U.N. told atheists face discrimination around globe

26

Atheists, humanists and freethinkers face widespread discrimination around the world with expression of their views criminalized and subject in some countries to capital punishment, the United Nations was told on Monday.

In a document for consideration by the world body’s Human Rights Council, a global organization linking people who reject religion said atheism was banned by law in a number of states where people were forced to officially adopt a faith.

“Extensive discrimination by governments against atheists, humanists and the non-religious occurs worldwide,” declared the grouping, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) which has some 120 member bodies in 45 countries.

In Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan “atheists can face the death penalty on the grounds of their belief” although this was in violation of U.N. human rights accords, the IHEU said.

Further, in several others legal measures “effectively criminalize atheism (and) the expression and manifestation of atheist beliefs” or lead to systematic discrimination against freethinkers, the document declared.

It was submitted to the rights council as it opened its annual Spring session against a background of new efforts in the U.N. by Muslim countries to obtain a world ban on denigration of religion, especially what they call “Islamophobia”.

Three of the states with legislation providing for death for blasphemy against Islam, a charge which can be applied to atheists who publicly reveal their ideas, are on the council – Pakistan, Mauritania and Maldives.

Written By: Robert Evans
continue to source article at in.reuters.com

26 COMMENTS

  1. having such a high percentage of muslim countries in the UN makes it utterly unfit for purpose.

    not content with breaking the rules on human rights they demand the rules are changed to suit their brand of abuse and at no point has the UN said, “y’know what? fuck off the lot of you”

  2. The Maldives are blacklisted in my book as a holiday resort. The only good thing about global warming is that this wretchedly ruled group of islands will soon be where only atheist fish will be in any danger.

  3. Such a double standard! While those Islamic countries whine about their faith being “disrespected” and “blasphemed”, which is pretty thin-skinned of them, they’re freely disrespecting and violating the rights of other faiths and people without faiths. “Islamophobia” is the least of the UN’s problems when there are laws in foreign countries for killing or imprisoning people like me solely because of our worldviews.

  4. The UN is a disgraceful talking shop full of posers and narcissists.
    The debacle of procrastinations and dithering over Syria will haunt every single delegate in that house of shame to their graves.

    As for their take on religion it is bordering on facile and sycophantic.
    They ignore their own rules on human rights and have ignored blatant abuse of religious privilege and accept without a whimper any and all special pleading from theist perspectives.

    The heresy nonsense…really in the 21st century are they that docile and incompetent?
    Absolutely no point to them at all.

    And I doubt they would bother with atheist and secular concerns at all.
    They have neither the wit nor will to do so!

  5. The 56 members of the OIC are part of the overall push to Islamise the world, put simply. Can’t disagree with the view that the UN is discredited and dysfunctional and should be abandoned. A more inappropriate title is impossible to imagine.

  6. In reply to #4 by Zeuglodon:

    Such a double standard! While those Islamic countries whine about their faith being “disrespected” and “blasphemed”, which is pretty thin-skinned of them, they’re freely disrespecting and violating the rights of other faiths and people without faiths. “Islamophobia” is the least of the UN’s problems when there are laws in foreign countries for killing or imprisoning people like me solely because of our worldviews.

    The Arab/Islamic mindset is a weirdly distorted thing, by western standards; not to mention exceedingly dangerous…

  7. After all of the anti-U.N. venting is completed here, I wish we’d all simply realize that global zeitgeist changes
    like the ones we all espouse TAKE TIME.

    The U.N. , despite its wasteful inability to foster these changes, provides a forum for both formal and informal exchange of viewpoints at various diplomatic levels(many of them at a lower level of authority) which would be harder and more cumbersome to effectuate by nations on a mere bilateral or even a multilateral basis.

    Even with the high percentage of Islamic Countries in membership, how many of us would really seriously advocate completely doing away with the Organization at this time?

    I personally find it impossible to imagine going back to a world without a U.N. at present.
    Think HOW LONG IT TOOK, and WHAT IT TOOK to bring it into existence.

