Creating Communities. Connecting People
Welcome, Guest      Bookmark and Share
Tell a friend about this site Invite    
Unbeliever - A blog about religion, superstition, science and reason - RSS feed - Add to Google

Wed, Dec 26th - 9:36AM

What is religious fundamentalism?
I had a rather disappointing evening just recently. I was watching a stand up routine swedish comedian Magnus Betnér. To set the background right I truly adore this comedian. He is marvelously blunt, he is not politically correct and he is a sharp skeptic to much of the nonsense going on in society.
This is why it was very hard for me to hear a statement during his show that suprised me, because it was so obvious that he in his unbiased thinking has still been swayed by the campaign of political correctness that goes on in the world.

I am taking it out of the context here because I can't elaborate on the entire set, but the sentence retains its meaning, he said that "the problem is not religion, the problem is fundamentalists". He was talking about Islam, and the public fear of this religion, as well as the terrorist brand, and he made the common mistake of doing what basically everyone else does today in assuming that Islam has somehow been hijacked by people who has twisted it.

And I will be fair, once I would have said the same thing as him. In fact I was hopelessly politically correct several years ago, swayed by the same tolerance bullshit that media shoves down our throats. I was one of those people who would jump at anyone who  mentioned Islam and terrorism in the same sentence.

Then, I watched a speech by Sam Harris on his book the End of Faith, and my life was changed forever. I cannot truly express just how grateful I am that I encountered the work of mr.Harris because he really opened my mind in one of those wonderful experiences when you listen to someone you have never heard about, and all of their arguments just go right to your heart.

Now I know better. I've done my homework and read both the Bible, as well as the Qur'an and Hadif. I've read them page to page to understand what the texts are about.

So what do we mean with religious fundamentalists? I think generally people will say that it is people who go to extreme and insane lengths for their faith, using it as an excuse to commit atrocious crimes. But is that really true?
This concept is quickly swept away the moment you read their "holy" books. You soon realize that what a fundamentalist really are, is a person who is following what it actually says in the book. The fundamentalists are in a sense the only true believers.

So what are religious moderates then? We know they are generally nice people talking about peace and understanding and that they are worshipping a loving, careing god.
Although as admirable as this progress is, its a victory for the secular society.
In the Christian west, especially in Europe. Christians are ignoring large parts of the bible, getting around certain passages by calling them metaphores. This is not because religion is inherently self improving, this is because secular society demands that they do this.
The bible advocates slavery, child abuse, death penalty for the most ridiculous acts.
Democratic society will not tolerate such behaviour, hence the faithful have to redefine their belifs.

The real problem is that we should address what the books actually say, we need to evaluate these religions based on their core values. Because the text in the book will always be there, the metaphors may not. If Christianity gained a complete majority in the west again tomorrow, how long do you think it would take them to go back towards a more literal reading of the bible? The book is clear, the only thing stopping them from adhering to those words is that they can't, but the day they control the courts, the governments and the police I would not bet on it staying that way.
This should give any person spouting political correctness some pause. The benefit of the doubt you are giving people of faith, is not something they are likely to give back to you. This is especially true about Islam.
Most of the muslim world is run by some form of theocratic dictatorship, to these people do not have to tone down their faith, thats why there is Sharia law in the middle east.

When muslims burn dolls, flags and march against Danish newspapers making comics, or British teachers naming bears, they are trying to get democratic west to cave in to their demands. They demand us to be respectful, to tolerate their faith and especially European media jumps right on the train, pointing out how important it is that we respect their beliefs.

Excuse me!?

Do you realize, that these are people who, if the situation were reversed, would kill you.
I'm not being cynical here, its a truth that in most muslim countries you will be executed for claiming to not believe in god. Women get executed for being raped.
We should not in the slightest manner respect their beliefs. They can shout all they want for the execution of teachers, we have freedom of speech, and we will not bend that principle for people who would not give us the same tolerance even for a second.'

The reason muslims are going nuts about a picture of Mohammad is because of the same commandment as in the bible, "thou shall not make any graven images".
Its in the bible too, Christians would most surely, like the muslims be demanding executions of people making caricatures of Jesus but most Christians live in a free society and value the freedom of speech, so they have decided to pretend that passage does not exist. Most Christians have also decided to ignore the punishments demanded by their god from those who make these images.

