Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Is Islam a Peaceful Religion?

Let's once and for all settle this idea that Islam is a peaceful religion.  The media calls Jihadists "terrorist extremists", intimating they take their religion too seriously and too far.  The majority of Muslims are peaceful, and are called "moderates"; i.e. they don't take their religion too seriously because they believe in peace and harmony.  Good on them.

But saying Islam is peaceful is a blatant fallacy. Those "extremists" are ONLY following what their Quran tells them to do; the moderates are simply not following all of the teachings of Mohammed. The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.  Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding.  Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.  Tell me what you think after reading these translations from their holy book:

Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

And finally:

Quran (47:3-4) - "Those who disbelieve follow falsehood, while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord... So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah's Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives)... If it had been Allah's Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost."


I could go on, but I think you get the point.  The Quran is very articulate and specific about how unbelievers and hypocrites are to be treated. These verses are not metaphors, or constrained by historical events. They are literal instructions that are to be obeyed, or else be called a hypocrite.

So, no, Islam is NOT a peaceful religion. To say so is uninformed and naive, and to call anyone "Islamaphobic" (a term recently used by the politically correct) is bullshit for the above stated reasons; I say call a spade a spade.

Last point: if anyone thinks this article is generating bias against Muslims, you haven't fully understood what I have written.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just today, 12 people in France were slain by Islamic terrorists.  The world is tiring of the bloodshed in the name of Allah...






Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jesus and Sugar Pills: They have more in common than you think.

In the last couple of days, there's been some very overt Christian content in a couple of reality shows that I enjoy.  In one case, the person was in a physically demanding situation that required him to gather up enough courage to jump from one cliff edge to another. His safety was assured by the climbing ropes his guide had provided for him, but this was his first experience at such a physical and mental challenge. So he paused to pray and speak in tongues, describing it as his direct line to God. Earlier in the show, he described how as a professional sportsman his life of status, power, and sex had become shallow and unfulfilling, so he turned his life over to God.  Following that, he became fulfilled and happier.



The second person on a different show, though not faced with an immediate physical threat, spoke of a need to give his life back to God, because whenever he did this, his life would straighten out and things went better for him.  Later in the show, he rededicates his life back to Jesus, and was baptized.

What both of these people have in common, and what attracts people to, and holds them in, this life of faith in God is a sense of emptying oneself and letting God take over.  This need to have a crutch and let someone much bigger and powerful than you take control is the lure of this mindset. Watching these TV shows put me in mind of my own journey into, and out of such a belief; a belief that required total dependence on something larger and greater than myself.

The question that burdens me mostly is this: what would have convinced these people in their time of need that the strength they sought was already available to them? Courage comes from within, but somehow having a dependence on something outside ourselves seems more attractive.  Having lived this life myself in the past, I can best describe it is a lack of gumption; "intestinal fortitude".  It's easier to throw the responsibility onto someone (something?) else when you feel at the end of your rope. We feel the need to reach out in crisis, so God becomes a convenient resource, particularly if you're convinced he is omnipotent, and happens to be the creator of the universe. The religious message is to just give up and let God take the reigns.



Another factor that explains the "letting go and letting God" phenomenon is the pervasiveness of the message, thanks to evangelists and mass media.  The success stories of celebrities, ex-cons, ex-drugies, etc. who gave their life to God in a church meeting, or in a cell, or a hospital bed have been turned into movies and books, forever enshrining - and legitimizing - the born again experience.  It helps us feed on our need to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  I frankly refer to it as adult thumb-sucking.

So back to my question: what do we have as a society that can replace such unfounded beliefs and behaviours?  The truth is, we have nothing as potent and as powerful as religion, and this is thanks to the placebo effect.  The believer is truly convinced that their treatment will work, and it in fact does. Even sham surgeries used in scientifically controlled studies have resulted in healing heart disease. So it is with any closely-held belief system in which the outcome of healing, strength, and comfort is most desired.

I'm convinced that we're at a place in our evolution as a species where the perceived challenges to our survival are strong enough that they elicit a powerful attraction to superstitious beliefs in unseen forces, no different than how our ancestors worshipped various gods, sacrificing to them for the purpose of better weather, crops, health... in essence, prosperity and protection.  Until our fears and stress are addressed and rooted out with logic, evidence, and common sense, our dependence on superstitions will continue. As will the trappings of old-school religion that plague our society and hold us back from real advancement and progress.


