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Evolutionist/Atheist Mano Singham interviewed


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A new interview with evolutionist/atheist Mano Singham can be found here. To quote him:

 

"Once you concede the idea of a god, you have ceased to think rationally in that area of your life, and are prey to those who preach extreme forms of religion. Of course, most people do not go so far, but that is because most people are not really that religious, though they say and act like they are. In the TV show House, someone asks the title character whether he is an atheist and he replies "Only on Christmas and Easter. The rest of the time it doesn't seem to matter." I think he is right. Most people are just nominally religious and unlikely to go off the deep end. It is the deeply religious who can be persuaded to do appalling things in the name of god because it is only they who will let their humane and ethical and common senses be overridden by the idea that god wants them to commit specific acts."

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Just my 2c worth: The idea that there is a bunch of religiously-inspired zealots who have been, or are being, indoctrinated into doing "appalling things in the name of" their religion, is, IMNSHO, a bit of a Western myth.

Most terrorists and suicide bombers do what they do for quite different reasons (than necessarily religious ones), on analysis.

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Just my 2c worth: The idea that there is a bunch of religiously-inspired zealots who have been, or are being, indoctrinated into doing "appalling things in the name of" their religion, is, IMNSHO, a bit of a Western myth.

Most terrorists and suicide bombers do what they do for quite different reasons (than necessarily religious ones), on analysis.

I'm not sure which "appalling things" you're speaking of, but it definitely is NOT unheard of. There are the inquisitions, the crusades, Jihads, abortion clinic bombings, teaching creationism in public schools, etc. It really depends on how you define "appalling things." Religious motivation, however, is factually a motivation for a fair number of things many would consider appalling.
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I'm not sure which "appalling things" you're speaking of, but it definitely is NOT unheard of. There are the inquisitions, the crusades, Jihads, abortion clinic bombings,

 

I think what he was getting at is that people would do these things anyway, but they tend to unite under the umbrella of religion when they do so.

 

I got to admit, take the religion out of the above, and you get (respectively) forsing your beliefs on others, power-grab, forsing your beliefs on others, and people who think abortion = murder, none of which actually require religion (given the time in which they occoured, the inquisition and the crusades would have been hard-pressed to not have anything to do with religion, as there were virtually no atheists around back then).

 

I left teaching creationism out, as that's obviously religious.

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I don't think like him. I think religion is a very important worth for people. For example, however I think bad thinks , I don't act like my thinkings.Because my religion doesn't allow to do bad actions. example:thieving, to hurt someone...

 

I'll put an article here about belief. I like this writting so much. And hope you like it. The writting was written by a scientist named Bediüzzaman.

 

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

 

Those who believe in the Unseen.

 

If you want to understand what great happiness and bounty, what great pleasure and ease is to be found in belief in God, listen to this story which is in the form of a comparison:

 

One time, two men went on a journey for both pleasure and business. One set off in a selfish, inauspicious direction; the other on a godly, propitious way.

 

Since the selfish man was both conceited, self-centred, and pessimistic, he ended up in what seemed to him to be a most wicked country due to his pessimism. He looked around and everywhere saw the powerless and the unfortunate lamenting in the grasp and at the destruction of fearsome bullying tyrants. He saw the same grievous, painful situation in all the places he travelled. The whole country took on the form of a house of mourning. Apart from becoming drunk, he could find no way of not noticing this grievous and sombre situation. For everyone seemed to him to be an enemy and foreign. And all around he saw horrible corpses and despairing, weeping orphans. His conscience was in a state of torment.

 

The other man was godly, devout, fair-minded, and with fine morals so that the country he came to was most excellent in his view. This good man saw universal rejoicing in the land he had entered. Everywhere was a joyful festival, a place for the remembrance of God overflowing with rapture and happiness; everyone seemed to him a friend and relation. Throughout the country he saw the festive celebrations of a general discharge from duties accompanied by cries of good wishes and thanks. And he also heard the sound of a drum and band for the enlistment of soldiers with happy calls of "God is Most Great!" and "There is no god but God!" Rather than being grieved at the suffering of both himself and all the people like the first miserable man, this fortunate man was pleased and happy at both his own joy and that of all the inhabitants. Furthermore, he was able to do some profitable trade. He offered thanks to God.

