It doesn’t happen often, but today was such a day that my stomach turned. I read this article from an American Dinesh D’Souza who is the Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. (This alone has already changed my view on Stanford University). The Title of the article is “Where is Atheism when Bad things Happen”, and i was genuinely shocked by the article (and believe me, i’m not that easily shocked). But it confirms a trend I’ve been noticing in the last few months reading some articles which have the same message. Some of them where US based, but I’ve also noticed them in some Dutch and Austrian articles.
I hope this is not a trend, where compassion, empathy, love and grieve can only be attributed to people which belief in God. What they tend to forget is that these always can be attributed to people (and possible some animals) before there where people believing in God or Christians etc. existed.
And yes, there also exists evil, which also resides in mankind and always has been part of humans. So please don’t try to attribute these to religious or a religious people, we all feel the same pain when something bad happens.
Just a small post about politics, currently the new Dutch government is beiing created which consists of CDA, PVDA and CU. It’s regarded as a left – Christian coalition with CU needed to obtain the majority. Where CDA is moderate christian, consisting of all signatures, CU is somewhat more hard core Christian (though i doubt they will actually see it that manner). As you can understand I wasn’t really very happy about this coalition, left – christian and I could already see Creationists making happy dances around the curriculum for the average school.
But then the sun still started to shine. Ronald Plasterk was put in charge of the education department and lo behold he’s an atheist and has some very strong feelings about the story telling from the creationist. Just like Johan Cruyff said “every disadvantage has it’s advantage”.
Today i watched these two video’s as they showed up on my Google Reader:
For those who missed it, it’s about Atheism etc. nothing very special as we could anticipate that in those parts of the world where they are very religious, beiing an atheist is not the most popular. And this is regardless of the religion mind you!! I haven’t been aware of any religion that does not oppress religious minorities. Its something that comes along with the package I think. As there is no atheist country I know of I cannot comment whether a country full of atheists would do the same, but my gut feeling says it will be so as well. (primarily if the population is large enough its amount of people which tend to be narrow minded will increase as well)
Generally I tend to watch these kind of discussion as on CNN with a smile on my face, because in most cases these discussions always go along the same route with both sides having their arguments etc. etc. especially because these arguments surround around belief. Discussion can be fun to wathc, but I’ve never seen somebdy get converted to the other side unless force is used.
But this time i got somewhat upset, not because there where only believers having a discussion, but I got upset because of what Debbie Schlussel said. She was using the following reasoning “Because there are so many atheists in Europe, it’s becoming islamistic” and the same reasoning she uses on her blog post pointing out two occurences of atheists turning into muslim extremists.
What debbie seems to miss is that a true atheist would hardly fall for any of the God constructs whether they are jewish, christian or islamistic. Just like there are christians turning to other religions (and in most cases these converts are fanatics) so have some of the atheists turned into religious people. The underlying problem is the fanatics, whether they are christian, islamic, jewish, atheist or any other belief.
I’m glad I live in Europe where we tend to be a lot more moderate about religion, though we have a lot of trouble keeping the fanatics in pandorra’s box…… The item that was shown on CNN including the discussion was imho only polarizing and will only increase the stance of the fanatics and the people that will get hurt in the end will be the moderate people who just want to be a constructive part of society.
Yeps, sometimes you take the time for reading and I’ve decided to read the following books (actually mostly I just read them in the same timeframe, which makes it maybe somewhat harder, but it keeps the mind at least busy):
One of them is workbased and is targetted towards learning more about Ruby: Beginning Ruby on Rails E-Commerce - Christian Hellsten & Jarkko Laine
The second one I decided to start reading because of an article in the NRC concerning a young philosopher which statements made sense and I like to read stuff from people that make sense to me: The Hacker Ethic - Pekka Himanen
The third one that I started reading is I guess for me a special one because in a previous post I already wrote about atheism and Richard Dawkins which is a strong atheist, so I decided to read his book, though I don’t need to be saved: The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Furthermore I’m still reading the last part of Neal Stephonsons Trilogy. I haven’t got the book at hand currently so I’ll provide you with the title in a later post. The nice thing about reading those books is that all of them stimulate me to think or provide me with new food for thought. Pekka’s book is very thought proviking as I would hope, though it’s somewhat old (I regard older than 4 – 5 years as old). Dawkins book is very interesting because of his argument against religion (or maybe better said agains the zealots which can be found in any religion).
For those wondering, I’m not the one in the hospital bed. That’s the boyfriend of my mother in law which got a broken rib while skiing. I had a look at the website and every day i’ve been skiing more than 40 km’s which indeed was very rewarding. But that’s enough for now..
It seems that there is a new wind blowing on the internet, and I guess it’s been a reaction to Intelligent Design by the tech savy out there. The first time I actually noticed it was when reading my newspaper. I’m a reader of the NRC Handelsblad which is a Dutch newspaper but this just as an aside. I read the newspaper nowadays as I read the web, if it draws my attention, I’ll read it and this one was just a small piece about “the god Delusion” written by Richard Dawkins. It intrigued me a bit, but as with most of these pieces I read it, and promptly forget about it.
But then after I guess less than a week more reports started to emerge. Most of them on Digg, where there where links to lectures and a report he had been making I believe for Chanell 4 called “The root of all evil”. Though I hardly read the comments on Digg, one thing could be concluded if you’re a staunch believer in Creationism and/or God you had the biggest chance of bein dugg down. But all these information prompted me to think about it. Am I an atheist?
I’m pretty sure I am, I don’t believe in a God, Heaven or Hell. In my opinion they’ve always been metaphors for stuff we as humans didn’t understand fully or where affraid of. What I do believe however is that we as a society should have some common understandings about what is acceptable and what is not. Some would call this the law, but I would only agree if that law has been written down based upon common understanding and is not based upon a Bible, Koran or whatever book is used, as a law based fully upon religion is an oppressive law which gives hardly any freedom to those which believe in another God or those that decide that there is no “God like create” which punishes and rewards….