Barb Wire – We do Exist.

Sorry… this post isn’t about the secret fans of Pamela Anderson’s seminal work, Barb Wire but me mocking a piece from a Right Wing American Conservative Magazine that thinks Atheists don’t exist because of “Bible Reasons”.

But it does star our very own Greta Christina’s work! Dr. Don Boys (Doctorate in Bible Stuff… Not Sciences or indeed Medicine) takes umbrage to the fact that atheists exist and declares that we don’t exist.

Ergo? I am a figment of your imagination as is your entire existence which is why I am going to post something Freudian.

Oh fine! I will be serious! [Read more…]

On Dawkins and Jesus

It’s kind of a weird tactic hear. On the one side WND is anti-evolution and thinks the world was created 6000 years ago and that Satan made things like the Cave Paintings and Dinosaurs freely roamed the Earth. These same people often think that this wouldn’t happen if you run into T-Rex.

Unless you were a particularly unlucky pumpkin. I mean this sounds silly, but some creationists seriously ran the “T-Rex as a Veggie” argument. My response at the time was to joke that “this was the reason Christians keep getting eaten by Lions”. [Read more…]

Religious Values

The global poll found that in 22 out of the 39 countries surveyed, the majority of people believe that faith in God is needed for people to be moral and have good values. The results varied considerably throughout regions, with European nations most often rejecting that such a belief is necessary for morality, while Africa and the Middle East were particularly strong in opinion that faith in God is necessary for good values.

Good on us Europeans. [Read more…]

The Thug in Velvet – Not Your Dress

Indian women are often judged harshly for the clothes they wear. Either they are too revealing or too boring or too ugly or too scandalous. The idea of the “sexy” Indian woman exists only in the dream state of cinema.

The same men who whoop and holler at the sexy women on the big screen dancing to modern music would be quick to condemn both the music and much tamer outfits among “real women”.

Gauhar Khan is a fairly famous Indian actress who won last year’s “Indian Big Brother”. She was assaulted on stage by a man who took offence to the clothes she wore.

“Being a Muslim woman, she should not have worn such a short dress.”

It doesn’t matter what dress she wears. If you are offended then look away. She is not there to dress to your satisfaction.

I like it when Hera dresses up. It’s not a demand, it’s not even a request. It’s something she chooses to do to surprise me. But I don’t begrudge her in sweatpants and wearing my T-shirt while watching bad TV. The dress of a woman doesn’t allow you to touch her in any way. Her consent does. As any sort of man irrespective of the gods of your fathers, do you think it is acceptable to strike any human in public let alone a woman and promote the status quo of casual violence aimed at women?

And this isn’t the only such story of the casual nature of thuggish behaviour within Indian culture. It is very easy for a young man to be justified in his violence.

A young man belonging to the Scheduled Caste and his Muslim wife were hacked to death in broad daylight in a village of Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday – allegedly by the woman’s brother – for defying the diktat of the village headmen and staying married.

Sonu and Danishta Begum got married four months ago and lived in his house in Fatehpur Village around 75 Km from Delhi. In a story that would have made our hearts swell? They were neighbours for 13 years and childhood sweethearts.

Sonu was hacked to death by Danishta’s brother Talib before he cut her throat. Talib and the girl’s mother Noor Jehan have been arrested. Four others have evaded arrest.

While we would think that caste or religion would be the cause of the murder, it wasn’t. It was fear of reprisals from the Village Headmen that drove the killing.  [Read more…]

Can’t Take A Joke – Veena Malik and Islamic Fundamentalism

Atheists have followed the story of Asia Bibi.

For those who don’t know who she is? Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, receiving a sentence of death by hanging. In June 2009, she got involved in an argument with a group of Muslim women with whom she had been harvesting berries after the other women became angry at her for drinking the same water as them. The irony is this sort of logic is a Hindu holdover in both religions. It’s a caste issue. Hindus often don’t share water containers with the untouchables. The practice has died out in the cities but in the countryside? Many lower caste and untouchable people often have their own water containers to prevent “contamination”.  [Read more…]

Cherchez La Femme – Looking for Women in Atheism

It’s a bad sign when the Discovery Institute start making fun of you.

There is a problem in atheism. It is a mainly white male dominated issue but it is changing. While we do see people dragging their feet about representation and what it means and we do see people who aren’t conducive to a more diverse atheist demographic with large fan bases, the fact remains that more and more minority atheists are being seen and heard. Put it this way? Just 10 years ago you couldn’t name any south Asian freethinkers.

Today on JUST this platform alone? Taslima Nasrin, Mano Singham, Heina Dadabhoy and Yours Truly. Now I am not as active in meat space as those 3. Taslima’s books are still selling in India, Heina’s a veteran of a bunch of American Atheist Stuff and Mano’s got books out. I just make loud noises and spelling mistakes. [Read more…]

Rage Against the Machine

It is no surprise that the policeman who shot and killed Michael Brown was not indicted.

I don’t think there is a riot in Ferguson. I think it is just “Hijinks”. After all boys will be boys? I am sorry? Are we reporting two cases of rioting in different ways? Is it okay to riot due to an out of control pumpkin festival but not if you have to argue about the rights of the police?

Activism among White Kids is more acceptable. Possibly because it’s a more genteel form.  It’s people angry about GMOs and Global Warming. But when people of colour get angry about things it generally doesn’t end well. We aren’t portrayed as passionate, we are portrayed as dangerous.

And there are some problems with the dialogue about this. Yes, even among atheists we see the problem. If there was any indicator of “you don’t get it”, there are enough of us who don’t get why people are so angry.

There is a puzzling notion that people should ALWAYS peacefully protest. I agree, peaceful protest is ideal but sometimes it is not possible. The point of powerful pacifist protest is to break the law. Willingly and Deliberately break the law. It is marching miles to make salt. It is purposefully sitting in the wrong seat. It is assembling after curfew.  [Read more…]

Banning Creationism in Science Classrooms is NOT dangerous

I am rather puzzled by the presence of creationists in Scotland, in general, the UK’s education is very good with regards to science. Creationism was discussed in passing as a joke and it is a joke. It is not fit for being taught in science any more than astrology has a place being taught in class.

But it’s kind of weird seeing this piece in Herald Scotland. Maybe the UK’s been so bereft of creationists that we can’t see the damage they can cause?

[Read more…]