Pseudo-Intellectuals on Public Transport

Faith+1 - Jesus Baby

Oh … Allah :) 

Do the believers not know that wanting structure and comfort and purpose is by no means a good reason to believe in the reality of something?

On a serious point, open question - and this is (mostly) an honest question - in response to the point raised by these people who apparently researched SO MUCH about the history of their religion.

Regarding how women had no rights before Islam, no position in society and couldn’t own property:

Khadija… owned property, ran a business… in pre-Islamic Arabia… please explain?

I’ll fully admit my ignorance here, I’m nowhere near as well-read as I should be, but allow me to humbly ask for elaboration on this topic. It just strikes me as odd that this simple point of chronology should go unnoticed without a good reason.

Peace and love ;)

Gordon Wilson

A former SNP leader has attacked plans to introduce gay marriage, branding them “a step towards fascism”.

Why is it that some groups of people never cease to amaze me with their blatant lack of historical awareness…

He added: “What you have to watch is when the state believes that it has a superior claim to tell its own citizens what to do and what to think.

"And that is what is beginning to happen here."

… and blatant hypocrisy.

Now, I’m sure - or I’m hoping - that most people are aware that the National Socialist Party, the Nazis of early 20th century Germany, and other fascist regimes in Europe at the time before and of the Second World War, did not only persecute Jews, but gypsies, Slavs, the mentally and physically disabled, non-white ethnic groups and, wouldn’t you know, homosexuals.

There’s been some efforts made by some fringe religious groups, usually far right, in America to suggest that Herr Adolf was himself a homosexual, but that is about as accurate as stating he was an atheist.

In other words, the comparison of a government to a fascist regime because of its suggestion to enable civil liberty and social freedom is utter cowshit.

Equality Network has called on Scotland for Marriage to issue an apology for comparing supporters of same-sex marriage with “fascists”.

And rightly so! However I doubt that you will get an apology, my friends.

Tom French, Equality Network spokesman, said: “The opponents of LGBT equality have sunk to a new low by comparing equal marriage supporters to fascists and Nazis.

"The fascist regimes of the 20th Century persecuted, tortured and murdered LGBT people.

"In contrast, the Scottish government are promoting equality and religious freedom for all. No religious body will be required to conduct same-sex marriages, but those that want to will now have the freedom to do so.

I mean, I just find it so fucking hilarious that this man is actually willing to suggest that the state is imposing its tyrannical power over its people by enabling, as Mr French stated, the kind of secular - and let’s not forget religious! - freedom necessary for a society to function without the views of one religious group taking over control of the basic rights of its people.

And yeah, I know that there’s some folk who’ll argue that “gay marriage” is not a right. However isn’t freedom of expression usually considered to be a right? I mean, if there wasn’t freedom of expression, fucktards like you wouldn’t have their right to express their hateful religious dogma, would you? And what is marriage if not an expression of love?

Wait… you’re not seriously suggesting that we define marriage by the primitive social ideology of a group of illiterate Palestinian shepherds, whose collective mythology was written down in circa 600 BCE, are you?

Snide remarks aside, the only point the gentleman may have is on the grounds that the figures regarding how much popular support there is for gay marriage are unclear. This article itself states two differing figures concluded by different methodologies.

However, in some ways I wonder whether this is relevant. I’m sure I don’t need to go into the idea of the separation of Church and State in depth yet again, but… anti-gay marriage views are more often than not fueled by bigotry based upon the teachings in the Bible… specifically Leviticus 20:13. Ironically, this is one of the teachings that Jesus doesn’t apparently revoke… unlike slavery… ‘cause there so isn’t a passage telling slaves to obey their masters.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that if there IS indeed separation of the Church and State, and the State assumes its duty to give as much civil liberty to its people as it can in the secular sphere under which the State itself falls, there is no reason why any such legislation should not pass even without popular support.

If those people who oppose it do not wish to partake of homosexual sexy-fun-times, they are under no compulsion to do so.

If those churches who oppose it do not wish to marry homosexual couples, they are under no compulsion to do so.

If homosexual individuals commit sexual assault or rape on any member of the public or animal kingdom (I’m just pandering here to the “descent into anarchy” argument), they will be prosecuted as anyone else.

It will enable a minority group to have rights. 

The majority of people in the southern states of the USA did not want African-Americans to have civil rights… including the right to an interracial marriage, by the way.

Would you have applied the same argument that no rights should be granted without popular support in that situation also?

And remember, the KKK read the same book as you do.

ihateallyourgods:

Wow! Great messages from the UK, Finland, and Poland. Thank you for taking the time to share your stories.

