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Llamas
03-11-2012, 06:13 AM
I've noticed a tendency for liberal atheist/agnostics (of which I am one) to rip on Christianity while defending Islam. I'm not saying anyone on this bbs does it (though some of us did in the past), but I see it all the time. Like you see people who call Islam "the religion of peace", but attack Christianity with everything they've got. I think I used to carry some of these feelings myself; Christians upset me, while Muslims were totally cool. Now I've come to a point where I really don't like either. All extremists aside, they're both just kinda crappy in terms of what they preach and how they should behave. I'll defend religious freedom whenever possible, but both religions look down on women and treat non-believers like crap.

Anyone else notice this? Thoughts?

WebDudette
03-11-2012, 06:22 AM
I'm not a fan of the Islamic religion, but it does not have the direct effect on my life that Christianity does. It has always been pretty obvious why American atheists talk about Christianity more than Islam, some people act like it's hypocritical or wrong, I don't see the problem.

From a completely objective standpoint, I'm not sure which I disagree with more. I'll go into some more detail and figure it out after I get some sleep.

Baldwin
03-11-2012, 09:31 AM
They're both nice religions, with some really cuntish denominations ruining their image. Islam generally has bigger cunts speaking for it, but that's only because they're from generally shittier countries, and their fundamentalists keep getting given guns by outside powers. Most Western nations are majority Christian and treat women fine, and the Afghanis were treating their women awesomely until America made best buddies with the Taliban.

If you're going to let the Wahhabi and Southern Baptists speak for their entire religions, of course you're not going to like what you see. And also, you're being an asshole.

Personally, I don't believe in religious freedom to the point where people are allowed to join psychopathic cults. If the Wahhabi, the Westboro Baptists, the FLDS, the Scientologists and other assorted cults and hatredmongers got shot on sight like they were Al Quadas, I'd be pretty much okay with that.

killer_queen
03-11-2012, 10:03 AM
Rejecting the popular opinion is always tempting. It's the same in everywhere around the world. Here for example, (somewhat) educated people think religious extremist people only come from Islamic societies while other religions have absolutely no crazy followers and have the upmost respect for women.

And while comparing religions is impossible I don't mind doing it for the followers. Both Islam and Christianity have fucked up followers you have to admit that Muslims come from really terrible countries. So it's not hard to take a side when you compare an extremist person from a country where people are free to say anything they want and have at least decent education for free and knowledge is easily accessible, to another extremist from a place where books and websites are banned, thinking differently is punished and you know the rest. I think what I'm trying to say is Muslims are better.

KickHimWhenHe'sDown
03-11-2012, 01:29 PM
I'm exposed to Islam infrequently so it doesn't really bother me too much. Something that annoys me are the "burn the Koran" Christians, or all the people who determine the Islamic culture as the sole source of terrorism in this world. There are American terrorists like the people that burn down labs.

I do feel that Christianity gets bashed on the most in North America, but that's probably because Islam isn't very common. More and more there seems to be a general hatred towards Christianity in society. It doesn't really bother me that much anymore. I've become so used to it that I was incredibly surprised to find a (pretty much) fair minded discussion on the issue.

Static_Martyr
03-11-2012, 03:32 PM
I've noticed this trend, as well. Liberal-leaning folks tend to be a lot more supportive of Islam (in all its forms) than of Christianity; for example, they tend to want me to make the "extremist vs. moderate" distinction for Islam, but not for Christianity. And I've had people get so angry with me --- for merely saying that Islam should be subject to the same level (not more, not less, but the same level) of criticism that we direct towards Christianity --- that they refuse to speak to me about it any more.

I find this tendency more than a little frustrating; I can hold an intelligent discussion with this sort of person about what, exactly, we find wrong with Christianity, but the minute the conversation turns towards Islam, I'm suddenly this "conservative bigot" for comparing Islam to Christianity with regard to some of its specific tenets (amazing how one topic can change me from being a "tree-hugging lib" to a "bigot conservative"). If you disagree with my comparisons, that's fine, but I'm surprised by how many (non-Muslim) people seem suddenly unwilling to continue a reasonable discussion about something once I criticize Islam. And it's not even Muslim people that I'm criticizing, it's Islam itself --- the religion.

Another problem I've noticed is how any criticism of Islam is automatically associated with "racism" against Arabs. I've criticized some of Islam's specific religious tenets before (such as how they treat women, complete with Quran quotations to support my criticisms), never once referring to Arabs or Arabic/middle-eastern culture apart from Islam, and yet I've been immediately dismissed from the discussion as a "racist" or a "bigot." And once I made the comment that I don't believe Islam should be magically exempt from any criticism on the grounds that "criticizing Islam is racist," and I was similarly dismissed. It's really interesting, how the American left is so willing to go above and beyond the normal to defend Islam where they won't defend Christianity.

