Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Dark Side of Religion

Sudan protesters seek U.K. teacher's execution
KHARTOUM, Sudan - Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, protested Friday outside the presidential palace in Khartoum, demanding the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad." Full story ...

The level of medieval violence marshaled against this teacher for her innocent role in allowing children to name their class mascot questions our core belief in the existence of a shared reverence for human rights. As I find myself uncharacteristically at a loss for words, I'll defer to the eloquence of others to express my outrage at this display of primordial aggression.

The.... rumor-fueled tantrums that erupt all the time, especially in the Islamic world, show yet again that faith belongs to the spoiled and selfish childhood of our species.
Christopher Hitchens, The Case for Mocking Religion

Religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great

The moralities of the world religions, generally speaking, contributed more to the extension of violent cruelty than to its mitigation.
R. Collins .Three Faces of Cruelty

Human knowledge tends to increase but humans do not become any more civilized as a result. They remain prone to every kind of barbarism, and while the growth of knowledge allows them to improve their material conditions, it also increases the savagery of their conflicts.
John Gray, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia


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