    Patience, I guess, is still a virtue. I believe that the tide’s beginning to turn. Let them keep screaming
    about Atheism and blasphemy—they are being BOMBARDED with modern Western values via various social media such as Twitter and Facebook DAY AFTER DAY. Their figurative walls must eventually come down, and, I think, much sooner than most of us realize. East eventually MUST meet West.

  8. When did Islam become east? Its Europe & Arabian Abrahamic mess – along with Christianity & Judaism. This eurocentric imperialist notion that anything east of Vienna westbahnhof is east or orient has to stop. East Asia is the Koreas, Japan, China etc. South Asia is the Indian subcontinent. Then Central Asia and Russia. Then Arabia – not middle “east”. Then Europe.

    This notion that everything good is west and everything awful got to be east has to stop. Australia is in the east as well.

    Now about UN, imperliastic, undemocratic, bureaucratic clusterfuck. Dismantle the elitist security council and bring democracy into the process. Then we would think about considering its value. Until then it is a bunch of thugs feasting on champagne and caviar while lecturing the world on human wellbeing!

    In reply to #9 by kidchicago:

    After all of the anti-U.N. venting is completed here, I wish we’d all simply realize that global zeitgeist changes
    like the ones we all espouse TAKE TIME.

    The U.N. , despite its wasteful inability to foster these changes, provides a forum for both formal and informal exchange of viewpoints at various diplomatic levels(many of them at a lower level of authority) which would be harder and more cumbersome to effectuate by nations on a mere bilateral or even a multilateral basis.

    Even with the high percentage of Islamic Countries in membership, how many of us would really seriously advocate completely doing away with the Organization at this time?

    I personally find it impossible to imagine going back to a world without a U.N. at present.
    Think HOW LONG IT TOOK, and WHAT IT TOOK to bring it into existence.

    Patience, I guess, is still a virtue. I believe that the tide’s beginning to turn. Let them keep screaming
    about Atheism and blasphemy—they are being BOMBARDED with modern Western values via various social media such as Twitter and Facebook DAY AFTER DAY. Their figurative walls must eventually come down, and, I think, much sooner than most of us realize. East eventually MUST meet West.

  9. In reply to #9 by kidchicago:

    how many of us would really seriously advocate completely doing away with the Organization at this time?

    Although I understand and agree somewhat with your post I have got to posit the idea that It is not really a question of doing away with the UN, .but to restructure and revamp the whole edifice.

    Change their rules of engagement and the way business is conducted.

    Since when did the minority view usurp the majority in the question of humanitarian intervention?

    Syria is being sliced diced and served up as an entrée to a Russian contingent that refuses point blank to either condemn let alone penalise a regime that is murderous and spiteful towards its own citizens.

    A rocket strike…probably Scud killed over a 100 folk last week in a cities suburbs…over 80 were children.

    The opposition has weapons granted, but ballistic missiles, not so much.
    Even today a full scale 4 Scud blitz took out a whole complex in the civilian quarter, actual UN observers commentated it was the worst destruction of civilian homes they had ever witnessed, dozens killed of course…and the reaction of UN HQ…?

    It is not a sustainable or even practical in its present incarnation, it requires drastic remedial surgery, getting rid of the veto nonsense might help.

    A veto system that only caters to the vested interests of the big boys is not a humanitarian necessity, and when it actually smothers affective response it is worse then a liability it is a death sentence.

    Nothing but deathly cowardice and silence.

  10. This is just more evidence that the UN is only as good as its most corrupt members. The UN is discredited as a force in global governance by the presence, at every level of the organisation, not only of unelected representatives, but of representatives of non-democratic countries.

  11. By West, I mean modern Western sociocultural values, and yeah, I’m “imperialistic” enough to believe
    that means both the utmost respect for, and tolerance of, freedom of speech and belief, together with a healthy, positive attitude among a nation’s people about their collective material well being.

    And that’s obviously a set of human conditions which transcends the geographical.

