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  #26  
Old March 24, 2005, 04:43 PM
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Ideas of pluralism..is a good thing. It respects everybody. Atheist, Animist, Secular, Religious...you name it all. By idea, it is good.
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  #27  
Old March 24, 2005, 04:45 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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I don't think one can blame the internal repressions of communist nations or amoral wars waged by the policymakers of the western capitalist states for world domination on atheism/secularism. This is exactly why I was careful to mention that I don't speak of ALL the non-religious people. But simultaneously, I find no point in al's mentioning of atheism being "divisive", which is why I reacted.

Going back to the "equal share of blame" of the "atheists" of Germany or America (Although I don't see the connection; Hitler was fundamentalist christian who hated the jews, East Germany was 84% atheists and there was no communal riots there, and most American presidents pretend to be very religious. Dubya is a born again "passionate" Christian and has no qualms about bombing helpless civilians), there is an interesting distinction here. Atheism is not really a code of life. Just because one doesn't believe in God doesn't mean he should abandon justice, moral philosophy, human rights, etc. And I don't think there are many atheists in the world right now who would claim that they don't care about morality. Nor can you possibly give examples of such atheists. Atheists do not get agitated much because of their atheism. But on the other hand, religious people still get agitated solely on the basis of religion.
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  #28  
Old March 24, 2005, 04:50 PM
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This thread has been splitted from Fun Stuff with Bangla >>
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  #29  
Old March 24, 2005, 05:02 PM
nihi nihi is offline
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chinaman:
you'll need to be on your toes to keep up with the turns of the threads. In case you haven't gone through yet, the subject matter of this thread has already taken another sharp turn
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  #30  
Old March 24, 2005, 05:09 PM
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I want to make clear first and foremost that I am not against athiests nor am I defending people of faith. Your last line about the reactionary nature of religious people leaves not much room for disagreement. But, I think, its more of a human thing and part of its evolution as it came to being a modern human. People have always worshipped something at some point of time after they learnt to reason. The unexplained or the para-normal became a thing of respect and holy. They started to worship and religion crept into many socities. It gave them their own identity and they defended it or fought for it when threatened. In time, they used it in their adventures of expansion always knowing their God is behind them. Priests like now and also then exploited that inherent human fear of God and their religion.
Thus, this sorry saga only grew in more power and strength with time. Actually, as societies got more advanced they got more destructive in search of new pasture or wealth. Why I say it is a human thing? I believe, if Atheism was the dominant trait in peoples past history linked to its evolution, they would have acted the same way as religious people. If the majority were athiests, they would have persecuted the minority religious people.
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  #31  
Old March 24, 2005, 05:20 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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I believe, if Atheism was the dominant trait in peoples past history linked to its evolution, they would have acted the same way as religious people.
Exactly how do you reach that conclusion? What "holy codes" would they base their persecution on? Atheism is simply the absence of belief in God/supernatural. Atheism "grew" over history from reason and rationality. It wasn't "sent from above" to some "chosen few". It isn't some mystical religion.

I think you are making a whole lot of assumptions about how a majority of atheist people "might have" behaved in the past. And I don't see why your whimsical speculation about the past is relevant to the present more than the concrete facts concerning religions of the past and present. You are probably unconsciously making a fantastic strawman out of atheism in the process.

The argument, if I can gather any out of this, is that:

1. Religious people persecuted atheists/people of minority religion in the past.
2. Therefore, atheists, if they were a majority, would have also persecuted religious people the exact same way or in an "equally blamable" way.

I don't see why I would believe 2 from 1.

Edited on, March 24, 2005, 10:29 PM GMT, by Arnab.
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  #32  
Old March 24, 2005, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nihi
chinaman:
you'll need to be on your toes to keep up with the turns of the threads. In case you haven't gone through yet, the subject matter of this thread has already taken another sharp turn
I'm on my nails for a while now, if you haven't noticed it yet

Anyway, I think the topic is still very much within the power of mind for the faithful and atheist alike.
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  #33  
Old March 24, 2005, 05:42 PM
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You got it wrong. Don't get ahead of yourself. Where did I say the religious people persecuted atheists and vice versa? your points in no.1 and 2 are irrelevant in this discussion.

