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Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN 957

Posted by samzenpus
from the sticks-and-stones dept.
eldavojohn writes "An article published in Pakistan's Daily Times contains several quotes from Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf indicating his intent to push for international blasphemy laws in both the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (57 countries). These comments came shortly after Pakistan's 'Day of Love for the Prophet' turned into riots that left 19 people dead and, of course, this all follows the extended trailers of 'Innocence of Muslims' being translated. Questionable circumstances surround who is prosecuted under these 'blasphemy laws' and what kind of fear they instill in Pakistan's minorities. The UN's Human Rights Charter mentions protection from 'religious intolerance' but also in the same sentence 'freedom of opinion and expression.'"
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Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN

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  • by fnj (64210) on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:57AM (#41436111)

    You can't legislate respect.

  • Blasphemy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @09:59AM (#41436125)

    Your demand for "blasphemy laws" is, to us, blasphemy!

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cryacin (657549) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:00AM (#41436141)
    Please, will the sensible and non-crazy muslims please stand up already and disown these lunatics?

    This is not religious intolerance, but rather intolerance against extremely disproportionate acts. According to the muslims who riot, it is absolutely appropriate for people to stand up and violently destroy property, and take people lives. Surely this is not what Islam and the Koran truly stands for?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:00AM (#41436143)

    you can legislate control. respect isnt the goal here

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:02AM (#41436161)

    ...is the perceived right to never be offended.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dskoll (99328) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:04AM (#41436183)

    Surely this is not what Islam and the Koran truly stands for?

    And what if it is? It seems to me that Islam does condone (hell no, recommend) the use of violence to spread Islam.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:06AM (#41436203) Homepage

    One can be disrespectful of religion yet tolerate it at the same time.
    Ignoring something is considered disrespectful and all you need to do to tolerate something is to simply ignore it.

  • Fahrenheit 451 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ImdatS (958642) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:07AM (#41436227) Homepage

    All these comments and requests for "blasphemy" etc, somehow remind me of "Fahrenheit 451" - I'm afraid, because of all these demands, we're really on the wrong track and move towards the world described in Fahrenheit 451...

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:08AM (#41436245) Journal
    How about we finally rank freedom of expression firmly above freedom of religion? Freedom of expression already safeguards religious freedom in all the important ways (along with freedom of assembly). But freedom of religion should not include the right to be free from being insulted or offended. We all are offended by something from time to time, but us non-religious types just have to suck it up. And rightly so. In such cases, freedom of expression should trump religious sensitivities
  • On the other hand (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:09AM (#41436261)

    The UN should (if it could) pass an international "don't foist your religion on me" law, forbidding proselytizing, causing injury to others for religious reasons, or religious discrimination of any sort. Passing an anti-blasphemy law is just so wrong, and stifling to just about all free speech!

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:12AM (#41436297)
    Note that their interpretation of "Blasphemy" is "Critical of Islam". From TFA:

    We would go to the UN and OIC and get a law passed to stop anti-Islam activities, including blasphemy, for-ever,

    So burning bibles [worthynews.com] will be fine, as will be the destroying artefacts of other faiths [wikipedia.org]. Of course it will not interfere with their right to kill anyone who converts from Islam (apostasy has the death penalty in Pakistan and many other Muslim countries [wikipedia.org], or allow non-Muslims to worship in the open. I suggest that the UN ought to think about preventing the death penalty for changing religion rather than make it illegal to say "Muhammad was violent".

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:14AM (#41436319)

    Please, will the sensible and non-crazy muslims please stand up already and disown these lunatics?

    Sensible, non-crazy members of [insert religion name here], while the majority, give very boring interviews that get bad ratings.

  • by cfulton (543949) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:15AM (#41436335)
    Christianity is blasphemy to a Muslim. Islam is blasphemy to a Jew. Mormonism is blasphemy to a Christian. And us atheists, well no religion thinks that ain't blasphemy. So, would this mean that everybody just shuts up about their particular brand of religion or does the world have to pick just one? Because, otherwise it is a joke of an idea.
  • Fuck allah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:16AM (#41436341)

    Hell, fuck all invisible men in the sky.

