This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Religion: the ultimate tyranny

Religion: the ultimate tyranny - Comments

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 1 by Cartomancer

Stop pussy-footing around and say what you really think Paula!

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 19:57:22 UTC | #592230

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 2 by mjwemdee

Beautifully written article. Thank you.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:05:57 UTC | #592235

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 3 by rrh1306

Haha.You took the words right out of my mouth. Is freedom a religious or secular idea? What a stupid question. Way to lay into them Paula.

Comment 1 by Cartomancer :

Stop pussy-footing around and say what you really think Paula!

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:06:55 UTC | #592237

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 4 by Steve Zara

Wonderful Paula! As you know, I love the slavery/jailer imagery! (not in a kinky way, of course). How anyone can think of theism as freedom!

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:10:50 UTC | #592239

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 5 by Neodarwinian

Religious freedom. An oxymoron.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:23:53 UTC | #592242

drjam's Avatar Comment 6 by drjam

I was just yesterday wondering where you've been lately Paula. Well written and to the point. Is there a book in the pipeline?

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:24:44 UTC | #592243

Sample's Avatar Comment 7 by Sample

I sent an e-mail to our local paper, the Juneau Empire, asking the publisher to consider picking up this columnist. I would love to see it become a reality, but I am not hopeful. Thanks for a great article.

Mike

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:25:58 UTC | #592244

Svennerik's Avatar Comment 8 by Svennerik

Dear Paula Kirby It was nice to read your article. It is always jolly good when someone stands up against stupidity as revealed through religious practice. There are only three reasons for sane humans to accept a religion as a guide in life: 1. Fear of death – all religions promise eternal life if your submission is suitable 2. Profit – directly as ‘a paid barker’ or indirectly through esteem in the congregation 3. Being a mentally abused child – no one have a fixed religious trend from birth

The three above are often combined, but there are no other reasons, and to anyone who says 'revelation', I will refer to the premise above: sane human beings. The meanest and in its practice most suppressing religion of them all are the Islamic variation of the religious superstition, but Christianity has had its share of practiced evil though the greater part of that practice could be considered obsolete years ago. And in spite of that fact people who criticize religious practice seldom go directly after the Koran: its obvious flaws, its antiquated statements and its lack of respect for human rights.
Do you think it is lack of knowledge or do debaters deliberately close their eyes to the legal suppression of women and to the corruption in countries lead by Islamic laws and rulers or is it simply the violent nature and practice of its followers that scares them off? I don’t blame them – I’m just curious. Kind regards Svennerik

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:30:44 UTC | #592245

genjokoan's Avatar Comment 9 by genjokoan

Paula Kirby for President!

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:34:49 UTC | #592247

The Big Holey Cheese's Avatar Comment 10 by The Big Holey Cheese

Freedom is definately a religous idea. This freedom was a nice present from the church to Copernicus who was "free" to spend the rest of his days under house arrest and "free" to have his crazy books about how the earth orbits the sun banned for 200years. Thank the lard for religeous free-dom(ination).

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:45:41 UTC | #592251

markymarkmagic's Avatar Comment 11 by markymarkmagic

A great Hitchens-esque article.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:46:37 UTC | #592252

jel's Avatar Comment 12 by jel

Another excellent piece by Paula. I love the final couple of paragraphs, they should be a rallying cry for freedom throughout the world.

True freedom requires us to liberate ourselves from the tyranny of religion as well as from the tyranny of brutal earthly regimes. True freedom involves the freedom to think, to explore, to grow; the freedom to pursue knowledge and learning, wherever they lead; the freedom to be different, not to conform; freedom from bigotry; freedom from ignorance; freedom to love and to express that love as we choose; freedom to be ourselves, to accept ourselves, warts and all, and to accept others on the same terms; freedom to choose our own meaning and purpose in life, and to make our own decisions on the basis of those free choices; freedom to make mistakes; freedom to change our mind; freedom from fear, especially from phoney fears invented by those whose only aim is to control us in word, thought and deed.

Religion claims to set its followers free, while all the time holding them in thrall and insisting they kiss the hand of their jailer. There can be no true freedom so long as religion still keeps the human mind in shackles.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:55:25 UTC | #592258

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 13 by Marc Country

An inspiring sermon...

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:59:20 UTC | #592259

Richard01's Avatar Comment 14 by Richard01

Brilliant ...should be compulsory reading for all humans. Paula could add that mutilation of the genitals of children is necessary to prove commitment!