You can't but discuss "past" if you want to bring in religion. Human history and religion are inseparable whether I like it or not. And it is not whimsical at all as you would have liked to think. As I see you are not interested in the past and only interested in the present, discussion of religion and its affect on human societies won't see any light of the day.

I am not making a strawman out of athiests. I am simply saying that if humans were brought along under the wings of athiesm, or any other "isms" for that matter, it probably would not have made any difference. They would have invented "new codes" in all probablility to asceratin their dominance. Isn't that a valid assumption? No reason to get uptight about it. OK..
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  #34  
Old March 24, 2005, 06:45 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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I am not in the least bit uptight. Don't worry.

Atheism is not an "ism" per se. And I seriously doubt people could have been brought along under the "wings of atheism". It is this assumption of yours that I don't agree with. Atheism is not about "dominance". There is no "new code" to invent.

Do you see what I am saying? Since this assumption of yours is dubious, whatever arguments you are presenting based on this assumption is also very dubious.
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  #35  
Old March 24, 2005, 09:10 PM
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Great to know that. I won't worry then..

Let me ask you a question ? I promise I won't indulge into "past" human history and religions role in shaping various cultures and civilizations, though you can't separate the one from the other. Now, I ask, could there be "atheism" without "religion"? Isn't that a reaction to religion itself? a counterbalance of ideas so to speak. We can call it "non religionism" instead of "Atheism" just to show the clear unwanted link between the two. Atheism would have never materialized without religion. We must agree on that.

Atheism is not about dominance, you say. Maybe so. But humans have shown from time and again that they will go whatever lenghts to achieve their goals. Good and Bad. Thats their spirit with or without the support of any "ism". And they will advance their "ism" conveniently to satisfy themselves spiritually and morally.You cannot discount the notion that under the rule of an atheist but powerful society, the people within would not engage in destructive activities beacuse that particular "ism" doesn't permit them to do so. Human history say otherwise. Well, until we see a world dominated by atheistic ideas and states, we will have to wait and see.

Last but not least, always enjoy your writings. keep it up.
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  #36  
Old March 24, 2005, 09:37 PM
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I don't remember suggesting that we cannot discuss past human history and religion's role in it. I am guessing you probably misread one of my earlier posts. What I did question was your speculation that if "atheism" had been a dominant ideology in the past it probably would have taken the same path as religions.

The -ism at the end of "Atheism" is not like buddhism or hindusim or islamism or any other religion. There is no divine atheist code. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in God/supernatural. That's all there is to it. This is where I think is your fundamental misconception about atheism lies. But I could be misreading you myself.

Now we can extend this simple non-belief in the supernatural into other areas of our personal/social/cultural beliefs which invariably have been shaped by any of the multitude of religions over history, depending on where we live.

An atheist's take on these socio-cultural beliefs that he was forced to grow up in is pretty easy to see. Atheism makes him think very hard about the validity of social norms and moral codes. SInce there is no absolute guide of good and bad any more, since atheism itself provides him no moral guide, it forces him to consider his ethical values everyday, it forces him to act like a responsible moral philosopher, and this probably changes him for the better.

Atheism, by itself, and VERY unlike religions, can not instruct someone do good things or destructive things, but his moral philosophy can. And moral philosophy, I think we can agree, doesn't necessarily require any divine authority.

Edited on, March 25, 2005, 2:41 AM GMT, by Arnab.
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  #37  
Old March 24, 2005, 11:15 PM
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Is it fair to ask the question if "atheism" is only meant for the elite then? Elite in terms of educational and moral sophistication. How else can a simple mind be so enlightened to constantly debate in his mind about the rights and wrongs in social norms and code while playing God, messenger and executioner at the same time? Certainly not meant for the masses of ignorant God fearing lot, who stay with their lord no matter what happens to them. They praise the Lord for all the good fortunes and pray for forgiveness when the Tsunami unleashes hell on them to atone their sins. Organized religion definitely has an upper hand beacuse they are able to articulate the omni -present existence of divinity, whether real or unreal is a matter of irrelevance. Don't you think that it should dissuade the billions of hungry and poor in this world to question the existence of God? Yet, they don't and cling on to their respective religion and God. You need to be educationally superior to ask these questions. Sounds like a very elitist "ism" to me.

