God Bother

December 12, 2012

Alber Saber is due to be sentenced today in Egypt for the crime of ‘insulting Islam.’ He is alleged to have administered the Egyptian Atheists page on Facebook. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out, but in the meantime there are some questions to be asked of a jurisdiction that makes thoughts the subject of criminal proceedings.
Mr Saber was brought up in a Christian household, but at some stage decided that he did not share the Christian beliefs of his parents, or indeed any belief in any supernatural gods. Mobs of believers descended on his home and demanded that he be arrested and punished for daring to say that he disbelieved in the things that they believed in, which is what happened. The obvious question this raises is why believers think that their gods are so fragile they need this kind of protection.
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Don’t Be a Dick

October 21, 2011

I think it was Phil Plait who said this. He was referring to the scorn and ridicule heaped upon believers in rubbish by those possessed of rational minds. He believes that the followers of psychics, homoeopaths, fortune-tellers, clairvoyants, metaphysicists, snake oil salesmen and religionists should be gently taken by the hand and offered rational arguments as to why their beliefs are misguided, upon which they will immediately see the light, embrace truth and become happy, well-adjusted, productive members of society. This is all very well, and is certainly a strategy that is used by some, but I have run out of patience and can no longer conceal the contempt I feel when encountering these individuals.

Those of you who have been following the Republican candidates for the presidency of the USA in the next elections will share my anger and bewilderment. The USA is militarily and economically the most powerful nation on the planet, and to think it could be led by one of these fractured minds is, well, unthinkable. Romney, Perry, Bachman, Palin are all members of religious cults, and would all put their imaginary god before their country or the well-being of the planet. Even Ron Paul (the best of a truly appalling bunch) would like to see creationism taught in school science classes. Seriously, would you entrust the running of a hot dog stand to someone who professes to believe in talking snakes, zombies and flying horses? If you are sane, your answer would probably be no, but one such may soon have his finger on the button again. Yes, Billy–the Big Red One.
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Sam Harris v Mandy De Waal

July 29, 2011

There seems to be a lot of Sam Harris bashing of late, and the latest example of this is Mandy De Waal’s “Islamophobia and Sam Harris’ tyranny of ‘reason’” in the Daily Maverick.

Sam Harris

Her article is, on the face of it, an attack on Harris’ anti-Islam stance, but a cursory analysis of the language she uses reveals that it is an attack on atheism and atheists in general. For example she says that Harris “intellectually clubs spiritual ‘gurus’ like Chopra, in much the same way fur hunters club baby seals.” Just to make sure we get the point that the spiritual and religious are cute and cuddly and atheists are filled with adamantine ruthlessness, she goes on in the following paragraph: “Intellectually clubbing seals is a practice fairly common among atheists”. She quotes Alister Mcgrath who called Richard Dawkins “Darwin’s Rottweiler”, promotes Harris’ atheism to a more general “misanthropy”, claims that Harris “grinds in the heel of hatred”, describes his followers as “rabid”, and his ideas are “hate speech”.
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