  • by fnj (64210) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:18AM (#41436365)

    Hear, hear. This is fundamental. Even the three laws of robotics only worked because the priority was specified.

  • Re:Blasphemy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:19AM (#41436377)

    If the UN charter mentions 'protection from religious intolerance', why are the extreme demands of some religions (or lack thereof) being heeded at all? These demands sound like the very definition of religious intolerance.

  • by Seumas (6865) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:19AM (#41436381)

    Respect for what?

    Your dumb ideas are yours to have, but I've no obligation to hold them up to any sort of esteem any more than I'm obligated to respect the idea that the earth sits on a stack of turtles in space or that Santa squeezes down six billion chimneys every year. The sooner we stop giving ideas a retreat by couching them in "my belief system", the sooner we can get on with common sense.

  • by Seumas (6865) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:22AM (#41436419)

    It's okay to hate fags, but don't you dare say anything about the make-believe magic-man behind my faith that I use to enable my hatred!

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:24AM (#41436461) Journal

    Respect = Tolerance. So, basically, that should be the only law.

    "Respect" and "Tolerance" are basically orthogonal. Tolerating somebody does require that you respect their right to do whatever it is they are doing; but has no necessary connection with respecting whatever it is they are doing. Respect, by contrast, implies some degree of actual regard for somebody, rather than mere sufferance of them.

    In fact, 'tolerate' actually sounds pretty weird if used outside a context where the stimulus is implicitly negative in some respect. You wouldn't ask "How can you tolerate getting a raise and a corner office?" You would as "How can you tolerate that squeaky noise that the vent in your office makes?"

  • Re:Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:25AM (#41436471)

    Thomas Jefferson viewed this as freedom of conscience, that is the state has no authority to dictate a person's thoughts and beliefs. Men have this freedom by their nature. The state cannot remove it.

    The inscription on the Jefferson Memorial reads "I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

    Ultimately this tyranny is what the Pakistan minister intends be enforced by international law.

    We should not be supporting or in fact have any relations with a society such as this.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:26AM (#41436497)

    Actions Speak Louder.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:27AM (#41436515)
    Thing is, such Muslims stand up and denounce such things all the time, but when the media give them attention the sites are bashed for being 'liberal media' since such denouements do not fit with a certain narrative... so there is a rather strong selection bias going on.
  • by pla (258480) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:28AM (#41436529) Journal
    You can't legislate respect.

    You can legislate education, however. And as people become more educated, they become less religious. Win-win!

    More to the point, you want respect? Start by learning why we think you sound like a complete idiot when you go frothing about your preferred fairy-tale. You want tolerance? Behave like civilized humans rather than rabid dogs. You want the freedom to practice your religion? Clean house and stop letting the worst among you represent your religion to the rest of the world.


    You can't legislate respect, but you can earn it.
  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:32AM (#41436597)

    The words in the book speak pretty loudly as well. And if you're not going to follow what the book demands, why are you a Muslim at all?

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:33AM (#41436607) Journal

    Blasphemy laws are legislating disrespect. Disrespect for each individual's free thought.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:40AM (#41436713)

    Saying "look it up" is not the same as citing a reference, even if it's in all-caps.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:40AM (#41436721) Homepage

    The Muslims are not worse than what Christians used to be with the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch trials and all that. Religions can change, the problem is that Islam largely haven't.

  • Re:Blasphemy! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:43AM (#41436751)

    No, no, no. Stop this stupid equivocating crap. Demand for blasphemy laws is no more blasphemy to a free speech activist than rejecting intolerance is intolerance from a free love hippy. It is not even funny. It's just wrong.

