Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
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18-02-2015, 07:23 PM
Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
Sometimes this question bugs my mind. Atheists criticize religion, but we don't criticize all religion equally. If you asked me which is the most criticized religion by atheists I would answer (without a fucking doubt) Islam. For American atheists criticizing Christianity seems like a civil rights necessity and I completely understand the cause. But let's get the facts straight:

- If we simply look at the wikipedia page about terrorist groups and organizations we will see that the majority of them are Islamic based (there are also separatist, communist and white supremacist ones). Islam is undoubtedly the most harmful religion in the world nowadays. You don't need to be a genius to realize this, if someone decided to claim today that Mohammed spoke to him that person would be labelled as clinically insane

Answer to my own question:
- I don't think all religions are equally harmful - I recognize some cause more harm and need larger criticism or counter-attacks. My priority is to criticize Islam since in my country the number of Catholics is progressively decreasing and I don't have to deal with many religious nuts in positions of power.

I think atheists can and should criticize all religions, and every individual person can set up his/her own priorities. But make no mistake, some religions are way worse. Islam, at least Islamic terrorism, is our higher priority right now.

The west's failure to acknowledge the fact Islamic terrorism is due to religion and not exceptional mentally handicapped incorrect and twisted ideologies perpetuated by crazy people has to end. If you interview a Jihadist or a guy from Al-Qaeda you'll see that religion is what motivates them, it's all about religion, it's not about excessively violent people - Muslim terrorists rationalize their behaviour and think they are 100% right, and their ideology is based on Islamic holy books (Quran, Sharia and others).

Don't bring the argument that Christianity was bad with the crusades and the inquisition - I don't care about the past right now, we have managed to domesticate Christianity (Catholicism at least, and Anglicanism, Lutheranism and Calvinism) and even if we compared the Christian theocracies with the average Muslim country, the latter still wins the contest of Who's more harmful?. I know that in the US there are problems with Christianity that should be actively fought, and it's a pressing concern. But do you want to compare the Westboro Baptist Church with Islamic terrorists? Shit, even the KKK and the European Hammerskins/Aryan Brotherhood seem weak. This isn't meant to imply you can't solve problems in the US related to a lack of secularism but Islam is still the world's most harmful religion and it's something that can be objectively measured.

What do you think? Is my reasoning correct? If you answered no (Like I'm doing), then what are your priorities? Which religion is worse and which is more harmful to you?

Final thoughts - I think all religions are equally false and I can't stress this one enough, but there are so many false claims in the world to fight against that we ought to worry about harmful false viewpoints. Islam is one example, but I don't allow Christianity to get a pass. Buddhism also gets the occasional criticism when shit happens. Judaism goes unnoticed and should get a bit more of criticism, particularly in Israel. (I'm not talking about Jewish culture and ethnicities, only about Judaism as a religion regardless of the practitioner's race)

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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18-02-2015, 07:36 PM
RE: Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
I think any religion can be corrupt.

Catholics certainly are responsible for some serious harm. But not all catholics are evil just because they're catholic.

Jim Jones went nuts and his followers murdered a us congressman.

Is Islam a problem? I think some are horrible -- I think some people just want to get on with their lives.

I can't just everyone because of the actions of a few.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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18-02-2015, 07:40 PM
RE: Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
(18-02-2015 07:23 PM)Blackout Wrote:  Sometimes this question bugs my mind. Atheists criticize religion, but we don't criticize all religion equally. If you asked me which is the most criticized religion by atheists I would answer (without a fucking doubt) Islam. For American atheists criticizing Christianity seems like a civil rights necessity and I completely understand the cause. But let's get the facts straight:

- If we simply look at the wikipedia page about terrorist groups and organizations we will see that the majority of them are Islamic based (there are also separatist, communist and white supremacist ones). Islam is undoubtedly the most harmful religion in the world nowadays. You don't need to be a genius to realize this, if someone decided to claim today that Mohammed spoke to him that person would be labelled as clinically insane

Answer to my own question:
- I don't think all religions are equally harmful - I recognize some cause more harm and need larger criticism or counter-attacks. My priority is to criticize Islam since in my country the number of Catholics is progressively decreasing and I don't have to deal with many religious nuts in positions of power.

I think atheists can and should criticize all religions, and every individual person can set up his/her own priorities. But make no mistake, some religions are way worse. Islam, at least Islamic terrorism, is our higher priority right now.

The west's failure to acknowledge the fact Islamic terrorism is due to religion and not exceptional mentally handicapped incorrect and twisted ideologies perpetuated by crazy people has to end. If you interview a Jihadist or a guy from Al-Qaeda you'll see that religion is what motivates them, it's all about religion, it's not about excessively violent people - Muslim terrorists rationalize their behaviour and think they are 100% right, and their ideology is based on Islamic holy books (Quran, Sharia and others).