I asked you earlier whether there can be atheism without religion? You didn't answer or chose not to. I would still like to know your view on that.

Totaly respect on your position and belief in the non-existence of God. Also, respect people who are absolutely convinced that God exists. Fundamentally, not much difference between the two. Both are driven by the conviction or intuition of their respective belief. Neither show any proof. In the end, blind faith wins!
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  #38  
Old March 25, 2005, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by chinaman
Anyway, I think the topic is still very much within the power of mind for the faithful and atheist alike.
yeah, generaliztion has more than one utility
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  #39  
Old March 25, 2005, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Hitler was fundamentalist christian who hated the jews
YOu are lucky majority here are Muslims :p

I say he is a Jew
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  #40  
Old March 25, 2005, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arnab
Atheists do not get agitated much because of their atheism.
Yet each and every atheist I have encountered in my life seems to feel a compulsion to dump on religion, including yourself (Arnab) The motivation might indeed not be "agitation", but if one's code of moral, philosophical, blah blah blah, makes one think of a different blah blah (such as religion) as, categorically, the equivalent of physically handicapped then you can't claim that your blah blah blah is an enlightened one. You pursue your denigration of religion with the same zeal as, I daresay, the Spanish Inquisition ( whom NOBODY expects ) showed when ripping people's nails off. Ok, that was a cheap shot, but when you say that you dump on religion simply to sharpen your mind I smell mohisher goo.

And btw, riding a bycycle in front of handless-person, shouting "look no hands" could count as flaunting. My point is that most rational people are able to use social norms and figure out what is flaunting/taunting or not. And if they can't, they can usually figure it out after it has been pointed out a few times. Surprising that the demarcation line isn't clear to you yet.

My apologies if this has become too personal, and I'm happy to carry this discourse to a different channel. I warn you though, when spring break ends, my debating will too At any rate, I will not make any more public contribution to this topic.
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  #41  
Old March 25, 2005, 04:51 AM
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I think you should change the way you are phrasing your sentences. Specially when you are talking about prophet muhammad(pbuh) who is being reverered by billions of people in the world.

If you are giving your personal opinion, please do so by saying " I think muhammad(pbuh) was the alpha male because he was clever/intelligent enough ........." The way you have written the sentence it looks like that it is a fact that muhammad(pbuh) used his intelligence only to make a new religion. This is undermining the belief of many muslims in this forum.

I do respect your stand from atheiest point of view, but I hope you will show some respect to other's feeling and not state your personal opinion as fact.



Quote:
Originally posted by Arnab

For example, Muhammad was the alpha male because he was clever/intelligent enough to create an entire religion from scratch. Billions of followers/beta-males STILL follow the ideological system, he created hundreds of years ago, because he is one of those ultimate masters of mass manipulation. It was the brilliance of his mind, not his body.

Edited on, March 24, 2005, 9:51 PM GMT, by chinaman.
Reason: This thread has been splitted from Fun Stuff with Bangla >>
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  #42  
Old March 25, 2005, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nayeem007
I think you should change the way you are phrasing your sentences. Specially when you are talking about prophet muhammad(pbuh) who is being reverered by billions of people in the world.

This “billions of people“ logic doesn’t make any sense. Billions of other people revere other idols/religions. Shouldn’t you be showing the same respect to others? Islamists routinely defame other religions and idols (from the very beginning). Isn't this a little hypocritical to ask for reverence when you don't revere anyone else? Islamists must drop this 'supremacist' attitude first and only after that it can ask for others respect.

Btw what does it matter if someone denigrates Muhammad’s reputation in public? Is your faith so fragile that it gets shaken by a few taunts and makes you hostile? If you are a true believer, a thousand/million slurs against Muhammad cannot bother you a bit. It keeps the space open for discussions, good and bad, both.
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  #43  
Old March 25, 2005, 10:51 AM
imtiaz82 imtiaz82 is offline
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hmm, your comment is quite interesting. If you look at my other posts, I always show respect to other religion. I even mention it in bracket if I think that my writing might hurt/offend someone.

