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15 questions

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  • Romeo Macapobre
    15 Questions Militant Atheists Should Ask Before Trying to Destroy Religion
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 6, 2007
      15 Questions Militant Atheists Should Ask Before Trying to "Destroy
      Religion"
      <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/15-questions-militant-ath_b_37954.html>

      [snip] Do the social problems caused by religion stem from personal
      religious *belief*, from organized religious *activity*, or both? .. In the
      interest of full disclosure, here are my personal biases: While I respect
      individual (and especially mystical) religious experience, my personal
      suspicion is that organized religion is more of a negative force than a
      positive one. I often hate what people do in the name of faith.

      --
      apprenons francais [rmacapobre-french.blogspot.com].
      apprenons max [rmacapobre.blogspot.com].


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • doug john
      Dear Romeo, Thanks for your email, I wish I had read it before I penned the following:- An open letter to Sam Harris What emerges from your response to John
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 7, 2007
        Dear Romeo,

        Thanks for your email, I wish I had read it before I penned the following:-


        An open letter to Sam Harris


        What emerges from your response to John Gorenfeld‘s, ‘Alternet.org’ criticism of your views is that your are like the young girl who became pregnant and in confessing to her mother said ‘Mamma I am pregnant’ but to soften the shock to her mother added, ‘But only a little bit!’


        Sam you seem to be saying you are only ‘little bit’ pregnant concerning your views on: -


        Theism
        Religion and wars
        Imperialism
        Torture

        Theism

        You have ‘Cherry Picked’ the good parts of Buddhism, so in that, you are no different from the religious Christian, Jew or Moslem. In practice Buddhists generally are like all the other denominations and will use violence to support their causes when necessary ignoring Buddha’s ‘Thou shall not kill a single living thing’ as impractical. Take a tour around some of the cruel and horrific depictions of Buddhism in Thai shrines and your eyes will be opened. You cannot be ‘little bit’ of a Buddhist Sam!

        We all know, without a tertiary education, that assorted witch doctors, Mother Teresa’s, common and garden faith healers and visits to Lourdes can result in ‘cures’ so you have no need to labour the point about the mind. Lest you forget there are no cure for amputees as far as is known, (let us hope the Pope is now working on that one.) Sam you cannot be ‘a little bit’ of a believer in the paranormal.

        Religion and wars

        You mention several conflicts and claim they are being fought mainly over religion completely ignoring the political and economic factors that are the main reasons for these wars. I will take only two of those you mention as examples but I suggest there are parallels with most of the rest on your list.

        Firstly Palestine. For hundreds of years those of the Moslem and Jewish faiths lived side by side peacefully with unusual tolerance given by the practicing Moslems in regard to the minority practicing Jewish Palestinians. The Moslems regarded the religious Jews as ‘ People of the Book’ both denominations are Abrahamic, both are of the same Semitic ethnicity. The present conflict is the result of Europeans entering Palestine by force using terrorism to remove many of the Moslem inhabitants from their businesses, land and homes which were then allocated to the invaders. This dispossession was, and still is backed by the U.S.A. for strategic reasons. Sure religion is used by the dispossessed and the invaders equally for motivational purposes like patriotism but the main cause is not, nor never was religion but was and is for purely for Political, economic and super power hegemony reasons.


        Secondly Northern Ireland

        The partition of Ireland was a result of the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy of the government in London which was used to maintain its unpopular rule there. Religion was used by the British governing political party in order to prevent the Irish people achieving independence which eventually came but at the terrible cost of partition. (The British Empire survived for a long time by the policy of ‘Divide and Rule” which ended up with the partition of India, Cyprus, Palestine etc .which has always engendered violence wherever it has been imposed ) The post war violence started in the North of Ireland in opposition to a ‘Civil Rights Movement’ which struggled for equal opportunity for the minority in education, housing and jobs. Those in the position of privilege opposed this violently and the situation escalated from that point. Religion is used of course by the rulers to create division in order to hide the real reasons that are purely economic!

