Monday, July 23, 2007

A response from "The Believer"

NOTE: My apologies to Ali from Kuwait. The Believer is not him. The near anonymous woman that left the post said "Read the Quran and we can talk again :)" Since I have NEVER talked to her and she implied we had, my natural assumption was that she was Ali. She also exhibited the same "ONE OF US, ONE OF US" hive mentality. I should have known better.

I am editing this portion of the blog with the knowledge of the identity of "The Believer"

The Anonymous musilm woman known as "The Believer" and her all-wise post on my blog...

"Ken,Can I ask you a question? A simple one-are you a happy man deep inside? That is, are you a relaxed always-smiling soul who gets up in the morning ready to live? Or do you look for escapes, drink alcohol (I can see you smoke):) etc, as a means to drown your deep distress which you cannot put a finger on? Please ponder upon this question and then ponder further on the fact that you cannot stop the supernatural to invade your life. Your soul is supernatural and its happiness and peace depends on how you think and live.Who gives us happiness? GOD!"

Sure I like to drink and smoke and I know plenty of religious people that do so as well. I know Christians, Jews and Muslims that drink and smoke. As for my deep distress... There are alot of ugly people in this world that do ugly things for god, money, country, greed, lust, jealousy etc. I have empathy for those that suffer from the actions of those that abuse power. Empathy causes my distress, not a lack of a god. If there really was a god, why did he let the world get to such a state? He killed millions in the bible that allegedly disobeyed him, why not now? Why do little children suffer from war, hunger, drought and disease? Oh, I guess he "doesn't want us to know" why he's such a negligent creep.

"The supernatural rules when we look at imminent global warming, global dimming, greenhouse effect and also other natural calamities (droughts,floods,etc), not mentioning AIDS which is clearly some punishment from HIM you don't believe in! Promiscuity could result in someone contracting HIV,etc. Who creates those? Can you answer that? If no vaccine is found it means God doesn't want it to be found!"

Okay, so now global warming is supernatural? Did I miss this study? Did the 10% of scientists that didn't think global warming was caused by man think that cars were made by god? So all the kids in this world that got AIDS from blood transfusions or dirty needles are being punished by allah? What a prick. You're making Atheism sound safer and safer. I sleep with one woman and never use needles. Don't worry about me. I'm avoiding gods little viral fatwa.

"Rania can be queen or whatever, she may be a strong believer in the ONE GOD, she may live her life as a believing muslim which is we respect. But since we are talking about headscarf and dress code, if she knows her islam she should know that she is committing a sin by even showing a STRAND of hair to strangers (men)not mentioning some other skin. She should know that, and clearly you don't know that either. She is not the perfect example to choose. Sorry, it is a weak example. Generally it is better to look at a nun than to look at some prostitute looking woman."

Queen Rania looks like a prostitute? That's pathetic. This is where all hard line muslims lose the argument.

Islam is popular among men because it allows men to control women. You have the "big man", god, telling the little men to cover their wives "around strange men" (a little parainod since I though you believed we are all god's children) and muslim men are also allowed to beat their wives. Most muslims don't argue this, they only argue how big of a stick they can use. It's misogynistic and repulsive to me... Especially the part about 70 dark eyed virgins (or white raisins - depending on which translation you go by) that await men in heaven. Pardon my french, but that is truly fucked up. Why do men need that promise? Why do men need so many women on earth or heaven? Why does someone's body need to be an object of shame? Simple answer: GOD DIDN'T MAKE THESE RULES! MEN MADE THEM! The quran was written by a man's hand with tools man created, so the simple conclusion is that man came up with the ideas within it.

Why do women become muslims? Because they are "born into it" (forced in my opinion) or are terrified of allah. I'm sure there are other reasons, but fear of "no heaven" seems to be prevalent.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that vices including drugs, alcohol, fornicating, etc are wrong. Why are they known as VICES? We are all sinners, you should know that. Man is fallible in many ways."

i.e. Controlling and abusing women to mask their own insecurities. Not to mention polygamy and lusting after astral virgins. Fornication is a vice? Fornication is the act people perform to make babies. Making babies is a vice?

By the way Believer, I am a strange man, should you even be speaking to me?

"The aim of religion especially Islam is to provide answers to troubled souls( like you perhaps,even if you live in denial) - Have you read about Intelligent Design which has caused Darwin to become obsolete? (his theory especially) Then go and find out about it.- Have you read a Quran? You should know that there is a section in the Quran where the development of the foetus in the womb is described in details which were only confirmed centuries later with technology! Such details could only have been known by SOMEONE who knew and still knows everything. Your Creator!"