Don't get me wrong, I find them both abhorrent and I criticize them both regularly (and I'm probably guilty of ranking on Christianity moreso than on Islam, even if for no other reason than because I deal with it more regularly than Islam). But this attitude is even prevalent among the atheist community, which (in most other cases) prides themselves about being "more reasonable" or "more rational" than everyone else. And yet, they suddenly become incapable of even *trying* to provide a reasonable basis to defend Islam when it is criticized, instead opting to call its critics "racist" off the bat. It's a discussion-stopper, and an annoying one at that.

[/rant]
[inb4 "lol u racist!]

Llamas
03-11-2012, 05:47 PM
I've noticed this trend, as well. Liberal-leaning folks tend to be a lot more supportive of Islam (in all its forms) than of Christianity; for example, they tend to want me to make the "extremist vs. moderate" distinction for Islam, but not for Christianity. And I've had people get so angry with me --- for merely saying that Islam should be subject to the same level (not more, not less, but the same level) of criticism that we direct towards Christianity --- that they refuse to speak to me about it any more.

I find this tendency more than a little frustrating; I can hold an intelligent discussion with this sort of person about what, exactly, we find wrong with Christianity, but the minute the conversation turns towards Islam, I'm suddenly this "conservative bigot" for comparing Islam to Christianity with regard to some of its specific tenets (amazing how one topic can change me from being a "tree-hugging lib" to a "bigot conservative"). If you disagree with my comparisons, that's fine, but I'm surprised by how many (non-Muslim) people seem suddenly unwilling to continue a reasonable discussion about something once I criticize Islam. And it's not even Muslim people that I'm criticizing, it's Islam itself --- the religion.

Another problem I've noticed is how any criticism of Islam is automatically associated with "racism" against Arabs. I've criticized some of Islam's specific religious tenets before (such as how they treat women, complete with Quran quotations to support my criticisms), never once referring to Arabs or Arabic/middle-eastern culture apart from Islam, and yet I've been immediately dismissed from the discussion as a "racist" or a "bigot." And once I made the comment that I don't believe Islam should be magically exempt from any criticism on the grounds that "criticizing Islam is racist," and I was similarly dismissed. It's really interesting, how the American left is so willing to go above and beyond the normal to defend Islam where they won't defend Christianity.

Don't get me wrong, I find them both abhorrent and I criticize them both regularly (and I'm probably guilty of ranking on Christianity moreso than on Islam, even if for no other reason than because I deal with it more regularly than Islam). But this attitude is even prevalent among the atheist community, which (in most other cases) prides themselves about being "more reasonable" or "more rational" than everyone else. And yet, they suddenly become incapable of even *trying* to provide a reasonable basis to defend Islam when it is criticized, instead opting to call its critics "racist" off the bat. It's a discussion-stopper, and an annoying one at that.

[/rant]
[inb4 "lol u racist!]

This is pretty much it exactly. Especially your point about racism. Dear god, that response bothers me more than any, 1) because not all Muslims are middle eastern (hello, Bosnia?), and 2) you say: "I have a problem with a religion that happens to be followed primarily by people from the Middle East" you mean: "I have a problem with sand niggers" = a pretty ginormous and disgusting leap for people to assume.

And in general, I agree with your entire post.

mrconeman
03-11-2012, 05:58 PM
I'm about the same as static up there. I deal with Christians a hell of a lot more regularly than I deal with Muslims, we just don't have the population here.

I can honestly say though, that of all of my Liberal, Agnostic, Atheist etcetc friends here, none of them give Islam a pass, and it gets treated the same way they treat all Religions. In fact, it probably gets a lot more criticism for the way it treats women, not that true Christianity is actually better at that. I honestly don't know how any woman is Religious, without having it beaten into her of course. They might have a lot of Political sympathies for the countries in which Islam is a lot more popular, but that's for the well being, and living standard of the people themselves, not so much their insane beliefs.

Still, all of the different versions of falsities should be treated with equal amounts of ridicule, criticism, and disdain.

samseby
03-13-2012, 07:21 AM
Neither.

I'm all for religious freedom too and I wish not almost every religion would claim to be the one and only true religion ... cause there is no such thing. I wish there would be more respect and acceptance for those believing in something / someone else or in nothing at all, but that's not gonna happen anyway ...

Llamas
03-13-2012, 02:08 PM
Neither.

I'm all for religious freedom too and I wish not almost every religion would claim to be the one and only true religion ... cause there is no such thing. I wish there would be more respect and acceptance for those believing in something / someone else or in nothing at all, but that's not gonna happen anyway ...

lol. Someone read the title of this thread as a question, and didn't bother to read a single post in the thread.

