Sunday 4 October 2015

Man Killed For Eating Beef

3rd October 2015 
Extracts are from a Guardian article.
".... the mob dragged 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq and his son from their home on Monday night and beat them with sticks and bricks. Akhlaq was declared dead at a nearby hospital, while his son was being treated for serious injuries."

For muslims the cow is sacred so it sort of explains why they were so incensed when " ...a temple had announced that the family had been slaughtering cows and storing the beef in their house." Not that much different from Muslims killing those who are disrespectfull towards their prophet.

There will be no peace while god exists.

[in peoples minds that is].

Saturday 27 June 2015

Tunisia In Firing Line Again

Isis have targeted Tunisia again with a killing of 40 tourists at a hotel complex in Sousse. This will have very serious repercussions for the fledgling democratic (and secular) government. Isis obviously intends to destabilise a government that is totally out of tune with their plans for islamic dominance. If killing innocent tourists is the way to bring this about then, in their mind, so be it. What are 40 lives against the glory of god. Their god of course.
This is all so totally depressing, not just for the cruel ruthlessness of the event itself but because there is no obvious way of stopping it happening again, and again. When minds are as taken over by a madness, as are those of Isis, there is no way forward, no dialogue, no compromise, no solution.
This is religion at its most uncompromising, but religion almost by definition is always uncompromising - God doesn't do compromise. Why would he?

Sunday 22 March 2015

Religious Intolerance

This week's attack by Isis on the museum in Tunis continues the sad story of religious intolerance, by which I mean not intolerance towards religion (most countries have legislation against this) but by religion.

Religious fundamentalists in Paris attacked free speech and in Tunis they attacked democracy. They seek to undermine the Tunisian democratic government by attacking its tourist industry.

Tunisia is the one bright light left shining after so many were snuffed out following the Arab Spring. Tunisia shows that democracy and religion can co-exist. But only if there is tolerance on both sides. Unfortunately some brands of religion are so obsessed with their own sense of righteousness that there can be no other path, no other way than an unbending theistic state. A democracy that works in an Islamic society is a challenge to their own ambitions. (Their own particular theology of course being the only 'right' one, forget for the moment the illogicality of there being dozens of other theologies that also think they are the only 'right' one.)

Religion has been described as a virus of the mind and if this is so then it seems some have immunity from it and some a predisposition towards contracting it. Social conditions too have a large part to play in its contractability. As I understand it, there is no medical 'cure' for the vast majority of biological viruses, the body just has to be given the time and conditions to develop it's own immunity. The question is, do we have the required evolutionary time to develop immunity to the other sort? 

Saturday 10 January 2015


Encountered on a remote beach south of Cadiz in Spain - 10th Jan 2015.

The above message in the sand really made me think about how the recent attack in Paris has affected and offended so many. We have had attacks by Islamic extremists before, notably in Paris, London, Madris, New York . . . but this attack seems to have struck a chord throughout the western world. The other attacks were cruel murders of innocent citizens but directed really against western involvement in the middle east in some way or other. This time the attack hit at the heart of the matter, it was a blatant attack on our basic ideals of freedom of expression.

It was outrage at a satirical take on the muslim prophet Mohammed.  And that really demonstrates the terrible potential in religion because at the root of most organised religion is a belief in an all powerful god, a belief that cannot be questioned, because by definition, god is boss and what god says goes. There is of course a wide range of  beliefs and most are harmless, indeed most are the source a tremendous good and give incalculable comfort to their followers. Sadly a few are at the other end of the spectrum and we see the results in the terrorist attacks that have become all too familiar over recent years.

Perhaps the time has come to re-assess the special place that religion has traditionally been granted in our society. After all, beliefs are just beliefs, and as such, almost by definition, are totally devoid of factual support. There is I feel no real reason in this modern scientific age why religion should be granted any special privileges or special respect. All belief should be as open to query and even ridicule, as should any other organisation. And religion, whichever flavour, can never be above the law. Which of course gets us back to the basic issue, that many sects will place their own belief system above everything else, including the law - a very logical stance from their point of view. So there is a fundamental conflict of interests here and something has to give. And I don't think it should be the freedoms that we in the west have come to expect as our right.

And perhaps the time has come also to also question the wisdom, in the UK, of using taxpayers' money to subsidise and encourage religion - in the form of faith schools. Schools that will do their best to indoctrinate the minds of the next generation with their own particular belief system. Hardly the best way to achieve an integrated society. At some time in the distant future the human race may well look back and wonder that the state actually encouraged what will by then be seen as a form of child abuse. How much better to start sending out signals that while the rights of individuals to practice a religion as a private activity, within the bounds of the law, are to be protected, it is not something to be actively encouraged. The traditional idea of god, a very useful invention that answered our questions in the long ages of ignorance (and it has to be said, a very useful control mechanism it was too, and still is in places),  has perhaps outlived its usefulness. We need to begin a winding down operation. The risks are no longer acceptable.

Move on mankind, wise up, move on.