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March 24, 2006

The Defanging of Religion

Religions, in recent centuries, are being housebroken (though sometimes it seems like trying to domesticate a wolf). They're being taught that it's not polite to burn "heretics," not neighborly to go to war with "infidels." Of course, as is the case with all such world-historical movements, some areas, some sects, have been slower than others to accept the new order. Some believers still have difficulty grasping why those who scorn the One True God must be tolerated. These laggards have been making a lot of our news lately. The latest example is the case of poor Abdul Rahman, who converted from Islam to Christianity in that new beacon of democracy, Afghanistan (our part of Afghanistan), and is now on trial for his life.

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at March 24, 2006 9:32 AM


Check out this report by the Asia Times: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/HC25Df02.html. They quote a "renowned Muslim intellectual" as saying:

" 'It is more of an ontological debate than anything,' said renowned Muslim intellectual Shahnawaz Farooqui. 'If somebody tries to practice his religion or faith, Muslim society will not stop him or pressurize him to change his faith. Nobody is allowed to even motivate a non-Muslim to change his religion. However, discourse is allowed. After such discourse, if somebody feels they want to embrace Islam, it is allowed,' Shahnawaz said.

"However, for a Muslim to change his religion, 'he will have to be executed because it is related to an ontological debate.'

" 'If somebody at one point affirms the truth [belief in God] and then rejects it or denies it, it would jeopardize the whole paradigm of truth. This is such a big offense that the penalty can only be death.' "

Sort of breath-taking, no?

Posted by: sort of buddhist at March 24, 2006 11:00 AM

Atheists should look to the huge and eventually successful project that defanged socialist dogma to replace it with market theory. This started in the 1940's more or less with Ayn Rand and is epitomized in Milton Friedman who only recently died. A project beyond anyone's expectation to be solved took only 60 years.

A start today could be the individual widespread defanging of specific religious argument so as to make the argument patently silly, even to the religious. Example "One cannot prove unicorns do not exist. This does not mean one should believe in unicorns." I use trailers such as this in my emails. They are not overtly anti-religious, just clarifying.

The matter of religion could certainly stand for a little daylight, just as socialism needed a few photons in the mid 20th century.


Posted by: Garry Wright at November 24, 2006 9:13 AM

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