Baldwin
03-14-2012, 09:31 AM
There used to be a lot of religions that believed that the gods of foreigners existed, and held power in foreign lands. They held themselves not as the one true religion, but as worship of the gods that held power in their local area. Christianity and Islam replaced them, not just because of forced conversion (although that was a factor) but because those old religions were uniformly fucking horrible, bleak and violent.

Christianity and Islam are both beautiful religions, because they are religions of peace and love. It might be easy to forget that when you focus on the intolerance, violence and general shittiness of some of their followers, but you should remember that they came around at a time when religions were exclusive, every concept of the afterlife was hell, and there was no real sense of good and evil, aside from upholding social tradition and being loyal to your family and tribe.

Personally, I'm thankful for Christianity and Islam, because all of Western and Near Eastern society was strongly shaped by teachings and morals of those faiths ; which means even secular humanists, atheists and agnostics from those societies have their moral compass firmly rooted in those teachings. If the last 2,000 years were shaped by Odin-worshippers, things would be much, much different.

mrconeman
03-14-2012, 11:52 AM
I'm finding it hard to word what I want to say against that, but basically those two Religions being the lesser of several evils, doesn't make them any less shitty.

If the last two thousand years hand been shaped without any Religion, by logical people they'd be better again, one does not need Religion for morality.

Static_Martyr
03-14-2012, 03:51 PM
There used to be a lot of religions that believed that the gods of foreigners existed, and held power in foreign lands. They held themselves not as the one true religion, but as worship of the gods that held power in their local area. Christianity and Islam replaced them, not just because of forced conversion (although that was a factor) but because those old religions were uniformly fucking horrible, bleak and violent.

What's funny is, the god of the Old Testament seems to also be one of those types of gods --- he doesn't deny that other gods exist, rather, he just seems to think that he (himself) is more powerful/more worthy of worship than these other gods, such as when he tells his followers not to worship Baal or Molech in Judges and Leviticus:


"Neither shall you give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord." --Leviticus 18:21

He doesn't say that Molech doesn't exist, just that you shouldn't offer your children to him. Also, Yahweh is referred to (and refers to himself) as "God of the Israelites" many times, especially early on in Exodus and some of the other earlier OT books; this is apparently to distinguish him from the gods of other peoples of the time, similar to Molech and Baal.


That same night the LORD said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” --Judges 6:24

God never once decrees that these other gods "do not exist," merely that he is better/more worthy than they are. Later on, Christians (and maybe some Jews, though I'm not aware of any Jewish apologetics on this specific point) try to retcon the mention of any "alternative gods" as just alternative names for Satan/Lucifer....but this seems dubious given how few attempts there actually are in the Old Testament to branch them all together. A lot of names (such as Baal) are either titles to refer to a "type" or "class" of god (Baal was sometimes used as either the actual name of an old Sumerian god, or as the Akkadian word for "Master," which could simply be a title), or in some cases, the actual names of other gods (such as later mentions of Baal, or the aforementioned Molech), implying that Yahweh is referring not just to another god, but another god that we have evidence of people worshipping from outside of the Biblical texts. So we have extraneous proof that "Baal" was worshipped at some point, and that proof dates back even farther than the Bible in some cases (as proven by the fact that it is referenced in the Bible --- how can something be referenced in a text, if it did not already exist when that text was written?).

[/probably irrelevant]

mario_spaghettio
03-14-2012, 06:46 PM
I've noticed a tendency for liberal atheist/agnostics (of which I am one) to rip on Christianity while defending Islam. I'm not saying anyone on this bbs does it (though some of us did in the past), but I see it all the time. Like you see people who call Islam "the religion of peace", but attack Christianity with everything they've got.

Anyone else notice this? Thoughts?Yes, and it's one of my major issues with "liberals"

Llamas
03-14-2012, 06:56 PM
Christianity and Islam are both beautiful religions, because they are religions of peace and love. It might be easy to forget that when you focus on the intolerance, violence and general shittiness
Ooh, man... have you read the Bible? That shit is not peaceful nor is it full of love. Lots of Christians like to say that the New Testament is peaceful (it's not - it's just a lot less violent than the Old) and that it wiped away the violence of the OT. Except:
Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn't the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament. (Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.)
Jesus also thinks that we should remove parts of our body that engage in sin. (5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.)

It goes on from there. I haven't read the Koran, but Christianity is definitely neither peaceful nor loving.


