Islam: Morally Abhorrent, Senselessly Regressive

Recently, I posted an islamophobic meme in which I said that it is morally abhorrent and senselessly regressive to think that it is normal to idolize and emulate the seventh-century barbarian known as the Prophet Muhammad. It was to be expected that the Muslim apologists would come in droves in defense of the greatest man who ever lived and their religion of peace.

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I received quite a bit of backlash (you can watch the video above for a systematic and epic takedown of a few of the comments, where I defend the meme using the Quran, Hadith, and Sira), but the truth is–everything in the meme is 100% accurate.

Muhammad WAS a homophobic, misogynistic pedophile. What facts substantiate this claim?

Muhammad the Homophobe

Muhammad is considered by all Muslims to be the perfect example, and therefore they will engage in slimy apologetic behavior that curtails their personal responsibility of the tenets of the faith to which they adhere, for what is advised regarding the treatment of homosexuals as per the doctrine.

In parts of the Hadith, it is advised that homosexuals be thrown off of the tops of high buildings and stoned to death (Surah Hud 11:82), and most scholars maintain this position while also recommending alternatives; such as keeping them imprisoned until death. According to the Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies:2007-2008 Academic Year,

Homosexuality is one of the most disgusting sins and greatest crimes…. It is a vile perversion that goes against sound nature, and is one of the most corrupting and hideous sins…. The punishment for homosexuality is death. Both the active and passive participants are to be killed whether or not they have previously had sexual intercourse in the context of a legal marriage…. Some of the companions of the Prophet stated that [the perpetrator] is to be burned with fire. It has also been said that he should be stoned, or thrown from a high place.[1]

This section was removed, likely after the Saudi Textbook controversy and subsequent removals; including educational material that demonizes Christians and Jews or that urges holy war on the nonbelievers.[2]

Muhammad the Misogynistic Pedophile

After his marriage with his first wife ended in his fifties (due to her death), Muhammad took a six-year-old, Aisha, as a bride. At the age of 9, the marriage between Muhammad and Aisha was consummated (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64, see also Numbers 65 and 88; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234, see also Number 236; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 140; see also Number 139; Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 4915; Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234).

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This is often justified by depicting Aisha as an astute and mature woman for her age in an attempt to dismiss any charges of pedophilia. The concept of pedophilia being a manifestation of deviant behavior did not exist in the seventh century and Muhammad was acting in accordance with the culture of his time; however, Muhammad maintains a status among Muslims as the supreme example for human behavior despite the fact that he did take a child as a wife and had sex with her before she was capable of comprehending the full breadth of the situation.

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The United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) reports that over half of the girls in Afghanistan and Bangladesh are married before they reach the age of eighteen.[3] This is the price that women and girls have paid throughout Islamic history, and continue to pay in sickening numbers, for Muhammad’s status “as an excellent example of conduct.”

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Muhammad’s general view of adults of the opposite sex isn’t particularly rosy either. There are several examples available from the Quran, Hadith, and Sira to support the notion that Muhammad harbored a generally misogynistic outlook. He believed that women were cognitively deficient compared to men and that a woman’s witness is worth half that of a man’s (Sahih Bukhari 3:826). He said that most of the inhabitants of hell are women because they are ungrateful (Sahih Bukhari Vol 1:28); they deserve hellfire for having any objection to the way they are treated by their husbands, no matter what that treatment entails… Which can encompass beating your wife into subservience (Quran 4:34; also see Allah condoning the beating of Job’s wife-Quran 38:44).

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There was one occasion where a woman came to Muhammad and explained that her husband had been beating her because he was impotent and she was unsatisfied. Her skin was described as being bruised so badly that it was “greener” than the green veil she was wearing. Upon seeing the woman, Aisha remarked that she has not seen any women suffering abuse like her fellow Muslim women. Instead of admonishing the husband, Muhammad ordered her to return to him and submit to his sexual desires (Sahih Bukhari 72:715). Muhammad also struck Aisha in the chest for leaving the house without his permission (Sahih Muslim 4:2127) and laughed when he heard that his fathers-in-law struck Aisha for annoying him (Sahih Muslim 9:3506). Muhammad also said that a man does not have to give his reasons for why he beats his wife (Abu Dawud 2142).

