Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another Form of Religous Denial

Christians do not have a monopoly on denial. You know what I'm talking about... saying things like "Well, if they do that then they are not really Christian no matter what they say"... or "Well, those people killing abortion doctors are not really Christian."

Well, Muslims do it, too. Here is a recent example of Muslim denial:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai rejected the notion that there is a link between religion and the wave of suicide bombings in his country. Rather, he said, suicide bombings are becoming a business in which terrorists are paying families to recruit suicide bombers. These kinds of criminal activities, he said, must be vigorously combated. "While Afghanistan is still a crucial battlefield, a rapidly spreading war is engulfing the wider region. Terrorist attacks have evolved in number, tactics and brutality. New battlefronts are opened up each day. Our strategies in this war have often been short-changed by a host of deceptive rhetoric or due to lingering misconceptions about the nature of the enemy."

The violence in the Middle East is a combination of a backward religious mindset and our greed for their oil.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

In 1950, atheist under the guise of communist China initiated an unprovoked invasion into Tibet, claiming that the Peoples Liberation Army had the task of "liberating" Tibet. The small Tibetan army had no choice but to surrender, and Tibetan officials were forced under duress to surrender their independence in an "agreement" that has since been ruled by the international community as being illegal and invalid. In the words of his Holiness, the Dalai Lama: "Far from carrying out the agreement, (China) began deliberately to pursue a course of policy which was diametrically opposed to the terms and conditions which they have themselves laid down. Thus commenced a reign of terror which finds few parallels in the history of Tibet. Forced labour ... systematic persecution of the people, plunder and confiscation of property belonging to individuals and monasteries and execution of certain leading men in Tibet, these are the glorious achievements of the Chinese rule in Tibet."

The Dalai Lama is not a political extremist, nor is he even calling for separation. In the face of this brutality, genocide and religious persecution, he insists on using peaceful, non-violent measures through which he hopes that Tibet will gain freedom for its people to live as they choose, and practice and teach the religion of their choice. Although the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his spiritual and political leadership, it's most unfortunate that there is little the Dalai Lama or other leaders of Tibet can do while in exile.

The situation in Tibet is steadily growing worse. Peaceful protests and non-aggression do not fare well against the brutality of the atheistic Chinese government. Buddhist monasteries are directed by government agents, spiritual leaders are appointed by the government, and those who protest are imprisoned. The 11-year old Pachen Lama, recognized by Tibetan Buddhists as a reincarnated holy leader, has been imprisoned by the Chinese authorities and has been denied access to any media personnel or mediators. There have been unconfirmed rumors of the child's secret execution and cremation, and while these rumors may not be entirely credible, the Chinese have refused to let the international community see the child.

BAWDYSCOT said...

anonymous,

Imperialism knows no religion or the absence of religion. It is what it is, imperialism. The want of power over others and their possessions, period. Bringing up atheism as being inherently imperialistic is just a fucking red herring.

BAWDYSCOT said...

Oh, and btw, anon, Christianity is the fastest growing religion in China. Just thought you would want to know.

Anonymous said...

Atheism is like the releasing of an unnatural predator within a balanced ecosystem although probably not a red herring. The power hungry are restrained by no natural moral absolutes and the eventual domains of knowledge, beliefs, values and expertise are forced upon the followers.

Christians in China established the first clinics and hospitals, provided the first training for nurses, opened the first modern schools, worked to abolish practices such as foot binding, and the unjust treatment of maidservants, as well as launching charitable work and distributing food to the poor. They also opposed the opium trade and brought treatment to many who were addicted. Some of the early leaders of the Chinese Republic, such as Sun Yat-sen were converts to Christianity and were influenced by its teachings.

As of 2007, indigenous Chinese Christianity is growing in contrast to Christian adherence in the West, where it is in decline in many cases. Although China bans foreign missionaries and sometimes harasses and imprisons Christians, especially in rural areas, Christianity is booming in China. In 1800 there were 250,000 baptized Roman Catholics, but no known Protestant believers out of an estimated 362 million Chinese. By 1949, out of an estimated population of 450 million, there were just over 500,000 baptized Protestant Christians.

coreydbarbarian said...

atheism is an "unnatural" predator?? then atheists are "power hungry" w/ "no natural morals"???

anon, check yourself. please.

you operate under the assumption that religion establishes morals, but that is backwards. you call atheism unnatural, yet lack of religious belief (atheism) predates religion. that's historical fact. what gives?

BAWDYSCOT said...

anonymous,

you must have had problems in math class as your equation atheism=imperialism just doesn't add up. Europe's imperialist binge centuries ago was fueled by Christian men who had little compunction enslaving and stealing from undeserving peoples just living out their lives in a manner they had become accustomed to. Humans have been terrible to each other for a myriad of reasons since our species arose and religion has failed to stop it before and I daresay this situation will stay with us for awhile longer. Have atheists done some terrible things to fellow human beings...sure. Have the pious also done those very same things...you bet. This is the reason the "man's inhumanity to man" theme is a timeless one; so many can relate to it and it has nothing to do with a person's thoughts of the divine.

Anonymous said...