Personally, I'm thankful for Christianity and Islam, because all of Western and Near Eastern society was strongly shaped by teachings and morals of those faiths ; which means even secular humanists, atheists and agnostics from those societies have their moral compass firmly rooted in those teachings. If the last 2,000 years were shaped by Odin-worshippers, things would be much, much different.
I agree with this, but I think Coneman makes a good point... I wonder what the world would be like if there'd never been religion...

Baldwin
03-15-2012, 09:01 AM
If the last two thousand years hand been shaped without any Religion, by logical people they'd be better again, one does not need Religion for morality.

You don't need religion for morality, but morality is largely formed by the society you grow up in, and we grow up in a society based on Christian principles. If you grew up locked in a tiny steel box with no social interaction, your moral compass would be fucked. So, if at around 0AD the world turned athiest, then their athiest morality would be formed by the societies and religions that came before it, and that morality would not be something you or I would ever want to imagine. Where it would go from there in the next 2,000 years is up for debate, but without the concept of "good is rewarded and evil is punished" being a cornerstone of morality, I can't imagine it going anyplace nice.

As llamas said, it would be a more interesting to question what the world would be like if religion never existed. Personally, I don't think it would be very good. Religion, and how religion copes with massive environmental or social changes, seems to be the biggest historical factor in any profound change of morality, so without it I'm guessing our morality would probably still be as primitive as a dogs, stuck forever at the level of "Anything the strongest alpha in the tribal band seems to approve of is good, anything he doesn't approve of is bad". But that's just my own personal guess, based on very little thought, and I could easily be moved to change it if I heard a compelling argument otherwise.


Ooh, man... have you read the Bible? That shit is not peaceful nor is it full of love

I have read the Bible. And when I was an angsty, shitty little teenager who got pissed off by Christians I was drawn to the same passages you're quoting. But honestly, do any believers pay them any notice at all? Even in the 1350's, during the Great Dying, do you think anyone was being stoned to death for shaving their beards, or forcing rapists to marry their daughters? Those passages are practically historical records of how things used to be amongst the olden-day Jews, and you'd be hardpressed to find anyone, no matter how insanely fundamentalist, who stands by them as how society should be run.

Humans have filtered out and ignored those old and archaic laws because we have no need for them whatsoever. But some things stuck, like when Jesus casually and vaguely mentioned that "If you're a good person, you go to a good place, I guess. And if you're sinful, then you go someplace really nasty, where there's wailing and gnashing of teeth". He probably had no idea what he was saying was going to be more important than him ranting against the moneylenders and zealots, and I don't think he'd bothered to think it out much at all. It was just a casual remark with probably no forethought or deep meaning to it. It wasn't even properly developed as a thought for another millenia or so, but it became the primary tenet of Christianity and the most important thing to ever be said in the Western hemisphere, ever.

The Easterners already had that concept in the form of Karma, and the idea that good people are reincarnated as higher lifeforms. In the west, that concept never existed up until then. The Germans did have a vague concept of it with Walhalla and the Ragnarok, but it rewarded warlike death more than goodness, and was so ridiculously bleak and horrible I'm not even going to put it up for comparison.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that the idea that being good is rewarded and being evil is punished only seems so basic and obvious to us because we grew up with it, and the last 1,000 years or so of people before us grew up with it. Even if you don't believe in Heaven and Hell, the concepts of "Live by the sword, die by the sword", "Each good deed is it's own reward", and all those others are ingrained into your morality. Even when you know that lifelong serial rapists get away with their crimes and live happily ever after, and good people are struck down by childhood leukemia, only the most cynical and sociopathic people are capable of wholly rejecting the idea that good people generally get rewarded and evil people generally get punished.

It feels like normal human nature to us, but it isn't. We seem to think than an atheist from 500BC would act with the same moral compass as we do, because it just makes so much sense to us. That's why so many atheists can reject Christianity completely as a violent and hateful religion, while claiming it's not at all relevant to their morality. It's more than relevant. It's the basic fucking cornerstone of their morality, whether they know it or not.

Apologies for the wall of text.

mrconeman
03-15-2012, 12:34 PM
As llamas said, it would be a more interesting to question what the world would be like if religion never existed.

Well, that's actually what I meant, I just happened to say 2000, as it was a direct quote, but essentially your next paragraph summed up what my thoughts would have been.

I completely understand that the idea of good and evil comes inherently from within Religious teachings, (Atheists do love to talk about how Religion "invented" evil as such) of course it is only speculation, but given the nature of our species, I fear you're probably correct in saying that we wouldn't have gone any place nice. At least not for a long time. I honestly think the concept could have existed outside of the way that it actually did come to exist - Religious morality.