 

In addition to the Quran, Hadith, and Sira, there are also many respected scholars that approve of wife beating. For example, Egyptian cleric, Abd al-Rahman Mansour, said in a 2012 televised broadcast that, in addition to discouraging the wife from filing divorce, beatings would inspire the wife to “treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.”[4]

Another prominent example is from Dr. Muzammil Saddiqi, the former president of ISNA (the Islamic Society of North America), a mainstream Muslim organization, who says that it is important that a wife “recognizes the authority of her husband in the house” and that he may use physical force if he is “sure it would improve the situation.”[5]

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Muhammad the Barbarian

As for his barbarism, Muhammad was a conquering warlord and proponent of wanton anti-Semitism. One such example occurred between February and March 627 when Muhammad ordered or carried out (reports varied) an attack on the Banu Qurayza tribe of Jews because he had been ordered to do so by the angel Gabriel. After a 25 day siege, the Banu Qurayza surrendered without a fight and Muhammad ordered the digging of trenches. Approximately 800 Jewish males who had reached the age of puberty (this was determined by checking to see if they had pubic hair) were bound, beheaded, and tossed into the trenches. The women and children were parceled out to Muhammad’s men as slaves for sexual servitude and labor. (Qur’an 33:09-10, 33:26; Abu Dawud 4390 & 2665; Shahih Bukhari 4:52:68 & 4:57:66; Ishaq/Hisham 693; Tabari, Volume 8, Victory of Islam).

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Another fine example of Muhammad’s barbarism and upstanding moral character occurred when an adulteress who became pregnant during her extramarital affair confessed her sins to Muhammad. Muhammad graciously allows her to have her child and wean him, but instead of forgiving her, he has her buried up to her chest and stoned to death. To be fair, Muhammad did initially turn her away, but she asked for forgiveness for her actions through Muhammad. However, after stoning her, Muhammad blessed and forgave, even going so far as to tell one of his generals to be gentle with his abuse during the stoning. Instead of forgiving her, allowing her to live, and raise her child, Muhammad created an orphan, the very people apologists claim Muhammad truly cared for (Sahih Muslim 17:4209).

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These are only two examples of Muhammad’s barbarism during his prophetic career. His barbarism continued with the draconian punishments he enacted and the commandments he established. The punishments that are prescribed in the Quran and the Hadith are extremely violent and not in proportion to the actual crimes committed in any reasonable sense. The repertoire of punishments include being stoned to death (Sahih Bukhari 83:37, Sahih Muslim 17:4192), crucifixion (Quran 5:33), public lashings (Quran 24:2; Abu Dawud 38:4469), amputation of the hands and feet (Quran 5:33 & 38; Sahih Bukhari 8:81:780-791), and beheading (Quran 5:33; Quran 8:12; Quran 47:4; Sahih Muslim 17:4214).

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These punishments can be applied for reasons such as adultery, fornication, consuming intoxicants, outrage against the caliph, apostasy, charges of blasphemy, accusing someone of illicit sex but failing to provide witnesses (four to be exact), missing prayer or praying incorrectly, and theft. These punishments, and the fact that they are sanctioned and prescribed directly by the holy texts that make up the religion, make Islam unsuitable for the contemporary world and are emblematic of the pre-medieval time in which Islam belongs. The institution of these punishments by Muhammad with the authority of Allah makes them applicable then, now, and forever.

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It is quite obvious that Muhammad was morally abhorrent and senselessly regressive, but I will go even further and say that Islam is morally abhorrent and senselessly regressive. Islam is the religion, doctrines, ideas, and culture that originated from Muhammad and following the religion the way he intended it and commanded it to be practiced. It should be clear, looking at the hundreds of jihadist attacks around the world every week, that when Muslim moderates call their literalists  “radical extremists”, what they are really saying is that the extremists adhere to their religion much more strictly than the moderates do. The moderates can’t be outraged or speak against it or else they demonstrate their own hypocrisy, but their silence inadvertently supports the extremism and allows the radicalism to continue.

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Painting Muhammad as virtuous moral character, even if he was prior to his rise to power, and denial of the detestable doctrines established by Muhammad in the Quran, Hadith, and Sira, is a refusal to acknowledge a major global issue.  The truth is that the words and deeds of Muhammad have been inspiring Muslims to commit acts of violence for 1400 years and these acts will continue unless we decide to be honest about what the character of Muhammad, and the religion he founded, really entails.

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In the words of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “By declaring our Prophet infallible and not permitting ourselves to question him, we Muslims had set up a static tyranny. The Prophet Muhammad attempted to legislate every aspect of life. By adhering to his rules of what is permitted and what is forbidden, we Muslims suppressed the freedom to think for ourselves and to act as we chose. We froze the moral outlook of billions of people into the mindset of the Arab desert in the seventh century. We were not just servants of Allah, we were slaves.”

