the right to kill her.  If her husband hits her, he goes straight to jail.

    Apostates (kafar) are killed because Muhammad used to do so historically.  This is not good according to our 21st century moral codes.  It violets human rights of freedom of  expression.  Anyone has the right to be critical of any ideology and/or religion and no one has the right to kill or even harass that person.  Let alone killing him/her.  Freedom of expression is the corner stone of the evolution  of human mind and learning.  Those who prevent this under any excuse are those who are harmful to human species.  It is time for them to think, grow and act humanely!  If they act this way in the west, they will be arrested.  That’s the law in our marvelous free world.

    If you were born in an Islamic country, you become a Muslim and you also become conviced that your faith is the true one.  If you were born in a Christian family/country, you will become a Christian, and you will be convinced that your faith is the true one.  If you were born in a Buddhist environment/family, you will become Buddhist and you will be convinced of your worldview. etc etc.  Thus, it is all a matter of chance not a matter of in depth study and understanding.  This is the problem humans are facing.  If this does not ring a bell, I have nothing else to talk about.

  101. Sadly the bell that you speak of does not yet toll loudly enough to save the lives of millions of people on this planet who are merely existing in their fairytale world with their eyes wide shut.

    Let’s keep on raising the volume until it becomes so deafening that even the most brainwashed of faith heads hear it loud and clear, enabling our species to save itself before it is too late.

  102.  “I believe my ancestors were generally good people too, but history tells
    me that they played a key role in the slave trade. (at the time, the
    community did not think it was a bad thing to do!!)”

    Sorry to say this. But, the slaves most certainly did not think it was a good thing to enslave other people.
    Those, who even used the religion to justify their inhumane actions, did not think slavery was a bad thing for themselves.  They played Gods and gained power over other human beings.  They were the saints and messengers, who told everyone else to obey them or else (go to their version of hell)

    Slavery was justified clearly in the old Testament.  Why, because God was angry (?!).  The non existing God  tells people not to kill, but he commands murder.

    We learned from history even before the Ibrahimic religions that hurting others is not the right way of living in peace together.  However, some of us (including religious people,sociopaths, psychologically unstable ones etc etc) have and are killing and torturing other people.  They even justify their actions through religion or brutal ideology (their sacred rules, i.e., their religion).  At the same time, they claim morality without religion is not possible, and take Stalin as an example. Stalin killed not because he wanted to spread atheism, he killed because he wanted to continue to act God and subdue everyone else through his actions.  No matter who was opposing, Stalin would destroy them. He thought it was a right thing to do too.  He justified it under the umbrella of ideology (sacred ideas, his religion).

    No!  Slave traders were not good people, and if we could travel back in time, we would put them all in cages for the rest of their time.  Yes, I know, we cannot travel back in time.  So, lets take care of today’s prophets and self proclaimed leaders and saints.

  103. The good news is we are all “violently” agreeing with each other that “ideology” enforced on others is a wrong thing to do, even if it is the correct ideology in our own eyes.

    Allow me to take you few thousand years back….

    In the time of the Greeks, it was the norms to take a wife to produce babies, but for pleasure, a man would find a “younger” man to make love too.

    To me, that sounds absolutely crazy and defies all the logic I have in my little brain, yet a whole civilization grew around that logic.

    Would this be tolerated today?  Of course not!  Was it accepted at the times of the Greeks?? Of course Yes. (they even had special cups made to celebrate it!)

    People in the Philippines where not always Christians, but heavy investment from the church in Spain and the USA made them so.

    People in Afghanistan were not always Taliban, but heavy investment from the Mosque in Saudi Arabia made them so.

  104.  You are correct: No one can impose an ideology (or religion) onto the others. 
    The purpose of discussion is this to raising awareness, and it is happening in the free world with stronger force than ever.

    Again, there is a lot of historical evidence supporting brutality, which was also justified in the minds of the then people.  And, again, their actions were not justified as far as 21st century’s morality is concerned.  Just because people of the past wanted to rape, for kids to marry,  abuse, enslave etc and justified it or considered such actions legitimate, it does not mean that their actions were truly right.  The same applies to today’s savagery caused by religions.  Just because people of certain faith justify their brutal actions, we cannot conclude that their behaviour is justified and is OK.  This is why nations grow and reject their past (slavery, killing homosexuals/apostates, looking down at women and prevent their contribution to society etc etc) and look forward.  Today, Islamic savagery is running rampant in many Islamic countries.  Such actions are good and justified in the contaminated minds of many Muslims.  We cannot just witness such bronze age brutality and claim that since such brutalities were norm in bronze age, people who practice the savagery are also justified to do so.  No they are not.

