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Go to: FFRF ad, ‘Quit the Catholic Church,’ runs in today’s Times

Peter Clemerson's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Peter Clemerson

To Rawhard Dickens (comment 8), dloubet (comment 15) and Aka Popag (comment 16)

All the evidence anyone could wish for has been supplied by Gregory Paul ( and Phil Zuckerman's Society without God: What the least religious nations can tell us about contentment.

Peter Clemerson

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 23:26:34 UTC | #925743

Go to: The rise of atheism in Pakistan

Peter Clemerson's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by Peter Clemerson

to TeraBrat Comment 5

You say In those days they tolerated other belief systems.....

I think you have a warm, fuzzy and very inaccurate view of Islam during the period of its conquests and afterwards.

In one sense Islam has always "tolerated" religions of the Book (Judaism and Christianity) but not polytheists (who were killed) but made the adherents of these religions pay dearly for their convictions. Such tolerance is what Dhimmitude (protection, but only from slaughter) was all about. Jizya (a poll tax) and Kharaj (a land tax) of between 25% and 75% of their agricultural produce was payable annually to buy this protection. These burdens were so heavy in practice that parents would sometimes have to sell their children into slavery in order to pay them.

To get a more realistic view of Islamic tolerance, can I recommend

Bat Ye'or's The Decline of Eastern Christianity: From Jihad to Dhimmitude

M A Khan's Islamic Jihad: A legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and slavery

Andrew Bostom's The legacy of Jihad. Islamic holy war and the fate of the Non-Muslims.’ Prometheus books New York. 2005

Happy reading!

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 09:08:38 UTC | #907608

Go to: On Black Atheism: Jamila Bey

Peter Clemerson's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Peter Clemerson

To b612 (comment 3)

I don't know if you have heard of this organisation but if you haven't here it is.

Perhaps it can assist you to find others like yourself..

Good luck in your particular difficult circumstances.


Peter Clemerson

Mon, 05 Dec 2011 02:45:44 UTC | #895746

Go to: The Clergy Project: A Sanctuary for Religious Refugees

Peter Clemerson's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Peter Clemerson

To Mr Darcy (comment 1)

"Isn't it strange that serious study of the Bible results in the loss of faith?"

At an atheist conference in Melbourne in 2010, Taslima Nasrin, the Bangladeshi physician and author, stated that when still young, she read the Qur'an and became an atheist.

She had to wait until she had a Bengali translation to do so. As is well known, only about 15% of Muslims can speak/read Arabic. How many more might follow her example if they had translations into their own languages and actually read them?

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 00:49:14 UTC | #879594

Go to: OUT in Afghanistan

Peter Clemerson's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Peter Clemerson

The author states that atheists "will have a personal moral code. However, it would generally be derived from purely secular considerations, and will be unrelated to any religious texts."

I have to question the view that ones morality is generally derived from purely secular considerations unless the author means that people's personalities are embraced by the term 'secular considerations', which of course, they could be, but this is not what is usually meant by the term.

There is growing evidence that our personal morality is substantially influenced by our personality characteristics which, even among atheists, probably embrace the entire spectrum as measured by innumerable personality instruments.

For a quick look at one end of the spectrum, go to

and for a wider look see

Notwithstanding the above, like the other posters, may I offer my congratulations to the people behind this initiative. Let's hope that one day, they will not have to be based in Holland and can come out from anonymity.

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 02:24:43 UTC | #879289

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