Interesting perspectives on religion from northern Europe.

archaeology:

Syria’s Looted Past: How Ancient Artifacts Are Being Traded for Guns
Photo: The badly damaged outer gate of Aleppo’s Citadel after government opponents try to blast their way into the ancient fortress.


Abu Khaled knows the worth of things. As a small-time smuggler living along the porous border between Syria and Lebanon, he has dabbled in antiquities as much as the cigarettes, stolen goods and weapons that make up the bulk of his trade. So when a smuggler from Syria brought him a small, alabaster statue of a seated man a few weeks ago, he figured that the carving, most likely looted from one of Syria’s two dozen heritage museums or one of its hundreds of archaeological sites, could be worth a couple thousand dollars in Lebanon’s antiquities black market. So he called his contacts in Beirut. But instead of asking for cash, he asked for something even more valuable: weapons.
“War is good for us,” he says of the community of smugglers that regularly transit the nearby border. “We buy antiquities cheap, and then sell weapons expensively.” That business, he says, is about to get better. Fighters allied with the Free Syrian Army units battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad have told him that they are developing an association of diggers dedicated to finding antiquities in order to fund the revolution. “The rebels need weapons, and antiquities are an easy way to buy them,” says Abu Khaled, who goes by his nickname in order to protect his identity.
Criminal activity thrives in chaos, and the theft of antiquities for a rapacious international black market is no exception. Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan have all fallen victim to looters during previous wars, and Libya and Egypt, rich in archaeological sites, witnessed several attempts at looting during their more recent uprisings. In the case of Syria, however, the full-blown civil war may do more harm than simply the plundering of its culture. The burgeoning market for this ancient land’s priceless treasures could actually prolong and intensify the conflict, providing a ready supply of goods to be traded for weapons. Furthermore, the ongoing devastation inflicted on the country’s stunning archaeological sites—bullet holes lodged in walls of its ancient Roman cities, the debris of Byzantine churches, early mosques and crusader fortresses—rob Syria of its best chance for a post-conflict economic boom based on tourism, which, until the conflict started 18 months ago, contributed 12% to the national income.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/09/12/syrias-looted-past-how-ancient-artifacts-are-being-traded-for-guns/#ixzz26Ih3K6z9


:’(

archaeology:

Syria’s Looted Past: How Ancient Artifacts Are Being Traded for Guns

Photo: The badly damaged outer gate of Aleppo’s Citadel after government opponents try to blast their way into the ancient fortress.

Abu Khaled knows the worth of things. As a small-time smuggler living along the porous border between Syria and Lebanon, he has dabbled in antiquities as much as the cigarettes, stolen goods and weapons that make up the bulk of his trade. So when a smuggler from Syria brought him a small, alabaster statue of a seated man a few weeks ago, he figured that the carving, most likely looted from one of Syria’s two dozen heritage museums or one of its hundreds of archaeological sites, could be worth a couple thousand dollars in Lebanon’s antiquities black market. So he called his contacts in Beirut. But instead of asking for cash, he asked for something even more valuable: weapons.

“War is good for us,” he says of the community of smugglers that regularly transit the nearby border. “We buy antiquities cheap, and then sell weapons expensively.” That business, he says, is about to get better. Fighters allied with the Free Syrian Army units battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad have told him that they are developing an association of diggers dedicated to finding antiquities in order to fund the revolution. “The rebels need weapons, and antiquities are an easy way to buy them,” says Abu Khaled, who goes by his nickname in order to protect his identity.

Criminal activity thrives in chaos, and the theft of antiquities for a rapacious international black market is no exception. Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan have all fallen victim to looters during previous wars, and Libya and Egypt, rich in archaeological sites, witnessed several attempts at looting during their more recent uprisings. In the case of Syria, however, the full-blown civil war may do more harm than simply the plundering of its culture. The burgeoning market for this ancient land’s priceless treasures could actually prolong and intensify the conflict, providing a ready supply of goods to be traded for weapons. Furthermore, the ongoing devastation inflicted on the country’s stunning archaeological sites—bullet holes lodged in walls of its ancient Roman cities, the debris of Byzantine churches, early mosques and crusader fortresses—rob Syria of its best chance for a post-conflict economic boom based on tourism, which, until the conflict started 18 months ago, contributed 12% to the national income.


Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/09/12/syrias-looted-past-how-ancient-artifacts-are-being-traded-for-guns/#ixzz26Ih3K6z9


:’(

How do you respond to violence? - Salman Rushdie

Uploaded by on 20 May 2010

A REVIEW OF THE INFAMOUS “MUHAMMAD MOVIE” (featured above) AND COMMENT ON ITS RECEPTION

I’m not one for censorship. Of any sort. There are some thing I don’t have a particularly high threshold of tolerance for - things like ignorance and lack of cognitive abilities - yet I still would not expect people who display such traits to be censored for my sake. Nor for the sake of public safety, by the way, because I’m of the opinion that people who react to film, art, music, literature, journalism, or any non-violent action with violence are as much part of the problem as those to be censored.

