Why am I looked at as the bad, evil, selfish guy to question the one-sided brain-wash I've been receiving ever since I've been a child?
Believing in an invisible god with all sorts of rules to control our lives and yet not the slightest of proven scientific evidence...How is that the norm? Even if such god were real, theists should know that finding such god is something that a person should do on his own, and take whichever time he needs.
Don't you think that the fact that some (or most) muslims are so intolerant of people joking about their beliefs is because it brings out how ridiculous it is?

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I don't think it's right to single out Muslims as being intolerant of jokes about their religion. Many ardently religious people become irrationally defensive when you question their beliefs. Coming from a background where most of my experiences with religious folk have been Catholic - I can tell you that many of them find joking about their version of god incredibly offensive.

Religion brings comfort and a sense of security to people - to have their beliefs ridiculed or questioned rips that comfort and security away. And naturally when people feel threatened or unsafe they resort to defensive tactics.

If you are openly making fun of and constantly questioning the beliefs of religious people then that would make you the intolerant "bad guy". Not because you have no belief but because you are disrespecting other people's right to have a belief. 

Sometimes I envy my mother's side of the family for having their beliefs. It brings them a sense of peace and comfort, something to have faith in. Believing in life after death helps them to feel connected to those who are no longer with us. I don't have those comforts. Sometimes it makes me feel a little cold and empty to acknowledge my belief that my loved ones who have passed are nothing but dust or ash. I can see how religion makes death more palatable and less hurtful to those who are still living.

I don't think it's necessarily ridiculous to believe in something that brings peace and comfort. I think it's ridiculous when people don't find peace and comfort in their beliefs. It's ridiculous when they oppressed by their religious community, when something that is supposed to bring them hope and peace instead brings suffering and pain.

Oh I have no problem with people's right to believe in whatever fairy tale makes them feels safe. And wouldn't even bother making fun of it, if they didn't actively try to shove it down my throat, disrespecting my right of freedom of belief.
It's just that this right of "believing" trespasses to include wanting to arrest/torture/kill others just because of their sexuality and/or non-belief.

The reason some countries have Blasphemy Laws is to prevent them from losing arguments with Atheists. They must be intolerant of ridicule and indoctrinate children or else the delusion of God would disappear after one generation grew to adulthood.

I recall a time when I attended mass, I use to be Catholic, and felt as if god had spoken to me and allayed my fears and doubts. I can see how some are comforted by belief.

Now that I no longer believe I can't see myself schooling the catholics on what nonsense their belief is. You see at one time I believed in the same thing and sometimes I actually thought it brought me comfort. Who am I to poo poo their beliefs? Live and let live....(learned that in a church basement with a lot of sick people)

Live and let live is my motto, up until the other person's way of living is harming their community. I kind of think it's cruel to take away the positives of religion from someone, especially if you suspect they would never fully recover from the loss. Like, going into a nursing home and trying to de-convert people inhospice...just let them be happy.

It's the norm due to historical precedent influencing the way people think about religion. There are still a lot of believers out there, so the numbers play into normalizing it too.

Yes, I used to hate the evangelical dimension of Christianity when I was one.

I agree about the joking about Islam thing...I think that is one of the reasons it's 'forbidden.'

I think that mass-belief can be more of a strength than a weakness, and the drive to conform is built into us. Then those who rise to power feel license to impose beliefs and judge us on how willing we are to conform. They say it's to serve a larger purpose, which is also something humans like to believe in. These human tendencies were very useful for survival, especially social survival, but we've now had thousands of years to develop these tendencies into pernicious frameworks of social control; politics of the strongest wills dominating everyone else.

Now, my perspective is limited to my experience in America, and I wish I knew more of what can be done for other countries, without being destructive, which we were in Iraq. I had a friend from Egypt named Sameh, who he told people to call "Sammy". I tried to pronounce Sameh the way he said it, but I couldn't even hear the difference between how he said it and how I incorrectly said it. (Otherwise, I'm actually pretty good at pronouncing other languages the way native speakers do. It bothers me when people don't even try to get an accent right.)

Anyway, I don't want to call Muslims evil people. They have less freedom of choice in what to believe and how to behave, and I have compassion for their constrained circumstances. If you have any ideas on how we can really help people overcome forces that overpower them against their will, I'm very interested in hearing it! I am an atheist by choice, but only because of what theists do to force their ways on others.

" I am an atheist by choice, but only because of what theists do to force their ways on others."

Really?

Well yeah. I wouldn't call myself an aleprechaunist just because I don't believe they exist. Nor an apinkelephantist... unless people were forcing leprechaunism or pinkelephantism on others.

Does that answer what you're questioning?

Not really.

"I am an atheist by choice, but only because of what theists do to force their ways on others." sounds as if you choose atheism because of the actions of theists. Perhaps I read something into the statement that I shouldn't have.

 

I think your's is a fair enough conclusion. I should word it better like "I choose to identify as an athest because of theist behavior". I've always been an atheist.

Certainly not the norm here: Believers tend to not say a word about it because it is socially unacceptable to be religious and they are in a minority. I believe the timidity religious people around here have is a mirror image to how atheists have it in most countries. 

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