Thursday, February 02, 2006

Fanatics fume and fuse

Kofi Annan is a career bureaucrat working for a corrupt organization. And he’s no intellectual either. His comments regarding the recent hysteria by crazed Muslims is a good example of this.

Muslim fanatics believe that a fictional deity talked to a deranged Arab and created the only true religion in the world. In this sense they are not remarkable. The same delusion has been entertained by others.

Now these insane religionist believe that any illustration of their prophet, Mohammed, is a violation of their religion. So what? A world that tried to respect all the religious views of every nutcase would be a world where nothing would be allowed.

So these theological totalitarians are in an uproar over a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of their so-called prophet. One showed Mohammed with a turban that was bomb. They are outraged. One delusional imam of the Mosque of Paris said: “The prophet (sic) did not found a terrorist religion, but on the contrary a religion of peace.” To prove how peaceful Islam is a bunch of these nuts went on a rampage in the lobby of the building holding the Danish embassy in Jakarta.

Into this controversy the mental midget from the UN has inserted his feeble self. A UN spokesman announced that Annan “believes in the freedom of the press should always be exercised in a way that fully respects the religious beliefs and tenets of all religions.”

What nonsense. First of all it is impossible to even know all the beliefs and tenets of every single religion. And even if it were possible some new demented prophet will crop up with a new religion with new beliefs and tenents.

Second, why should religious beliefs warrant protection that all other beliefs lack? Religious beliefs are mere fantasies. Admittedly most people are too lazy to fantasize their own lies so they borrow them from some alleged prophet, messiah or god.

Consider the beliefs of people who are advocates of rational science. Should their beliefs be respected? Does that mean it is wrong to disagree with evolution and other scientific viewpoints? Or are rational beliefs subject to ridicule but irrational beliefs are not?

Third, even if were possible to know all the silly ideas of every religion, and even if irrational religious beliefs somehow deserve more respect than other beliefs, it is impossible to do what Annan suggests.

Here is why. And I will use a couple of Christian beliefs to illustrate my point. Catholics think Mary is the mother of a god. They also pray to Mary. That fantasy is very important to them. Calvinists believe that praying to Mary is a sin. One religious belief preaches you ought to pray to Mary. The other teaches you must not.

If the Catholic expresses his belief he offends the Calvinist. Admittedly Calvinists are perpetually offended on principle but you get my point. And if the Calvinist preaches his doctrine he offends the Catholics.

It is impossible to “fully respect the religious beliefs and tenets of all religions.” To respect one of them is to disrespect others. They hold contradictory values. There is no rational foundation for them so they are free to believe according to their whims, prejudices and ignorance. And they exercise that freedom to the maximum.

People think this is a conflict between Islam the West. It is most certainly not. It is a conflict between irrationality and reason. This conflict exists between Enlightenment Western values and all religions. The conflict varies from faith to faith but it is always there.

The good news is that the cartoons are now more widely published than ever. Not only were they printed in the Danish paper but a Norwegian paper followed suit soon after. Newspapers in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary have published them as well. And the BBC broadcast the cartoons as part of a report on the controversy. In New Zealand the Dominion Post said it would publish at least one of the cartoons. Even a publication in Jordan published them.

All the turban totalitarians have managed to do is give the cartoons a wider audience than every would have happened it they pretended to be civilized.

Muslim fanatics have launched a boycott of Danish goods. Hopefully they will also boycott goods from these other countries. And wouldn’t it be nice if the US, Canada, Australia, et al publish the cartoons as well. At some point the Muslims in the sad Islamic states will discover they can’t buy anything at all. And considering that other sand, oil and suicide bombers their nations produce absolutely nothing it will be interesting to watch them shop in their empty grocery stores.


Blogger Publius II said...

Good article. I believe it was Jefferson, who said, "What is it to me if my neighbor says there is no god, or a thousand? It neither breaks my leg, nor robs my pocket."

