Friday, November 1, 2013

Dialogues with Hopeless Delusional Idiots ep. 1

Yeah, I get email.  I also get PMs over various networks and forums, and so on, and there's a general rule about the internet -- No, I don't mean rule 34...  I mean the rule that only stupid exists on the internet.  In this case, it was a PM on a forum some years back where I was the as-yet-unassigned-as-a-name-but-essentially-filling-the-role-of "grumpy anti-theist" in a crowd full of people.  But although the blog may be relatively new (it's only been around a few years), being a grumpy anti-theist is not at all new for me.  Perhaps 10-12 years ago, when I was a naive undergraduate, I might have been more of an apatheist, and identified at least culturally as a Hindu, but I really couldn't help but call religious nutbars on their bullshit nonetheless.

So this particular message I got was a PM I got in response to some activity on a forum thread...  in fact, it was on a forum for which I was an admin.  The thread was mainly about religious indoctrination and the forceful instigation of religion on people.  And of course, one delightfully delusional idiot comes along and pretends that it's not true...  at least not of his religion.  Well, the fellow happened to be Muslim, but what I had to say as far as the issue of forcing beliefs on people really isn't exclusive to Islam.  Just so happened that the conversation was on that topic.  I feel that this particular exchange is a pretty good example to illustrate the degree to which religious nutbars can have an inordinately distorted view of reality.

Below the jump are his claim and my response inline.  Names are hidden, but not really significant in any case.  All the original grammatical and spelling errors are preserved (including my own).  In yellow are his words, and mine in white.
I have to say that all the what you are saying about the religions are only true of christianity and judiism.  Bit there is nothing like that in Islam. Islam is the truth set forth by our holy prophet(pbuh).  We do not force anything on our people. Everyone who is a Muslim accepts Islam.  We are not wrong to expose our people to these ideas. It is no more indoctrination than teaching them that 2+2 = 4.  Are you a "criminal order of zealotry" as you put it for teaching math? We jave our right to teach people what we believe just as you have a right to teach people your beliefs.  There is nothing that is required of them, there is nothing they are not eligible to choose between them.  Everybody has their right to choose when they are old enough to understand.  There is nothing in Islam wothout the freedom to choose Islam. All people who are Muslims are those who chose by their right.  It is not like chritianity when the people rape little boys to keep them in the religion.  We are all free to accept the truth of Islam or not.

I hope you realize that what you speak of at least does not apply to me. I think even you are in a position atheist which forces beliefs of people more than any other.
Yes, "criminal order of zealotry" were words that I used in the discussion thread he was responding to, though he used it in a slightly wrong grammatical framing there.  Nonetheless, he at least wasn't distorting my words in meaning.  Below is my response to the hopelessly deluded, self-deceiving, intellectually dishonest waste of skin who somehow believes the inexorably laughable nonsense written above.  The emphasis is in the original, but notes added as of this posting are put in a different size and color.
Not forced?  If it's a choice, can you tell me what the penalty is for choosing not to follow Islam?  If it's a choice, can you tell me what the penalty is for a woman not to wear the hijab?  Can you tell me what the Islamic depiction of hell is?  Can you tell me what Islamic law says about blaspheming the faith?  Let me ask you, when Islam is passed down to children, do they learn of the price of apostasy?  What sort of "choice" is that?  You must believe this with the utmost sincerity, or I will kill you, and you will fall down into hell where you will experience the pains of burning, poisoning, broken limbs, suffocation, etc. over and over for an eternity...  that doesn't exactly scream "freedom of choice."  Wear the hijab, or your life ends here and now.  That is as much a choice as paying protection money to the mafia is a choice.  A choice is only there when you do not threaten some sort of absolute penalty for failing to do as you say.  Can you, with even the slightest inkling of a shred of intellectual honesty tell me that this amounts to freedom to choose?

Now one of the things about teaching kids math is that we don't tell them that pi is 3.1415926535... and then furthermore tell them that if they don't believe that, they will be put to death.  There has never been an isolated incidence of a mathematician who suicide-bombed someone in defense of the Riemann Hypothesis.  There are no physicists who kill their daughters for not wearing a T-shirt that has Maxwell's equations printed on it.  There are no computer scientists who disown their children for using gotos.  Can you honestly tell me that the sorts of things I'm alluding to don't happen among Muslim households all over the planet?  Don't get me wrong...  it happens among Hindu households as well, so I don't want to hear any crap about defending the faith from which I came when that wasn't even part of the topic at hand.  The point is it happens because religion is force-fed and it is not a choice.  I can also tell you with almost absolute certainty there is not a single example of that among atheists...  but according to you, we're the ones who are forceful.  The other factor is that we can, in theory, teach our kids math and science and history and geography at any age, and it would not change anything because the truth of a statement like 2+2=4 would not change and would not be any more or less comprehensible to an adult as to a child.  Even we, as adults, learn new things all the time.  The main reason we start when they are children is because there is a concept of foundational principles which are simple (e.g. arithmetic) and the more advanced topics which need to be deferred until those earlier topics are mastered.  Because that takes a considerable amount of time, we do need to start early on a practical level.  Of course, children are like sponges, so they are prone to absorb what you tell them more when they are younger, but that also makes them vulnerable as well, and so that's why religions like Islam and Christianity use fear as a tool to stuff kids with those ideas.  If your beliefs are true, there couldn't possibly be a need for any of that.

