Quantcast

«

»

Jul 09 2012

Not that kind of atheist

It seems the wonderful PZ Myers considers me a ‘Humanist’ Atheist. In his blog entitled ‘what kind of atheist are you?’ he says my type of atheist has the following strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths: This is the heart of an atheist movement that will endure and grow. Ignore it and we can expect atheism to fade away.

Weaknesses: Pragmatically fickle. If the atheist movement does not address human concerns, they’ll leave and follow institutions that do. Why be an atheist if an inclusive, progressive church were to do a better job? Why be an atheist if we neglect the concerns of women or minorities, or belittle civil rights?

As an aside, the very thought of being labelled a humanist and pragmatist gives me the shivers. I despise pragmatism, and though I have no problems per se with being called a humanist, I feel increasingly uncomfortable with the label given the fact that pragmatism – and not principle – is such a large part of mainstream Humanism. As I’ve said in my recent speech at the fifth anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, pragmatism doesn’t change the world – it maintains the status quo. And we so desperately need to change it.

There is an assumption in the Humanist Atheist label that people like me are in the atheist movement for support and if we don’t get it we will go elsewhere. Even a church (gasp, shudder)!?

The reality is that we don’t have the support we deserve but we’re still here.

This is because we ex-Muslims have a stake in the atheist movement just as much as anyone else. We’re not outsiders.

I am an atheist not because the atheist movement cares about rights (it doesn’t) or has been overly supportive (which it hasn’t) but because I despise religion and Islam.

I have become an atheist – not because it’s pragmatic – but as a result of my battles against the Islamic Republic of Iran and Islamism. The Islamic regime of Iran recently wrote a piece on me called ‘Get to know this anti-religion woman’.

If I had to say what type of atheist I am, I’d say a militant atheist.

Strengths:  We need militancy in the face of religious barbarity. Can we please stop tiptoeing around, appeasing, and tolerating religion?

Weaknesses: None. There are enough people compromising on all our behalves, thank you very much.

UPDATE: PZ has made an important correction!

(Link via Chris Roche)

76 comments

2 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Benji

    It doesn’t really make any sense to call yourself a ‘militant atheist’.

    Atheism is simply a position on theistic claims. If you were militant about it that would suggest you are looking to convert people to Atheism or you are fighting for Atheism as an idea or something of that nature.

    That doesn’t really make sense to me.

    The fight would seem to be against the harm that comes with religion and it’s dogma.

    This doesn’t really have anything to do with atheism. Atheism can’t be militant. It just is what is it, a position on theistic claims.

    Maybe militant anti-theist would be better. However, that would seem to suggest you are militant against all forms of theism.

    1. 1.1
      Maryam Namazie

      Well of course I am also fighting to get people to become atheists. The Council of Ex-Muslims does just that – calls on people to become atheist ex-Muslims and apostates. When religion in political power kills you for leaving Islam, then it become a form of resistance to leave and call on others to do so to. Atheism is a very positive response to religion. What’s wrong with calling people to think for themselves and to disregard dogma and superstition? By the way, I am also a militant secularist, women’s rights activist, leftist and so on though there are many wishy washy versions around too. Being militant actually makes a whole lot of sense to me and should to anyone who is serious about fighting religious dogma.

      1. Catwhisperer

        Quick Merriam-Webster gives the following synonyms for militant:

        Aggressive, agonistic, argumentative, assaultive, bellicose, brawly, chippy, combative, confrontational, contentious, discordant, disputatious, feisty, gladiatorial, belligerent, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent, warlike.

        Sounds appropriate to me. If you want a word that sounds less… aggressive maybe, you could say “outspoken atheist”, which implies that you don’t just shrug at religious nonsense and ignore it, but actually speak up about it.

        Still, I prefer “militant”.

        1. Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

          How about “activist”?

          1. Maryam Namazie

            Thanks but no thanks. I prefer militant any day and am reclaiming it from all those who think it is negative because they prefer to cozy up to religion and keep things as it is – with just a larger share of the pie regardless of how rotten the pie is… It’s a political perspective just as militancy is.

          2. Nathair

            I think it is negative but not, as you assert, because I want to cozy up to religion. Militant is enormously, flagrantly open to equivocation. Yes, it means “vigorously active” but it also means “engaged in warfare”. It instantly opens up false equivalence with militant Islam and the tactics of actual, rather than rhetorical, violence. Why would we want to adopt a description that invites equivocation and misrepresentation? Why would we intentionally label ourselves in such a way that many, many people will automatically misunderstand and honestly interpret in the most negative light? Should we also “reclaim” the word faith and start talking about how we have faith in science? We’re supposed to be rational, why walk right into the punch?