That being said, I simply HAD to watch the Sam Bacile film that’s had the Islamic world in uproar recently.

Now, I love taking the piss out of religion and religious bigotry, and all the contradictive, vindictive and ridiculous things that you can find in it. But this is not comedy, or anything of any intellectual value (save for the anthropologist studying the sorts of brain-dead racist scum that made it) - this film is as close to pornography for the hard-core born-again/evangelical redneck Christian (NB: not all Christians are like this, not even all evangelicals but please don’t tell me off for using a stereotype that in this case really does fit) to fondle their pencil-dick ‘intellects’ to. In other words, its message is on the one hand that Christianity (with its somewhat misguided but kindly brother Judaism) is RIGHT, and that ALL Muslims a) are immoral, rude and savage, b) want to kill and rape pretty Christian women, and best of all, c) indulge in the apparently exquisite pleasure of fucking children.

I’m gonna ignore the rather overdone accents, the blacking-up, the really crude and lewd directorial instruction to the actor playing Muhammad himself, especially in that almost-oral-sex-scene… We should perhaps even give Sam Bacile credit for only going so far as calling the Islamic prophet “Muhammad, the father unknown” rather than outright “Muhammad the Bastard”. That’s subtlety for you.

Anyways, my point is that really what’s most offensive - aside from the acting - is the content. And it’s offensive even to an atheist like me, who would in many ways probably agree with Bacile on the objective truth of the claims of Islam. There are several reasons for this:

1) The outright hypocrisy of some piece of shit intolerant Christian bigot in cherry-picking all the really shitty stuff out of scriptures, even things like the section at 06:02 which portrays the plotting of the overtaking of some settlement, when you can find examples of exactly the same kind of thing in the Old Testament.

Even then, by the way, there is also no clear message given.

On the one hand (with regards to paganism):

"If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.  Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God.  That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt.  Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction.”

Deuteronomy 13:13-19

On the other (with regards to the Canaanite - i.e. pagan - city of Ai):

When the Israelite army finished killing all the men outside the city, they went back and finished off everyone inside.  So the entire population of Ai was wiped out that day – twelve thousand in all.  For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed.  Only the cattle and the treasures of the city were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these for themselves, as the LORD had commanded Joshua.”

Joshua 8:1-29

I’d call that a direct contradiction.

Oh, and don’t tell me that O.T. stuff doesn’t apply anymore - you still hate gays and believe the world was created in 6 days, that there was a talking snake, and that the entire population of this planet came from two people…

With regards to the Jewish god not asking people to convert to Judaism in the Old Testament… no, he preferred to command the wholesale slaughter of people who were not Jewish; of whole pagan cities, of those who strayed, of people who were not circumcised and therefore not “properly” Jewish. Etc-fucking-etc.

… oh shit, I forgot - I kinda shot myself in the foot here didn’t I? Because telling you brain-dead bastards that you’ve the same abominable shit in YOUR ‘holy’ book only proves the point that the Qur’an is plagiarised from the Torah and the New Testament, as you also stated in the film with regards to how the Qur’an was written.

Seriously? Are you trying to tell me that the Torah and the New Testament - i.e. the scriptures that in combination make up the Christian Bible, don’t try to disassociate Jesus from the rest of it! - is not plagiarised? So that the figure of Yahweh himself is copied from Canaanite religion, the Noah’s flood thing from the much, MUCH older Epic of Gilgamesh, and a lot of Jesus’ life was copied from the supposed lives of other deities and mythical figures from the general Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/North African area (Mithras, Osiris, Hercules, Orestes, Dionysus etc), THAT doesn’t bother you at all?

You, Sam Bacile and co., are fucking lunatics.

I mean, I’ll give you that there is a hell of a lot of influence/re-telling of those texts in the Qur’an… the problem is, Mr Bacile, that this isn’t viewed from the theological perspective as plagiarism because Islam does not disassociate itself from Judaism or Christianity. Its ‘holy’ book is seen as THEIR revelation from the same god as you have. There is no denial of the connection between your respective faiths on their part. The truth of your statements about the divine depend on looking at this in “spiritual” terms, whereby claims to divine inspiration are given the benefit of the doubt. In that respect, you really should extend the same courtesy to Islam.