Thus I can presume that your post was not meant for me. Denigirating some religious figure in public has nothing to do with the faith itself. Everyone should show respect for other people's religious faith.

Your logic doesn't make sense to me, if someone shows intolerance due to ignorance then you have to match it with equally provocative response!!

I would advise you to refrain from posting stuff like Islamist, Hindu extremist, radical christian etc which will only stirr other people's emotion and start a fight in this thread.

PS I have no problem with open discussions as long as everyone is showing due respect to others and stating facts not personal beliefs.


Quote:
Originally posted by say

This “billions of people“ logic doesn’t make any sense. Billions of other people revere other idols/religions. Shouldn’t you be showing the same respect to others? Islamists routinely defame other religions and idols (from the very beginning). Isn't this a little hypocritical to ask for reverence when you don't revere anyone else? Islamists must drop this 'supremacist' attitude first and only after that it can ask for others respect.

Btw what does it matter if someone denigrates Muhammad’s reputation in public? Is your faith so fragile that it gets shaken by a few taunts and makes you hostile? If you are a true believer, a thousand/million slurs against Muhammad cannot bother you a bit. It keeps the space open for discussions, good and bad, both.


Edited on, March 25, 2005, 8:14 PM GMT, by nayeem007.
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  #44  
Old March 25, 2005, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Btw what does it matter if someone denigrates Muhammad’s reputation in public? Is your faith so fragile that it gets shaken by a few taunts and makes you hostile? If you are a true believer, a thousand/million slurs against Muhammad cannot bother you a bit. It keeps the space open for discussions, good and bad, both.
Now if someone is dissing, humiliating BD, BD cricket how would you feel? I am sure you are not just going to keep quiet.

I believe their reaction is not because their faith gets shaken, it is because they get hurt, causes pain and so they speak to protest.

Another thing I experienced is that many bangladeshis who do not believe in God, kind of targets Islam rather than religious faith as a whole. Hardly see bangladeshis dissing Jesus, Moses, Hindu Gods, Buddha and all the other religion out there. Probably they find extra pleasure in attacking Islam knowing that the people who will be reading are mostly muslims?

Edited on, March 25, 2005, 4:59 PM GMT, by allrounder.

Edited on, March 25, 2005, 4:59 PM GMT, by allrounder.
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  #45  
Old March 25, 2005, 12:55 PM
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The reason most non-believing Bangladeshis target islam is simply because the religious parameters of the society they live in is defined by islam. If it were some other religion, then _it_ would be the target. Naturally, if non-believers were raised in or surrounded by a particular religious tradition then it is that tradition that would be undermined first, hence the undermining of christianity by western secularists/atheists and hinduism by their counterparts in India.

Edited on, March 25, 2005, 6:08 PM GMT, by chinaman.
Reason: Please quote only the relevant parts, thanks.
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  #46  
Old March 25, 2005, 01:14 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beamer
1. Is it fair to ask the question if "atheism" is only meant for the elite then? Elite in terms of educational and moral sophistication.

2. How else can a simple mind be so enlightened to constantly debate in his mind about the rights and wrongs in social norms and code while playing God, messenger and executioner at the same time? Certainly not meant for the masses of ignorant God fearing lot, who stay with their lord no matter what happens to them. They praise the Lord for all the good fortunes and pray for forgiveness when the Tsunami unleashes hell on them to atone their sins.

3. Organized religion definitely has an upper hand beacuse they are able to articulate the omni -present existence of divinity, whether real or unreal is a matter of irrelevance. Don't you think that it should dissuade the billions of hungry and poor in this world to question the existence of God? Yet, they don't and cling on to their respective religion and God. You need to be educationally superior to ask these questions. Sounds like a very elitist "ism" to me.

4. I asked you earlier whether there can be atheism without religion? You didn't answer or chose not to. I would still like to know your view on that.

