Tag Archives: religion

WSJ editorial condemns FGM, but not circumcision

https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/cutting-young-girls-isnt-religious-freedom-1503617269

If this article weren’t written in America for Americans, it would equally condemn Male Genital Mutilation, aka circumcision. There are no real benefits to the risks in our hygienic modern environment, and the primary idea was the same as with cutting off the clit: to limit a man’s pleasure because prehistoric goatherders thought it was sinful and were told a man in the sky would get mad if they didn’t cut off part of their dicks. It amazes and revulses me how many Americans can condemn FGM because it seems backwards and barbaric to them, while supporting male circumcision simply because their culture has made them used to it.

I haven’t been to Europe where they condemn circumcision, but I already have a much wider understanding from internationalism than Americans of how biases can make people believe stupid shit. Christians only defend circumcision because they feel required to: they are afraid to condemn practices they believe were revealed and ordered by their sky god, and they are equally afraid to call that God primitive and barbaric in case that God exists and would send them to hell for arguing with them. Fear is what drives people to religion, not actual love, propaganda to the contrary aside.

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UK reaches record number of atheists

http://mailchi.mp/humanism/helping-parents-navigate-around-religion-in-schools-1016297?e=dd2da2f0b8

72% of 18-22 year olds have no religion in Britain. Overall, I think I would have been happier and more successful living in the UK or basically any western European country where this trend is far accelerated and where the socio-economic views and ethics agree with mine. I am starting to feel relieved that this trend is so accelerated in the youth, and I know it won’t stop and will be just like gay marriage, ending segregation, suffrage, permitting divorce, or ending slavery. I don’t think I will feel any nostalgia for the loss of religion, religious fables, or forced communion with racist/prejudiced/tribal cultists when I die, hopefully in another 40 years, for there is just too much the world offers outside of that narrow inherited world-view.

America may be behind, and my experience knowledge and general intelligence/openness may have happened to put me ahead of the curve as a logical thinker, but I do feel relief knowing that America generally follows Europe and if I were to leave this country in a few generations religion and all of the associated evil ideologies are still predicted to die out here. We may soon not have anyone as eloquent as the recent old atheists in Britain who are about to die out, but the arguments will be won, because the younger generation will not be prejudiced from the start.

Without childhood indoctrination in religion, almost no atheist has converted to it in the last century because all the claims look ridiculous and there is not a shred of evidence to back any of it up. The arguments that used to be persuadable for Christian apologists in less modern eras have all been refuted by centuries of more careful thinkers–philosophers and psychologists, or by the data accumulated by science as the most objective means we have ever discovered of obtaining the truth. Now the apologists speak with elusive language like lawyers only to keep their own flock from knowing the truth, for their own financial or psychological benefit, while countless conservative institutions uphold the lie. The younger generation has started to know that the truth doesn’t change no matter what people say or believe, and remains ready to be found. Consequently, the next generation of thinkers won’t be persuaded, because they has just gotten too good at questioning why the truth needs so many lies, institutions, and violence to be defended if it’s so obvious.

American optimism has always annoyed me

One thing that pisses me off about Christians in America is how they don’t like cynics and tend to glorify acting naively optimistic like Flanders. But a degree of pessisim generally correlates with more gdp per capita:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/the-american-ethic-and-the-spirit-of-optimism/388538/

It’s called being realistic and I don’t like overly optimistic people.p who refuse to regularly dip into cynicism or take a balanced view.

The good in setting a bad example

I do understand what some people mean about the importance of setting a good example in certain situations. But we have to define what is a good example? Is it really always civility and the virtues we want others to emulate, or can it be useful to teach by making a bad example? I will explain later.

There is a lot of room for disagreement on what is a generally good behavior, and while peter boghossian takes a softer Socratic approach to persuade Christians, Christopher Hitchens is combative and debates on hard facts. Certain techniques work better on certain personalities and we need to support both doves and hawks to get our message out.

I personally think I need to be more aggressive. I think we should even mimic their hypocrisies at times if we see an individual using them, so that Christians will see it and call us out on them, and then hopefully realize they’re looking in a mirror and fix their ways. For example, it might be useful to act like you’ve lost your temper around someone who loses their temper easily, to teach them a lesson about maintaining self-control if you want to be listened to. It might be useful to be excessively prideful around a proud psrson for the same reason. I guess this is the opposite of setting a good example, and I haven’t heard anyone else use it, but I think it has uses.

It’s a pre-liminary lesson that needs to be learned somehow or other to listen. Otherwise no discussion or real exchange of ideas can occur. If you ever meet someone who is 70 years old and cannot remain calm, rational or humble enough to listen to a word you say on anything, but who loves to berate and throw out uninformed prejudices, I think It’s justified to mirror them and show utter disrespect until they realize their wrong.

article: why rural america wont change

Hah, he burned the south pretty well! http://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/fundamentalism-racism-fear-and-propaganda-an-insider-explains-why-rural-christian-white-america-will-never-change/

I don’t think white racism as well covered up as some people believe. The excues used by racists sound hollow to anyone who is commited to removing biases and I have a pertinent anecdote.

It used to annoy me how often “right wingers/American conservatives/the alt-right/colourists” would say Obama wasn’t fit to be president because he was not an American, or how they would circulate emails about how the bible said it’s justified to not follow illegitimate leader like Obama (in regards to Obama, the Kenyan Muslim.) Not long after he was first elected, I listened to one Christian teacher explaining the birther conspiracy to another Christian US history teacher. She went on a long rant about the bible, and the American constitution, and how there was a section that didn’t allow anyone who had been born in America to become a president.

(In my view this is a historical safeguard, meant to prevent a British politician or hostile invader from legally taking over a new country.) I turned to one of them and asked if were technically true, why would it matter if he had lived in America for his entire life? (Obama was educated in America and worked there his entire life. Voters had decided he shared sufficient views and connection, and was therefore good enough.)

“IT DOES MATTER!” One of them shouted at me, as Christians like to do. And that was all they had to say, as if that line had decisively answered the question.

What the birthers really want is a narrow excuse to act like bigots and be stubbornly opposed to groups or individuals, while pretending they aren’t bigots and their words are both clever and acceptable. But their mask is transparent to anyone outside of their bubble of bigots. The cleverest excuse is transparent to anyone who doesn’t actually want to delight in saying stupid prejudiced things, like a tribal savage, or listening raptly to the invalid arguments that constitute hate speech.

 

And why shouldn’t I be “prejudiced” against Christians?

I don’t agree with what Dawkins retweeted. This website with its platitudes did not make me see a reason to become more accepting when dealing with irrational bigots. The only parts that spoke to me were the point that if you can’t correctly explain someone else’s argument and have it accepted, then you don’t understand it enough to refute it. Active listening is a problem in our society. Of course, theists are bad listeners and very impatient so you will not usually get that far.

The other line I liked from the comments is that “Perfection is the enemy of the good” -Volataire. I take it to mean that we must choose our allies and work for small changes if we are to be progressive, rather than being ideologically pure isolationists/special snowflakes. It’s true I don’t agree with Sam Harris on certain things, while he is clear minded and has insights in others and shouldn’t be shunned simply because he doesn’t fit into a familiar box idealize.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dogmadebate/2017/06/reasonably-controversial-regressive-left-killing-atheist-movement/

So if I agree with that, then what is the problem you ask? I’ll tell you. Reddit and others tell you to attack ideas and not people. So It’s okay to attack Christianity or Islam but not Christians or Muslims. I question why not?

The two are interwoven. If you are a Christian you subscribe to Christianity.

You will potentially act in ways that hurt me. If an skeptical atheist hears a voice and sees visions telling him to go to an abortion clinic and blow up some doctors, he will dismiss it and get psychiatric help. A Christian might too, but he could potentially think It’s the voice of God. That alone makes Christians a threat. And generally Christians are predictable, irrational bigots, and are relatively lame to hang out with. I feel justified in disliking Christians and attacking them along with Christianity. The only argument that might stay me is that attacking groups of people and/or individuals can sometimes be ineffective or counter-productive.

Moreover. I do not respect their underlying epistemology enough to even respect a difference of opinion as I might with someone who looked at the same set of facts I did, and came to another opinion of politics. That’s just finding a difference of view when there is a margin of doubt. But with Christians their underlying facts are definitely wrong. And if I attack Christianity you will still feel insulted that I don’t respect your core values, and react as though I attacked you personally. Why keep up the pretext of not attacking them? For civility? As Hitchens quipped, “Civility is overrated.”