 

After some while he returned and came across the other man. He understood his condition, and said to him: "You were out of your mind. The ugliness inside you must have been reflected on the outer world so that you imagined laughter to be weeping, and the discharge from duties to be sack and pillage. Come to your senses and purify your heart so that this calamitous veil is raised from your eyes and you can see the truth. For the country of an utterly just, compassionate, beneficent, powerful, order-loving, and kind king could not be in the way you imagined, nor could a country which demonstrated this number of clear signs of progress and achievement." The unhappy man later came to his senses and repented. He said, "Yes, I was crazy through drink. May God be pleased with you, you have saved me from a hellish state."

 

O my soul! Know that the first man represents an unbeliever, or someone depraved and heedless. In his view the world is a house of universal mourning. All living creature are orphans weeping at the blows of death and separation. Man and the animals are alone and without ties being ripped apart by the talons of the appointed hour. Mighty beings like the mountains and oceans are like horrendous, lifeless corpses. Many grievous, crushing, terrifying delusions like these arise from his unbelief and misguidance, and torment him.

 

As for the other man, he is a believer. He recognizes and affirms Almighty God. In his view this world is an abode where the Name of the All-Merciful One is constantly recited, a place of instruction for man and the animals, and a field of examination for man and jinn. All animal and human deaths are a demobilization. Those who have completed their duties of life depart from this transient world for another, happy and trouble-free, world so that place may be made for new officials to come and work. The birth of all animals and humans forms their enlistment into the army, their being taken under arms, and the start of their duties. Each living being is a joyful regular soldier, an honest, contented official. And all voices, either glorification of God and the recitation of His Names at the outset of their duties, and the thanks and rejoicing at their ceasing work, or the songs arising from their joy at working. In the view of the believer, all beings are the friendly servants, amicable officials, and agreeable books of his Most Generous Lord and All-Compassionate Owner. Very many more subtle, exalted, pleasurable, and sweet truths like these become manifest and appear from his belief.

 

To read his more article click the link..

http://www.nur.web.tr/english.php

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Since the selfish man was both conceited, self-centred, and pessimistic...

 

And there is the flaw in the story. A person who does not believe in a god is not necessarily conceited, self-centered, or pessimistic.

 

Religion can be a source of strength and comfort for people, but it can also be used as an excuse to persecute other people doing things you don't like. And I would think that people who feel they have the divine and moral right to continue this persecution would probably go to lengths and extremes they wouldn't otherwise go to.

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Just my 2c worth: The idea that there is a bunch of religiously-inspired zealots who have been, or are being, indoctrinated into doing "appalling things in the name of" their religion, is, IMNSHO, a bit of a Western myth.

Most terrorists and suicide bombers do what they do for quite different reasons (than necessarily religious ones), on analysis.

 

Eh... yes and no. Religion is a tool. To say that the Crusades would have happened without religion is ridiculous, not necessarily because they were religiously motivated, but because without the Catholic Church there would have been no instrument to organize them. I think it's much the same way with modern Islamicism. Islam is the tool that is used to organize and motivate people.

 

Would 9/11 have happened if there had been no Islam? I doubt it, because secular nationalism doesn't really cut it when it come to motivating people to do extraordinary things like that. At the same time, how plausible is it that the idea of killing yourself for God really originated from teachings that forbid suicide?

 

BTW: This is really in the wrong forum, and is probably skating a bit on the line of violating board rules...

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And there is the flaw in the story. A person who does not believe in a god is not necessarily conceited, self-centered, or pessimistic.

 

Yes, you are right.. I agree with you. I don’t think like the story about it. The most important think is not believe in a God. The most important think is to be a kindhearted, well-behaved… person. I wanted to show(in article) you that believe in a God, helps people to have like these habits.( kindhearted, well-behaved…)

 

Religion can be a source of strength and comfort for people, but it can also be used as an excuse to persecute other people doing things you don't like. And I would think that people who feel they have the divine and moral right to continue this persecution would probably go to lengths and extremes they wouldn't otherwise go to.