5. Totaly respect on your position and belief in the non-existence of God. Also, respect people who are absolutely convinced that God exists. Fundamentally, not much difference between the two. Both are driven by the conviction or intuition of their respective belief. Neither show any proof. In the end, blind faith wins!
1. I am not sure I agree with your definition of elitism as in educational and moral sophistication. Elitism is more like a comparative term for a given place and time. When you say someone is "elite", you are making a comparative judgment about him with respect to the whole of society. I don't see how this intrinsically relates to atheism. Atheism is not a result of elitism. But a thoughtful atheist MIGHT be considered an elite IF a majority of the rest of the society isn't as philosophically sophisticated as he is. But there is no absolute guarantee that a majority of any society will always remain philosophically challenged. Just as there is no absolute guarantee that a majority of Bangladeshi people will always remain illiterate. Society changes over time. And usually for the better when it comes to education. And as people become more morally enlightened, as education spreads, atheism could be in a pretty commonplace position. That is the beauty of atheism. Atheism (at least my kind) comes from accomplishing a certain threshold of reading, pondering, deliberation, etc. If the time comes when a majority of the poeple in a society are able to accomplish the same kind of thinking exercises, atheism will not be elite any more. So I disagree, it is not fair to say to say that atheism is only meant for the elite.

2. Via education (of the philosophical and moral kind)? Think abuot it, humans on average now know infinitely more about the physical nature than, say, our grandparents. Are we "elitists" compared to our grandparents? Are we "enlightened"? Absolutely. So what? That's how education/enlightenment works. It improves people. Trace the history of political order. Think about how democracy came into being. Doesn't it seem unbelievable that monarchy and feudalism that worked for thousands of years ultimately gave way to rational democracy?

3. I think the situation you are trying to describe here is much more complicated. Religion ESPECIALLY works on poor and hungry people, and not so much on well-to-do people. Why the poor and hungry do not embrace atheism and cutches on to religion has more to do with human psychology than rationality. The poor and hungry don't voluntarily decide to cling to God. Their circumstances probably force them to clutch on to something, may be a message of hope. And religious leaders, who are neither poor nor hungry, take advantage of this situation. That's how religion (or any other faith-based cult) thrives. It thrives on the mentally weak.

4. I didn't answer because I don't see any relevance of the question to our discussion. Atheism is most probably natural. When you were born, you did not know of any God. The idea of God came to you via your parents, your society, or may be your parents and the majority of your society were atheists (unlikely) and you found God through your own (in my opinion, irrational) thinking. Either way, the question whether religion exists without atheism or whether atheism exists without religion seems like an irrelevant, speculative question, because atheism and religion both have been in the human society for a LONG time. There were atheist philosophers (and probably common atheist folks) in every civilization of the past. So I don't know what you are trying to get at here.

5. I don't know what kind of atheists you have been talking to so far, but atheism is not really about "absolute conviction" about the non-existence of God. It could be that someone is an atheist because the idea of God doesn't make any sense to him, just like the idea of the a pink cow grazing on the surface of Jupiter might not make any sense to a lot of us. Am I practicing blind faith when I say I don't believe in the existence any such pink cow? No, I am absolutely rationally justified to say so. Similarly, I don't believe in the idea of God stemming from the same kind of rational justification, i.e., I am a non-believer of the idea of God, and subsequently I am an atheist.

Edited on, March 25, 2005, 6:16 PM GMT, by Arnab.

Edited on, March 25, 2005, 6:16 PM GMT, by Arnab.
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  #47  
Old March 25, 2005, 01:20 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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BTW, I wish I could quickly reply to all other posters who have replied to some of my posts. I will try to find some time and get back to you later.
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  #48  
Old March 25, 2005, 03:10 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by razabq
Quote:
Originally posted by Arnab
Atheists do not get agitated much because of their atheism.
1. Yet each and every atheist I have encountered in my life seems to feel a compulsion to dump on religion, including yourself (Arnab)

2. The motivation might indeed not be "agitation",

3. but if one's code of moral, philosophical, blah blah blah, makes one think of a different blah blah (such as religion) as, categorically, the equivalent of physically handicapped then you can't claim that your blah blah blah is an enlightened one.