    Here's why: the concept of free speech is based on human rights, not God's demands. That means that it cannot actually be blasphemy, which is specifically defined as speech harmful to God's image. Furthermore, free speech is based on the understanding that people will be enforcing laws, which means that people will be interpreting laws, which means that something as nebulous as "thou shall not insult me" is guaranteed to be abused in the most terrible fashion, and therefore has no place in a book of law. To put it another way: the requirement inherent in free speech that I tolerate your foul mouth has nothing to do with requiring to tolerate your actions, or your calls to action. If you're going to advocate restrictions on free speech, free speech activists will come down on your ass.

    I know you were going for funny, but there are too many idiots out there who see this and go "Hypocrites! All of you! Now let me play my Call of Duty 27".

  • intolerance of intolerance is not the same thing as intolerance itself

    "i oppose you because of your skin color" is not the same as "i oppose you because you oppose people simply because of their skin color"

    but in that difference, is the confusion: some social conservatives view the left as the most intolerant. because the left won't respect their homophobia, for example. "how can you say you stand for tolerance when you don't respect my right to deny someone else's right to marry?"

    did you see that trick? did you see how it gets turned around?

    it's the same as "if some troll somewhere makes a bad youtube video about muhammad, the honor of islam must be restored with blood from someone else from your tribe, the west"

    it all comes down to: how do you deal with people who demand respect for a worldview which is essentially disrespectful

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dskoll (99328) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:50AM (#41436855)

    I posted citations from the Qu'ran itself. No secondary sources needed to show that Islam condones and promotes religiously-motivated violence.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:50AM (#41436863)

    Sorry. But no. They are not the same phenomenon. Faith is a requirement for religion, because religions are always false. Faith is not absolutely necessary for politics, because people are genuinely capable of being both capable and and have good intentions, however rare that may be.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:52AM (#41436903)

    Islam also says that, if you bring someone into your house, you have to protect them from harm. One of it's central tenets(one of the Pillars) is charity. During the Middle ages, the Middle East under Islam was one of the safest places in the world to live in if you were Jewish, much more so than in Europe.

    So, because Christians in Europe used to be violent to other religions you are saying its OK for the Muslims to do it now.

    During the Crusades Muslims allowed Christians and Jews to practice their religions freely, paying only a small tax, while Christian crusaders generally enforced a convert or die approach.

    Tell the whole truth. This payment was seen as acceptance of subjugation, and If someone had agreed to pay jizya, leaving Muslim territory for non-Muslim land was punishable by enslavement [wikipedia.org] if they were ever captured. Also at times it was a heavy rather than light imposition. In addition to this Non Muslims were not allowed to practice their faith in the open, display religious symbols, or build or repair places of worship [wikipedia.org]. They would also not be allowed to testify against Muslims, which is why today so many non-Muslim women raped by muslims have it thrown out as "no case to answer".

    And for the record, the Old Testament of the Bible also condones and recommends killing to spread the religion, or even just to take land that you want, and it's ok as long as they don't believe.

    And I would be as opposed to Christians or Jews doing this as I am to Muslims doing it. The fact is that they don't any more, whereas Muslims do,

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:53AM (#41436941)

    Surely this is not what Islam and the Koran truly stands for?

    And what if it is? It seems to me that Islam does condone (hell no, recommend) the use of violence to spread Islam.

    Then you don't know anything about Islam other than what you think you've learned from news sites and CNN.

    No, I've studies the Qur'an and listened to the dictates and fatwas of Imams and it certainly is what Islam decrees

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:55AM (#41436967)

    You are defending the Qu'ran by comparing it to the Bible? You religious people are crazy.

  • by paiute (550198) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:03AM (#41437067)

    "Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil" -Thomas Mann

    That's grand. Now whose definition of evil do we use?

  • Re:Blasphemy! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:06AM (#41437131)

    People still don't know how to handle an illness where the patient doesn't want what would be good for him, from his sane version's standpoint.
    Do you force them to do what you think they would want... which will always be what *you* think is good... and thereby impose yourself on them and take away his individuality and freedom? (Sadly, most people do not even accept the fact that what they deem globally right/wrong, is only their own bias.)
    Or do you let them run around, even though you fully know they hurt themselves and others, and inside is a faint rest of themselves, screaming to be saved? (Sadly, most people don't seem to have the empathy and/or intelligence to feel bad for them.)
    It's complicated.