    Israel is considered a “Western” nation. It is east of Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. When Nations such as
    Saudi Arabia give women their full rights, officially and unofficially endorse freedom of both speech
    and belief, and begin to devote attention to the collective economic suffering of all their citizens,–
    not just some,—they will have upgraded to Western Status. When a person in the People’s Republic of
    China is free to express any measure of dissatisfaction for their government short of the equivalent
    of yelling fire in a crowded theater, then China will have upgraded to Western status.

    Presuming that earning a living was not an issue for you, if you could choose to be a citizen of any Country in the world, why would you choose citizenship anywhere else but in a Western Country?????

    Would you prefer to be an average citizen of Canada, or of India???

    As Hitchens would say, “I rest my case”.

    The Kid

    In reply to #10 by kbala:

    When did Islam become east? Its Europe & Arabian Abrahamic mess – along with Christianity & Judaism. This eurocentric imperialist notion that anything east of Vienna westbahnhof is east or orient has to stop. East Asia is the Koreas, Japan, China etc. South Asia is the Indian subcontinent. Then Central Asia and Russia. Then Arabia – not middle “east”. Then Europe.

    This notion that everything good is west and everything awful got to be east has to stop. Australia is in the east as well.

    Now about UN, imperliastic, undemocratic, bureaucratic clusterfuck. Dismantle the elitist security council and bring democracy into the process. Then we would think about considering its value. Until then it is a bunch of thugs feasting on champagne and caviar while lecturing the world on human wellbeing!

    In reply to #9 by kidchicago:

    After all of the anti-U.N. venting is completed here, I wish we’d all simply realize that global zeitgeist changes
    like the ones we all espouse TAKE TIME.

    The U.N. , despite its wasteful inability to foster these changes, provides a forum for both formal and informal exchange of viewpoints at various diplomatic levels(many of them at a lower level of authority) which would be harder and more cumbersome to effectuate by nations on a mere bilateral or even a multilateral basis.

    Even with the high percentage of Islamic Countries in membership, how many of us would really seriously advocate completely doing away with the Organization at this time?

    I personally find it impossible to imagine going back to a world without a U.N. at present.
    Think HOW LONG IT TOOK, and WHAT IT TOOK to bring it into existence.

    Patience, I guess, is still a virtue. I believe that the tide’s beginning to turn. Let them keep screaming
    about Atheism and blasphemy—they are being BOMBARDED with modern Western values via various social media such as Twitter and Facebook DAY AFTER DAY. Their figurative walls must eventually come down, and, I think, much sooner than most of us realize. East eventually MUST meet West.

  12. I would agree with your comments. As technological access improves among global citizenry,
    Nations will begin to evidence greater sociocultural uniformity, and the U.N. can and will be more
    consensually revamped and streamlined, as you posited. And like you, I feel it can’t come soon enough.

    In reply to #11 by Jon Snow:

    In reply to #9 by kidchicago:

    how many of us would really seriously advocate completely doing away with the Organization at this time?

    Although I understand and agree somewhat with your post I have got to posit the idea that It is not really a question of doing away with the UN, .but to restructure and revamp the whole edifice.

    Change their rules of engagement and the way business is conducted.

    Since when did the minority view usurp the majority in the question of humanitarian intervention?

    Syria is being sliced diced and served up as an entrée to a Russian contingent that refuses point blank to either condemn let alone penalise a regime that is murderous and spiteful towards its own citizens.

    A rocket strike…probably Scud killed over a 100 folk last week in a cities suburbs…over 80 were children.

    The opposition has weapons granted, but ballistic missiles, not so much.
    Even today a full scale 4 Scud blitz took out a whole complex in the civilian quarter, actual UN observers commentated it was the worst destruction of civilian homes they had ever witnessed, dozens killed of course…and the reaction of UN HQ…?

    It is not a sustainable or even practical in its present incarnation, it requires drastic remedial surgery, getting rid of the veto nonsense might help.

    A veto system that only caters to the vested interests of the big boys is not a humanitarian necessity, and when it actually smothers affective response it is worse then a liability it is a death sentence.