But if we go into HISTORICAL terms, then I’d have no issues with you calling it that, since it is highly likely that the same as YOUR blabbery was plagiarised from the Sumerians, the Canaanites, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, etc. the Arab religion of Islam took from the already prominent religions from that area to set up a “legitimate” religion and identity of their own, once polytheism no longer pandered. Do you not find it somehow odd to defend the divinity of your own scriptures when they are equally marred by plagiarism as those of the religion you have come to despise so much? 

"What God is this that is such an oppressor and so unfair to the people?"

It’s your god too, you imbecile.

And… consider these images. One if from your film, the other from my favourite religious satire, ”Monty Python’s Life of Brian”… do you really want to talk about plagiarism, Mr Bacile?

2) Going on to historical inaccuracy… I’m not a scholar of Islamic history, but even my feeble general knowledge tells me most of this is bullshit. To say that Islam says it isn’t enough to believe in the one Abrahamic god, you have to declare Muhammad as his prophet… well, yes this is true to the extent that if you consider Islam to be truth, and therefore the universe functions according to it, you should subscribe to the notion that a 7th century merchant in Arabia got messages from a god if you want to reach paradise etc. It is also true that there are some, NOT ALL, who would say that you should either convert or die. But these are hardly in a majority. And historically, seeing as this film portrays explicitly the killing of Christians and Jews - there was for a long time, and still is even amongst peddlers of distasteful religious teaching like Dr Zakir Naik, this notion that the “people of the book”, i.e. Christians and Jews, are to be respected and tolerated. That there is common ground between them because of the shared heritage of all three religions. Might I remind you that the only times I can think of in history where all three Abrahamic religions managed to live, integrate, and trade in peace were under Muslim rule: Moorish Spain (and I could really stop there, ‘cause that was one awesome civilization)… there was also some caliphate/sultanate or other in Jerusalem (I’m sorry, I can’t remember which) I read about once, where the Sultan threw gold pieces on a rubbish heap the Christians used in order to give them incentive to excavate what we now know as the Western Wall… oh and I’m not even mentioning the truce between Saladin and the Crusaders, where Saladin granted safe passage to pilgrims going to Jerusalem.

Obviously, this was ignored as it isn’t convenient to the message of the film.

"The Pharaohs of Egypt believed in one god 5000 years ago" (08:20)??? By "Pharaohs" I take it you mean the PHARAOH (singular) Akhenaten who reigned around 1353-1336BCE… I mean, ok, maybe the plural was a typo in the script because at the end of his reign, the monotheistic beliefs he imposed were discarded and Amarna, the city he build as a city of his god, Aten (the sun disc) was abandoned. He was the only monotheistic Pharaoh of Egypt. But to set this film during the time of Muhammad, in the early 7th century CE, and then to say that Akhenaten, for the dates of whose reign we have precise archaeological proof, lived 5000 years before that… that would put his reign at around 4400BCE. This is in the pre-dynastic period in Ancient Egypt - i.e. there wereno Pharaohs; it is still the Neolithic. You know, it doesn’t give me faith in your work, Mr Bacile, when you don’t pay attention to this kind of thing whilst trying to promote this in part as a docu-drama. It’s almost as though you were watching your favourite Evangelical television programme and heard the good pastor say "even the Pharaohs in Egypt believed in one god 5000 years ago", and decided to *cough* plagiarise *cough* And even if we do count from modern day (you can count, right?) even then it wouldn’t correspond with the dates for Akhenaten’s reign - you’re just under 2000 years out.

I’m not going to even dignify the gay quip with a response, butwhat’s so wrong with gay people anyway? Mr Bacile, I think that you and a hell of a lot of Muslims could sit down together and have a nice little homophobic bitch-fest. You really do have a lot in common.

And with regards to the child bride, Aisha… how many fucking times does one have to repeat that the historical and cultural context? Child marriage was commonplace from Asia to across Europe well into the Middle Ages. Christians did it too. It doesn’t make it “moral” from our current, subjective and distinctly MODERN perspective, where life expectancy is much longer… and a Western perspective, idiosyncratic and by no means superior cultural perspective, that a girl does not reach sexual maturity when she begins menstruating (‘cause when life past 25’s uncertain, you don’t wanna waste those eggs) but when she is emotionally ready… or when she marries, you religious might say, but we have SECULAR laws stating a minimum age to that which is usually 18 or 21.

3) The savagery you attempt to show on Muhammad’s part is by no means worse than the savagery of the Biblical Jews against their enemies, nor the historical Christians who saw fit to murder “witches”, scientists, Jews, Muslims, pagans, atheists, authors… and furthermore you forget that Muhammad’s position as a general in 7th century Arabia would have meant that to retain power and control, he would have had to have made examples of those who disobeyed. In actual fact, he showed a hell of a lot of restraint more than most would have: he gave the Jewish occupants of a settlement 3 chances, and only when they betrayed by attempting for the third time to aid his enemies in overthrowing him, he had them all killed.