 

I don’t think like you in here. Religion never allow to persecute. For example, I’m muslim and in Islam, to kill a human, likes to kill the whole of humans. The humans and the whole of alives are very valuable in my religion. So, the humans who believe Islam, never hurt a human or an alive. But, we are hearing that muslims are killing people. When I hear like news, I’m so sorry. Because I don’t believe that people can be a muslim. I think they are terrorists. Because a muslim can not kill anybody. For example again, my religion doesn’t allow to break someone’s heart. These are very important things in religion.

 

Finally, the whole of religions esteem to alives. I believe it…

 

***My English isn't vey well.. So I couldn't understand completely what you want to say.. If I didn't understand you, I'm so sorry. And for this reason, if I have a mistake, I apologise you. :(***

 

Take care. :)

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Eh... yes and no. Religion is a tool. To say that the Crusades would have happened without religion is ridiculous, not necessarily because they were religiously motivated, but because without the Catholic Church there would have been no instrument to organize them.

 

well, i dunno... if they didn't exist, there'd have been a power-vaccume to fill, and i'm relatively sure something else would have filled it to unite europe, at least in certain areas.

 

it wasn't all that long after the church lost its influence that stuff like the league of nations and EU started popping up.

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well, i dunno... if they didn't exist, there'd have been a power-vaccume to fill, and i'm relatively sure something else would have filled it to unite europe, at least in certain areas.[/Quote]

 

Things like the Holy Roman Empire, certainly, but I doubt that any body could have directed the fervor of an entire continent of warring states against another random state on a different continent had there not been some unifying ideology linking them with the organizing body. Religion might not be the only type of ideology to suffice, but its certainly one of the most potent.

 

it wasn't all that long after the church lost its influence that stuff like the league of nations and EU started popping up.

 

About 200 years, I'd say. You will note that the Catholic Church was a lot more effective in unifying Europe on religious grounds than the League of Nations was on idealistic grounds or the EU on economic grounds.

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About 200 years, I'd say. You will note that the Catholic Church was a lot more effective in unifying Europe on religious grounds than the League of Nations was on idealistic grounds or the EU on economic grounds.

 

Now be fair. The Church has had a much longer time with which to entrench its power. The Roman Empire were no clowns, either.

 

The EU has only been around for 50 years (depending on when you start counting), and is "missing" countries such as the United States, Russia, and China. The US has about 2/3 the economy and population of the whole EU, and let's not talk about military :eyebrow: I also get the impression that the US is more unified that the EU :rolleyes:

 

But economy is probably a better overall motivator than religion. Religion may have its fanatics, but also people who don't give a damn. On the other hand, everyone cares about economy. So the EU or something like it is likely to gain quite a bit of power.

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Things like the Holy Roman Empire, certainly, but I doubt that any body could have directed the fervor of an entire continent of warring states against another random state on a different continent

 

well, we can certainly unite to do war. WWI and II had little/nothing to do with religion, and it still involved all of europe uniting (admittedly, uniting across two sides) to do war.

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well, we can certainly unite to do war. WWI and II had little/nothing to do with religion, and it still involved all of europe uniting (admittedly, uniting across two sides) to do war.

Ever read Mein Kampf or Hitler's speeches?

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Yes. And I don't quite see what you are deducing from them. Can you clarify please.

 

Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

 

That is one of several examples. Clearly, one cannot honestly say religion had NOTHING to do with the War. Religion obviously had a profound impact on Hitler's motives and the motives of others who were persuaded by him. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying the War was completely about religion, or even mostly about it. I'm just saying the impact of religion here is being underplayed.

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Clearly, one cannot honestly say religion had NOTHING to do with the War. Religion obviously had a profound impact on Hitler's motives and the motives of others who were persuaded by him.
I just have a diametrically opposed reading of the role of religion in Hitler's mind. I see that passage as a token gesture towards the large proportion of Germans who were at least overtly Christian. One suspects Hitler believed in a God, but I do not think it was the Christian God. He used Christianity with a mix of perception, cynicism and effectiveness, just as he used other institutions, traditions and organisations to further his aims.

 

We are drifitng off topic somewhat - my central point is that religion is often blamed for violence when in fact it is merely being used. Hitler, in my view, provides a good example of this.

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