    Nothing but deathly cowardice and silence.

  13. Western values? Those are liberal values.

    Members in this forum come from varied cultural, ethnic and racial background. Humanism and rationalism have global influence. Would some kid rather grow up in a repressive evangelical christian family in the bible belt of US ( the most powerful western nation) or grow up in a middle class atheist family in a university town in India or China? I don’t see anything inherently disadvantageous to the later at all.

    In fact you can find the evidence of later’s success across the globe from Berkeley/Stanford to Cambridge to Ludwig Maximilian!

    Europe’s economic might came at a great cost to humanity. Centuries of genocide, slavery and oppression. Once you accumulated enough wealth you can focus on social justice and scientific progress. As Noam Chomsky said he has no illusion that his ancestors who were subjucated and victimized in the western Europe landed on US to reap the benefits of the new world built on subjugation and exploitation of another race.

    I am grateful for European empiricism and enlightenment, but I am not stupid enough to say all that is good is European or western.

    And above all, you missed my key argument, the notion that west stops at Vienna and the rest is east is an antiquated Orientalist notion. To me Saudi Arabia is more western than eastern – monotheism, militarism, monarchy,patriarchal.

    And btw, I am one of the average citizens of India. Unlike you, I am neither proud nor jingoistic about what others have achieved.

    In reply to #13 by kidchicago:

    By West, I mean modern Western sociocultural values, and yeah, I’m “imperialistic” enough to believe
    that means both the utmost respect for, and tolerance of, freedom of speech and belief, together with a healthy, positive attitude among a nation’s people about their collective material well being.

    And that’s obviously a set of human conditions which transcends the geographical.

    Israel is considered a “Western” nation. It is east of Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. When Nations such as
    Saudi Arabia give women their full rights, officially and unofficially endorse freedom of both speech
    and belief, and begin to devote attention to the collective economic suffering of all their citizens,–
    not just some,—they will have upgraded to Western Status. When a person in the People’s Republic of
    China is free to express any measure of dissatisfaction for their government short of the equivalent
    of yelling fire in a crowded theater, then China will have upgraded to Western status.

    Presuming that earning a living was not an issue for you, if you could choose to be a citizen of any Country in the world, why would you choose citizenship anywhere else but in a Western Country?????

    Would you prefer to be an average citizen of Canada, or of India???

    As Hitchens would say, “I rest my case”.

    The Kid

    In reply to #10 by kbala:

    When did Islam become east? Its Europe & Arabian Abrahamic mess – along with Christianity & Judaism. This eurocentric imperialist notion that anything east of Vienna westbahnhof is east or orient has to stop. East Asia is the Koreas, Japan, China etc. South Asia is the Indian subcontinent. Then Central Asia and Russia. Then Arabia – not middle “east”. Then Europe.

    This notion that everything good is west and everything awful got to be east has to stop. Australia is in the east as well.

    Now about UN, imperliastic, undemocratic, bureaucratic clusterfuck. Dismantle the elitist security council and bring democracy into the process. Then we would think about considering its value. Until then it is a bunch of thugs feasting on champagne and caviar while lecturing the world on human wellbeing!

    In reply to #9 by kidchicago:

    After all of the anti-U.N. venting is completed here, I wish we’d all simply realize that global zeitgeist changes
    like the ones we all espouse TAKE TIME.

    The U.N. , despite its wasteful inability to foster these changes, provides a forum for both formal and informal exchange of viewpoints at various diplomatic levels(many of them at a lower level of authority) which would be harder and more cumbersome to effectuate by nations on a mere bilateral or even a multilateral basis.

    Even with the high percentage of Islamic Countries in membership, how many of us would really seriously advocate completely doing away with the Organization at this time?

    I personally find it impossible to imagine going back to a world without a U.N. at present.
    Think HOW LONG IT TOOK, and WHAT IT TOOK to bring it into existence.

