I've been thinking a lot about this whole burning the Koran business. So much that I woke up less than an hour ago thinking about it to the point where I think I should get it all out on 'paper'. I've had some Atheist friends talk about this on facebook and I have to admit, I've been less then honest when they've brought it up about my real standpoint. Some of these friends also being friends of mine on here so I might be exposing myself, meh.

So here's the thing. I really trully don't understand why so many of my fellow nonbelievers are not only okay with burning the Koran, but seem to support it to the point of continuing to burn other religious books and the like. It's not about the not offending people so much either, I could care less if people are offended. It's how hypocritical it is to me.

One of the things we, in general, are against when it come to most religions, is how archaic it can get. How people follow books and rules established hundreds of years ago without question. How books like the bible are cool with stoning women and gays, sacrificing animals, genital mutilation, so on. But you know what else is archaic? Burning books. This is something these same people we're against for the most part have done over and over again in our history. Whole library's of stories and histories gone because some guy said god doesn't like it.

I understand the symbolism of what's being done here. I understand it's legal and isn't much different from burning the flag for example. I also agree with what George Carlin once said, "Symbols are for the simple-minded." And I also know that burning a book isn't necesarily going to hurt anyone itself, it's not burning a person. But I can't justify burning something simply because I disagree.

Burning the Koran isn't going to make Islam go away, niether would burning the bible, or any other book. Two negatives don't make a positive, this isn't math.

I love books. Books pretty much saved my life when I was young and had no friends. Honestly I daydream about a superpower that would allow me to read every book ever written in the world. No matter what it's about, what language, even if it's horrible. So maybe this makes me biased. It confuses me a bit esspecially since I also have a thing about being too attatched to inanimate objects. But again on the otherside I'm also OCD and there are certain things that are VERY hard for me to do or not do that have no logical basis in my brain whatsoever.

I knwo some of you disagree but maybe some of you agree. And I know no matter what's said on either side probably isn't going to change anything but I just needed to get it out there. I think we're better than these people, we don't need to do what they would do to piss people off. Thanks for reading?

Views: 99

Comment by Sassan K. on April 6, 2011 at 3:18pm
IT is a free speech issue. I just don't see how some people can blame the Pastor for the innocent people radical Muslims kill. This is the 21st century, it is not like the burning of a book will mean the text no longer exists. I wouldn't burn it myself but the government has no right to impede on individual's constitutional rights.
Comment by Arcus on April 6, 2011 at 3:41pm

As Sassan said, it boils down to a free speech issue.

Offensive language and expressions are incredibly important parts of free speech because it draws attention onto itself when used. It is vital that we keep these options open because it occationally needs to be used. It has remarkable ability to tear off emperors clothes. 

Being called a bigot is never nice, but if someone is in the need of being called one, it is needed. If we need to burn bigoted books to draw attention to how bigoted they are, it is worth sacrificing a mass produced book. Society then look at the credibility of the person who utter their expression, and judge whether it'll listen of ignore.

That is the resolution of this case, deem WBC to be incompetent to hold an opinion about anything. Their words have no defamatory value because those who utter them are incompetent. Excercise your right to ignore stupid and wrong use of free speech, otherwise you are the one falling into the trap. Then we judge the other side for their crimes.

Or do you prefer an "Offensive Speech" police?

Comment by Arcus on April 6, 2011 at 3:44pm
To simplify greatly: "They" have to be allowed to misuse it because "we" have to be allowed to use it.
Comment by Wesley on April 6, 2011 at 7:04pm

Yes, I agree.. There's no reason to stoop to these peoples level.  We don't need to burn the beatles or elvis's records just because we don't like something that they said or did.  On the other side of the coin we don't need to burn things down because a magazine printed some cartoons making political commentary about our religion and religious figures or what's being done in their name.

Just because the Bible and Koran contain hateful things doesn't mean we should burn them just to incite the brainwashed masses or worse in retaliation for their burning science and freethinker books.

Rise above the 'burning' 'destruction' responce and actually deal with the issues head on.  Burning and destruction are the choice of those who've run out of rational arguments.

Comment by Zombie Atheist on April 6, 2011 at 10:02pm

Thank you for all the responses so far. I just want to say that I understand it's a freedom of speech issue and as I said I dont care about the offending people part. No I don't want to make it illegal, and no I don't want "offensive police" as Arcus put it. I just trully don't understand how smart, logical people would be all for this destruction. I think Wesley gets what I mean and I agree with the line "Burning and destruction are the choice of those who've run out of rational arguments."


and to Sasson. I wouldn't kill someone over burning something like that, you wouldn't. I'm sure most if not all the people on this site wouldn't. But their are people who will and have. There is a certain degree of responsibility to think about here. Though as I said I'm not pushing to control people it's just something I've been thinking about.


Thanks again.

