things people have said

it would be better to destroy every other book ever written, and just save the first three verses of Genesis

William Jennings Bryan

If Jennings was granted his wish, what would become of Paul? Of the talking donkey? Of the fall of man? Of the Abrahamic land grab and all those fancy stories told in the bible? Does it mean that only the first three verses are indisputable and the rest being noise?

If there is a contradiction between a definitive [Koranic] text and conjectural science, then the scientific theory is refuted

A speaker at the First International Conference on Scientific Miracles of the Koran and Sunnah

think about this for a moment. you are doing research and then you check your results against the Koran and they contradict the text of the Koran. You don’t even have to publish your findings. They are refuted for all time.

All quotes are from J Rauch’s Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought

The religion of peace

It’s a chilly morning in Nairobi and I thought I could cheer up the non believers and Barry by bringing to your attention what awaits all of you in hell, Muslim hell and maybe cause you to change your minds. It is all in the name of the benevolent deity, most merciful and Mo is his prophet, so it can’t be wrong.

22.19-22These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning. (Emphasis mine)

It must be a sick imagination that can conjure up such cruelty and it is blasphemous, if there was any, to suggest this came from a god, a loving and merciful god. At the same time, it does imply a full bodily resurrection which pose a challenge in these days of organ transplant. What becomes of a righteous muslim, whose organs were donated to a bad dude, at the point of resurrection? Do the people resurrect in the old bodies, that rotted away or are they new beings?

I put the horse before the cart. The good lord commands this

47.4 : So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah’s Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden. Thus [you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam (i.e. are saved from the punishment in the Hell-fire) or at least come under your protection], but if it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost,

out of love for us all, especially the unblievers.

Go to a mosque near you and convert, it is for the benefit of your skin. You will thank me.

a question about the Koran

the regular readers of this spot know our position on Jesus H. Christ.

they also know what we think of the bible and by extension religious books.

Muslims think of their religion as the only true™ one.

and of the Koran as coming straight from the gods.

the Koran in many places makes references to H. Christ.

can we not safely conclude it is just a mishmash of stories just as the other religious books, or worse?

Created in his image

Allallt has in the linked post argued against the claim made by the believers in the Judeo-Christian god that we are created in his image. I see no need to repeat his arguments here. 

In my village, we say, if a mad man takes your clothes while you are bathing in the river, don’t run after him, there will be difficulty in telling who the mad one is. And it is so that I have made a point of not responding to a madman, SoM, whenever he tries to drag me down a rabbit hole. But I will respond to his absurd claim here.

First he asks me to explain how everything made itself, a reply, he seems to write everywhere.  In my comment on the OP, I make no comment or allusions to the origin of things. And so far as I can tell, I don’t know neither does the madman SoM know. The bible,  Koran or whatever book isn’t evidence. 

His next question regards my comment that the bible and its god is myth. He asks if I, too, is a myth. This question requires no answer. It must have been asked by an idiot with access to the internet. Only a deluded individual will think his god is rather special and all other stories of gods are myths. All groups of people have their creator gods, that the Hebrew one is prominent in some parts of the world is due simply to warfare and deception. Nothing more.

I am open to be persuaded I am wrong in calling the Judeo-Christian god myth. To do that I want evidence. The bible doesn’t qualify. Your grandmother seeing a vision is not evidence. Finding a parking slot is not evidence. Finding lost socks, John Z, I am looking at you, is not evidence. 

good without god

I will, as with Socrates in Euthyphro, ask what is good.

The author of can you be good without god wants us to believe that without following his holy book we are incapable of being good. And good, he tells us is what the Koran says is good. He tells us reason or ends are not required, blind obedience is what counts.

He writes,

What is needed in a system of morality is not the end goal, but actually clear directives on which actions are right and which are wrong, covering all conceivable contexts. This is what the Qur’an in particular, claims to achieve.

Had this been the case with the Koran or any holy religious book, interpretation or exegesis would be unnecessary. If the bible directs you to kill your neighbour for working on Sabbath, there is no debate. If the Koran says kill the infidel, it is absolute.

I, for the life of me, do not know how one can arrive at a conclusion that

Humanism is therefore no more than a formalised system of convincing yourself that what you are doing is for the betterment and wellbeing of others.

Maybe this fellow understands humanism to mean something different from what I know it to mean or represent. Put simply we are capable of solving our problems and no god above will do anything to improve our lot.

But he lies when he writes

People try to claim that it is religion which is utilised as a pious front for the doing of evil, and that more people do evil in the name of God than for any other reason. This may be the case but there is a difference here – people do evil in the name of God, in spite of the clear teachings of various religions on which actions are right and which are wrong. Humanism on the other hand has no teachings which could act as a buffer against the evil done in its name.

For example, the directive in the bible to not suffer a witch to live was used as a justification for the witch burnings and similar commands appear in the Koran as justification for jihad, which is English for killing for god or is it Allah! And humanism has many teachings that one could look to if one were interested. And these go thousands of years before some pedo dreamed the Koran into existence.