      2. Benji

        Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting people to think for themselves but does it really make sense to be “militant” against all buddhists, christians, muslims etc who in fact do agree with you on secularism, womens rights etc?

        Being a “militant secularist” is totally different. I think that’s great term for someone fighting for secularism and I salute you for it. I agree that people are far to wishy washy on these issues.

        However, for me this not about atheism. I’d rather have a deluded Christian who believes in secularism, womens rights than an atheist who doesn’t believe in those things.

        1. Maryam Namazie

          These are different battles. We are not one dimensional creatures. Yes I want secularism and work with religious people even to promote secularism. But I also promote women’s rights, socialism, equality… And atheism – apostasy is punishable by death in this day and age. And there are people who are British born who are afraid to say they are atheists. Do you not see then why it is also important to promote atheism? Militant doesn’t necessarily mean by using violence; it can mean being uncompromising too. Militant Islam is the name given by those who are in love with Islamism because they see it as a form of anti-imperialist resistance and not as it is – a far-right regressive movement.

          1. Benji

            “And there are people who are British born who are afraid to say they are atheists. Do you not see then why it is also important to promote atheism”

            No I don’t. These are two completely different things you have put together. Atheism is a position. Promoting a position is not the same as defending someones right to hold a position and to hold it / voice it without fear.

            I promote and would defend anyones right to be an atheist, buddhist or whatever else without fear. This not the same as promoting buddhism or atheism.

          2. Goldstein's Pal

            And I don’t believe you.

            You are not just an atheist…you are a an active Communist, and their record is one of banning religion when they have the power.

            So answer the question…if you HAD THE POWER (which you don’t) would you eliminate religion by force if necessary?

        2. Goldstein's Pal

          Oh, and keep in mind that Maryam has already admitted that she is an “uncompromisint” Militant Atheist.

          Would she use the power if she had it?

      3. Goldstein's Pal

        Maryam, if you had the political power, would your forcibly eliminate religion?

        1. Upright Ape

          See your response below.

          1. Maryam Namazie

            Goldstein’s Pal: You’re an absolute idiot. Just because I am opposed to religion in political power and even see religion itself as superstition and ignorance, doesn’t mean I want to ban it. You can’t ban ideas however ludicrous. I defend freedom of thought and expression even for the vile far-Right. But you know that already.

          2. Goldstein's Pal

            I don’t beleive you, because you are not just an atheist but an active Communist. In every country where they had the power they have tried to eliminate religion.

            You have already admitted you are an “compromising” Militant Atheist.

            You seriously expect people to be stupid enough to believe you would not use the power if you had it?

            Gimme a break.

          3. Upright Ape

            For now, you are the one hell bent on silencing all voices you disagree with.

    2. 1.2
      Goldstein's Pal

      Maryam, your Militant Atheism fits right in with your being a Communist.

      Reminds me of Lenin and Trotsky and the manchinery they set in motion that killed Millions and Millions of believers.

      I appreciate your being up front about what you are.

      And thanks for the warning.

      1. Upright Ape

        Were there any human rights activists among those you needed to be warned against?
        I didn’t think so.
        Also why are you so conveniently forgetting the non-believing socialists and evolutionary biologists among the vicitims? Ever heard of Nikolai Vavilov, who was killed by Stalin for being an evolutionist? Or fellow communists Zinoviev and Kamenev?
        Maybe this is the warning you need: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

        1. Goldstein's Pal

          And you simply ignore the MILLIONS of believers killed by the atheists.

          Apparently your sympathies are with the perpetrators.

          You are going to lose, though, because this time people will be ready.

          1. Upright Ape

            Lol. “People will ve ready”. For what? A soft spoken Dawkins educating them on biology, for which he would have been sent to the gulag under Stalin like Nikolai Vavilov?
            And it is not like the Russian Orthodox Church was blame free. It had been the closest ally of the murderous, autocratic Tsarist regime for centuries.

          2. Goldstein's Pal

            Maryam is not just a “soft spoken Dawkins” type.

            She is an active member of the Communist Party, and you know what they have done every time they had the political power.

            I don’t care about their noble phrases; don’t forget what Lenin, Trotsky, Mao and thousands of others in leadership positions did when they had the chance.