Comment by Sassan K. on April 7, 2011 at 3:20am


“We’ve had about 400 death threats,” he said, adding that Hezbolla, the Shia Muslim militant group, had put out a “reward out on my head for $2.4 million.”

Comment by Arcus on April 7, 2011 at 3:59am

I guess offense is a type of "mental violence". I think we can agree that violence is always a bad thing, but it's not always the wrong thing. Violence is the end solution to any problem which cannot be resolved by dialogue due to opinions becoming stuck. In a reasoned debate, there is no need for violence as everyone would concede intellectual defeat once presented with superior arguments. which is why anyone who is ready to concede position to superior arguments never really see its use.

However, even a non-violent person as myself would resort to violence to defend certain arguments which I hold as irrefutable, such as free speech, against arguments that are weaker than those supporting that right. But I do not purport myself to be a judge over "acceptable" and "unacceptable" use of free speech, so I therefore label anything that can be uttered as "acceptable" to not be forced to make such distinctions. As all free speech is acceptable, whether or not I pay attention is dependant on arguments of the speaker. If they are weak, I ignore them. If they persist in uttering them I call them fools.

I guess I neither condone nor condem the WBC: I ignore it and I do something much worse than burning a book - I burn their inferior arguments and ideas in my mind. It is the very thing symbolized by a burning of a book - it's not the book itself we object to being burned, it is the knowledge it contains. If we all burn their ideas, they go extinct in their original sense, and all we are left with are their husks to study for historical purposes of how wrong humanity once was. 

And the only way we can do this, to progress society by rejecting inferior ideas and disprove the arguments underlying them, is through excercising free speech.

Comment by Zero One on April 7, 2011 at 6:17am
phh people getting mad at burning paper.. its freaking paper, print more if you like.
Comment by Wassabi on April 7, 2011 at 7:15am

i think you should differentiate any burning to koran burnings, because the motive here is different.


Muslim extremists are ridiculous. think back to the Mohammed cartoons a few years back, which depicted the prophet with a bomb on his head, as a way of saying "muslims are violent".


muslims didn't actually see any cartoon, they heard about it months later - were outraged, and what did they do to prove the cartoon wrong? the acted violently.

of the dozens of people who died in the erupting riots back then, almost all were muslims.... they're killing each other to prove they're not violent, over a cartoon which was months old, which they didn't even see....


in this case, a pastor in the US burns a koran, no one in Afghanistan see's it, only hears a condemnation on TV, and in the erupting violence, Afghans kill each other, and smash the streets of Kabul. it's like watching a baby on a tantrum.


there's nothing more satisfying than watching an imam speak about islam as the "religion of peace", and then seeing this ridiculous rage erupt over some trivial issue.


it's become a hobby for some, to see if they can taunt the muslim masses.


also, in a world where criticism of all religions in the media is ok, islam has managed to get a free pass- because TV executives are afraid of being murdered. this has to stop.


islam needs to mature.


muslims need to realize that intimidation and violence are not valid tools for adults.


i hope people keep pissing them off over trivial matters until their leaders learn to calm the fuck down, and join the 21st century, where freedom of expression is a fundamental liberty for all. 

Comment by Arcus on April 7, 2011 at 7:44am

From New York Times, on the start of the Arab spring:

SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia — Mohamed Bouazizi spent his whole life on a dusty, narrow street here, in a tiny, three-room house with a concrete patio where his mother hung the laundry and the red chilis to dry. By the time Mr. Bouazizi was 26, his work as a fruit vendor had earned him just enough money to feed his mother, uncle and five brothers and sisters at home. He dreamed about owning a van.

On the morning of Dec. 17, when other vendors say Ms. Hamdy tried to confiscate Mr. Bouazizi’s fruit, and then slapped him in the face for trying to yank back his apples, he became the hero — now the martyred hero — and she became the villain in a remarkable swirl of events in which Tunisians have risen up to topple a 23-year dictatorship and march on, demanding radical change in their government.

In a series of interviews, the other fruit vendors, officials and family members described the seemingly routine confrontation that had set off a revolution. They said that Mr. Bouazizi, embarrassed and angry, had wrestled with Ms. Hamdy and was beaten by two of her colleagues, who also took his electronic scale. He walked a few blocks to the municipal building, demanded his property, and was beaten again, they said. Then he walked to the governor’s office, demanded an audience and was refused.

“She humiliated him,” said his sister, Samia Bouazizi. “Everyone was watching.”

Sometime around noon, in the two-lane street in front of the governor’s high gate, the vendor drenched himself in paint thinner then lit himself on fire.


When everything else failed, one corageous man gave his life in sacrifice to liberty, which in turn ignited a powderkeg. If he had not had a strong enough point, it would have been a tragic suicide only, and nothing would have followed. 

See how important it is to be able to burn things?


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

© 2019   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service