Friday, 14 September 2012

Tolerating Intolerance?

Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia are all in outrage over a film called "Innocence of Muslims," a terrible film made about an even more terrible man. The film that has sparked so much controversy was made by some amateur film maker in California.

After news of the film gained speed, some Muslims of the aforementioned countries got very hurt feelings because the film shows the Prophet Muhammed to be a violent and malicious man (which is not exactly an exaggeration for anyone who has done the research). So in order to show the world how wrong the film is, they burned shit down, stormed the United States embassy in Egypt, Libya, and more recently in Yemen, killing the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, along with three other Americans. YEA! That'll how 'em that Islam is a Religion of Peace!!!

Demonstrations have also taken place in Lebanon, Gaza, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Indonesia, and India. Some of the accounts from these Protesters are laughable to say the least. They are all along the lines of 'Oh the Police shouldn't even get in our way! How dare they! Our honor has been offended, ect, ect...' So of course, the remedy for this would be to kill anyone in sight who is in anyway related to America and thus associated with the film by extension?? But hey, come on, its understandable! What are some attacks, the burning of American flags, and the killing of some people compared to the Prophet Muhammad being portrayed in a bad light? Wouldn't you say thats a fair trade-off? For those unfamiliar with internet etiquette of the modern world, that was sarcasm.

Correct me if I'm wrong but Americans are not telling Egypt for example who to elect, are they? Mohamed Morsi won in Egypt. He was elected despite being the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Americans, nor any facet of the Western world, did not account for this outcome (Trust me, if they were, results would have been different). And so, other countries do not get to tell America how to run their government. You see there is a little thing called Freedom of Speech- All rationalized and civilized minds would probably agree that it is a good thing. Sometimes Muslims, along with ANY OTHER party privy to criticism (meaning EVERYONE) may not like some of that speech, and in that case, we say tough luck. You and your religion are not solely exempt from criticism ! The world does not work that way, so calm the fuck down!

If your immediate response to having your beliefs offended is to go attack and kill someone, you desperately need to re-examine your beliefs, my friend. Those are not the actions of someone secure beyond a shadow of a doubt in the plausibility of their beliefs. Those are the actions of someone who acknowledges the fact that their beliefs cannot stand up to intellectual scrutiny and examination. Those are strange and misguided ways of saying that "Hey my ideas suck, and I obviously cannot fight back with ideology, so I will fight back with violence."

If these Muslims truly believed that their religion was correct, wouldn't the All-mighty Allah be able to handle this without the help of his puny and unworthy human followers? And I am using the word "help" very loosely here, because what is it exactly that these Muslims are helping? They are by their own actions CONTRADICTING themselves and the message they are trying to get across! I mean did any of them even watch this film? If not, I urge them and everyone else who has not seen it to not waste your time. It is probably the most poorly made film ever made. If the film maker spent $20 on it, it would have been too much. Despite all of this, the film maker was not wrong to make it. It is his freedom to do so, and I will defend this freedom to do so with every ounce of myself. If these Muslims don't like how America allows this type of freedom, then the solution is easy for them: Don't ever move to America.

I mean let us just put things into perpective: People, human beings, not at all associated with the film in any other way than they were born or lived in the same country that it was produced are DEAD. People were brutally murdered because other people were offended by a movie. A fucking MOVIE!!!! And its this movie???? Seriously?? There is nothing interesting, visually pleasing or in anyway remarkable about this film other than it has pretty much set off an international crisis!! WTF?!!!!

Are you kidding me? Is this 2012? Someone please freeze me and thaw me in a century or so when (hopefully) the majority of Religious fundamentalists, and for that matter, Religion in general, is completely obsolete and ancient history. PLEASE!

Even more disturbing is how Hilary Clinton and a string of other politicians have publicly condemned the film for daring to be critical of Prophet Muhammad. She had this to say: "To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have deeply cynical purpose: To denigrate a great Religion and to provoke rage." As a popular youtuber puts it, a good rule of thumb Hilary, is this:  If a crazy person has a crazy ass response to a mild stimulus, you don't blame the mild, little stimulus for pissing them off, you blame the crazy person for being crazy!

I am going to finish this post with the shatteringly wise words of Bertrand Russel:

"In this world which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way — and if we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet."

If you would like more information on this or want to know where I got the pics, links, ect, go here.

Peace. Please!

Today's Tea: Matcha green tea.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Recalling Reality

I could not shake this line from my mind, so I thought I would post it here. Anyone who has ever read a good book can attest to the accuracy of this statement, and relish in the bittersweet misery that its realization invites.

"All I could think about now as night fell was how much you can love made up people. And how much you can miss them."

-John Green

Todays Tea: Organic green (Dragonwell)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Just Call it Hate Speech!

I've been wanting to get something off my chest. Alright, now that my bra is off, I can talk about what's been bugging me as of lately.

