Saturday, July 30, 2011

In defence of the Muslims

This is an anti-religious blog.  I don't like religion.  But as one of my readers recently mentioned in a comment, sometimes atheists are forced to be the referee between two or more groups of religious people in a dispute.  And in this case, that puts me in the position of having to stand up for a religious group on my atheist blog.  That group would be the Muslims, once again.

I've been reading a lot of anti-Muslim comments on the internet lately.  Notice that I didn't say anti-Islam, but anti-Muslim.  These comments are arising in the wake of the mass-shooting in Norway, in which a white, Christian, native-born Norwegian shot a lot of people and blew some shit up.  Curiously, some people online are still blaming the Muslims for this attack because the maniac was anti-Muslim.  Forums discussing the events have turned into a war of words between Christians and Muslims, with Christians mostly attacking and Muslims mostly defending.

Among the comments I've read are (paraphrasing):

"Muslims are all terrorists."

"If any non-Muslim goes to any Muslim country, they will be beheaded."

"Non-Muslims are lower than dog shit to a Muslim."

etc., etc.

I am currently traveling in a Muslim country.  To be more specific, I am in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.  This place is known in the Western world for primarily two reasons.  The first is that it was the hardest-hit place in the entire world by the Great Asian Tsunami of 2004.  About 160,000 people died here during that event.  The second reason is that it is an almost entirely Muslim area and is under a form of sharia law.

Now if you mention sharia law in Western society, the reaction will likely be nothing other than horror, disgust, fear, etc.  People picture an Afghanistan-like state with acid being thrown in the faces of school girls, beheadings of white people, etc.  So I'm going to write about some of my observations of this place so far, which may surprise even people who haven't been watching Fox News.

1.  Everybody has been very friendly.  They smile a lot.  They try to speak English to me.  I've been getting a lot of looks, smiles and giggles from the young women, and my girlfriend has been getting a lot of polite greetings from the men.

2.  We went to visit the big mosque here and the Indonesians began to gather around us, asking for pictures of themselves with us in front of the mosque.  So we posed as a tourist attraction for a while so they could bring in their families and take photos.

3.  Girls go to school.

4.  Women apparently do not have to wear headscarves, but most do.

5.  Judging from a person we saw publicly practicing a different religion, it would appear it is not illegal to do so.

6.  They have a Kentucky Fried Chicken, a Pizza Hut and an A&W.

7.  They listen to Western music.

8.  They are extremely grateful to the world for the help that was provided to them after the tsunami, and they have built a big green space in town dedicated to that sentiment.  The park contains a walkway with a separate monument and plaque for each country that helped them during their time of need.  These countries include both Islamic and non-Islamic countries including the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, etc.

9.  I have not yet been beheaded.

So what's the point? Hate Islam as much as you hate any religion, but don't hate Muslims.  There are over a billion Muslims in the world and the vast, vast majority of them are decent people.  And to all religious people, show some fucking maturity and stop fighting over your imaginary friends!  The rest of us are getting pretty sick of it!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ways that I am morally superior to Yahweh

The following is a partial list of ways that I, as a mere human with no special powers whatsoever, am morally superior to the character of Yahweh in the Bible.

1.  I would not rely on murderers, tyrants, liars and child-rapists to spread my message to others.  I would do it myself, to each individual.

2.  I would not punish future generations for the wrong-doings of their ancestors.

3.  I would not punish animals for the wrong-doings of humans.

4.  I would not require you to worship me to receive my help.

5.  When I see a person or animal suffering, for example, a woman getting raped in an alley or a baby elephant stuck in a well, and had the power to intervene without risk of harm to myself, I would do so.  I would not make any excuses about "mysterious ways" to justify my non-action.

6.  I would not create life that must inflict suffering on other life, such as a lion that must brutally kill a gazelle, in order to survive.

7.  I would not order or allow genocide.

8.  I would never require anybody to sacrifice an animal for me.  I do not get off on blood.

9.  I would not order people executed for disobedience or other minor "crimes".

10.  I would not create children with birth defects or learning disabilities.  I'd start everyone off with a level playing field.

11.  I would not abort babies from inside women who want them.

12.  I would not condone or allow war and suffering in my name.

13.  I would not create disease and viruses that horribly and painfully affect people and animals, then watch them suffer.

If I did any of the above things, most people would consider me to be quite an evil bastard.  Many would even call for my torture and execution.  So why would you worship and call "all-good" a being which you believe has done these things?  In addition, why would you allow it to define what "good" is?

To the readers, feel free to add a comment to tell me how you are morally superior to Yahweh, or whatever the majority deity is in your part of the world.