The aim of religion is to conquer. Especially the middle easter religions. Your response to me is proof. You are trying to exploit personal weaknesses so I react, then tell me not to react, then call me troubled, then offer an answer. It's near flawless psychological warfare. Just know there are people smart enough not to fall for it.

Sorry B, the fetus argument holds no water. It's been debunked repeatedly. In true misogynistic style, the womans contribution to the child is left out. With all of the people that were being slaugtered by Muhammed's followers, why not dissect a few for scientific study? I'm sure miscarrages were pretty prevalent in all stages of pregnancy considering the conditions in which people lived. You prove nothing with this argument.

"I think that, you Ken haven't sat down to read the entirety of the Quran (translations are available)or any other previous Scriptures for that matter. You must know your facts! Please don't talk out of ignorance!Just REMEMBER one thing, the supernatural is beyond you, whether you like it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not. Ask yourself what is the fastest growing religion or belief system in the world? You know it is Islam and certainly not Atheism! Why? Simply because Islam has God's protection, The real Islam which is in the Quran (which you should read with an open mind) and in the example of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him)is growing because God wants it to. It is a supernatural process and no one can stop it:)Don't be blinded by the unfortunate acts of terrorism by individuals who are driven by personal motives. Islam is not that. Read the Quran then we can talk again:)Good luck:)"

I've read the old and new testaments and went to Christian school for many years. I think you have found false wisdom and a way to make yourself feel better by treading on the dignity of others. None of your arguments have any specific information as to why creationism makes sense. Creationism makes Darwinism obsolete?!?!? Where are you getting your information?

If you truly believe a book written by people not nearly as intelligent as we are today, then get off the internet and give up any advancement man has made in the last thousand plus years and stay in your fantasy world. Stop watching TV too. It was invented by non-muslim westerners.
Also, anytime you use a computer, you are funding an Atheist, Bill Gates.

No great loss if we ever talk, which we never have. Your a great follower but a rotten induvidual.
In closing, the reason why there are so many religious people in the world is because of fear and terror of the unknown. When you are offered an old concept accepted by your ancestors, it's easy to fall into that belief. Islam may be growing faster than any other ideology and it makes sense. There are many poor people without hope that have been trod on by rich westerners and lousy governements. When you have nothing, you fill that void with the only hope you have, even if it is fictional. I pity anyone that lives in such conditions and resorts to such futile ideologies. I have hope in my fellow man that I can see, speak to or help without bending them to my will.

Forever an atheist,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Atheism

Back to the comments of WHYS poster, "Ali in Kuwait".

Ali has painted a picture of a patriarchal Muslim utopia on the WHYS blog and implicated Atheists as the source of many of society's woes. I take great offense to his statements because I would like to know how a mere 10 or so percent of the globe is to blame for the mess made by governments dominated by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Here is my response to Ali from Kuwait's questions to Atheists about our "empty ideology".

I believe we are a very tiny part of a gigantic universal process of life that we cannot begin to fully fathom. I think it it's a silly notion that any god would send communications to a race as destructive and savage as humans in a few select times in recent history.I don't deny that there is a creator or process of creation, but science offers far better clues to existence than any holy book. A holy book may make you feel like you're more special than you really are, but really, none of us are that special. I don't consider that to be a bad thing either. I just know what is important is to live my life to the fullest and cause as little harm as others as possible. I don't think that I'm so special that I'll die and go to heaven where I can party with Jesus and 70 virgins. I know when I die, my matter and energy will disperse and contribute to the process of life beyond my own. My heaven is right here, right now and I'm not afraid of a lack of an afterlife... Why would I be afraid of nothing?

Many people would view my lack of belief as Agnosticism but, Agnostic means "Not a Gnostic".
It's a poor term for what I am.

As for the design of the universe... Again, I'm not trying to explain the structure or nature of the universe. I am saying that no book written before the advent of 20th or 21st century technology is capable of explaining everything. Holy books simply tell you to "trust" and have "faith" and prohibit you from studying all of the available information and possibilities. Why would anyone want to limit their free will or pursuit of knowledge? If I find information that offends me, I speak out about it or move on to something more palatable.

There is a plethora of information on the Internet and in thousands of books on the evolutionary process. Man's mind has evolved since the advent of literature. That may be a poor scientific analogy, but it just makes sense. As a race, we create what we need and as new things are created, new needs arise. That being said, we will still never understand the full process of life in the universe. My life is complete without knowing every little detail. There is no way any Islamic text explains every detail of the cosmos without resorting to "faith". Benjamin Franklin once said something to the effect of "To have faith is to abandon reason." I adhere to this truth.

