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

defaithed's Profile

defaithed's Avatar Joined over 6 years ago
Gender: Male

Latest Discussions Started by defaithed

Please help me identify critical thinking maxim - last commented 19 May 2010 01:28 PM

More Discussions by defaithed

Latest Comments by defaithed

Go to: Enough of Rick Santorum’s sermons

defaithed's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by defaithed

You wouldn't think a US presidential candidate would want to make his name synonymous with "Taliban-style theocrat".

(Then again, this guy has reason to prefer any re-definition of his name.)

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 01:59:33 UTC | #922996

Go to: Teenage girl found dead after exorcism

defaithed's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by defaithed

@goddogit: I live in Japan too, and agree with you. The tiny Abrahamic minority here is generally no trouble, and the main Buddhist / Shinto sects, too, are pretty harmless (well, at least at the individual level; in the big picture, their money and power isn't necessarily always doing good).

But the Buddhist-tinged so-called "new religions" – i.e., the wacko cults – those can be scary. Any sort of spiritualist woo, blatant scamming, exorcism, or even worse, is possible with those. (Like Aum Shinrikyo releasing sarin gas in the Tokyo subway, for reasons that can't be described as anything but purely religious.)

Wed, 28 Sep 2011 01:22:54 UTC | #875838

Go to: How Many Stars? Three Times as Many as We Thought, Report Says

defaithed's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by defaithed

Three times as many stars...?

Oh. Those stars. I thought they'd uncovered another batch of Baldwin brothers or something...

Thu, 02 Dec 2010 15:42:37 UTC | #557279

Go to: Freedom is my religion

defaithed's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by defaithed

Comment 51 by Ignorant Amos

Go to a thread on Islam and condemn Islam or it's folowers the Muslim community and there will be, without question, someone popping up accusing you of being either a bigot, racist, Islamaphobe or all three or having such an agenda.

Certainly, someone will do so... but openly avowed atheists reacting poorly to me if I condemn Islam?

That's really a new one on me. I'll just have to watch for (or try to instigate : ) such an occurrence so I can see it for myself.

Updated: Tue, 03 Aug 2010 16:08:42 UTC | #495442

Go to: Freedom is my religion

defaithed's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by defaithed

@Long johns Silver: "Compare almost any thread about Islam on an atheist website with almost any thread about Christianity... What you find is that robust denunciation of Christianity is universal, whereas about half of the community are either totally silent or active apologists for Islam."

Perhaps that's so... but are there any specific examples you can point to? I honestly can't recall ever reading an atheist website thread with atheists universally bashing Christianity while going soft on Islam (let alone actively apologizing or it). Then again, I'm not the most avid reader of such sites, so I simply may not have noticed examples. I'm not saying you're wrong; I'd just like to see examples.

To no one in particular, I would also suggest that a thread full of atheists bashing Christianity, while saying little or nothing about Islam, is not necessarily an example of going soft on Islam. Not if the topic happens to be Christianity! If it's an English-language discussion, it's unavoidable that the talk is likely to focus on the religion that dominates in the lands of (most of) those English speakers, the religion that's trying hardest to change laws and school curriculum in their lands, the religion that plagues most of their families and friends. If the participants happen to have nothing to say about Islam in a given discussion, I wouldn't necessarily chalk that up to softness toward Islam, any more than their failure to mention 10,000 other religions equates to softness toward those.

Another issue in English-language discussions, related to the above, is that participants are likely to know far less about Islam than Christianity. I'm more than happy to hammer on Islam as much as Christianity, but as of now don't have the knowledge to say a heck of a lot that's specific. I know, that's partly my own lack of learning... but whatever the causes, from personal experience and environment, there's just so much more I can add to a discussion about Christianity. That'll hold true for many English speakers.

Finally, it's worth noting that there are very real factors that create an artificial shortage of Islam-focused atheists. Exposure to freethinking and atheist arguments is going to be far more constrained in many Islamic lands, compared to North America, Europe, Australia, etc. Those that still manage to become atheists may be silenced by a physical danger of speaking out. And for those few who still manage to become atheists in fundamental Islamic lands and have the knowledge to critique Islam in depth and even have the desire and bravery to do so, those atheists won't necessarily show up in the English-language discussions where we hang out.

In short: This business of atheists going soft on Islam is a new one on me, though I'm sure Pat and other claimants could point to an example or few (which I'd be interested in seeing). But I hope the accusation is made with sufficient caution; I'd hate to see it applied to atheists who happen to focus on Christianity because it's the religion most relevant to their lives and communities (an unavoidable skew in English-language discussions). A simple lack of Islam-bashing in a given discussion doesn't have to mean that someone's going "soft"!

Tue, 03 Aug 2010 15:04:46 UTC | #495417

More Comments by defaithed