    Patience, I guess, is still a virtue. I believe that the tide’s beginning to turn. Let them keep screaming
    about Atheism and blasphemy—they are being BOMBARDED with modern Western values via various social media such as Twitter and Facebook DAY AFTER DAY. Their figurative walls must eventually come down, and, I think, much sooner than most of us realize. East eventually MUST meet West.

  14. In reply to #10 by kbala:

    When did Islam become east? Its Europe & Arabian Abrahamic mess – along with Christianity & Judaism. This eurocentric imperialist notion that anything east of Vienna westbahnhof is east or orient has to stop. East Asia is the Koreas, Japan, China etc. South Asia is the Indian subcontinent. Then Central Asia and Russia. Then Arabia – not middle “east”. Then Europe.

    This notion that everything good is west and everything awful got to be east has to stop. Australia is in the east as well.

    Nope. Australia is in the centre. :-)

    Now about UN, imperliastic, undemocratic, bureaucratic clusterfuck. Dismantle the elitist security council and bring democracy into the process. Then we would think about considering its value. Until then it is a bunch of thugs feasting on champagne and caviar while lecturing the world on human wellbeing!

    Do you really want the General Assembly making binding votes on treatment of homosexuals and atheists ? Sounds like a pretty scary prospect to me.

    Michael

  15. Well, if you look at classical world maps such as Mercator map, Australia would be in the eastern edge. Anyway this shows the problem in the east – west terminology. It makes sense to call these ideals as liberal or progressive ideals rather than west.

    I am not that great in geography, but I would bet the distance between Lisbon (western edge of continental Europe) and Riyadh would be way shorter than the distance between Seoul or Shanghai (eastern edge of continental Asia). We should be calling Saudi Arabia as “neighbouring Europe” nor middle east.

    Let’s face it, US and UK do more business with Saudi than Asian countries. They have similar god and religion to Europe. Their societies has similar admiration to royal families like in Spain, Canada, Australia, UK, Sweden. Europe and Arabia are quite patriarchal. Known for genocidal jingoism and militarism. :-)

    And I almost forgot, once centres of slave trade. Do not call it east. Islam isn’t east.
    In reply to #16 by mmurray:

    In reply to #10 by kbala:

    When did Islam become east? Its Europe & Arabian Abrahamic mess – along with Christianity & Judaism. This eurocentric imperialist notion that anything east of Vienna westbahnhof is east or orient has to stop. East Asia is the Koreas, Japan, China etc. South Asia is the Indian subcontinent. Then Central Asia and Russia. Then Arabia – not middle “east”. Then Europe.

    This notion that everything good is west and everything awful got to be east has to stop. Australia is in the east as well.

    Nope. Australia is in the centre. :-)

    Now about UN, imperliastic, undemocratic, bureaucratic clusterfuck. Dismantle the elitist security council and bring democracy into the process. Then we would think about considering its value. Until then it is a bunch of thugs feasting on champagne and caviar while lecturing the world on human wellbeing!

    Do you really want the General Assembly making binding votes on treatment of homosexuals and atheists ? Sounds like a pretty scary prospect to me.

    Michael

  16. In reply to #15 by kbala:
    Saudi Arabia more Western than Eastern????? You must be joking!!!!!!! Monetheism I’ll give you, but not
    monarchism, militarism,or patriarchal society. I give you Genghis Khan and Chinese attitudes towards
    female births, as well as India’s many local potentates and its wonderful caste system, just for starts.

    Even today, if I only hypothetically get the choice to be born average Canadian versus average Indian, it’s still not much choice at all. I don’t mean to sound jingoistic about Western values, but where in tarnation have 99% of all inventions and technology that have been in ANY WAY associated with material prosperity in the past 500 years come from???? How many would you like me to list????

    And like nowhere in the East was anyone or any group ever subjugated, huh?????? Your perspective on
    human history appears rather jaundiced and revisionist to me. And we are straying very much off topic, so I rest my case yet again, and yield the balance of my time to give you the final word.

    Western values? Those are liberal values.