            They talked equality while they prepared for domination.

          3. Maryam Namazie

            Poor you. If only Joseph McCarthy was around to help you in your mission.

        2. Loren Petrich

          It was rejection of Lysenkoite heredity that Nikolai Vavilov got in trouble with. Trofim Lysenko was a plant breeder and a quack geneticist who claimed that he could do a *much* better job than the Mendelist Weismannist Morganist idealists who believed in genes. He got the favor of Communist Party officials, including Joseph Stalin himself, and his opponents were gradually deposed, being made to recant their “heresies”, being sent to gulags, or executed.

          Trofim Lysenko himself had the competence of a crackpot. He claimed that statistical testing was a waste of time, and visiting biologists reported that discussing biology with him was like discussing calculus with someone who did not know simple arithmetic. Heredity? He claimed that his treatments would change crop plants’ heredity in appropriate ways, and he denied the existence of genes. He revived pangenesis, an old theory that all parts of an organism contribute to its heredity.

      2. Kevin Alexander

        They didn’t kill people according to some tenet of communism. They did it because they were thugs and killing people was the quickest way to consolidate power.
        Today, as in days gone by, the thugs are religious and they still kill people because that’s the quickest way to consolidate power.

      3. ik

        Nice false comparision. Most modern comunists suck. And are less violent. Also, nice job ignoring Stalin, who was the one actually responsible

  2. 2
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Among the categories in PZ’s post, I thought “political atheist” could also describe what you and the CEMB are doing: “they are the ones who get the hard work done … the lobbyist, the people at the cutting edge who make it their business to work every day with (and against) the opponents of atheism”.

    But I wonder why PZ thinks “political atheists” are necessarily “infuriatingly willing to compromise”? As you and others show, one can be an activist and stay on the cutting edge, working to make the perceived “extreme” position (e.g. promoting apostasy) not so extreme any more, and thus safe for anyone who wants to become an atheist too!

    Although what I like in this post (and the comments below in the thread) is the awareness that individual people can be atheists for more than one reason. One can both hold humanistic values AND work on the political end of things. Or at least, that’s how I see things, as a matter of aims and tactics.

  3. 3
    rorschach

    The term “militancy” is problematic and ambiguous, which is why I don’t like to see it in the context of fighting political Islam. We don’t suggest bombing Iran or invading Pakistan in reply to atrocities committed there as a general rule, although I admit that it’s sometimes difficult to stay emotionally neutral, for example when we hear news like the killing of a woman in Afghanistan in front of a cheering mob for “adultery” today.

    So I hope that “militant” refers to the fact that your opponents consider any form of dissent as such, and not to a proposed means to fight Islam.

  4. 4
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Like Rorscarch, I think the term “militant atheist” should be reserver for the day there’s atheist guerilla groups (or at least untill you advocate such measures).

    I can understand you problem with the waffling behaviour of the typical self-styled humanist. Would the term “radical humanism” offend?

  5. 5
    Rafiq Mahmood

    What really does it matter what we call ourselves as long as we act. This is a global war. A war without mercy. We must fight it with all effective means. We cannot afford not to be militant. To pussyfoot around means death and the extermination of everything good in our species. We have possibly never been at a more serious or critical time in human history. It’s that bad.

  6. 6
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    (Cross-posted from PZ’s blog)

    I wonder how humanists came to be associated with “wishy-washy” types? One can be radical on humanism/human rights principles! Or is it all about how the words are used nowadays in the English language?

  7. 7
    vel

    I find that the claim “pragmatism doesn’t change the world – it maintains the status quo.” to be nonsense. Pragmatism is based on what’s practical and that is not always maintaining the status quo. Pragmatism is not being conservative no matter what. Now some people might want to redefine the word to mean some distorted limited definition, to claim some sort of superiority and “refinement”, but I’m not interested in philosophical games of claiming some narrowly defined view is the only right one.

    I can be quite pragmatic aka practical and still see the need for religion to be removed, science to advance medicine, space flight, etc; for there to be art for the human mind, and morals to be considered.

  8. 8
    Trevor

    Pragmatism is the word politicians use when they’re abandoning whatever principles they pretended to have

  9. 9
    Peter Ferguson

    In what way is atheism not about rights? Almost every atheist group is concerned with just that, whether it is gay rights, women’s rights, religious rights, civil rights etc., almost every group I have come into contact is involved in some form of rights’ issue.