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Sources:

[1] http://www.hudson.org/files/pdf_upload/Excerpts_from_Saudi_Textbooks_715.pdf

[2]  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5426633

[3] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1206979.stm

[4] http://www.memri.org/clip_transcript/en/3554.htm

[5] http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.2543/pub_detail.asp

 

Atheists to Remember: Marie Curie

Marie Curie, née Maria Sklodowska, was born in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867. She abandoned her family’s Roman Catholicism to become an agnostic as a teenager and received a general education in local schools and some scientific training from her father. In 1891, she went to Paris to continue her studies at the Sorbonne where she obtained Licenciateships in Physics and the Mathematical Sciences. She met Pierre Curie, Professor in the School of Physics in 1894 and in the following year they were married.

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Marie broke many barriers for her sex, becoming the first European woman to earn a science doctorate. She is most notable for the discovery of polonium, radium, and coining the term “radioactive.” Together with her husband, she was awarded half of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903, for their study into the spontaneous radiation discovered by Becquerel, who was awarded the other half of the Prize.

In 1906, her husband Pierre was tragically run over and killed. Marie took over his professorship of general physics, winning another first for women. When she won the 1911 Nobel Prize for chemistry, she was the first person, male or female, to have received two Nobel Prizes. Despite the impressive feat of being the first person to ever win two Nobel Prizes, she was barred as a woman from the Academy of Sciences, which was an all-male organization. Marie continued on to become the director of the Curie Laboratory in the Radium Institute of the University of Paris in 1914.

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The importance of Curie’s work is reflected in the numerous awards bestowed on her. She received many honorary science, medicine and law degrees and honorary memberships of learned societies throughout the world. In addition to the two Nobel Prizes, she also received, jointly with her husband, the Davy Medal of the Royal Society in 1903 and, in 1921, President Harding of the United States, on behalf of the women of America, presented her with one gram of radium in recognition of her service to science. In August 1922, Marie Curie became a member of the newly created International Commission for Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations. In 1924, she penned “What Do I Read Next”, a memoir of Pierre Curie. In the memoir she stated, “Pierre belonged to no religion and I did not practice any.”

In 1925, she visited Poland, to participate in the ceremony that laid foundations for the Radium Institute in Warsaw. Her second American tour in 1929, succeeded in equipping the Warsaw Radium Institute with radium; President Hoover of the United States presented her with a gift of $50,000, donated by American friends of science, to purchase radium for use in the laboratory in Warsaw. The Warsaw Radium Institute was opened in 1932 and her sister Bronisława became its director. In 1930, Marie was elected a member of the International Atomic Weights Committee where she served until her death.

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Throughout her life, Marie actively promoted the use of radium to alleviate suffering and during World War I, assisted by her daughter, Irene, she personally devoted herself to this remedial work. She spent much of the remainder of her life pursuing her humanitarian goal of “easing human suffering.” Due to repeated and long term exposure to radiation, Marie died in 1934, at age 67, of leukemia. She became the first woman to be interred at the Pantheon on her own merits.

In her final moments, Marie worked on a book, “Radioactivity”, which was published after her death. The following year, Curie’s oldest daughter, Irene, with her husband Frederic Joliot-Curie, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for work in artificial radioactivity. Eve Curie, in her memoir of her mother, Mme. Curie (1937), described all of her family members as rationalists.

“Marie Curie is, of all celebrated beings, the only one whom fame has not corrupted.” –Albert Einstein

Let us never forget those who sacrificed it all to make the world a better place, not for a posthumous reward, but for the sake of being good.

Sources:

http://www.nobelprize.org/

http://www.ffrf.org/

 


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The Problem of Hell

It is often touted by believers that if you do not believe in their specific version of Abrahamic deity, then you will perish forever in unending agony for your suspension of belief. Something I’ve often wondered, especially as a child, is how would an all-loving, omnipotent god be able to exist at the same time as a place of unending torment (created by that same god)? That question, while still a valid question that no apologist can give a succinct answer for, has paved the way for other questions. For example, why is the concept of Hell, a place of eternal torture, socially respectable? Why are people who hold such a primitive, distressing, and retributive view hailed, rather than criticized?