    Even when it's blatantly obvious, that they are harmful and dangerous to us, and the delusions serve no purpose other than to flee from an unbearable/unprocessable reality.

    We still think that one has to accept and tolerate the ignorance and delusions of others.
    In the 21st century, with psychology finally getting a solid foundation in the form of neurology, we still don't treat it like the full mental illness that it is.
    Let alone being landed in the heads of politicians...

    (Posting anonymously, because those ill with religious schizophrenia will hate-mod me down anyway. They just can't help it. And I can understand them. It's like a life-threatening thing to them. [And neurologically, it actually really is. At least for the brain.])

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by photon317 (208409) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:07AM (#41437137)

    Really, the Middle East wasn't too bad in the early part of the 20th century, either. They were joining the modern world at a decent pace, women's rights were strong, they had universities with open-minded debates, female students, and even female politicians and leaders. They had open discourse on politics and religion, and generally everyone in the region was reasonably tolerant of others' religions.

    It's the *modern* Middle East that's the problem. The *modern* Islamist rule in the region turned everything upside down with a new interpretation of "fundamentalist" Islam and started enforcing it on their societies. There are still living (old) people in the Middle East who remember how it was before all of this, and they're ashamed of what their countries have become. Religion evolves, and it's fair to say that the plurality of the modern practitioners of Islam in the Middle East represent a very different religion than the more peaceful and progressive variant that preceded it.

    There may be an interpretation of Islam that's peaceful, but there are clearly also interpretations that are not. As with Christianity, the important thing in the moment is: which side is winning Islam's internal debate and controlling the majority of its political actions on the world stage?

  • by JohnPerkins (243021) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:10AM (#41437169) Homepage

    Freedom Of Religion, for me, means I can worship Allah, Jehovah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., without you interfering in my worship.

    Freedom Of Religion, for you, means you can worship Allah, Jehovah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., without me interfering in your worship.

    Freedom Of Speech, for me, means I can say (almost*) anything, including insulting your religion.

    Freedom Of Speech, for you, means you can say (almost*) anything, including insulting my religion.

    * Exceptions for things like yelling "fire" in a theater that isn't on fire.

    When I insult your religion, I am using my freedom of speech, but I am not preventing you from practicing your religion. That is why the guy who made that anti-muslim video can make a video like that. He is exercising his freedom of speech. This does not prevent any follower of Islam from practicing their religion. Your freedom of religion affects your actions, not mine. I can stand out front of a mosque with a sign saying 'Islam is wrong,' because I am exercising my freedom of speech but I am not preventing you from entering the mosque and exercising your freedom of religion. If, on the other hand, I block the entrance to the mosque, then I would be preventing you from exercising your freedom of religion, and I would be in the wrong.

    Allah/Jehovah/etc. is not so weak that the words of a person can harm them. I think that, whatever the nature of the deity, they are probably more upset with all of the hate and pain done in their name than with the words of a person as a direct attack on them. This is what these rioters are, in effect, saying when they riot: "My god and my faith in my god are so weak that he can't take care of himself, so I have to go around killing people."

    On the other hand, if you believe that god wants you to run around rioting, killing, etc., and it's okay to do these things, then you don't get to also expect not to have your ass kicked by a superior military power. If violence is the way, then you're going to get your ass kicked and you shouldn't complain about it. If peace is the way, then you shouldn't be running around killing people. I'm not talking about whether any particular conflict is justified or not; just the internal logic of the rioters.

    All rambling aside, if there's one message I would like the muslim world to get, it would be this:

    Allah is great. He doesn't need you to run around killing people for him. He put jerks in the world to test you. Get over it, pass His test, and get on with your lives.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:14AM (#41437221) Homepage Journal

    It's okay to hate fags, but don't you dare say anything about the make-believe magic-man behind my faith that I use to enable my hatred!