Hate speech does not include talks, pictures, toys, blogs, or videos that are "religiously offensive." You cannot categorize atheist rants, speeches, and scientific battles that brilliant minds share daily under the same umbrella of shit that we call hate speech, such as racism, homophobia, or sexism. Critiques of a particular religion may be religiously offensive to believers, but they do not fall under the hate speech heap. Faith, superstition, astrology, and other forms of hokum are all beliefs that are taught and learned. You are not born a Christian. You are not born a Muslim. You are not born a Jew, ect...All babies are atheists! Opps did I just pop your little bubble there? Sorry for awakening your unsettling little revelation but it was needed. Because these fables, lies, and stories are learned, they (just like your wardrobe, or taste in music for example) are privy to criticism, dissection, research, and meticulous inquiry, just like any other claim in the scientific community would undoubtably have to face.

I bring this up now because as some of you may know, recently Youtube has moved from being an impartial media website that shares videos amongst people, to choosing the side of superstition. Youtube have suddenly and vehemently began to enforce the ridiculous and vague clause that any hate speech, including the so-called religiously offensive, will be removed, flagged, blah blah blah. Now this clause has always been there, but as of recently many of the youtubers I watch have had their own videos (some of which are months or even years old) removed with no chance of pardon, which needless to say thoroughly pissed a lot of people off, including myself.

Now I am pleased to report that after a couple of days of backlash from the atheist/rationalist/humanist community, youtube has reinstated most, if not all of these videos. Which just goes to show you, youtube and other sheepish websites of the sort, fear prosecution more than they respect freedom of speech or the right to individual opinion. They follow the lead of whoever makes the most noise. So rationalists everywhere, please never stop making noise. We (non-believers) are one of the largest, if not the largest, minorities. And yet we are still viewed in only a negative light by the vast majority of people. A clear example of this is the separation of Church and State debacle. Because non-believers push towards this separation, it is automatically assumed that we are in favor of a world of anarchy and degradation of law, which is complete bullshit. even more unsettling is that fact that it is just about impossible to run for office if you are a non-believer. Just admitting that you do not believe in any god is a major strike against you in a political race and a near guarantee that you will lose the election.

But just to make things fun, lets just say being religiously offensive, speaking of Darwinian science, the philosophy of Dawkins, Harris ect, the historical inaccuracies of the Bible, and mad atrocities of the Koran...lets just say for arguments sake all of these things are in fact "hate speech." If this were the case, then this argument must therefore work both ways in order to benefit equally both parties (the believers and non-believers). I am an atheist, and thus a part of arguably the largest minority in the western world, and I find Religious speech, preaching, and praying to be massively offensive. I fundamentally disagree with believers' claims, and find their supposed (and I use this quite loosely) debunking of scientific evidence to be hate speech against myself and others like me. So why does my claim not count? Why shouldn't all the Religious relics and leaders and followers delete their blogs and remove their videos, ect? Why? 

The answer is simple: Because they do not want to, and guess what? I don't want that either. I view freedom of speech as a beautifully vulnerable living organism that can be moulded into something dangerously one-sided if left in the wrong hands. And for a few days, youtube succumbed to these malicious demands and made it just that. As a whole, we must all work towards preventing similar actions against freedom of speech in the future so that they may never happen again.

It is kind of amusing to me actually, because I think the people lodging these complaints to youtube are the people who are silently questioning their own faith. How fucking insecure do you have to be about your imaginary deity that simple videos of others discussing the topic of religion in any manner other than in reverence will drive you to spend time and energy trying to silence them? Why would you go through all this effort and waste all of this time if you are truly secure in your faith? I have pondered this question for some time and the only rational answer I can think of is that these apparently avid believers are attempting to conceal these videos and opinions out of fear that they may actually resonate with other believers and even possibly make them abandon blind faith and take the leap into rationality, reason and scientific inquiry. It's all really very pathetic.

Even more so once you take into account that these people are probably the same people who defensively and angrily ask a non-believer to prove there is no God....I mean really? Come on! Even without any proper education or even without common sense, you still have to have half a mind to know that you cannot prove a negative! Besides, the burden of proof is not on the non-believer, it lies with the person making the claim. It is the believer claiming the existence of an omnipotent higher power so how the fuck does it make any sense that the non-believer should have to prove the believer wrong??? It is the believer who must adequately prove their claim is valid beyond a reasonable doubt because they are the ones putting forth this claim in the first place!! Until this happens, believers' have no business in asking non-believers to "prove that their god doesn't exist." And no, reciting some verses from the Bible or the Koran does not count as proof that your god is real, just like me reciting some verses from The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh doesn't count as proof that donkeys, tigers and bears can talk and are also buddies with each other.


Today's Tea: Oolong ginger.

Ps. Reason Rally 2012: