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: http://www.reasonrally.org/