    Members in this forum come from varied cultural, ethnic and racial background. Humanism and rationalism have global influence. Would some kid rather grow up in a repressive evangelical christian family in the bible belt of US ( the most powerful western nation) or grow up in a middle class atheist family in a university town in India or China? I don’t see anything inherently disadvantageous to the later at all.

    In fact you can find the evidence of later’s success across the globe from Berkeley/Stanford to Cambridge to Ludwig Maximilian!

    Europe’s economic might came at a great cost to humanity. Centuries of genocide, slavery and oppression. Once you accumulated enough wealth you can focus on social justice and scientific progress. As Noam Chomsky said he has no illusion that his ancestors who were subjucated and victimized in the western Europe landed on US to reap the benefits of the new world built on subjugation and exploitation of another race.

    I am grateful for European empiricism and enlightenment, but I am not stupid enough to say all that is good is European or western.

    And above all, you missed my key argument, the notion that west stops at Vienna and the rest is east is an antiquated Orientalist notion. To me Saudi Arabia is more western than eastern – monotheism, militarism, monarchy,patriarchal.

    And btw, I am one of the average citizens of India. Unlike you, I am neither proud nor jingoistic about what others have achieved.

    In reply to #13 by kidchicago:

    By West, I mean modern Western sociocultural values, and yeah, I’m “imperialistic” enough to believe
    that means both the utmost respect for, and tolerance of, freedom of speech and belief, together with a healthy, positive attitude among a nation’s people about their collective material well being.

    And that’s obviously a set of human conditions which transcends the geographical.

    Israel is considered a “Western” nation. It is east of Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. When Nations such as
    Saudi Arabia give women their full rights, officially and unofficially endorse freedom of both speech
    and belief, and begin to devote attention to the collective economic suffering of all their citizens,–
    not just some,—they will have upgraded to Western Status. When a person in the People’s Republic of
    China is free to express any measure of dissatisfaction for their government short of the equivalent
    of yelling fire in a crowded theater, then China will have upgraded to Western status.

    Presuming that earning a living was not an issue for you, if you could choose to be a citizen of any Country in the world, why would you choose citizenship anywhere else but in a Western Country?????

    Would you prefer to be an average citizen of Canada, or of India???

    As Hitchens would say, “I rest my case”.

    The Kid

    In reply to #10 by kbala:

    When did Islam become east? Its Europe & Arabian Abrahamic mess – along with Christianity & Judaism. This eurocentric imperialist notion that anything east of Vienna westbahnhof is east or orient has to stop. East Asia is the Koreas, Japan, China etc. South Asia is the Indian subcontinent. Then Central Asia and Russia. Then Arabia – not middle “east”. Then Europe.

    This notion that everything good is west and everything awful got to be east has to stop. Australia is in the east as well.

    Now about UN, imperliastic, undemocratic, bureaucratic clusterfuck. Dismantle the elitist security council and bring democracy into the process. Then we would think about considering its value. Until then it is a bunch of thugs feasting on champagne and caviar while lecturing the world on human wellbeing!

    In reply to #9 by kidchicago:

    After all of the anti-U.N. venting is completed here, I wish we’d all simply realize that global zeitgeist changes
    like the ones we all espouse TAKE TIME.

    The U.N. , despite its wasteful inability to foster these changes, provides a forum for both formal and informal exchange of viewpoints at various diplomatic levels(many of them at a lower level of authority) which would be harder and more cumbersome to effectuate by nations on a mere bilateral or even a multilateral basis.

    Even with the high percentage of Islamic Countries in membership, how many of us would really seriously advocate completely doing away with the Organization at this time?

    I personally find it impossible to imagine going back to a world without a U.N. at present.
    Think HOW LONG IT TOOK, and WHAT IT TOOK to bring it into existence.

    Patience, I guess, is still a virtue. I believe that the tide’s beginning to turn. Let them keep screaming
    about Atheism and blasphemy—they are being BOMBARDED with modern Western values via various social media such as Twitter and Facebook DAY AFTER DAY. Their figurative walls must eventually come down, and, I think, much sooner than most of us realize. East eventually MUST meet West.