    Unless ideas and understanding of reality does not germinate in the contaminated minds of many religious individuals, the savagery continues and will be criticized, and people who inflict the savagery will be looked at the way they deserve it, i.e., they are considered backward and ignorant.  Many of these persons can act kindly with  family members and like minded friends, but they turn into savages when their religious minds enters into action.  We need to raise awareness for these people.

    My discourse becomes more direct when I hear/read/witness savagery of any kind.  Otherwise, I am not into violent discussions.

  105. I agree with you on the majority of points…

    The point where we differ is on how to deal with the religious nut jobs….

    As demonstrated by other religions, money, false hope, guilt, etc is the only way to get people to switch religion (Philippines and Afghanistan was two examples i gave)…

    Why do you think talking sense will turn any religious person into sanity… (they have a virus in their brain just as the ant that climbs a blade of grass!!).

  106. “No!  Slave traders were not good people, and if we could travel back in
    time, we would put them all in cages for the rest of their time. “

    I’d have to disagree with this. One can accept that enslaving other sapient creatures is a bad thing now, but if it’s the norm (and legal) for the time then one can’t just support slamming them in prison for something they culturally and legally thought was right and acceptable. By all means, we can judge them from our lofty perch (as others will no doubt judge us) but we should fall short of sanctioning them if we develop the means.

    Indeed, our own perch might not be as high as others’.

    From a personal perspective I’d be rather alarmed if some future law enforcer appeared and slung me into the 26th century version of Gitmo on Olympus Mons because I’ve just finished devouring a murdered creature (in my full English breakfast) and I maliciously keep a dog as a slave.

  107. I think the distinction needs to be made between ‘good people’ and ‘good actions’.

    Quite clearly, the behaviour of people years ago would disturb those living now, just as in the future (if we have one), people will look at us as relative savages. That’s progress and it’s a good thing.

    However, at the time, the majority of these people would have been considered good, god-fearing citizens, who were simply behaving according to the social norms of the time (for example, slavery = good, homosexuality = bad).

    Thankfully, we have progressed to a stage where those opinions have switched.

    Of course, that is one of the major issues we have with Islam – it is entrenched in the morality and behaviours of the 7th century and any attempt to modernise is met with brutal oppression.

  108.  Actually, my hopes are not that high for making many delusionals reason.  I was one of them as a teenager.  However, as result of my discussions with the others and my own doubts, I started being critical of the religion (Islam).  Then, I kept seeing contradictions in Islam and in the other religions.  Don’t need to read the whole Quran or Bible to find out about the contradictions.  Just observation can help a lot.  All one needs is having the courage to question and demand logical answers. When bring up contradictions in the bronze age books, I make sure I have the accurate reference for my claims.

    I try my best to reason with younger persons, who live in religious families.  They are the future of all countries.  It is more likely to make the younger people think than the older ones.

    All we can do is to raise awareness.  Sometimes buy emphasizing on scientific finding (Quantum mechanics, evolution etc..), and sometimes by making believers/faithful think by demanding evidence for their claims.

    A very hard and steep uphill battle.  Discussions can be frustrating and stressful, but necessary where possible.

  109.  As I mentioned, slavery was not approved by the slaves, who were human beings.  Even at that time, the slaves did not consider slavery as just treatment.  The slaves were raped, killed, tortured……
    Thus, they had to revolt against slavery and abolished it when they had the power to do so. 

    The Islamic savagery is approved by some Muslims (or many).  These people think like bronze age.  So, their point of view should be respected too, because to them it is the norm based on the disgusting religion.

    We cannot talk about future laws.  We are not living in the future, but we know the past well.

  110. You are on the money “No Kidding Man”, when you say “All one needs is having the courage to question and demand logical answers.”

    You are 100% correct, and that assumes a person is grown up and strong enough to accept criticism and will be able to handle self invalidation..

    Bell curve suggest majority of people out there (more than 80%) are incapable of handling such a tall order.

    Majority of people out there would prefer to believe a Hollywood Movie (talking of which, have you noticed the symbolism of religions in all these movies, as if it is another product that is being promoted along Coca Cola and Apple Laptops !!)

Leave a Reply