        Imperialism

        The atrocity that was 9/11 remains vivid in your mind but the atrocities committed by the super powers seem to have not even registered with you. You fail to understand that 9/11 was not as a result of constant religious indoctrination and a visit to a Mosque just before the deadly deed, as you state but because the U.S has been killing Moslems in their own countries and interfering in their governments for many years. Sam study their statements please before jumping the gun! Peter Ustinov said, ‘Terror is the way the poor wage war, war is the way the rich wage terror’ Arab terrorists are sustained by their religion, what are the rich war makers sustained by Sam? Please do not say ‘Freedom and Democracy.’

        You excuse the killing that is being inflicted on innocent people by claiming this is only ‘Collateral Damage’ and the lesser of two evils and quite acceptable completely ignoring the fact that the recent ‘collateral damage’ is the result of an unwarranted invasion of one country by another, an invasion you supported. Would you describe the carpet bombing of Vietnam and Tokyo as unintended collateral damage? Were not these bombings, including the bombings of London, Coventry, Frankfurt, Dresden and Berlin not deliberate acts of terrorism? Sam look up what General Sherman thought about civilian casualties suffered in the destruction of Atlanta during the American civil war. Civilian populations have always been fair game for the military of all nations based on the theory that the combatants are fortified by civilian infrastructures. Sam you cannot support war and Imperialism ‘a little bit.’

        Torture

        Sam you condone torture but again ‘Only a little bit.’ You mention the ‘Ticking Bomb’ theory but Sam, in a yet to be experienced ‘Ticking Bomb scenario’ no law would stop torture if the torturers lives were immediately threatened along with many others as suggested. I am sure the torture would be overlooked in such a situation by all the survivors, but Sam by openly stating that torture is officially justified on some occasions opens the flood gates to torture. Sam remember that tortures are like tracer bullets they reveal both targets and provoke return fire.

        Your cavalier attitude to life, collateral damage and torture is indicative of your half hearted opposition to the death penalty inasmuch as you lump torture with executions as being able to be ‘restrained’ It has been documented in the U.S. that the financially poor defendant is more likely to suffer the death penalty than the rich defendant who can afford highly skilled and highly paid lawyers; hardly restrainment. I would say it is still way out of control in some U.S. States, despite a number of those that were recently saved from death chambers by D.N.A. evidence. Incidentally the death penalty is used in only one industrially advanced western country.


        John Gorenfeld, in an excellent article states you are a strange atheist, most of us who value this life as the only one we will ever have and are unequivocally against killing, would agree with that. You cannot be all the above ‘A little bit.’ Try and stop being all things to all men, it pleases only the extremist Christian religious right and their political supporters. Eschew the industrial military complex propaganda and your pandering to prejudice and Islamophobia, elucidate your vast scientific knowledge and your admirable views on religious superstitious dogma, this way your admirers will stay with you, me included.

        Doug Adam

        Go to 15 Questions Militant Atheists Should Ask Before Trying to "Destroy
        Religion"
        <http://www.huffingt onpost.com/ rj-eskow/ 15-questions- militant- ath_b_37954. html> for an interesting view point on the subject.


        Romeo Macapobre <romeo.macapobre@...> wrote:
        15 Questions Militant Atheists Should Ask Before Trying to "Destroy
        Religion"
        <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/15-questions-militant-ath_b_37954.html>

        [snip] Do the social problems caused by religion stem from personal
        religious *belief*, from organized religious *activity*, or both? .. In the
        interest of full disclosure, here are my personal biases: While I respect
        individual (and especially mystical) religious experience, my personal
        suspicion is that organized religion is more of a negative force than a
        positive one. I often hate what people do in the name of faith.

        --
        apprenons francais [rmacapobre-french.blogspot.com].
        apprenons max [rmacapobre.blogspot.com].

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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