When our author writes

It is also worth asking the question that “what makes a good, moral person?”

it is evident, at least in my view, that they are asking the wrong question. The question that ought first to be settled is what is good, what is moral. The question Socrates wants dispensed with in the Euthyphro. And I don’t think this author has addressed this small matter of definition.

What is instinct? Is there a difference between when a person acts instinctively and when they just act? I am even confused here.

It may be true, I don’t know, that

Humanism gives no directives and no instruction on what action is right in which context and which action is wrong in which context, it totally falls short of defining morality.

but I will say without fear of contradiction that neither does the Koran nor any religion for that matter deal with all available scenarios or even any scenario. All we have from the hot heads who make religious proclamations is don’t do this or that and why because god, speaking through me commands it. If any precept is empty in directing human conduct, religion must be the most empty.

When our author writes

Humanists can also look to the human conscience, but in doing so, they are admitting that morality is a universal and absolute concept.

I am convinced he failed his philosophy classes. The conclusion that morality is universal and absolute is not arrived at by admitting human conscience as a guide. And while still on it, if human conscience is the guide, the it makes moot any need for gods and proves the case of the humanist.

I am yet to read a religious book that has as a context a starving mother forced to steal to fend for her starving children. If there is, I am open to correction.

There is a lot of material on the internet dealing with this question. Anyone with an internet connection has access to so many, it is depressing that most people with such access write such silly things about atheism.

why it is bad to misrepresent your opponent when you are ignorant about her ways!

I apologize for the mouthful title of this post, I just couldn’t think of a better one to capture what it is I want to deal with. I was on my many strolls on the internet when I came across a post that decries anti-theists ignorance of religion but came out to show the author seems to be ignorant of atheists or has created a strawman to attack. That this is the case is evident in almost every paragraph, if not all of them.

The post starts thus

Ever since the Enlightenment we have held the rather dumb idea that not having a religion makes you smarter and having one makes you stupid

in which the author is wrong for saying it is a dumb idea. Only the educated are free of superstition and as such whatever little that can be said of the atheist, is, there is one point where she is smarter than the theist and that is with regards to matters of religion. Anyone who applies a little common sense to religion will easily see the folly in it. Am not going to say the religious is stupid, no, just that as long as he is religious, there is an area of his/her life to which he has not applied common sense and he would do himself good if he took time off to examine her religious claims.

We are told

 they assume that the different religions are false, rather than actually argue that they are false

The theist has made a claim about his religion. A theist of a different walk has a belief contrary to the one held by the first theist. And with differing sects and denominations, we have a situation where either all of them are right or are all false or one is right and the rest are all false but to know which is the right one then remains the only challenge to be overcome. The theist who thinks her religion is the valid one has the onus of showing us why this is so.

The author takes issue with atheists for writing a lot about some religions more than others. He writes

there is the fact that they argue against some religions more than others. They certainly argue more against Islam than against Buddhism.

Whereas am an equal opportunity non- believer, I have not met a person of Buddhist persuasion in my entire short life but I am surrounded by Christians everywhere. There is almost a church every where you turn. At the same time, the Christians are trying to have their beliefs made into law. The Hindus are not trying to do this. The Buddhists are not trying to do this. Unless the Christians acknowledge or are willing to acknowledge that their should be separation of church and state, am afraid, I will still have to write about it.

You know a person is in the deep end of numskull when they write

Another thing they do is assume that science somehow disproves God rather than actually showing how.

Science, construed broadly, only deals with testable claims. If you claim your god is actively involved in the events that happen around us, then science can test for that and if there is no evidence of supernatural intervention, then it can be said with confidence that science has disproved the necessity of the god hypothesis. It doesn’t need to do anything beyond that.

There is always the claim made requiring atheists to first have read religious books before they can criticize religion. The OP writes

Anti-theists also show a constant ignorance about religion. For instance, they attack Islam without even having read the Qur’an

You would expect that a person on a mission to show how wrong atheists are would not fall into the trap of committing such fallacies or at least would not be ignorant of Courtier’s reply. You don’t need to be versed in the Koran to critique Islam, far from it. The followers of Mo [piss be upon him] make claims about their deity or their prophet for which nothing in way of a demonstration has been proffered. You don’t need to read the Koran to know that Islam treats one half of the human species as being subordinate to the other half.

And he/she displays their ignorance more when they write

They also do not know anything about the Christian tradition of giving up all your material possessions and living an austere life in service of everyone else. Really, many do not even seem to know about the existence of saints.

We know because it is written, however, the jury is out for the number of Christians who live as described by this fellow. And we also know that the church has designated as saints some men and women for reasons decided on by themselves. However, the recognition of an individual to have lived an exemplary life is not proof of the validity of the belief but only shows how the deeply the individual was convicted.

The author writes

[..] that antitheists are more moral is proof that they are not as intelligent as they think they are

in which it is evident the author is not informed on what he/she is arguing about. When atheists say they are more moral than the believer, it is generally used to imply that their motivation for doing good is not based on a fear of deities but is based on our duties and responsibilities to those we live around. How this negates the intelligence of the atheist is yet to be demonstrated.