February 03, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

Yes, that was Tom Jefferson for sure. A very bright man.

February 03, 2006

Blogger Publius II said...

That he was. :)

February 06, 2006

Blogger Publius II said...

Oh.. by the way, I wanted to ask you, what Calvinists have been associating with? I myself am a Calvinist, and am not easily offended, and I must say that the members of my local church who are also predominantly Calvinists are of like mind. Our beliefs are what they are, and if you don't agree, well... so be it. It does not mean we can't have intelligent discussions, on or off topic. And I will say, I've enjoyed your website here, and reading your articles, most of which are written from a viewpoint that is a polar opposite of my own. But that's alright. I'll share my own insight on some of your points, take some with a grain of salt, and find myself agreeing with the rest. It is such interaction which makes up the core of good Society.

February 06, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

You say Tom Jefferson was smart and I agree. But seem baffled by my remarks about Calvinists. What about Jefferson's remarks?

"The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man. But compare with these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin.
1. That there are three Gods.
2. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, is nothing.
3. That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit the faith.
4. That reason in religion is of unlawful use.
5. That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved, and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn them; no virtues of the latter save."

"His [Calvin's] religion was demonism. If ever man worshiped a false God, he did. The being described in his five points is ... a demon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no God at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin"

" The blasphemy of the five points of Calvin, and the impossibility of defending them, render their advocates impatient of reasoning, irritable, and prone to denunciation"

"The Presbyterian clergy are the loudest, the most intolerant of all sects; the most tyrannical and ambitious, ready at the word of the law-giver, if such a word could now be obtained, to put their torch to the pile, and to rekindle in this virgin hemisphere the flame in which their oracle, Calvin, consumed the poor Servetus, because he could not subscribe to the proposition of Calvin, that magistrates have a right to exterminate all heretics to the Calvinistic creed! They pant to re-establish by law that holy inquisition which they can now only infuse into public opinion"

Perhaps you can argue that one like myself can make such mistakes about Calvinists. But why would Jefferson be so prone to the same opinion? I would think the question to ask yourself is why is such a view of Calvinists so accepted? Rev. Fred says he's a Calvinist who believes in the five points of Calving (T.U.L.I.P). Sure some Baptists are 3 point Calvinists and they are a rather unpleasant lot even with just 60% of what Calvin had to offer.

February 06, 2006

Blogger Publius II said...

First and foremost, I want to thank you for the opportunity of engaging in this discussion. There are not many who are willing to take the time to think through such things together. You have my respect for that alone, if for nothing else.

Quite frequently I spend time reading the works of this country's founding fathers, and without exception I judge them all to be brilliant men. However, just a frequently, I find that many of these brilliant men disagree with each other. For instance, Hamilton and Jefferson profusely disagree on issues of Federal government, hence The Anti-Federalist Papers which Jefferson wrote in response to Hamilton's Federalist Papers. They both have valid points and I disagree with some points from each. That fact makes neither man less brilliant than he would be if I would agree completely with them.

Personally, I find Jefferson to be completely right on issues of personal freedom and limited government. However, when he writes concerning his own personal philosophies on his belief in Deism, my own opinions are at odds. I respect the man no less for it, despite the fact I feel his opinions are ultimately wrong on such matters.

To be more to the point, Jefferson in my own humble opinion, misunderstands Calvin completely or at least nearly completely, which is usually the root cause when two brilliant minds disagree on such things.

Jefferson's first 4 out of his 5 points there, are completely off base, as Calvin never claimed anything of the sort. Calvin was most certainly a firm believer that there is only One God, and he most certainly did not say that Good Works are nothing (as this would be in direct contradiction to the very words of Christ himself). His 3rd proposition that faith without reason is more meritous is beyond ludicrous, as is the 4th point that reason is not to be had in matters of religion. John Calvin most CERTAINLY was one of the strongest proponents of a Reasonable Faith. His doctrines make perfect logical sense and fit with absolute reason and rationality, what we can observe of mankind, and also what we know of the God of the Scriptures, the God who I believe is truly there.

