As an American and an atheist I am both disturbed and disgusted by the hearings going on in Congress.  Rep. Peter King is doing nothing more then adding fuel to the fire of Glenn Beck and his flock. Shouldn't we as atheists come out against this in a most vocal way? If Rep. King feels that Muslims are a threat, then Christians, Jews and Atheists should be investigated as well. What are you thoughts in regards to this?

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Maybe christians aren't as violent in America and not at this point in time, but historically, christianity was every bit as violent as islam. Just look at the crusades, the inquisition, witch burnings, and the genocide of native americans. And you don't even have to go that far back - it wasn't the muslims who where lynching african americans in the bible belt.  And even today, in other countries where there are not as many restraints put on religion, christians still murder freely and without hesitance.  Just look at the situation in Uganda with gays and lesbians being put to death.  The only difference between christianity and islam today is that most christians live in countries where people are no longer allowed to committ violent acts in the name of religion, and the level of religiosity in many western nations has dropped significantly.

 

And the charts went up after I posted my reply btw. Yes, they are disturbing, but just because christianity has changed and Islam hasn't as much doesn't mean that they aren't both just as violent at their core. Just read the bible.  Its full of genocides, murders, and holy wars.

Lindsey, as you I am an atheist, and moreover an anti-theist. That said, there is such thing as relativism when talking about this kind of stuff. Putting these two religions in the same foothold is like saying that just because Ronaldinho and myself are worse than Messi playing soccer, I play exactly like Ronaldinho.

There were PEOPLE and even WHOLE POPULATIONS who were evil (and some still are) based on Christian religion. But Islam is by definition more violent than Christianity because it accepts all the Old Testament as correct (where *most* violence of Christianity resides), AND adds the Koran on top (nice cherry for the icing!). And as we all know, the Koran is really peaceful... not.

This is why one has to be vigilant against all religions, but against Islam... doubly so.

I agree with some of your ideas, but I think you miss the mark a bit. Christian violence was reigned in as our societies grew in wealth and education and strong and fairly uncorrupted governments were built. Islam is a religion which predominantly covers the poor regions of the world. Violence is prevalent in societies where has poverty and lack of education combined with weak institutions - which are the hallmark of most Muslim countries.

You can see the same thing within Christianity: Catholic countries are generally poorer and has more violence than protestant countries, poor protestant countries (i.e. Congo, Uganda, Nigeria) are much more violent than rich protestant countries (Scandinavia, Germany, Canada).

Different religions may have different suitability for economic growth through the values they instil in the population (thereby supporting your argument), but i think it works through poverty rather than religion. 

I whole- heartedly concur- just read a little history of Crusades, Inquisition and all the other atracities commited in the name of religion of all stripes- read the books they believe- horrendous load of violence sanctioned by the diety they believe in---- Religion is dying slowly but not nearly quick enough- Now we have 21 century weapons with 2000 year old sheep shagging belief systems-

King as a staunch supporter of the IRA in their heyday and only had second thoughts when they Irish weren't that enthusiastic about the massacre of primarily citizens by the US empirical troops in Iraq. Meaning he can't be that serious about terrorism, if that means not actively promoting it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_T._King

The fact that such pathetic scum as Rep King can get anywhere near a position of power and actually stay there paints a very clear and bleak picture of everything that's wrong with democracy, as it is a selection procedure for exactly those characteristics in democratic representatives that are normally considered to be the worst of the worst of human vices.

I agree with everything you said except "what's wrong with democracy". It's not democracy that's the problem but rather a reflection on the middle-ages-view of the way society should be, which is an opinion of half of the citizens of this country. It reflects more much poorly on the USA then is does on democracy. If anything it's a failure of capitalism which puts the power to control and influence so many in the hands of very few i.e. Beck, King, Palin and others. They are making this country walk backwards and they won't be happy until the second coming and "end of days". It's all about fear and again religion. I don't know which is worse, the fear mongering and end-times talk of Christianity or the violence of Islam. So glad to be an atheist!

Yes, I agree the US suffers from a special problem with an entanglement of conservatism, market-fundamentalism, religious fanaticism and a host of other misguided and wrong ideas and ideologies. But I do think (s)election procedures, even in a fully functioning democracy - which it clearly does not in the US - is systemically biased in favor of liars, manipulators, rhetoricians, power hungry conscientiously challenged megalomaniacs and so on. Despite the advertising it really lacks any self-correcting mechanism inside the system, save the impotent symbolism of democratic protests. Which explains why the likes of Peter T. King can be such a predictable success in democratic systems. Nevertheless it remains true that democracy is better than all the competition, but that's the predicament were in.

Democracy is the worst form of government - except for all the others.  There is a certain idealism in democracy but I think we haven't found a practical means of applying it yet.  Your point about it not being self-correcting is very important.  Personally, I feel that literacy is one of the most important requirements for a healthy democracy, and that is where we are encountering our biggest failure at present.

Yes indeed, literacy is all important. But I'd go further and say that to maintain a democracy (democracy is a bit of an unfortunate word as it looks like a noun, while actually it is a verb) is hardly possible without at least a comfortably large majority of informed, participating independent (critical) thinking citizens.

The presence of such a citizenry is antithetical to a the plutocratic status quo in Western "democracies." But I don't think there is nothing to fear for the safety of the status quo, save the fact that is unstable in and of itself as we have just begun witnessing, for it goes completely wrong already with the informed part, let alone the other much more demanding requirements.

 

 

Will the Muslims be prosecuted before or after women with unapproved miscarraiges?  And when will they jump the tracks on just Muslims and go after the non-believers?  Newt Gingrich recently gave and interview saying, " In a sense, our Judeo-Christian civilization is under attack from two fronts. On one front, you have a secular, atheist, elitism. And on the other front, you have radical Islamists. And both groups would like to eliminate our civilization if they could. For different reasons, but with equal passion."      Ah..... so let the witch hunts begin!!!

I am definately not for siding with the Muslims, but I do say, that if we are, as a nation, to target individuals who get their marching orders from an invisible man in the sky..... it should be all encompassing. 

Absolutely!  After all, wouldn't two gods be better than one?

I prefer to ignore everything that goes on in Washington, including these talks. Of course, I want to say that we should let Muslims be Muslims, live and let live, but they make it very hard to do that. I can't defend a religion that treats women as less than human and explicitly condones violence in their holy book.

As George Carlin put it, in order to avoid being stressed out or depressed by current events like this, you just have to emotionally detach yourself from our species and just be a spectator. Nothing you do is going to change anything anyway.

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