    1. 9.1
      chrisdevries

      I would say that this is a relatively recent development. The outspoken, public atheism, up until four or five years ago was white, male, middle-aged and straight. Now, it’s far more diverse, and seeks to challenge a whole host of inequities and inequalities that plague modern society. Ed Brayton, PZ Myers and the Skepchicks deserve a hell of a lot of credit for taking the necessary steps to show the rest of us just how valuable diversity in a progressive movement like ours is. The push-back we see really represents only a small minority of atheists who are surprised to find “their” movement “hijacked” by progressives. But the majority of atheists are introspective enough (based on shared character traits that led them to become atheists in the first place) that they can examine their society and the built-in power structures that define how people relate to each other, which, I think, explains how fast the evolution of the modern atheist is taking place. We have gone from a movement fighting against the damaging properties of organized religion to a movement fighting against all harmful irrational ideas.

  10. 10
    A Hermit

    I’m happy to be called a humanist, and even pragmatic to an extent, but then I’ve had it easy…

    I have the luxury of being able to compromise with the religion of my childhood; a liberal minded, pacifist form of Christianity where the worst punishment for apostasy is “Shunning”…and even that isn’t practiced much anymore. When I see my still-religious relatives we can all just ignore the little difference in opinion about the existence of God and get on with a nice dinner; we agree about almost everything else like women’s rights and gay rights. The worst repercussion I can expect is a disappointed look from my father.

    You don’t have that luxury, and clearly there can be no compromise with what you quite rightly describe as barbarism. Given where you are coming from I think a militant response is probably the only appropriate approach. I hope that I would have your courage if I were in your shoes; but I’m honestly not sure a lot of us would.

    For what it’s worth (and I know it’s not much) you have my support, my admiration and my gratitude, for reminding that I mustn’t be wishy-washy, or become so enamored of pragmatism that I forget about principle.

  11. 11
    RhubarbTheBear

    Weaknesses: An inability to see or acknowledge weaknesses. An implied arrogance that, since other types of atheism admit their weaknesses, they must be inferior.

    1. 11.1
      ik

      You said it pretty much.
      Or, Weakness: An attitude that compromises are always bad, even if they serve the cause more in the long run, that can lead to bad descisions and possible collateral damage to other forms of atheism.

      Not to say it;s an unacceptable weakness; PZ has his weaknesses and Maryam Namazie has hers. However, it’s still a weakness that one has to accept and deal with

  12. 12
    machintelligence

    I think militant atheist fits rather nicely along side militant agnostic. Common phrase: I don’t know and you don’t know either!

  13. 13
    Goldstein's Pal

    Maryam, if you had the political power, would you forcibly eliminate religion?

    (Assuming that the arguments of the atheists failed to convince a majority of believers to give it up?)

    1. 13.1
      Upright Ape

      We don’t need to. Once you give people the basic things they go to church or mosque for (like food and shelter), they abandon religion. As simple as that. It didn’t even take anti-religion arguments to secularize the once religious Natherlands, France, and Scandinavia. All it took was to end the monopoly of churches in providing the material necessities of people.

      1. Goldstein's Pal

        You say “We don’t need to.”

        But would you if you did “need to”?

        And is Marayam afraid to answer the question?

        1. Upright Ape

          Hm…I have never said a word in favor of violence, so the answer is no.. And if you have Maryam on record doing so, let’s hear it out, rather than pretend her not answerig you has any reason other than your being a troll unworthy of her time. In the meantime you can do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the topic of communism that you are so obsessed with but no nothing about.

        2. Maryam Namazie

          How did you guess? I haven’t replied because I am afraid to!? Seriously?

          You’ve got the classic afflication of ‘whataboutery’. What about this and what about that? I think it’s most likely because you have a affinity with Islamism and religion and so rather than argue your case, you bring up other issues that are even often not directly related.

          Answer this: what do you say about Islamism and its killings? Defend it; defend religion even. It would be more honest of you.

          I really don’t where to start with your comments. Hitler was a Christian but we don’t say Christianity was the cause of the holocaust – fascism was. Stalin may have been an atheist but he was a tyrant dictator who killed countless people. I have never supported any killing. I don’t even agree with the death penalty for Islamists. I find the killing of even one person abhorrent. My question is do you?

          Your problem is that you lack the means to defend your position so you hide behind accusations. Try defending your position or is it so indefensible that even you know it?

          1. Goldstein's Pal

            That communist party you are a member of has a very bad record.

            So ANSWER THE QUESTION.