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 21:08:00 UTC | #592262

Southpaw's Avatar Comment 15 by Southpaw

Marvellous as ever, Paula.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 21:15:22 UTC | #592267

CarlaTrumper's Avatar Comment 16 by CarlaTrumper

Thank YOU Paula. Wonderful article, happy to see it in the Post!

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 21:15:37 UTC | #592269

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 17 by SomersetJohn

Comment 9 by genjokoan :

Paula Kirby for President!

Don't be silly, Paula is far too honest to be a politician :-)

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 21:46:48 UTC | #592278

Notstrident's Avatar Comment 18 by Notstrident

Hitchens has pointed out that even under a horrible dictatorship, you can finally escape punishment for crimes against the dictator by dying, but even dying won't let you escape from the punishment of religion.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 22:12:14 UTC | #592287

johnb24's Avatar Comment 19 by johnb24

Comment 18 above

Of course not; "that's when the fun really starts" (Christopher Hitchens).

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 22:34:19 UTC | #592294

josephor's Avatar Comment 20 by josephor

An excellent piece of work.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 22:36:49 UTC | #592295

locutus7's Avatar Comment 21 by locutus7

As we say in bridge, WD,P. Well done, partner, or in this case, Paula.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 22:55:37 UTC | #592298

mjwemdee's Avatar Comment 22 by mjwemdee

Comment 10 by The Big Holey Cheese

This freedom was a nice present from the church to Copernicus who was "free" to spend the rest of his days under house arrest and "free" to have his crazy books about how the earth orbits the sun banned for 200years. Thank the lard for religeous free-dom(ination).

Er...wasn't that Galileo?

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 22:58:43 UTC | #592299

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 23 by Jos Gibbons

William Blake called religion the mind-forge manacles in the 18th century. By now we shouldn't need to say things like this any more. But, as we do, thanks Paula for doing so.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:00:06 UTC | #592300

AlexP's Avatar Comment 24 by AlexP

God: The idea, that a "perfect" being would make such a good slaver that slavery would become desirable.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:30:03 UTC | #592309

dbmartin's Avatar Comment 25 by dbmartin

The Washington Post's Question: Is freedom a religious or secular idea?

Freedom is not a religious idea and it is not a secular idea. Freedom is a visceral response to having escaped from confinement. Most sentient beings have experienced freedom, often from deadly circumstances. Humans eventually got around to writing about it and probably immediately began obfuscating its real meaning for new ideas like political purposes. Just as this author is doing in this article. She wants religion to appear bad and secular to appear good, and by implication, atheism to appear good. The argument is effective for the already innitianted.

dwain

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:32:53 UTC | #592310

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 26 by Agrajag

Excellent assessment, and I'm glad to see it in the Post where it doubtless gets more widely read than on this site. Some interesting comments on the Post site demonstrating the marvelous ability of the human mind to contort itself to fit a world-view.br> Keep up the good work, Paula; you are a worthy heir to Hitchens in my opinion.
Steve

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:34:16 UTC | #592311

Hellboy2's Avatar Comment 27 by Hellboy2

Fantastic article - concise and very much to the point. Let 'em have it Paula!

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:34:26 UTC | #592312

btheist's Avatar Comment 28 by btheist

Brilliant Paula... It's ironic that so many Christians fear the tyranny of Islam taking hold and yet don't see the tyranny that is Christianity.

That so much of the world's populace still holds religion in reverence is testimony to the power and influence of fear. It is the very fear mongering of religion that unties the religious in a common enemy. It is the fear that blinds otherwise rational people to believe and do irrational things.

This article lays the fears on the table and dissects the cancerous tumor beneath.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:35:32 UTC | #592314

ajs261's Avatar Comment 29 by ajs261

Er...wasn't that Galileo?

It was Copernicus who came up with the Heliocentric model originally but then Galileo developed on those lines and ended up in trouble for it. A bit of both I guess.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:47:05 UTC | #592317

yesnomaybe's Avatar Comment 30 by yesnomaybe

Excellent piece, clear, honest, and unyielding.

Unfortunately, however, most people don't really want intellectual freedom (for a variety of reasons), they want edification and "meaning".

What's needed is a more benign mythology. It will be objected that this is patronising, elitist, and the very antithesis of what most atheists are calling for. All such objections are entirely justified, but that's no reason to dismiss the proposition.

No society can function on "truth". Plato sanctioned the 'holy lie', and Rousseau decreed that people must be "forced to be free", a sentiment at the root of all totalitarian systems and the three Abrahamic religions. It will be objected that political liberalism avoids these deceits. This is true, but it replaces these lies with another of its own: the lie that the accumulation of wealth brings happiness.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:50:07 UTC | #592318