As for Jefferson's claim that the doctrine of Calvin are impossible to defend, I beg to differ, and will be happy to exercise an adequate defense, as I believe as the 19th Century theologian Charles Spurgeon did, that the doctrines of Calvin ARE the Gospel. As for your question about why such a view of Calvinists is so accepted, as I said before, I feel it is rooted in misunderstanding. I can say this with authority, because there was a time when I myself had the very SAME misunderstandings of the Calvinist doctrines, until someone took the time to compassionately explain them in a way that made sense. Now when I read the Scriptures, I am unable to escape the rational truth of it.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to discuss these things with you. I very much enjoy it.

February 08, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

I am glad you read the Founders. Alas you did not read Jefferson's "AntiFederalist Papers" as Jefferson wrote no such thing. There is a modern book we call the AntiFederal Papers but it is a collection of essays by numerous critics of the Constitution but Jefferson was not one of them. Jefferson pretty much stayed out of that debate as he was in Paris at the time. The debate on the Constution took place between 1787 and 1789. Jefferson was in Paris from 1784 and 1789 and wasn't checking his email that often : )

I know he expressed displeasure about the absence of a bill of rights but beyond that he did not participate in the debate which you mention.

If you think Calvin's faith was reasonable then explain the unreasonable and abominable behaviour in Geneva under his rule!

February 08, 2006

Blogger Publius II said...

My apologies. You are correct. I was thinking it was Jefferson who headed up the Anti-Federalist Papers project, much the same as Hamilton did with the writers of the Federalist Papers. Admittedly, I am much more versed in the Federalist Papers than the Anti-Federalist.

Regardless, the point stands, the writers of Anti-Federalist papers were all very brilliant and passionate men who disagreed with the writers of the Federalist Papers. Their disagreement makes neither less brilliant.

Anyway, back to Calvin and Geneva. I assume you're referring to the many stake burnings and whatnot of those who were considered "heretics." In fact, these horrible actions are actually very easy to explain. And I'll explain it with Calvin's own doctrine of Total Depravity. It may sound trite, but when we accept the fact that man is basically sinful, his actions are not all that unexplainable, especially when you hold that up to all the mistreatment that Calvin's own people had been subject to during the earlier portions of his time in the Reformation.

Does that explanation justify his actions or those of his followers? In no way whatsoever. And make no mistake that it WAS more the responsibility of a couple of his key followers, rather than Calvin himself. These individuals wanted justification for punishing those who had done them harm and damage to their cause, and so as all men are inclined, they used portions of Scripture, taken out of context to justify injustice. This is inexcusable, to be sure. But does it invalidate all other ideas that they may have had? I believe we can point to the advice on your own website to answer that. "Concentrate on the ideas and think for yourself. It shouldn't matter who says it. All that matters is whether it is true or false and you have to decide that for yourself."

At this point, it is probably appropriate that I point out that there was actually very little said about Predestination, as well as Calvin's other doctrines, that was not first stated and taught by Martin Luther, as well as Augustine of Hippo (and arguably Thomas Aquinas). Comparative to what Luther wrote concerning predestination in particular, Calvin was very sparse on the topic.

February 09, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

1. There was no anti-Federalist papers project. It was individuals writing on their own later collected in one volume by modern historians.

2. Calvin had no problem with the murders of his followers and had threatened "heretics" with execution himself.

3. The only people in Christianity pushing for such execution of heretics and other sinners today are associated with the Calvinist Reconstructionist movement.

4. Calvin didn't think the Scripture was taken out of context. Everytime Christians do the same sort of crap the Islamic extremists do the more "moderate" pretend it is "out of context". But what if you are "out of context"?

5. You are right about Luther. But so what? I consider Luther and Calvin two people who tried to return Christianity to the awful views of Augustine and for that they should be condemned not praised.

February 09, 2006


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