While I can't really wager a guess how or even why (considering morality while a bonus, is essentially useless to the common Paleolithic man), without much more thought, and as such you probably won't be moved to change your guess, I just have a gut feeling that humanity would eventually find, even if through trial and error, that morality is generally a good thing. I just don't want to submit to myself that the human race without Religious indoctrination was doomed to never move on as a species beyond Tribal groups living ruthlessly to their own ends. As pessimistic as I can be about us, I kind of don't want to think that's true. Call it faith (LOLOLOLOLOLOL)

Again though, that's all just thought, we can't ever really know how it would go, I suppose. Maybe I'll think on it, and wager a better guess another time.


an angsty, shitty little teenager who got pissed off by Christians I was drawn to the same passages you're quoting. But honestly, do any believers pay them any notice at all? Even in the 1350's, during the Great Dying, do you think anyone was being stoned to death for shaving their beards, or forcing rapists to marry their daughters? Those passages are practically historical records of how things used to be amongst the olden-day Jews, and you'd be hardpressed to find anyone, no matter how insanely fundamentalist, who stands by them as how society should be run.

It's a great point to bring up against actual fundamentalists though, if they can disregard any single point in the Bible (as they often do, the ones listed) then it should simply call into question, every thing else written in the Bible, but we're talking logical thinking and Fundamentalists, never gunna happen.
I wonder if even those crazy Westboro Baptist nut jobs believe in such things? Maybe I'll rape my way into the Westboro Baptist Church family and destroy it from the inside.

Baldwin
03-15-2012, 01:32 PM
coneman, there's evidence, sort of, of morality without religion. Subhuman hominids showed some forms of reverence for their dead and it's thought that some of them had taboos against cannibalism, while their language was likely too primitive to express any sort of abstract thoughts such as religion. So they certainly had social customs which could have formed the foundation of a developing morality.

Whether they'd have reached the level of morality we're talking about, I doubt. Even if an individual came up with an idea like "If we agree to stop raping the lowriver women, they might agree to stop raping our women, and that would be Good", without a Big Man in the Sky to call on they'd have a hard time convincing the rest of their clan that it was a good idea. And even if a clan did adopt such a view, they'd need a hell of a lot of swords to keep it alive, since atrocities win all the wars. That's mainly why our sense of morality took so long to develop, even with religion to give weight to any new ideas.

As to the fundies, I don't think that a true Christian Fundamentalist actually exists in the world today. Baptism and some other protestant groups were centred around rejecting the modern evolutions of the faith and going 'back to what's in the bible', but they clearly haven't done a very thorough job of it.


As for morality, I don't see what it has to do with religion, either.

That's because you're clearly very stupid, and have no clue what kind of morals people had before Christianity. The only thing in your post that comes close to being right is that Jesus wasn't a good man. He wasn't good in the sense that we view as good, because concepts like that didn't even exist back then. And he wasn't good in the sense that his contemporaries would have seen as good, because their idea of 'good' was mostly centred on being a violent murderer of anybody foreign, and collecting the foreskins of your innocent victims.

Baldwin
03-15-2012, 02:26 PM
Hey look, all those people were born thousands of years after their society's sense of morality was defined by religious teachings. Isn't that an amazing coincidence?

I'm glad to see they all managed to develop a concept of morality so compatible with that of their contemporaries, without any form of help or guidance or examples from the society they grew up in. I guess modern morality is an inherent part of human nature, and the last 250 million years of human existence was simply dominated by people who had the exact same morals as we do, and just chose to be evil.

Llamas
03-16-2012, 10:40 AM
You don't need religion for morality, but morality is largely formed by the society you grow up in, and we grow up in a society based on Christian principles. If you grew up locked in a tiny steel box with no social interaction, your moral compass would be fucked. So, if at around 0AD the world turned athiest, then their athiest morality would be formed by the societies and religions that came before it, and that morality would not be something you or I would ever want to imagine. Where it would go from there in the next 2,000 years is up for debate, but without the concept of "good is rewarded and evil is punished" being a cornerstone of morality, I can't imagine it going anyplace nice.

I have to disagree here. Religion didn't invent the idea that some things are good to do and some things are bad to do; religion only invented their differing views on what is good and what is bad. Do you sincerely believe that people thought killing others was all fine and dandy until religion came along, and then suddenly they were like, "Oh crap! Maybe it's not such a great thing that I stabbed my bowie through that guy's skull!"? Religions came up with various things that they could deem moral or immoral, and they were able to come up with the "evil" concept...

"... religion cannot be the ultimate source of intra-group cooperation. Cooperation is made possible by a suite of mental mechanisms that are not specific to religion. Moral judgments depend on these mechanisms and appear to operate independently of one's religious background. However, although religion did not originally emerge as a biological adaptation, it can play a role in both facilitating and stabilizing cooperation within groups, and as such, could be the target of cultural selection."



I have read the Bible. And when I was an angsty, shitty little teenager who got pissed off by Christians I was drawn to the same passages you're quoting. But honestly, do any believers pay them any notice at all? Even in the 1350's, during the Great Dying, do you think anyone was being stoned to death for shaving their beards, or forcing rapists to marry their daughters? Those passages are practically historical records of how things used to be amongst the olden-day Jews, and you'd be hardpressed to find anyone, no matter how insanely fundamentalist, who stands by them as how society should be run.

Christians merely pick and choose which parts of the bible they want to believe. I've known Christians who said homosexuality is a sin according to the bible, but they have extra-marital sex, among tons of other things the bible says are sins, but they ignore.


It's a great point to bring up against actual fundamentalists though, if they can disregard any single point in the Bible (as they often do, the ones listed) then it should simply call into question, every thing else written in the Bible, but we're talking logical thinking and Fundamentalists, never gunna happen.
I wonder if even those crazy Westboro Baptist nut jobs believe in such things? Maybe I'll rape my way into the Westboro Baptist Church family and destroy it from the inside.

Exactly. And the Westboro Baptists (who are far from being the only church like this - they're just the one with all the media attention) follow the bible's teachings much more strictly than most Christians. I don't know if they're absolute, though.

RageAndLov
03-18-2012, 07:54 AM
I think both Christianity and Islam are shitty, and I wish for their abolishment. I can understand many USAmericans attacking Christianity more than Islam because the first is in their every-day life. I experience Christianity and Islam as things from far-away countries, so I luckily don't have to deal with them daily. I therefore see upon the religions as equally bad, instead of having to attack one more than the other because the ones around my are followers of one of the religions.

Llamas
03-18-2012, 08:55 AM
I think both Christianity and Islam are shitty, and I wish for their abolishment. I can understand many USAmericans attacking Christianity more than Islam because the first is in their every-day life. I experience Christianity and Islam as things from far-away countries, so I luckily don't have to deal with them daily. I therefore see upon the religions as equally bad, instead of having to attack one more than the other because the ones around my are followers of one of the religions.

Wait, what? Aren't like 70% of Norwegians Protestants?

And Americans aren't the only ones who deal with Christianity every day; I deal with Catholicism all the time in Slovenia, and I did as well in Austria when I was living there.

32% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God"
47% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
17% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
4% answered that they "do not know".

Sure, the 21% of Norwegians who are agnostic/atheist is higher than in the US (where it's 16%), but it's a huge jump to say that religion is something from "far-away countries".

RageAndLov
03-18-2012, 11:11 AM
Wait, what? Aren't like 70% of Norwegians Protestants?

And Americans aren't the only ones who deal with Christianity every day; I deal with Catholicism all the time in Slovenia, and I did as well in Austria when I was living there.

32% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God"
47% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
17% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
4% answered that they "do not know".

Sure, the 21% of Norwegians who are agnostic/atheist is higher than in the US (where it's 16%), but it's a huge jump to say that religion is something from "far-away countries".

See, the thing about Norway which is incredibly stupid is that there is an official state church, and everyone born in Norway will automatically be registered in church. Therefore, the official number of Christians in Norway is 70%. That includes me as well, and I am as atheist as they come. You can write a letter to the church where you say you want to unregistered, but few bothers with this, because being registered in the church doesn't impact your daily life. My girlfriend has sent said letter and is now official without a religion, and I am going to so soonly.
The affair of a state church is highly controversial here, and both non-Protestants and the clergy want to abolish the state church, as the non-Protestants don't want to be associated with that church, and the priests feel they have to be too moderate in order to obey the governmental decisions.
As far as faith goes, the polls differ, but you will mainly see about 70% stating they do not believe in God. I wonder where you have got your numbers from. Norway is one of the most atheistic countries in the world, and I think when the country refrains from having an official religion, that number will go up.

Llamas
03-18-2012, 11:30 AM
See, the thing about Norway which is incredibly stupid is that there is an official state church, and everyone born in Norway will automatically be registered in church. Therefore, the official number of Christians in Norway is 70%. That includes me as well, and I am as atheist as they come. You can write a letter to the church where you say you want to unregistered, but few bothers with this, because being registered in the church doesn't impact your daily life. My girlfriend has sent said letter and is now official without a religion, and I am going to so soonly.
The affair of a state church is highly controversial here, and both non-Protestants and the clergy want to abolish the state church, as the non-Protestants don't want to be associated with that church, and the priests feel they have to be too moderate in order to obey the governmental decisions.
As far as faith goes, the polls differ, but you will mainly see about 70% stating they do not believe in God. I wonder where you have got your numbers from. Norway is one of the most atheistic countries in the world, and I think when the country refrains from having an official religion, that number will go up.

I see your point in that there is a high number of Norwegians who are registered with the church but aren't actually religious (there are plenty of American "Catholics" who do the same thing). I'll concede that maybe those poll numbers I found weren't accurate. However, religion is not "far away" from your country. You just recently had a crazy Christian nutcase shoot up a bunch of teenagers.

Just found this:
"Christianity is the largest religion in Norway. Norway has historically been called a Christian country, but according to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[1] only 32% of the Norwegian population say they believe there is a God." Yep, it's a lot lower than the 70% who are registered with the church, but 32% is still pretty substantial - and definitely puts Christianity well within your country. I lived in one of the world's most atheist countries myself (Czech), and definitely could NOT have said Christianity was something from "far-away" lands. It's about as silly as Ahmadinejad saying homosexuality wasn't a problem in his country because Iran is a straight country.

RageAndLov
03-18-2012, 11:46 AM
I see your point in that there is a high number of Norwegians who are registered with the church but aren't actually religious (there are plenty of American "Catholics" who do the same thing). I'll concede that maybe those poll numbers I found weren't accurate. However, religion is not "far away" from your country. You just recently had a crazy Christian nutcase shoot up a bunch of teenagers.

Just found this:
"Christianity is the largest religion in Norway. Norway has historically been called a Christian country, but according to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[1] only 32% of the Norwegian population say they believe there is a God." Yep, it's a lot lower than the 70% who are registered with the church, but 32% is still pretty substantial - and definitely puts Christianity well within your country. I lived in one of the world's most atheist countries myself (Czech), and definitely could NOT have said Christianity was something from "far-away" lands. It's about as silly as Ahmadinejad saying homosexuality wasn't a problem in his country because Iran is a straight country.

Christianity is absolutely a part of our country, but it is a minority, and most of the minority is very moderate. I know a few people who I have known for years, which under some discussion have mentioned that they believe in a deity, and I have been nearly shocked because nothing in their behaviour would imply any spirituality; they drink heavily, have sex before marriage, never go to church, have not even read the Bible cover to cover.
It is mostly the older generation who are devoutly religious, and when they pass away, I think we will see the Christian minority shrink even more. Many people don't care to say they are Christian because it's looked down upon by some parts of society, like the ones I told about earlier.
I don't daily deal with religion because the majority here isn't religious, and because the few who are won't necessarily express their religious views. The type of religion you will find in the US or Iran are not the same of the religion you will find here.

Llamas
03-18-2012, 11:55 AM
Christianity is absolutely a part of our country, but it is a minority, and most of the minority is very moderate. I know a few people who I have known for years, which under some discussion have mentioned that they believe in a deity, and I have been nearly shocked because nothing in their behaviour would imply any spirituality; they drink heavily, have sex before marriage, never go to church, have not even read the Bible cover to cover.
That's pretty much true of 99% of the people I know in the US who are supposedly Christian (though the majority of my American friends are agnostic or atheist).


It is mostly the older generation who are devoutly religious, and when they pass away, I think we will see the Christian minority shrink even more.
Also true in the US.


Many people don't care to say they are Christian because it's looked down upon by some parts of society, like the ones I told about earlier.
That I find kinda sad :-/ I don't think any religion or lack thereof should be looked down on just simply because you believe in it.


I don't daily deal with religion because the majority here isn't religious, and because the few who are won't necessarily express their religious views. The type of religion you will find in the US or Iran are not the same of the religion you will find here.
Can I just clarify here - because I have to give you the benefit of the doubt - that you didn't actually mean that religion in Iran and the US are comparable? Please tell me you didn't mean that...

And okay, if you'd said that... that you don't deal daily with religion because there are fewer religious people there and the ones you know don't openly express their views... that makes sense. Maybe you should work a bit on wording ;)

T-6005
03-18-2012, 09:40 PM
I think there's an extremely strong case to argue that religion in Tehran and religion in Phoenix are extremely similar, in social intent if not in scope. Particularly in Lower Tehran.

XYlophonetreeZ
03-19-2012, 11:24 AM
I'm not going to talk about my personal interpretation of the Bible or Quran here, because it doesn't matter. Culturally, there are plenty of Christians and Muslims with ideologies that tolerant and peaceful, and with ideologies that are intolerant and hurtful.