Prehistoric structures (Stonehenge in England, Hagar Qim and the Hypogeum in Malta, etc.) all testify to the fact that man is a "religious animal," distinct from the beasts and all living creatures upon the earth. The earliest civilisations (Sumerians, Egyptians, Incas, etc.) all had a strong sense of religion; these people all attempted to Re-ligio, to be bound to their Maker and Superior.

Their earliest records and structures all point to the fact that religion is not an opium for the people, as Marx mistakenly believed. It is rather his desperate and unsuccessful attempt to make amends with God.

Even Voltaire, who tired himself of mocking the God and the church, when caught in a storm and in danger of death, is known to have spontaneously pray to God to deliver him. To say "There is no God," is the oppose all mankind.

BAWDYSCOT said...

anonymous,

I believe corey was talking about before any civilisations. Man didn't spring up into towns and cities at the beginning, he was more interested in when and where his next meal was coming. An empty belly, I believe, was more important to early man than the origin of his surroundings.

coreydbarbarian said...

bawdy is right. by the time of the great bronze age civilizations, man had existed for 150,000 years.

religion, in it's earliest incarnation (animism) didn't make its debut until about 30,000 years ago.

todays religions were all born of the strife from the fall of the bronze age civilizations. mankind decided 2 seek out a means of harmonizing, a method of working in unity.

also, stonehenge is an astronomical device. a calendar, if you will. not religious in origins, though pagans did flock there thousands of years later.

Anonymous said...

Paleontological and archaeological evidence supports that Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis appeared some 2.7 million years ago, later Homo ergaster and Homo erectus, around 1.5 million years ago, then Homo sapiens archaicus probably about 250,000 years ago, and lastly Homo sapiens sapiens appeared around 100,000 years ago.

Homo ergaster/erectus Homo sapiens archaicus each created the symbols expressing the restoration of the inner self, and the ritual art of stone circles, geoglyphs and the full array of the combination of symbols to represent the mother-of-animals and the shamanic- psychological tutelary and of healing spirits. This is all that is available to us to this date but to assume earlier ancestors were not cognizant of a supreme entity is not supportable.

Ceroill said...

It is also a bit of a leap to conclude that prehistoric man was bonafidely religious. To say that they had artistic impulses, yes, that is supportable. To suppose that they had some sort of rituals, and perhaps had the idea of supernatural powers outside themselves, possibly. To conclude then that they perceived a single supreme entity or deity is a bit of a stretch.

coreydbarbarian said...

in fact, the notion of a single deity didn't seem to arrive until the first millenium bc. prior 2 that, all evidence indicates that most people believed the spirit world was as jam-packed w/ gods and spirits as our world is w/ people and critters.

in the 1st millenium, the greeks recorded the hierarchy of their many gods. the persians reduced them to two, one good, the other evil. in india, a multiplicity of gods formed some sort of divine unity.

no, the idea of a monotheistic god was a contribution of jewish thought, and seems 2 have developed in their sacred writings around 500 bc.

G said...

500 BC would be a bit late. Even if one rejects Adam & Eve as literal people (at least 4000 BC), You have Abraham (around 2000 BC), who was called out of a pagan land to monotheism. Then there's Moses (around 1500 BC) who was clearly monotheistic. Liberal scholars don't even place the Exodus later than 1200 BC. Even looking at Solomon's temple (around 1000 BC), it was clearly a place to worship the one true God.

Ceroill said...

There's also Akhenaten in Egypt about 1350 BC, and there are those who suggest that his ideas were a strong influence on the development of Hebrew monotheism.

Anonymous said...

Great points however the fact remains Homo ? has attempted to reconcile himself to a supreme entity as far back as the evidence is accessible Mono or poly is extraneous, the quest has been on going and continues in the present day. Considering the magnitude and intricacy of this universe and the insignificance of Homo ?, the search should not be surprising.

coreydbarbarian said...

okay, obviously the origins of monotheism are a contentious point of debate.

as bob indicated, the egyptians experimented w/ monotheism, or a form similar to it. zoroaster (or zarathustra) also flirted w/ one god, but settled on two, good & bad. the abrahamic god was the first unique god, however - its very existence excluded the possibility of others.

now, g, i will allow that my dating is approximate. but i think we are interpreting evidence differently.

i see evidence of a tribal deity evolving into a unique and universal god. judging from the timeline of jewish scriptures (as opposed 2 working strictly from the rigid ordering of the old testament), it seems the writers shifted their frame of reference from one-of-many to the-only-one.

i'm pressed for time 2day, so i must refer you 2 wikipedia for a clunky summary. sorry 'bout dat!

csm said...

"Considering the magnitude and intricacy of this universe and the insignificance of Homo ?, the search should not be surprising."

While I agree that the universe is large, amazing and of endless fascination, I disagree as to the insignificance of man. From my frame of reference, which is the only one I can reasonably work with, I find man to be quite significant. OK, perhaps not on Alpha Centauri, but again, from my frame of reference, here on old Earth, our significance is huge... and anyone making statements like in the above quote is most likely a pompous ass spewing false humility.

Anonymous said...

Only two things are certain: the universe and human stupidity—and I’m not certain about the universe.’ Einstein

csm said...

Nice quote anonymous. Do you understand it?