BTW, a little irrelevant, but Christianity doesn't use rape of little boys in the interest of indoctrination.  It's predominantly Catholic priests who do that, and my personal belief on the matter is that this happens because the tenets of Cathlocism forces a life on them that demands sexual repression, and that repression leads them to vent in not-entirely-moral ways.  The indoctrination that causes the boys to keep silent on the matter for years had already happened by the time they fall victim.  The efforts of the church to hide the issues have more to do with maintaining their public image among those they've already indoctrinated so that they can continue to fleece the people more than anything else.

Here's a thought experiment for you.  Let's say that you have a 20-year-old adult and a 2-year-old child.  For convenience sake, we'll say that the 20-year-old, although otherwise educated in math, science, literature, philosophy, formal logic, etc. has never had any exposure to religion of any kind; not even in a historical context.  So in that sense at least, both of them are equal.  Can you make the supposed truth of Islam equally apparent to both of these people such that you can guarantee that they will both believe it in all sincerity?  I can do that for almost any position that I hold.  In fact, I can even predict that I'd even have an easier time with the 20-year-old than I would with the 2-year old.  Can you say the same?

As for your flagitiously idiotic and inexcusably false claim that atheists are more forceful, let me just display a few examples for you how, in a calculus of intellectual dishonesty, you are inches away from the limit of factual wrongness as lying tends to infinity.  Salman Rushdie wrote a book.  That too, a work defined quite flatly as a work of fiction.  What happens?  Khomeini called for his death -- a decision which received the assent of several hundred thousand Muslims across the world including those in nations where Islam is a minority religion.  Does this strike you as even a little bit out of proportion?  Can you point out a similar incidence for atheists?  I mean, it's not as if there is a shortage of religious people who openly insult and belittle non-believers, but have you seen atheists all over the world call for the death of religious authors who insult, lie and strawman the positions of atheists (i.e. ALL of them)?  Have you seen even one demonstration in which atheists have called for the death of religious leaders at any point in your life?  But then, how many times have Muslims done it?  How many times have you seen Hindu parents disown their children for marrying out of caste or renouncing their religious beliefs (or if it's a daughter, even killing their child)?  Is there even one story like that in which an atheist did the same to one of their kids?  Here in the United States, we have legislators who want to put an end to equal rights for anyone who could be presumed to be Muslim (i.e. anyone with brown skin), and put forth a law that the Bible is accepted as the universal word of "God."  That, too, even in this post-9/11 world, the distrust and hatred of Muslims is almost entirely owned by conservative Christians.  [note : at the time, the survey that showed that Americans by in large distrust atheists more than any other group did not yet exist]  But no...  it's atheists who are intolerant, right?  Officials of Islamic nations want to put into international law by petition to the UN, rules that prohibit the blaspheming of Islam.   The UK already has blasphemy laws to protect Christian sentiments.  Name one atheist doing the same for atheism.  Even one.  Entire countries exist which practice and enforce Sharia Law, and American politicians dream of a Christian Sharia here in the U.S...  Point out even a single nation that practices "Atheist Law" as if there even is such a thing.  Point out even a single atheist leader who has issued a death warrant on somebody.  I guess that proves that we're the forceful ones.  Both Christianity and Islam say that atheists are doomed to burn in hell for an eternity, and demonstrate no lack of specificity in telling us so, often times reminding us that we deserve it and that we're necessarily immoral and seek out atheism as a path to that same lurid immorality.  But when an atheist says that your belief that Mohammed rode a buraq and split the moon is preposterous, you say that we have persecuted you and we're being mean and nasty.  Tell me even one level on which this is not an utter double standard.  Can you show me in any way how the latter is a harsher statement than the former?  If the best you can offer on that boils down to personal feelings on the matter, then the kindest words that are within my capacity to offer you are -- "Fuck your feelings!  Fuck them with a fucking chainsaw!  Fuck them until the shattered pieces of your unwarrantable attachment to your idiotic primitive belief system have been ground to dust!"

In the entirety of my life, the number of crimes I've seen atheists actually take some sort of hateful action against a religious person over their differences is zero. [note : as of now, that number has increased to 1, btw]  But in the span of your life or mine, not even a single month has passed where somewhere in the world, religious differences has yielded violence, some vocal expression of hatred, or some sort of marginalization of people's freedoms (often times, women). You have Muslims killing other Muslims because of differences in position over who should have birthright down your so-called prophet's bloodline.  You pretend to want peaceable, respectful interactions between Muslims and atheists, when Muslims can't even demonstrate peaceable, respectful interactions between each other?  And you dare to have the temerity to proclaim any sort of moral high ground or claim to truth when your only vehicle to pass it down is fear and lying?

You can feel free to respond when you have developed even a shred of intellectual honesty.  Until then, accept that  every "mean" thing I have to say about religion applies to you, too, and yes...  you damn well deserve it.
Although that particular forum has since disappeared and been taken down, at least a year passed with no response after that.  Presumably, he never really did gain that intellectual honesty.  No surprise there, if that was the case.