  17. Where in the past 500 years have we witnessed genocidal xenophobia? Where in the past 500 years have we witnessed unnecessary barbarism in the form on antisemitism, colonial supremacy and slavery? Where in the past 500 years have we witnessed global wars initiated? Where in the past 500 years have the public rejoiced the annihilation of whole cities under the blaze of atomic weapons? Where in the past 500 years have we hunted down aboriginals and natives?

    I see no point in arguing as well. We do indeed see our shared human history in very different ways. I resist myself to group humanity on the basis of where they were born or what their skin colour or their language.

    National boundaries are after all as baseless as religious differences or racial differences.

    In reply to #19 by kidchicago:

    In reply to #15 by kbala:
    Saudi Arabia more Western than Eastern????? You must be joking!!!!!!! Monetheism I’ll give you, but not
    monarchism, militarism,or patriarchal society. I give you Genghis Khan and Chinese attitudes towards
    female births, as well as India’s many local potentates and its wonderful caste system, just for starts.

    Even today, if I only hypothetically get the choice to be born average Canadian versus average Indian, it’s still not much choice at all. I don’t mean to sound jingoistic about Western values, but where in tarnation have 99% of all inventions and technology that have been in ANY WAY associated with material prosperity in the past 500 years come from???? How many would you like me to list????

    And like nowhere in the East was anyone or any group ever subjugated, huh?????? Your perspective on
    human history appears rather jaundiced and revisionist to me. And we are straying very much off topic, so I rest my case yet again, and yield the balance of my time to give you the final word.

    Western values? Those are liberal values.

    Members in this forum come from varied cultural, ethnic and racial background. Humanism and rationalism have global influence. Would some kid rather grow up in a repressive evangelical christian family in the bible belt of US ( the most powerful western nation) or grow up in a middle class atheist family in a university town in India or China? I don’t see anything inherently disadvantageous to the later at all.

    In fact you can find the evidence of later’s success across the globe from Berkeley/Stanford to Cambridge to Ludwig Maximilian!

    Europe’s economic might came at a great cost to humanity. Centuries of genocide, slavery and oppression. Once you accumulated enough wealth you can focus on social justice and scientific progress. As Noam Chomsky said he has no illusion that his ancestors who were subjucated and victimized in the western Europe landed on US to reap the benefits of the new world built on subjugation and exploitation of another race.

    I am grateful for European empiricism and enlightenment, but I am not stupid enough to say all that is good is European or western.

    And above all, you missed my key argument, the notion that west stops at Vienna and the rest is east is an antiquated Orientalist notion. To me Saudi Arabia is more western than eastern – monotheism, militarism, monarchy,patriarchal.

    And btw, I am one of the average citizens of India. Unlike you, I am neither proud nor jingoistic about what others have achieved.

    In reply to #13 by kidchicago:

    By West, I mean modern Western sociocultural values, and yeah, I’m “imperialistic” enough to believe
    that means both the utmost respect for, and tolerance of, freedom of speech and belief, together with a healthy, positive attitude among a nation’s people about their collective material well being.

    And that’s obviously a set of human conditions which transcends the geographical.

    Israel is considered a “Western” nation. It is east of Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. When Nations such as
    Saudi Arabia give women their full rights, officially and unofficially endorse freedom of both speech
    and belief, and begin to devote attention to the collective economic suffering of all their citizens,–
    not just some,—they will have upgraded to Western Status. When a person in the People’s Republic of
    China is free to express any measure of dissatisfaction for their government short of the equivalent
    of yelling fire in a crowded theater, then China will have upgraded to Western status.

    Presuming that earning a living was not an issue for you, if you could choose to be a citizen of any Country in the world, why would you choose citizenship anywhere else but in a Western Country?????

    Would you prefer to be an average citizen of Canada, or of India???

    As Hitchens would say, “I rest my case”.