Till next time,

Jim





Sunday, April 27, 2014

Well, I finally did it.

All this ranting about religion has finally taken official form:  Through the years I've debated, discussed, and  argued about faith and religion... its negative effects on people, why it's bad for you, and why it's bad for the world, and why people gravitate to it in the first place.

So, I put my money where my mouth is and created an on-line resource for people like me that extricated themselves from faith and religion.  Trust me, it's no easy task.  It's a life long journey of discovering what the real truth is; one of breaking down old beliefs that no longer serve you.  But more than that... those beliefs were based on faith, not facts, truth, and evidence.  In the end, truth trumps faith every time.

So here it is:  http://www.refugeesofreligion.com  There's a forum to get involved in; it's for anyone who is tired of having faith in something that is no different than any other superstition...  unanswered prayers, the  unjust and unfair treatment of innocent people, obvious contradictions in the bible (or any other sacred text) - the list is endless.  Anyone seeking REAL truth will move out of religion eventually.  It's not an easy journey.  But there's company...

The URL again:  http://www.refugeesofreligion.com



Cheers,
Jim

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Something a little lighter...

People know what I think of religion. Hell, just read this blog!  But then my mother-in-law sends me this story, so I thought it would be a great thing to use to lighten up the tone...

HELL EXPLAINED BY A CHEMISTRY STUDENT

The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry mid term, and an actual answer turned in by a student.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well :

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct..... ...leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a Divine Being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Don't get me wrong, I may look like an atheist... but...

Many of my posts on this blog would leave one with the idea that I belong to this new atheist movement some of you may be familiar with. The big names that everyone quotes (me included) are Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Hawkins. Christopher Hitchens is no longer with us (R.I.P.). They're sought-after keynote speakers, authors, scientists, and philosophers. I've read most of their publications, and agree with 100% of what they say when criticizing traditional religion.

But - that does not say I believe 100% of everything they say. No one should believe everything anyone says anyways. If you do, shame on you.

The point is that although I agree with these atheists' arguments against religion, I do not make the stretch to say that science has discovered everything we need to know, and therefore reject anything and everything spiritual or unexplained. These people mock things like chiropractors, Eastern medicine, distance healing, Reiki... basically anything that traditional science hasn't proven with years of funded research.

So, before swallowing the new atheist movement's pill whole hog, consider where they come from... they are hard core philosophers and scientists who don't give an inch to anything not backed up by pure (read: traditional) science. In contrast, me and a bazzilion other people have legitimate and very real experiences with these "unknown" areas of spirituality, so I take their opinion on these matters lightly.

My underlying point here is that personally, I have indeed turned my back on traditional Christianity (as anyone who reads the Bible cover to cover should), but there's a massive difference between being religious and being spiritual. I brand myself the latter. Just so you know...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Book Review: God Hates You, Hate Him Back: Making Sense of the Bible

I haven't done a book review in ages, but I have to say - this dude's book has me in stitches. C.J. Werleman does an extraordinary job of harpooning the most basic contradictions in the bible, articulating them in such a detailed fashion that leaves the reader in a state of - "Oh yeah, of COURSE!".

He goes through the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter, revealing the obvious contradictions that the casual reader would not pick up on. Like me... I've read it cover to cover dozens of times, but never really picked up on the ugly morals, and sanctioned evils, and the character of God himself - which should make us all shudder.  Mind you, I was reading it as a bible-bashing born-again Christian. Duh...

Funny what happens when you read the fine print.

Warning: he swears throughout the book, but to me, it adds to the import of his messages: HEY FOLKS, the bible is the best argument against itself!

Check it out if you dare.  Cheers friends,

Jim

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It seems ANY Abrahamic-based religion is kinda funky...

Been finding out some interesting things about Islam's holy book. Well, firstly, it's written by just one person, Muhammad, and it took him from from 609 to 632 AD to write the whole thing. Seemingly the peaceful side of the writings are in the first parts of the book, but as it goes on, he instructs his followers to get rather violent, telling them that they can lie to non-believers for the sake of world domination. I lie not... watch this informative 9 minute video. Be informed...