    It may be OK for Muslims to hate gays, but anyone who calls himself Christian who "hates fags" is fooling himself and needs to read the New Testamment. It has a few choice passages such as "love your enemies" and "judge not." It also has a few choice words about hypocrites that some "Christians" should read.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:23AM (#41437387)

    "The nice thing about Islam is that its followers can pick and choose: Show the peaceful bits to the ignorant dhimmi and the violent bits to the true followers. You'll never get a straight answer. "

    Gee, just like Christians and the Bible.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bobakitoo (1814374) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:24AM (#41437407)

    Christianity has evolved and we should expect the same from other religions.

    Christianity did not evolve(eg: listen to the current pope's message for example), we simply mocked the shit out of it [youtube.com]. Christianity learn it's place and is no longer a threat to the civilized world. The void its demise left in our societies was left empty on purpose. It is not a opportunity for Islam to take over and we must make that very clear by mocking the shit out of their religion too.

  • that basically boil down to "you have to respect me but i don't have to respect you"

    for example, the muslim world has tons of hate against judaism and christianity which isn't punished. nevermind that mobs of jews and christians aren't threatening death and destruction because of it

  • Re:Blasphemy! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eth1 (94901) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:26AM (#41437435)

    If the UN charter mentions 'protection from religious intolerance', why are the extreme demands of some religions (or lack thereof) being heeded at all? These demands sound like the very definition of religious intolerance.

    Yeah, and what happens when someone stars the religion of Malsi, where the main doctrine is the denunciation of Muhammad, and venerating him is blasphemy? Will the UN sanction anyone practicing Islam?

    You can't ever have the right to not be offended, because there's someone somewhere that will be offended by you taking offense, so one of you will always be offended.

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:26AM (#41437445) Homepage Journal

    From my perspective, you got it wrong.

    "I oppose you because of your skin color" is a statement that is to be rejected as unethical and foolish. Just because someone subscribes to at least one unethical and foolish position does not justify categorizing them and hating them. The position can be attacked without attacking the person.

    I "tolerate intolerance" in as much as I respect the right of people to hold the position, I don't tolerate it in as much as I will point out the incorrectness of the position, actively fight against acting on the position, and make an honest attempt to convince the holder of their error. In spite of following this course precisely, I've been accused of not tolerating intolerance by people who just don't know what tolerance means.

  • Re:Really? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:26AM (#41437457)

    Go read the Qu'ran. There are plenty of instances [quran.com] in which religiously-motivated violence is condoned or even instructed [quran.com]. Of course, the apologists will immediately cite other examples from the Qu'ran that contradict that. The nice thing about Islam is that its followers can pick and choose: Show the peaceful bits to the ignorant dhimmi and the violent bits to the true followers. You'll never get a straight answer.

    Actually, the repugnant ones are the ones that count. The early verses are the ones with all the niceness, the later the nasty. The included instruction that if two verses seem to conflict, the later is the one that should be followed puts it in perspective. The muslims that seem to be nice to you are following the instruction to deceive the infidels (until the opportunity to take over presents itself).

  • by scamper_22 (1073470) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:28AM (#41437487)

    "You can legislate education, however. And as people become more educated, they become less religious. Win-win!"

    Yeah... of course you can legislate education. It's why every ideology seeks control of the education system. Hint... look up the Hitler Youth, or how communism took over education.

    Just what kind of legislated education do you think Pakistan will introduce?

    90% of education is indoctrination ( extreme word used on purpose). Really most education is about passing on the values of the society to the next generation.

    Many in the West lost sight of that simple reality known for thousands of years.

  • by MitchDev (2526834) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:31AM (#41437555)
    Shush, the bible isn't meant to be taken as a whole, only fragments that you can twist to control the sheep you lie to with it.
  • by Bobakitoo (1814374) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:45AM (#41437753)

    We should remove freedom of religion. Anything acceptable* a religious person or group do is already covered by freedom of expression and assembly. Religion don't need a special case any more then Trekkies; both groups are obsesses with work of fiction.