Yeah you guessed it, death. Most Christians will speak proudly of the enlightened values in the ten commandments, then they will conveniently avoid mentioning that "god" demands the stoning of anyone who breaks any of them. For someone who did never read the bible it may be shocking but its true, read the old testament and see for yourself. You will be appauled over the cruelty of the text.

Again, this is the problem. We need to adress the religions based on what the scripture say. Just like we would judge a political ideaology based on its writings, there is no such thing as a fundamentalist communist.

And you cannot twist the abrahamic religions into a weapon, they already are. The only thing you get by twisting them is a more peaceful doctrine.
So lets cut the bullshit and talk about these things for what they really are, lets not be afraid to call these doctrines crazy, intolerant and ignorant because they are.
There are no fundamentalists and moderates, there are only people of faith who, in order to coexist with a free society has decided to not follow all of the things they believe to be true. We need to get rid of the doctrines that allow these kind of people to pop up. By attacking the religions.

So the next time someone say that its the fundamentalists that is the problem with Islam, you will know better. Its Islam that is the problem, and before someone call me a racist. It is not in the least racist to call Muslims ignorant, Islam is not a race, and no child is born believing in Allah.

I'm thinking about sending a copy of The End of Faith to mr. Betnér, hopefully it will be as enlightening for him as it was for me.

Comment (2)

Wed, Dec 26th - 8:22AM

A blog is born
Right, first post of my new blog, as you may have derived from my username, I'm an atheist, or a rationalist if you will. I have a strong passion for science and reason, and a distaste for superstition and fraud. Fortunately for this blog however perhaps unfortunately for civilization, there are an endless stream of material to address within that framework.

On this blog I'm going to vent my skepticism as well as my hopes and dreams for the continued enlightenment of humanity. I will probably deal mainly with organized religion simply because it takes up so much of the total waste of mental capacity on this planet, but it is far from the only kind, new age nut cases and ludicrous ideas spout up of the ground on almost a day to day basis, astrology, homeopathy, crystal healing and "god" knows what (no pun intended).
These superstitions get a free ride trough modern civilization because the media pats these frauds on their backs by giving them more page space than they have ever deserved, and that the society of today is so afraid of not being politically correct every hour of every day.
In the meantime science is marginalized. I remember Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary scientist and frontrunner for organized atheism writing about going into a local bookshop somewhere in Britain.
He concluded that within the inventory, there were 6 books on astronomy, and 19 on astrology. That says all that can be said about the absurdity of our present situation.

This should be terrifying to all of us, because science is what modern society rests upon. Its the duty of every citizen to defend democracy, and freedom of speech, its about time that we take responsibility and stand up for science. Because the day science falls, democracy and freedom will follow soon behind it.

And while these questions are burning hot, the newspapers are filled with every scare story about medical science that it can find. Every malpractice, every side effect of every drug is blown up towards infinity, while there never is a shred of appreciation or support for the multitude of good that medical science does, and so people go on with their lives, not realizing how vulnerable our way of life is, as the media helps to build a public mistrust for science. At the same time as they host tv shows on psychics talking to the dead, or giving delusional creationists hours of debate time.

All because we need to tolerate every opinion no matter how stupid. I say to "hell" with tolerance!
The last thing you will find in this blog is conversational tolerance, anyone who want to spout dumb ideas without evidence to back them up is going to receive a barrage of justified criticism.
Because open criticism is the vaccine against superstition and nonsense. Not political correctness.

Comment (0)

December 2007
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
prev next

  • All Blogs
  • Messenger
  • Member Search
  • Who's Online
    WebRing Bloggers: 9271

    Members: 0
    Guests: 0

    Today: 0

  • What's New | Popular | Auctions | Blogs | Webspace | Discuss | ShopDragon | Newsletter | Powered by R360 | Contact Us
    Copyright © 2001-2012 WebRing®, Inc. All rights reserved. Terms of Service - Help - Privacy Policy