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Hell, after all, is a horrifying construct. Hell is portrayed as a place of everlasting torture, where non-Christians and nonbelievers (but not Christianity’s greatest mass murderers who “accepted” Jesus, such as Hitler) can be tortured and burned eternally simply for sincerely believing the “wrong” religion. Even innocents who may never have heard of Jesus, under traditional doctrine, cannot avoid this fate far worse than death. Some believers even go so far as to smugly declare that nonbelievers deserve to be tortured forever for not having the same imaginary friend, all while relishing in this idea of eternal punishment for others.

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Despite the fact that this hell would be preferable to worshiping, praising, and idolizing a celestial dictator in heaven while being surrounded by self-righteous pricks, there are other issues with this concept of hell.

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First, if an eternity of unending suffering for others makes you feel comforted, then you should not be described as “righteous.” I think “immoral psychopath” is a much better fit. The problem with finding pleasure in someone else’s eternal misfortune is believing that they deserve the misfortune. Seriously, people that have beliefs in hell and the punishment for pure evil are more likely to support violent retributive policies such as capital punishment and the use of torture (Campbell & Vollhardt, 2013). People who believe in a literal Satan and Hell are also more likely to be intolerant of homosexuals and generally more prejudiced against minorities (Wilson & Huff, 2011). This makes sense when you understand the in-group bias, us vs. them, nature of religion and how determining that they (everyone that does not share your belief) are destined for hellfire makes them less of a person or more deserving of prejudice and punishment.

Second, Hell is not a biblical concept, at least not in the common depiction of hell. The King James Version of the Bible has 54 references to Hell. However, it is not the Hell that Christians preach, but they are all mostly mistranslations (or intentional ones). The English word Hell is translated from the following three words.

Tartaros/Tartaroo – “The deepest abyss of Hades”

This word is the closest resemblance to the English depiction of Hell, but it is only used once. 2 Peter 2:4 is the only location where it is used and it still doesn’t coincide with the common perception of hell because the Bible says “the angels that are there are to be reserved unto judgment”, explicitly stating that this place is for angels and with no mention of this place being reserved for man.

Sheol/Hades – “grave” or “the world of the dead”

These words simply meant a place where the dead dwell. There is no suffering mentioned nor is it understood to be an actual physical realm. If you substitute “grave” or the “world of the dead” in everywhere these words are used it becomes apparent that the Bible is riddled with mistranslations.

Hinnom/Gehenna – These words refer to a literal valley outside of Jerusalem where animal carcasses were tossed and burned. This is also the place where the Jews sacrificed children in their idolatrous days. The mention of the valley of Ben-Hinnom was usually to scare children back onto the right path. Because it was basically a garbage dump, there were always flames burning and worms (maggots) feasting on dead flesh.

With the proper etymology and translation of these words, it is easy to see that the majority of the references to hell are mistranslations. Most likely they are intentional ones, since the idea of Hell as a place of eternal suffering was added much later as a part of Christian doctrine and fan fiction. As it usually happens, artists and writers took the ambiguous descriptions of hell and transformed them into the hell we know today. In fact, there are two primary culprits responsible for the current concept of hell: Dante Aligheri with his Divine Comedy and Hieronymus Bosch with his fantastical paintings of hell.

“I have no respect for any human being who believes in hell. I have no respect for any man who preaches it. I have no respect for the man who will pollute the imagination of childhood with that infamous lie. I have no respect for the man who will add to the sorrows of this world with the frightful dogma. I have no respect for any man who endeavors to put that infinite cloud, that infinite shadow, over the heart of humanity.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

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Campbell, M., & Vollhardt, J. R. Fighting the Good Fight: The Relationship Between Belief in Evil and Support for Violent Policies.

http://psp.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/08/30/0146167213500997.abstract

Wilson, K. M., & Huff, J. L. Scaling Satan.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11577971


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Top 10 Public School State-Church Violations

TOP TEN STATE/CHURCH SCHOOL VIOLATIONS

Freedom From Religion Foundation

http://ffrf.org/

Brochure by Freedom From Religion Foundation

http://ffrf.org/images/Top10_Brochure_14x8.5.pdf

1) PRAYER AT SCHOOL EVENTS

School events, including graduations, may not include prayer. For more than 50 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently struck down prayer in public schools.

School staff, including coaches, may not organize, endorse, promote, or participate in prayers with students. Teachers and coaches may not lead prayers or deputize students to lead prayer. Even a public school coach’s silent participation in student prayer circles has been ruled unconstitutional. Borden. Schools and athletic teams may not appoint or employ a chaplain or other spiritual leader.

