Why monotheism should be confined to the bedroom 1

November 10, 2009

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at America’s Fort Hood military base, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats.” Telegraph Nov 8th 2009

Apologists for theism say that we shouldn’t blame religion for the evil done by people.

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5 Responses to “Why monotheism should be confined to the bedroom 1”

  1. Apologists for atheism say much the same thing when the atrocities of the atheists are mentioned. I mean, do I need to start giving examples? Come on. This kind of polemical comment is where you really let yourself down. Is this worthy of your intellect? I don’t for a moment think so. Are you seriously telling me that if only people relinquished religion that evil would disappear? Hello? Is not the propensity for evil an inherent part of the human condition just as much as the propensity for good is? Did you not notice the effect of the attempt to eradicate religion in the Soviet Union? Can you not conceive of a psychopathic atheist Marxist comrade giving a lecture in which he says that reactionary Orthodox Christians should be liquidated?

    The divide is NOT between “believers” and “non believers” or whatever you want to call it (because it is obviously NOT a clear cut divide, is it?) but it is between those who claim to know and who wish to impose their certainties on everybody else, and those who merely seek after truth, as you said elsewhere on this blog.

    You see, when you talk like this, I begin to think you are straying into the arid deserts of doctrinal fundamentalism.

  2. ukdonjp said

    First, i concede that it was a poorly-worded post. Second, we agree approximately about the “divide”.

    But your comment contains some common canards.
    – No serious person claims that evil would disappear from the world were religion to be relinquished. That is absurd.
    – Your comment on the Soviet Union conflates religion and theism. An attempt was made not to “eradicate religion”, but to replace theism with the alternate religion of communism/Stalinism.
    – You conflate two meanings of the term “atheism”. Strictly speaking, atheism is content-less, merely denoting rejection of theism. In practical usage, atheism denotes a vague ragbag of ideas such as the importance of free speech, a secular state, pluralism and so on. Stalin, Pol Pot and their ilk were only “atheists” in the first sense.

    My post was a comment on the fact that the media immediately compared Hasan’s massacre to Columbine and thereby downplayed the role of theism in its genesis.

  3. Hi Don, I greatly appreciate the tone and the content of your reply. This unfolding conversation across various blog posts and facebook comments is stimulating, troubling, absorbing. My own comments were intemperate and I should avoid this sort of thing after a Friday night… The absurdity about religion and evil was suggested by the unspoken opposite to the statement you made after the quotation. I shall make more of an effort to discern or find out the context in future. It looked to me like a quotation was being used to justify a sweeping generalization, and I thought I discerned in it one of your favoured rhetorical** techniques – and indeed I may have done – but actually you had something much more specific in mind.

    ===

    On my way home from town this evening, after just missing you, I was reading “Icons” by Richard Temple and was chastised by this: “In our ordinary life we act outwardly with conviction and self-assurance that are not justified by what we inwardly know and understand. We often defend our beliefs with great passion and even, sometimes, with violence. But it is not the truth that we defend so energetically but our ego.//Our ego belongs to the same level of falsity and substitution as our beliefs. It is the all-powerful but false self that constantly upstages the true self which it pretends to be.” p.180.

    Happy Easter.

    DH

    **NOTE: I so not use the term “rhetoric” as a jibe.

    • ukdonjp said

      Hello David, I hope you had an enjoyable Easter.

      My appreciation to you, too, for engaging in a conversation about these issues. I also find it challenging and stimulating.
      The brief, print format is actually conducive to fruitful exchange. The combative self is more easily tamed.
      My brother has this quotation from Winston Churchill on all his e-mails: “We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.” In bars, beers agut, words don’arf slip out!

      ps
      (I like the Temple quote but with a large caveat about the notion of a “true Self”.)

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