I respect the Muslim, Christian and Jewish mythologies as well as those that came before (and after!). Each sect has a broad, rich, beautiful and oft misguided history. I shudder to think of all the ancient sculptures and temples that were destroyed in the name of one faith or another. On the other hand, each faith has adopted things from many Pagan myths along the way, adding to their richness. Some historians & geologists have speculated that the Black Stone in Mecca was most likely a meteor rock that was worshiped by Pagans then appropriated by Mohammad. Interesting stuff.

The purpose of my life is to create music & art, enjoy the beauty of everything in my short existence and make others happy. I can't begin to explain the purpose of every one's life. Everyone needs to draw their own conclusion as to their own purpose. I've never had a hole in my heart or head that I thought needed filled with an ancient text written by people that aren't even my direct ancestors.

My values come from my parents that let me decide what path I would take. I chose to be an Atheist and I don't regret it. I feel sorry for any child that is not given the chance to decide their own way. I honestly think it is a form of abuse and brainwashing. I have no criminal record, I'm faithful to my wife, I've never had illegitimate children or contracted an STD, I am kind and generous to my family and friends, I pay my bills, I work and never let my co-workers down, I vote, I recycle, I don't indulge in cable TV or Video Games that dumb everyone down and I really like public radio.

I hope this gives ALI some insight.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Women and Islam

When I read the WHYS morning agenda from Ros Atkins, he made note of an e-mail received from Ali in Kuwait. Ali asserted that there were not enough positive stories about Islam on the BBC. I agree with him. Unfortunately, Muslims have much in common with Catholics; Irresponsible leaders.

When I began to read the thread, Ali set me off with his response to a comment left by another poster named Steve, "Not everyone wants to live in a religious state, and you're seemingly wanting to impose your way on everyone else, whereas atheists don't impose their beliefs."

Ali replied to Steve, "I too was an atheist once until I found it to be an empty ideology. Unfortunately I have to disagree with your assertion that atheist do not impose their beliefs on others. On the contrary I cannot walk the streets or watch TV in my country without being confronted by the sight of scantily-dressed women."

It was later suggested by Steve that he could simply turn off his television, then came the real zinger from Ali... "Hi again Steve. I agree that I can turn off the TV, but I can't turn off the woman sitting opposite me on the subway." WHOAAAA!!! So I typed up my response and looking back, I hope I didn't come off too strong...

I wrote, "You can't turn off the woman sitting opposite you on the subway??? If you can't handle simply looking at a woman without getting aroused or offended, you should work from home. What do you want? Would you like to force all women to cover up to your standards? Your statement is deranged."

Okay, I'm sorry now that I used the term deranged, but in the US and other western countries, women have been afforded luxuries they cannot obtain with strict Islamic rule. If it weren't for powerful women like Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and Princess Diana, what would the world be? What if they became anonymous units in a male dominated marriage or polygamist union arranged by relatives?

Great offence wells in my gut when I hear the slightest suggestion that women should sacrifice their public identity or freedom of expression. If someone doesn't like the way another person dresses, tough luck.

As for powerful Muslim women, I will have to confess to typical American ignorance of non-western culture. I'll take this moment to educate myself... I just did a Google search for"influential Muslim women" and the first name I found was Queen Rania of Jordan (Left). I then performed an image search. In every photo I found, the queen seems to dress in a modest, not shamed manner. She actually looks like a westerner.

Are women of royalty excluded from a headscarf or burka or is Queen Raina not a "Real Muslim"? I read she was involved in Global Dignity Day which is based on the United Nations 1948 proclamation, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which asserts “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Pretty profound stuff in my opinion.

Out of admiration for settlers in what seems to be a new frontier, I'll keep looking for influential women in the Muslim world that endorse positive world views. I am troubled by Ali's comments on "the woman sitting opposite" but I am also hopeful that more men see women as strong social contributors that needn't hide from anyone.

I still have responses to Ali's view of positive Islam that I will address at a later date. Especially the one about Athiesm being an "empty ideology".

Tangently yours,


Why WHYS Inspired Me

"Ken in Cleveland writes..."

I've been a regular listener of BBC's World Have Your Say (WHYS) for nearly a year now and sent quite a few e-mails that have been read on-air, went to a live show from Cleveland and spoke on air a few times. Much of what I submit via e-mail ends up being edited down to a one or two sentence sound byte (more often by me than the WHYS staff). As for speaking on the air, not really my cup of tea unless it's about atheism. Stick to what you know.

For those of you interested in politics and world events not familiar with WHYS, you should be! It's the most dynamic call-in show I've ever encountered. People from all over the world "Take part in the global conversation" and have enlightened me on many counts of happenings not covered by media outlets in the US.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I do not want to be percived as a cheerleader for the program, but they honestly provide a media outlet that no one else has attempted. If you don't believe me, check it out for a week. If you disagree with my opinions and views, you should definitely check it out. More voices make a better show.