    * the extra right of mutilating babies under freedom of religion is not acceptable.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:49AM (#41437809)

    Nope. Religion always have supernatural aspects. Otherwise, it would be called science.

  • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:52AM (#41437891)

    I guess you didn't realize this amazingly advanced logic but as a christian, compared to muslims, one of us is correct and one is not. There is no "tolerance" when both religions demand that there be no other fake religions. The only person who can truly promote "tolerance" is one who thinks we're both wrong and that's atheists, which is around 18% of the US and the US is not rules by an 18% majority system. So we disagree, deal with it.

    Zeus tells me that BOTH religions are fake. And the Pink Unicorn tells me that making Religion into Law is blasphemous and shall be punished in eternal fire.

    Anyway, it's a feeble God who needs armed men to defend himself.

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:59AM (#41438021) Homepage Journal

    Lets be fair, here. Faith is a requirement because of a lack of evidence. This is not the same thing as false, just as it most certainly is not the same thing as true.

  • Re:Blasphemy! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:03PM (#41438089)

    Your demand for "blasphemy laws" is, to us, blasphemy!

    Hey, if I consider Islam to be blasphemy, they should definitely pass that law so none of their BS will be allowed in the Christian parts of the world. That'd be awesome, lol.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:37PM (#41438705)

    The position can be attacked without attacking the person.

    I disagree, some positions are indefensible and holding them shows a great deal about the person's attitude in general. Racism exposes much more about a person than merely the fact that they hate a certain race.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ravenscar (1662985) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:47PM (#41438879)

    People like you amuse me. When someone criticizes a non-Christian religion you respond with "Well, the Bible is bad too..."

    Why do you feel that everyone that criticizes a non-Judeo-Chrisitian religion must be a Judeo-Christian? Couldn't it be possible, for example, that a person who rejects Islam because of it's seemingly violent nature rejects Judeo-Christianity for the same reason?

  • by Tony (765) on Monday September 24, 2012 @01:10PM (#41439273) Journal

    The parent said "religions are always false". There was no need for me to hash through the possible definitions that may lend it credence, it was only necessary for me to provide a single definition which proved it inaccurate. That is why I chose that definition.

    Ah, yes. Argument by dictionary. That's an excellent strategy: it allows you to avoid the substance of an argument by focusing instead on specific word-use.

    Let's try this instead: no religion has been shown to be true. In fact, no religion has demonstrated a basis by which its truth-claims can be evaluated. Religion has no epistemic footing.

    You indicate this yourself when you mentioned, "There are over 4,200 religions in the world." (This ignores the various nuanced schisms that exist in many of those 4,200 religions, but we'll let that slide for the moment.) This number indicates there is no real epistemic foundation on which to build a reliable religion. Basically, it's all just gut-feeling, social mechanisms for control, pareidolia, and a desire to know things that are effectively unknowable (or, without answer because the question is bad, such as, "Why are we here?")

    So, yes, I think I can say that all religions are wrong, even if they are right in some details. It'd be like the claim, "The earth is warming." That is a correct statement of fact. However, one can be wrong in stating it: "The earth is warming because Hell is getting closer," would simply be wrong.

    Religious statements are effectively without basis. Every religious statement that is not grounded in observation and logic (basically, science) can be summed up thusly: "I believe this thing, but I have no basis to assume this thing is true." Asserting a thing as true without a solid basis in observable reality is worse than being wrong. At best it is misleading. At worst, it papers over ignorance, effectively vetoing reason and inquiry.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday September 24, 2012 @01:15PM (#41439333) Journal

    If there were evidence it wouldn't be religion, it would be science.

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday September 24, 2012 @01:57PM (#41440007) Homepage Journal

    What ever makes you think they've been exposed to right and good positions through facts and logical argument? Seriously? I posit the following: every human being on the planet believes at least one absurd thing they have never been reasonably challenged on.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Monday September 24, 2012 @02:00PM (#41440039)

    "judge not" has a great deal of context around it and does not mean "judge not" at all.