2) COMPELLING PLEDGES OF ALLEGIANCE

Students have a constitutional right not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. Nor can students be required to stand or otherwise be penalized for exercising this right. Even before “under God” was belatedly added to the previously secular pledge in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court had already affirmed this right.

3) SCHOOL BIBLE DISTRIBUTIONS

The distribution of bibles to students on public school property is prohibited. Allowing bible distributions in public schools or on public school property is an “affront not only [to] non-religious people but [to] all those whose faiths, or lack of faith, does not encompass the New Testament.”

4) CREATIONISM

Schools may not teach religious doctrine, including creationism and “intelligent design.” The Supreme Court has firmly struck down attempts to prohibit evolution or teach “scientific creationism” in public schools. No controversy exists in the scientific community regarding evolution, which, like gravity, is a fact. Teaching that there is controversy about the validity of evolution in science class is akin to teaching astrology along with astronomy, or alchemy with chemistry. The scientific literacy of students and our nation is at stake.

5) DENIAL OF ATHEIST STUDENT CLUBS

Schools may not ban atheist/secular clubs if other non-curricular clubs are allowed. Under the Equal Access Act, if public secondary schools permit noncurricular clubs, they cannot discriminate against student clubs based on their religious, political, philosophical or other beliefs. All clubs must receive the same rights and privileges.

6) GRADUATION IN CHURCHES

School events, including graduations, should not be held in houses of worship. Public school programming, including graduations, testing and recitals, should not occur in churches, because any student could “reasonably conclude that the District would only choose such a proselytizing environment aimed at spreading religious faith . . . if the District approved of the Church’s message.” Budget considerations cannot trump students’ rights.

7) CHURCHES MEETING IN SCHOOLS

Churches must abide by school rental policies, pay fees, and only use property during rental hours. Granting a fee waiver or discount to a church is illegal preferential treatment, forcing taxpayers to subsidize religion. Rental rates should minimally cover extra costs, including AC, heat, janitorial overtime and clean-up, etc. The church may not use school property during non-rental hours — including to store equipment, park a trailer, or display messages or advertising. The practice of churches renting public schools for worship remains divisive and controversial because of the inevitable appearance of school sanction, spurring ongoing litigation.

8) DISPLAYING RELIGIOUS MESSAGES

Religious displays are not permitted in public schools. Courts have continually held that school districts may not display religious messages or iconography in public schools, including crosses, the Ten Commandments, bible verses, bibles, religious figures, portraits of Jesus, etc., even if privately paid for. These may not be displayed on public school grounds, public school hallways, offices, classrooms, or anywhere in view of students and parents.

9) YOUTH PASTOR ACCESS TO STUDENTS

Schools may not give religious groups unique access to school property to befriend, proselytize or give presentations to students. Schools may not allow pastors, religious youth clubs, ministers or churches onto school grounds during the school day to “talk” with students.

10) PROSELYTIZING VIA MUSIC

It is a principle of our public educational system that every activity in a public school ought to have an educational purpose. Elementary school music classes and high school choruses are a frequent source of school First Amendment violations. The line is crossed when that purpose becomes devotional, proselytizing or religiously coercive.

‘VOLUNTARINESS’ IS NO EXCUSE

Public schools that host religious events often excuse them by calling them “voluntary.” Students are a captive audience who, as the Supreme Court has stated repeatedly, cannot be required to forfeit rights or benefits as the price of resisting state sponsored religious practices.

If you are aware of these or similar violations in your public schools, report violations to: http://www.FFRF.ORG/LEGAL/REPORT


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Athemyths: Without God, There is No Purpose!

A recurring myth among religious individuals is that without God, life has no meaning or purpose. There are many reasons why a theist may hold this idea, none of which are grounded in reality. This is usually a refusal to accept death as the ultimate end and an appeal to emotion, in which a person assumes that their life has a meaning or a purpose given by God or presumes that there is an objective meaning to life.

First, there is no evidence that there is any objective meaning to life and it cannot be established with any epistemic certainty. Testimonies do not hold up to scrutiny as they are subject to the myriad biases of your brain. Holy texts are riddled with contradictions, inconsistencies, and outright falsities. Until there is a reliable means of establishing an objective meaning of life that provides substantial evidence, the appropriate response is to suspend judgment. Sure, it is an uncomfortable thought to some that there might not be any objective purpose to life, but the inability to accept this does not mean that we should adopt fallacious concepts to satisfy our ego.