So, I'm not going to defend Islam per se, but I just wanted to rant that the term "Moderate Muslim," particularly the way it was used post-9/11, is one of the most bullshit subtle propaganda terms ever. Use this term, and I'll likely wish death upon you. People kept saying we need to "reach out" to moderate Muslims, with "moderate Muslim" roughly meaning "Muslims who don't want to kill all nonbelievers." Did you catch the subtle implication that violence is inherent to Islam, and therefore needs to be "moderated"? Yep.

mario_spaghettio
03-19-2012, 09:01 PM
violence is inherent to Islamtruth spoken

Llamas
04-09-2012, 08:09 AM
Sorry to bump a fairly old thread, but I just came across something that is very relevant and sheds new light on this topic.

40 Examples of Christian Privelege (http://convention.myacpa.org/archive/programs/Boston10/Handouts/446/ChristianPrivilegeHandout.pdf)

I found this very interesting, as the fact that Christianity is very much the religion of privilege (well, Scientology beats it) is something I hadn't considered. Throughout the entire world, there are no well-off Muslim nations... and Muslims receive little to no privilege throughout successful society.

T-6005
04-09-2012, 04:07 PM
Throughout the entire world, there are no well-off Muslim nations... and Muslims receive little to no privilege throughout successful society.

Yeah, because fuck Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE (though I guess I'd give you the UAE if you insisted on 'Muslim nations').

Now, while I agree with the point that the article you linked makes, it is an overwhelmingly domestic reality, and not one that necessarily lends itself to the kind of extrapolations you've made.

Llamas
04-09-2012, 04:39 PM
Yeah, because fuck Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE (though I guess I'd give you the UAE if you insisted on 'Muslim nations').

You consider those countries to be well-off and privileged? Really? They're all considered developing countries. Low GDPs, not great life expectancy, poor education standards, poor standard of living, etc. None of those countries ever show up in the top 20 or even 30 countries for these things. I guess Qatar and Bahrain aren't as bad, but these are definitely not progressed, first world countries full of privilege.

And of course we're talking about the US and Europe here. I'm not talking about the entire world in this thread, because I don't live there. This thread was originally about liberal atheists (as in, those of Western society...) defending Muslims while ripping on Christians. However, Christian civilization has a long history of keeping others down. When was the last time a Muslim nation was the most powerful in the world? When was the last time a Muslim empire had steady control of a rich, successful region? A hundred years? The current world empowers Christian nations more than others.

T-6005
04-09-2012, 06:43 PM
They're all considered developing countries. Low GDPs, not great life expectancy, poor education standards, poor standard of living, etc. None of those countries ever show up in the top 20 or even 30 countries for these things. I guess Qatar and Bahrain aren't as bad, but these are definitely not progressed, first world countries full of privilege.
Yes well that's just clearly wrong, particularly if you get a more stringent methods of GDP checking, like GDP per capita. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita) Income disparity in most of these countries is lower than in the United States. In terms of 'quality of life', hard as that is to measure, you'll note 2 of the countries I mentioned in the top 30 here, (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/08/15/interactive-infographic-of-the-worlds-best-countries.html) and most of the others falling outside it not in GDP or quality of life, but in political environment and education.

Now while I'll gladly concede that education should be a prime concern (and is, in the Middle East), looking at just the quality of life and GDPPP, as well as income inequality, it looks to be about average for developed nations.

And of course let's not even go into how things like "political environment" are based on a Western-centric statute of political value. Though it's not one I feel is specifically wrong, it clearly plays a part.


And of course we're talking about the US and Europe here. I'm not talking about the entire world in this thread, because I don't live there. This thread was originally about liberal atheists (as in, those of Western society...) defending Muslims while ripping on Christians. However, Christian civilization has a long history of keeping others down. When was the last time a Muslim nation was the most powerful in the world? When was the last time a Muslim empire had steady control of a rich, successful region? A hundred years? The current world empowers Christian nations more than others.

Every society has a history of keeping others down, though. Particularly empires.

As for the last time a Muslim Empire had steady control of a rich, successful region, I'd say you're a bit optimistic with 100 years. Probably closer to two hundred before the Ottoman Empire began to really feel the pressure.

Even so, I'm not following your logic there. Empires aren't things which last decades. They have a tendency to last centuries. And while we have the American superpower right now, debateably in decline, considering the level of coherence and development reached by 'Muslim' nations, we're dealing with apples and oranges. The Ottoman Empire wouldn't have given two shits about letting Egypt go for free in exchange for just one of the nukes Pakistan has.

In any case, I'm getting far afield. I don't disagree with you on some points. The Middle East is dependent on resource economies, so their political and productive potentials are stifled by the very scarcity of the resources off of which they build their wealth. That the Euro-American global Hegemony has traces of Christianity in its version of 'Western secular democratic thought' is also not something I would dispute. I just object to the portrayal of 'the Muslim world' (particularly the resource economies) as developing countries.