    The Kid

    In reply to #10 by kbala:

    When did Islam become east? Its Europe & Arabian Abrahamic mess – along with Christianity & Judaism. This eurocentric imperialist notion that anything east of Vienna westbahnhof is east or orient has to stop. East Asia is the Koreas, Japan, China etc. South Asia is the Indian subcontinent. Then Central Asia and Russia. Then Arabia – not middle “east”. Then Europe.

    This notion that everything good is west and everything awful got to be east has to stop. Australia is in the east as well.

    Now about UN, imperliastic, undemocratic, bureaucratic clusterfuck. Dismantle the elitist security council and bring democracy into the process. Then we would think about considering its value. Until then it is a bunch of thugs feasting on champagne and caviar while lecturing the world on human wellbeing!

    In reply to #9 by kidchicago:

    After all of the anti-U.N. venting is completed here, I wish we’d all simply realize that global zeitgeist changes
    like the ones we all espouse TAKE TIME.

    The U.N. , despite its wasteful inability to foster these changes, provides a forum for both formal and informal exchange of viewpoints at various diplomatic levels(many of them at a lower level of authority) which would be harder and more cumbersome to effectuate by nations on a mere bilateral or even a multilateral basis.

    Even with the high percentage of Islamic Countries in membership, how many of us would really seriously advocate completely doing away with the Organization at this time?

    I personally find it impossible to imagine going back to a world without a U.N. at present.
    Think HOW LONG IT TOOK, and WHAT IT TOOK to bring it into existence.

    Patience, I guess, is still a virtue. I believe that the tide’s beginning to turn. Let them keep screaming
    about Atheism and blasphemy—they are being BOMBARDED with modern Western values via various social media such as Twitter and Facebook DAY AFTER DAY. Their figurative walls must eventually come down, and, I think, much sooner than most of us realize. East eventually MUST meet West.

  18. Since when has Turkey been an Islamic country, I always thought it was secular? Must have changed tact once those damned Kurds started to stamp their feet.

    How can Pakistan be on the UN international council? Why is it even acknowledged as a country? How and why can a government as heinous as theirs have any voice in the international world?

  19. In reply to #21 by Virgin Mary:

    Since when has Turkey been an Islamic country, I always thought it was secular? Must have changed tact once those damned Kurds started to stamp their feet.

    From Wikipedia: “Islam is the largest religion of Turkey. Around 99.0% percent of the population is registered as Muslim. Most Muslims in Turkey are Sunnis forming about 80%, and Alevis of the Shia-sect form about 20% of the Muslim population.”

    Turkey is only officially secular so that these 2 Muslim sects don’t get in power and kill each other…. Mac.

  20. Onward to the past!

    Heads-up folks, for the WC. Water Closet? No, but it might as well be, and you could at least stick your head down it.

    I speak of the Worldwide Caliphate; “coming to you soon”, courtesy of The United Nations.

    Oh joy unbounded.

  21. In reply to #23 by CdnMacAtheist:

    In reply to #21 by Virgin Mary:

    Since when has Turkey been an Islamic country, I always thought it was secular? Must have changed tact once those damned Kurds started to stamp their feet.

    From Wikipedia: “Islam is the largest religion of Turkey. Around 99.0% percent of the population is registered as Muslim. Most Muslims in Turkey are Sunnis forming about 80%, and Alevis of the Shia-sect form about 20% of the Muslim population.”

    Turkey is only officially secular so that these 2 Muslim sects don’t get in power and kill each other…. Mac.

    So it is officially secular, therefore should not be referred to as an Islamic nation. The religious make up of the people should have no bearing on its official status.

  22. In reply to #25 by Virgin Mary:

    So it is officially secular, therefore should not be referred to as an Islamic nation. The religious make up of the people should have no bearing on its official status.

    Let us just say when they are dealing with notionally more rational states they are indeed secular, especially when discussing European Union membership, all other states see the deeply religious sensibilities on show and boasted about.
    Do not forget that it was Turkey that banned internet access to…

    Richard Dawkins, in other words this forum

Leave a Reply