Second, there are many people that do not believe in your deity, or any deity, and it would be preposterous to claim that the 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, or the millions of people who claim to be nonbelievers, are not leading meaningful lives. The existence of a god is not required in order to have a meaning or purpose in life. Meaning is subjective. What you find meaningful someone else may not. There is plenty of meaning to be found in literature, music, science, and human connection, to name a few. To think that these things somehow lose their meaning if there is no god is absolutely absurd.

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Finally, this myth presupposes that the god given objective meaning or purpose in life aligns with their own. What if it doesn’t? Without evidence to support the claim, there is no way to know if your subjective meaning or purpose of life coincides with any objective meaning or purpose of life. Most Abrahamic religions hold that the purpose of life is to serve God. What good is life if you are going to spend it grovelling in fear at the feet of a celestial dictator? What good is life if your only purpose is to worship, praise, and be a subservient slave to a cosmic master? Would you accept that same purpose if it were a terrestrial dictator or master? If God is the ultimate embodiment of love why isn’t he held to a higher standard?

As an atheist, I have everything to live for and nothing to die for. The finality of life is exactly what gives life meaning. Death only appears on the surface to invalidate any meaning or purpose of life because it seems to give rise to an idea that there is no reason to do anything all, like garner knowledge or improve the self, if we are going to die anyway. However, there is a point to garnering knowledge or improving the self and that purpose is to enjoy life. The very finite nature of life prevents us from knowing and experiencing everything our world has to offer. That ephemeral epiphany allows us to relish in the moment, whether it be the laugh of an elderly loved one or the taste of your favorite food. These things matter and have value because the opportunity to experience them is finite in nature.

Suspending the real fantasy, the thing we call life, and devaluing your earthly life, the only guaranteed life that you have, is truly living without a purpose or meaning. That would make religious believers that perpetuate this myth the real nihilists.

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” Alan Watts

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5 Dumbass Comments of the Week #10 with Lee Lemon

Join Lee Lemon (@LemonLifts), the Godless Engineer (@godlessengineer), and Aeolus (@GodWorksOut) as they take on the 5 Dumbass Comments of the Week!

At 4:16, a Muslim says that we are lost and rebellious meaning Allah must send us to hell. He ends his comment on an argument from design.

At 23:51, two theists accuse us of taking a specific passage out of context and trying to destroy other people’s spirituality.

At 39:50, a theist finds it funny that we spend so much time on something we don’t believe and asks why do atheists care so much about what other people believe.

At 1:03:45, a Christian declares that Christians are discriminated against, no one discriminates against Muslims, and atheists are all idiots.

At 1:16:35, a theist says that it is stupid that science can’t figure out why cells age and you are going to die, but god has been telling you all along why you are going to die.


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dumbass

When feminism borders on religion

So, Richard Dawkins was disinvited from a speaking engagement for the Northeast Conference of Science and Skepticism because he shared a video by SyeTenAtheist lampooning radical feminism by comparing it to Islamism. Whether or not you agree with the decision, it’s theirs to make. They don’t owe Dawkins anything. That being said:

SyeTenAtheist lampoons a lot of people. Usually it is theists, be they famous creationists or apologists, or even YouTube evangelists who are well-known in atheist circles. Granted, this video is hyperbolic, but his videos are always over the top. That’s just his style. He uses heavy satire to make valid points.

I don’t see how mocking a radical feminist (keep in mind that many people who believe in and fight for equality amongst the sexes are “feminist” under that definition, but don’t identify as “feminist” because of the stigma that gets attached due to radical feminists) is promoting rape or misogyny. Ideas are not immune from criticism. As atheists, you should be well aware of this. Just because someone is a feminist, that doesn’t mean their arguments are unassailable or can’t be criticized. It’s dangerously close to religious dogma when others come to the defense of even extremist feminists simply because they share a label. That’s the point that’s being made in this video. That extreme feminism is reminiscent of extreme religion (in this case, Islam). Of course he’s not implying that feminists actually love Islamism or its misogynistic tenets.

Atheists often compare Christian fundies to Islamists in the US, saying things like “Christian Sharia” to refer to attempts to put Christian dogma into government. Again, this is hyperbolic, as Christianity is generally more benign, but it doesn’t change the fact that both Islamists and Christian fundies want theocracies. This is in a similar vain to this video.

The fact that people would call this video “misogynistic” proves the very point it is making. Anyone who criticizes Islam is called an Islamophobe by apologists for Islam, oftentimes because they mistake criticism of ideas as attack on those who hold them, or even the entire culture.

 

Here’s the video: Feminists Love Islamists