How do

friars and sisters dedicated to helping the poor

prove them wrong?

And then we have the often repeated line of atheist killers. We are told

And the atheist mass killers prove that atheism is not better at preventing people from doing moral atrocities, unlike what Warren Ellis would tell you.

and one would want to really be told who killed to further non belief in deities. Who among the atheist killers was motivated to kill because of his lack of belief in gods? And what are we out to settle here? I will say any killing is wrong[ am aware this implies an objective moral value], to do it in the name of a deity is worse.

There is the claim that there are other ways of knowing besides science without telling us really what this are. Here, I take science to mean

is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, “science” also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied.

The author tells us

The same with morality, since the scientific method can’t tell me why I ought to not kill an innocent person (you don’t need a religion to know that, yes, but that is not the point, the point is that science is unable to tell you such things because it is outside of what science does).

If science is applied as the described in the second meaning, I don’t see how it would be inadequate in helping one identify what ought or ought not to be done. To claim or imply that religion teaches morality is to say that whatever a god commands is right.

It has always been written that once a person erects a strawman, there is no losing the argument. The author excels in doing this in almost every paragraph. He writes

Treating religion as a monolithic thing is another thing that antitheists do despite that being completely ignorant

is a strawman and doesn’t represent atheistic thinking. Religious practices and rituals are as disparate as the religious believers. The claims about how the deities or how many there are differ from one culture to the next and it would be foolhardy to treat all of them as one. No atheist that I know of does this.

And the following accusation

Antitheists on the other hand would make you believe that all religions are equal in making people do violent things

is false. Atheistic religions like Buddhism or UU are for most part very peaceful. Islam and Christianity who serve a vengeful god tend to produce vengeful and angry people. What would you expect will stop the christian from dealing violently with me if he holds the belief that his celestial master is going to punish me for eternity?

The author writes

Saying religion is a scam is another, even though that needs to ignore what the religion teaches and whether that religion is actually a scam or not. Certainly there are religious sects that are a scam. But many others are not

and ignores the validity of the claim. As long as the priests, mullahs, rabbis continue to peddle the lie there is a god who loves you and wants your money, it shall remain a scam. The only way to get around this is to prove the god hypothesis beyond what would be called a reasonable doubt.

The claim the author set out to demonstrate, that is

many anti-theists are very ignorant, and their anti-theism can actually make them less smart and intelligent as opposed to more. They have shown to be just as foolish and dumb as religious people, and for that reason should stop their arrogance and condescension.

has not been proven but the contrary seems to have been affirmed, that is, the religious are more ignorant than we actually think them to be and the author of this particular post demonstrates the truth of the claim without a shred of doubt.

You heathens, time is now to convert to Islam

Friends, if, the resident muslim apologist on my blog, Paarsurrey is to be believed, then it is inhuman to ridicule ideas people believe in and you are not a true humanist. These beliefs are, but not limited to, believing that there is a god, and that this god chose one dumb fellow to reveal to his word, in Arabic, the dumb fellow then got some idle typist to listen to his rambling and together they compiled a holy[sic] book.

He wants, you and me, to believe, as his responses to this post, suggest, that Islam is submission to god with reason. Yes, you read that clearly.  What reason, apart from being born in a certain geographical area, to believing parents and being too lazy to inquire or not being exposed to contrary ideas would one have for submitting to god?

Our apologist is a kindly gentleman who also wants us to believe there is nowhere in the koran where ghosts, phantoms etc are mentioned. First as a matter of clarification, gods, ghosts, angels, genii, satan and whatever other spiritual being you can think are phantoms, creations of the mind and are words without meaning to say the least and as such I can use them interchangeably.  So paarsurrey, saying one true god, several times in response to me doesn’t promote your phantom to reality, it remains in the same close of beings that are products of ignorance and fear.

He also want us to believe that there is nothing in the Koran that warrants enslavement of another. A look at Surat 8 will dissuade anyone of such a notion for in every  few verses, all we get is admonitions on how to subdue the unbelievers and this is with the support of Allah. Unless, therefore this gentleman has a different version of the Koran and lives in a cave, alone, with internet access, he is guilty of lying with a straight face!

In verse 8: 52, we are told

[Theirs is] like the custom of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them. They disbelieved in the signs of Allah , so Allah seized them for their sins. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and severe in penalty.

which apart from being a reference to the pharaoh story of the OT, shows not a loving god but a vindictive. Our apologist can tell himself several times over that his, is a religion of peace, if that makes him happy, but the truth is far from that. He has also informed us that he believes wholly and religiously in the Koran making him a fundamentalist to the core, albeit one who appears is not ready to go on the rampage because a cartoon of the prophet[piss be on him] has been printed somewhere on the globe.

In order not to make this post longer than it is already is, I ask you friends to weigh in and help the brother, for I truly think, he needs our help. I also urge you not to call him names, he says, it is lack of reason to use ridicule and inhuman to insult people 😛