4. You pursue your denigration of religion with the same zeal as, I daresay, the Spanish Inquisition ( whom NOBODY expects ) showed when ripping people's nails off. Ok, that was a cheap shot,

5. but when you say that you dump on religion simply to sharpen your mind I smell mohisher goo.
1. Well, what you view as "the compulsion to dump on religion" may be seen as a perfectly normal if you are not religious.

If I say I have a degree in Mathematics, and say that I know better calculus than the guy who got a degree in psychology, and let's say I solve a very hard math problem in front of him, am I showing my compulsion to dump on that guy's lack of skill in Mathematics?

Let's say I know the rules of grammar and try to speak/write sentences properly. By doing that in front of an illiterate person, am I showing my compulsion to dump on him, mocking him for his illiteracy?

Seriously, what is the limit where you (admittedly a religious person yourself) decide whether I am showing a compulsion to dump on religion or not? Why is it you, the religious person, who gets to decide the limit? It seems to me that the only persons who raises this "compulsion to dump on religion" are all religious persons themsleves, like you.

So I think you are deliberately being vague about this "compulsion to dump on religion" thing. In fact, so far you haven't given me one concrete example of what consitutes "dumping on religion" and who decides what is considered "dumping" and whether this decision has valid reasoning behind it. Being vague is very advantageous for you, because then you can easily strike down any strawman of your choice.

2. If the motivation is indeed not "agitation", then where is the fuss? And why did you quote the "agitation" part of my post then? May be it will become clear in the latter part of your post.

3. Ah, so the point of contention is not whether atheists are agitators, but whether atheists are as "enlightened" as they claim to be. I think you are misrepresenting my analogy. Let me descrbe the thought process behind my analogy. There is certainly nothing "enlightening" about viewing religious poeple as partially mental handicaps. What I am trying to say is that we don't disrespect the handicaps. We don't pity the handicaps. We accept they are handicaps, we don't REALLY try hard to feel physically superior to them. We accept their disabilities, move on with our lives, while providing them ways to rehabilitate themselves in our society any way we can. I was merely trying to provide a good analogy about how atheists "feel" about theists. So the analogy is not really about the "enlightenment" part of our discussion.

4. Well, you said it yourself in the end. The ridiculous metaphor of Spanish inquisitions was a cheap shot void of any substantive argument. I think the use of such ludicrous analogies also shows the knee-jerk desparation on YOUR part to denigrate atheism by any clutch means possible.

5. Another deliberate misrepresentation. I don't recall saying oe even implying the idea that "I dump on religion to sharpen my mind". Again, whether I am "dumping" on religion is a purely subjective assessment, and remember that I have not brought up the word "dumping" or the phrase "mohisher goo" (which, I must admit, is a mad funny phrase; I personally would use that phrase to lighten up the situation ) to describe any religion in this discussion.


Edited on, March 25, 2005, 8:15 PM GMT, by Arnab.
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  #49  
Old March 25, 2005, 03:41 PM
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aight arnab,

you deliberately attacked a religion (mostly islam) on the first post of this thread (or another thread). was there really a need to do that? did anyone attack athiesim before that?

just because you have no morals or values, and cant respect prophets except for their "manipulative powers" doesn't mean that ppl with values have to tolerate deliberate provocation from your part. i can understand ur libertarian and/or hedonistic dogma, but that doesnt mean that we are obliged to take ur venom.

again, no insults, no bitching, just a humble plea.

Edited on, March 25, 2005, 8:43 PM GMT, by al Furqaan.
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Old March 25, 2005, 03:42 PM
imtiaz82 imtiaz82 is offline
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I would request all the people in this forum who hold Atheistic point of view to please read the following article, and give some input about it.(the writing is based on scientific facts and not only religious theology)

http://www.harunyahya.com/70the_fall...eism_sci34.php

It is an interesting article even for muslims who have deep faith in their religion.

Edited on, March 25, 2005, 8:44 PM GMT, by nayeem007.
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