Don't bring the argument that Christianity was bad with the crusades and the inquisition - I don't care about the past right now, we have managed to domesticate Christianity (Catholicism at least, and Anglicanism, Lutheranism and Calvinism) and even if we compared the Christian theocracies with the average Muslim country, the latter still wins the contest of Who's more harmful?. I know that in the US there are problems with Christianity that should be actively fought, and it's a pressing concern. But do you want to compare the Westboro Baptist Church with Islamic terrorists? Shit, even the KKK and the European Hammerskins/Aryan Brotherhood seem weak. This isn't meant to imply you can't solve problems in the US related to a lack of secularism but Islam is still the world's most harmful religion and it's something that can be objectively measured.

What do you think? Is my reasoning correct? If you answered no (Like I'm doing), then what are your priorities? Which religion is worse and which is more harmful to you?

Final thoughts - I think all religions are equally false and I can't stress this one enough, but there are so many false claims in the world to fight against that we ought to worry about harmful false viewpoints. Islam is one example, but I don't allow Christianity to get a pass. Buddhism also gets the occasional criticism when shit happens. Judaism goes unnoticed and should get a bit more of criticism, particularly in Israel. (I'm not talking about Jewish culture and ethnicities, only about Judaism as a religion regardless of the practitioner's race)

Agreed.

Islam is a fucking whorehouse of incomprehensible insanity. It is racist, prejudiced, hateful, arrogant, violent, and a threat to the civilized world.

There is not one single redeeming quality in Islam.

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18-02-2015, 07:44 PM
RE: Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
Eh, while you are in Europe that might be the case. If you're in the US, not so much. Islam is a VERY small minority here, and while it's growing, not as fast as the none's are. Plus in the US most Muslims are fairly westernized. They embrace our secular system and are generally nice people. They fight to uphold the separation of church and state. This is likely partially due to them being such a small minority. Here the larger threat is fundamentalist christianity.

Make no mistake, Islam is disgusting. In the world at large yes, it is doing more damage. But in the developed world, it's a close one.
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18-02-2015, 07:48 PM
RE: Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
Natachan - Yes, and I made it very clear that I understand the problems of American atheists - But that doesn't erase the fact that the most harmful religion in the world is Islam. I can honestly comprehend the problems, but comparing the WBC (which is a small group that other Christian denominations despise) with a low profile terrorist Islamic group is complimenting the former.

The Muslims in the US may be westernized and in my country they are as well, at least I've never heard or seen any terrorist attack because of Islam - But I know this is not the case for British, French, Danish, Dutch and other Europeans

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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18-02-2015, 07:49 PM
RE: Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
They're all harmful. Equally? I don't know.
They each seem to have their own special areas of lunacy.
Because I'm in the US, Christianity is the more 'in my face' religion at this time.
We literally can't turn around without running into one here. Smile
To me they're all equally irrelevant, antiquated beliefs.
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18-02-2015, 08:02 PM
Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
I don't think all religions are equally dangerous. I don't see Jainists out there killing people because they're eating the wrong plants.
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18-02-2015, 08:06 PM
RE: Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
(18-02-2015 07:23 PM)Blackout Wrote:  - If we simply look at the wikipedia page about terrorist groups and organizations we will see that the majority of them are Islamic based (there are also separatist, communist and white supremacist ones).

If we restrict our sample to US domestic hate groups, the majority are Christian-based.

The SPLC reported that 939 hate groups were active in the United States in 2013, down from 1007 in 2012. These included:
186 separate Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups with 52 websites
196 neo-Nazi groups with 89 websites
111 White nationalist groups with 190 websites
98 White power skinhead groups with 25 websites
39 Christian Identity groups with 37 websites
93 neo-Confederate groups with 25 websites
113 black separatist groups with 40 websites
90 additional groups divided by the SPLC into categories such as anti-gay, Holocaust denial, white power music, radical traditionalist Catholic, among other categories for designated hate groups, which maintained another 172 websites. Only organizations active in 2013 were counted, excluding those that appear to exist only on the Internet.

#sigh
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18-02-2015, 08:11 PM
RE: Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
GirlyMan, most of those are white supremacist, not Christian. Care to explain?

The US is not representative of the entire western world, and even if we account organizations based on the Christian religion they are usually not as dangerous and better controlled than Islamic groups (This includes terrorist groups but also any Muslim state/public authority that advocates keeping a theocracy or imposing a new one)

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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18-02-2015, 08:33 PM (This post was last modified: 18-02-2015 08:45 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Are all religions equally harmful? (Islam)
(18-02-2015 08:11 PM)Blackout Wrote:  GirlyMan, most of those are white supremacist, not Christian. Care to explain?

That's an interesting question. How many white supremacist groups in the US do not identify themselves as God fearing Christians just doing the Lord's work?

#sigh
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