    And so we go from "judge not" to "judge harshly, confident on your moral superiority" in just two three short paragraphs, one of which was an ad hominem. Ah, the wonders of theology!

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday September 24, 2012 @03:13PM (#41441143) Journal

    It is easy to form an argument that it does under the assumptions of religion.

    If you allow people to assume whatever they want, you can make an argument for anything. This is why I said "material harm". If you can't measure the harm done, it may as well not exist.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:57PM (#41446099) Journal

    If you do not know much about Pakistan, the following story may of help ---

    A Christian girl with mental retardation was accused of blasphemy to Islam, by her next door neighbor, coincidently, happened to be an Islamic Imam.

    According to that Islamic Imam, that Christian girl had burned pages from the so-called "Holy Quran" - and because of that, the girl was jailed on the charge of "Blasphemy" - and if convicted, can be put to death.

    Immediately the whole nation of Pakistan was up in arm. Muslims threatening to kill the minority Christians, Christian churches were attacked and burned, and entire Christian community had to be vacated due to the threats.

    After much twists and turns, it was reported that the "burned pages of Quran" was the making of that so-called "Islamic Imam".

    That "Islamic Imam" was the one who framed that Christian girl, by putting burnt pages of Quran into the girl's bag.

    And because Pakistan is a nation filled with hatreds, the minority Christians are still being threatened, and that Christian girl is still under the official charge of "Blasphemy", although a court granted her a bail.

    That Christian girl still face immense danger. She could still be killed by the angry Islamic mob, or the Pakistan authority itself.

    A nation like that wants the world to follow suit?

  • by Lucractius (649116) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `suitcarcuL'> on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @12:08AM (#41446149) Journal

    Even though Rush says so much I disagree with, and makes so little logical sense, I will always have gratitude for him because he was the first media personality I ever heard throwing arguments back at liberals. He wasn't logical, and he wasn't fair, but then neither was all the liberal trash I heard and saw on nightly news and TV shows. When your team is losing because the refs keep favoring the other side, you can't help but feel grateful when a ref enters the field who makes unfair calls in your favor. Sure you would rather have all the refs be fair, but since that isn't happening, you're at least glad to have one of the refs on your side.

    Thank you for making the rest of your argument clear and not some kind of political rant back, you merely stated your position & feelings rather than attacking. Nice to see sanity prevail in politics of any kind, left or right.

    Secondly... Unfortunately the kind of "at least this ref is cheating for my team" leads to the breakdown of the game theory assumptions behind democracy. If your only happy with someone cheating for you and they are only happy when someone is cheating for them, the system breaks down through a kind of yo-yo effect between the sides involved which will typically reduce to just 2. I'm not making any kind of political statement left right up down... vote for the start button for all i care lol. I'm a 'swinging voter' but the thing is, I vote carefully considering each time. I want the fairest ref I trust not to screw me over somehow, problem is 'everyone' (not literally but in the sense that most people are voting towards their self interests) else wants the ref that cheats for their team.

    Thirdly, the second thing isnt a personal attack, i realize that your looking after your interests when you vote for the guy that cheats for you, simply because if you didnt then the other side would completely railroad you which sucks even worse for you and the 50% of the people on your side. My problem is more that it has become a matter of 'sides' in the first place. It should be 1 side... the people running the country in the best interests of its people.

    Democracy these days feels like its turned into a game of football (the type of football is not relevant in this statement)

  • by Arker (91948) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @10:24PM (#41459235) Homepage

    What I took away from the story was that the authorities in Pakistan are actually deserving of a little faith. This so-called Imam, representing the powerful majority faith, set this poor girl up and in the sort of country the pakistan-bashers paint, it would have worked. It didnt. That Imam, last I heard, is the focus of police investigation, and is likely to be arrested, tried, and convicted of the crime of blasphemy for which he attempted to frame the girl.

    If that's how it works out, then it's hard for me to see how the Pakistani authorities could possibly have handled it better.

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