And if I’m allowed one reaaaaaally subjective statement, he also liked cats, which in my book makes him a good person :)

ANYWAY, as I said at the start, I respect Bacile’s right to produce and distribute this kind of bullshit, since it is his, albeit retarded, opinion and one cannot cherry-pick who gets to have freedom of speech and who doesn’t. Even while I simply cannot believe in their god, or any god, I will always defend any religious group when they are slandered… especially by pond-life like Mr Sam Bacile (which, incidentally, isn’t apparently even the coward’s real name).

What I can’t respect is the reactions to this by some of the Muslim communities, especially in Libya and Egypt, who saw fit to react with violence. Firstly, nothing gives you the right to take a life, especially not for a crime not perpetrated by that individual or individuals. But even if you killed Bacile, as much as part of me would be glad that the world would be shorter of one instigator of bigotry and violence, it isn’t your right. State your displeasure by all means, I would be pissed off too if I was in your shoes, but killing is a step too far. Doesn’t your god actually explicitly tell you that killing is wrong? Oh, and if we are going to include any notion of holy war in this discussion… how incredibly insecure must you be to consider some lunatic American half-wit’s badly produced, badly acted 15 minute film a direct threat to your religion? You guys have in the past built empires spanning several continents, built the most gorgeous buildings, advanced science and medicine and mathematics, written the most beautiful poetry, and so much of that was inspired by your faith… don’t try to tell me that that entire heritage could come crumbling down because of insults. Please.

In absolute honesty, I cannot think of a less productive reaction on your part than turning into an angry and savage mob, wielding weapons against innocents, and killing people who do not share your beliefs IN RESPONSE TO A FILM WHICH SAID YOU WERE PRECISELY THAT.

PEACE AND LOVE,

B.

An argument with oneself…

Greetings my darlings, it’s been a long time.

It’s not often I find myself making an argument FOR the existence of God… in fact, for those of you who know me, the chances of such a thing happening are akin to the chances of Hitler rising from the dead and making a speech to say that the Jews are people too.

Read More

Jihad is the greatest deed in Islam and the salvation of the ummah is in practicing it. In times like these, when Muslim lands are occupied by the kuffar, when the jails of tyrants are full of Muslim POWs, when the rule of the law of Allah is absent from this world and when Islam is being attacked in order to uproot it, Jihad becomes obligatory on every Muslim. Jihad must be practiced by the child even if the parents refuse, by the wife even if the husband objects and by the one in debt even if the lender disagrees.

Dear brothers and sisters the issue is urgent since today our enemy is neither a nation nor a race. It is a system of kufr with global reach. The kuffar today are conspiring against us like never before. So could we be heading towards the great battle between the Romans and the Muslims - Al Malhamah - which the Prophet (saaws) spoke about?

Let’s see if this blog can get on a terrorist watch list ;)

EDIT:

The danger of the Western media stems from the fact that it puts on the cloak of truth and objectivity when in reality it is no more than the mouthpiece of the devil. Can’t you see that the Western media is constantly trying to underplay the atrocities committed by the West while exaggerating the violations – which are few and far in between - committed by Muslims? 

[…]

So my dear brothers and sisters part of your duty is to campaign amongst Muslims to raise their awareness regarding this issue. You should encourage them to be careful and critical of the Western media…

Al Awlaki has a good thing going here: even an atheist such as myself can participate in/support Jihad by agreeing wholeheartedly that the Western media is full of shit and should be exposed for its hypocrisy and lack of objective information ;D

B.

me, a feminist? No way.

Published on 28 May 2012 by

There’s a teacher I had who really, really should see this… 

thothofnorth:

Neuroanthropology is anthropology. And part of a Boasian tradition of anthropology, but needing a renewed consideration not just of the historical links and origins of a particular way of doing anthropology, but even more importantly, a re-invention and re-interpretation of how to do Boasian anthropology in ways that can draw on human difference and similarity, biology and culture, experience and history.

A great blog post in Neuroanthropology about the interceptions of boasian tradition and the emergence of neuroanthropology. An interesting read to all those interested in neuroanthropology, cultural neuroscience, brain and of course anthropology in general.

ancientart:

Ancient Minoan, Ladies in Blue fresco, ca. 1525-1450 B.C. Currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

ancientart:

Ancient Minoan, Ladies in Blue fresco, ca. 1525-1450 B.C. Currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.