            Would you eliminate religion if you had the power?

          2. Maryam Namazie

            I am a member of the Worker-communist Party of Iran which has a brilliant record. It criticised the Soviet Union and all the sham communisms that were really state capitalist. I have also responded to your questions though it doesn’t stop you from repeating yourself. I know that you are an Islamist trying to take away attention from issues I am raising. Whilst I won’t ban you, I am limiting your entries to one per day. I will moderate them, copy them as they are with no changes and paste them all in one comment at the end of each day. You have gone over your quota today so I’ll post one comment of yours again tomorrow. Now maybe you can go and compare notes with your Islamist buddies until tomorrow.

          3. Goldstein's Pal

            And don’t pretend that Stalin was just some thug who just happened to get power and mess up a great little system p…you are ignoring Lenin, Trotsky and their thousands of agents who quite willingly and gleefully arranged for the elimination of believers.

            The Nobel Prize Winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn exposed it all in a Three Volume Series, The Gulag Archipelago.

            And that has been the record of virtually every Communist Party that actually had the power to act.

            You would have more credibility if you weren’t an adherent to that Bankrupt Philosophy.

          4. Umberto

            Aha! So they weren’t “REAL” communists!

            But seriously, not many atheists like being linked with Communism.

          5. Maryam Namazie

            Marx’s communist manifesto isn’t the basis of what Stalin did, whereas the Koran and Bible are for the Islamic or Spanish inquisition. Just because the US bombs Iraq in the name of freedom doesn’t mean that freedom should get a bad wrap for it. If you can prove that the communist manifesto is bad for the liberation of human beings, or that the Paris Commune was horrid, then maybe there is a basis for an argument.

        3. alanflynn

          Maryam, I welcome the fact that your Party denounced the Soviet & Chinese regimes, but I do think that every individual or Party, which identifies itself as Communist cannot simply regard the colossal repression perpetrated by the Communist regimes which have come to power across the world, as having no basis whatsoever in the writings of Marx – and a fortiori the Leninist application of Marx. I am always struck by the prescience of Mikhail Bakunin who foresaw the despotism inherent in Communist rule: “former workers, who, as soon as they become governors … cease to be workers and start looking down on the working classes from the heights of state authority, so that they represent not the people but themselves & their own claim to rule over others”. This is from a much longer passage from Statism & Anarchy written in 1873, 1873!!! To my knowledge, every CP which has come to power across the world, has ‘looked down on the workers’, as Bakunin predicted they would, every one has trampled over freedom of speech & conscience & exerted a dictatorship which has crushed the human spirit. I am no authority on Marx, but I think that the very least that can be said of him, is that he did not give anything like sufficient emphasis to the absolute primacy of democracy: free elections, freedom of expression and conscience. Very few Marxists recognised in 1917, the nightmare of dictatorship that was set in place by Lenin & that has been emulated by every Marxist regime since then. What of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, Maryam? You are on the Central Committee – is the WPI absolutely & unequivocally committed to political pluralism, free elections, freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience in a post-Islamist Iran?

    2. 13.2
      Maryam Namazie

      Having looked in the back-end, I see that Umberto, Goldstein’s Pal, Skeptical Skeptic, and Jamie are all the same person so I am banning him as of now. I don’t mind people saying whatever nonsense they want and I haven’t banned anyone yet. I am even willing to moderate the comments of trolls by posting only one a day so that they get their say as a policy but am not going to allow someone using different emails and names to dupe people into thinking they are different people. It’s dishonest. If you want to debate on issues raised on my blog, feel free to do so. However, the least that should be expected is that you are honest in your opinions however disgusting or wonderful they may be.

      1. ik

        Is he even an Islamist? Sounds more like probably anti-religion and I suspect that he doesn’t like islamism any more than you, but sees temporarily putting up with it as a lesser evil. Still a pretty trolly troll.

  14. 14
    bernarda

    I don’t see what is wrong with “militant”. It just means we’re pissed off and are not going to take it anymore.

    The expression I like the best is from Natalie Angier, science writer for the NY Times. She said, “I am a radical die-hard atheist.”

    BTW, you should look up her writing and her appearances on youtube.

    1. 14.1
      Maryam Namazie

      Yup!

  15. 15
    alanflynn

    I welcome the points raised by @Nathair with regard to the use of the term ‘militant’, by @Goldstein’s Pal on the barbarity unleashed by Communists (no doubt people who believed they were doing ‘good’ for humanity, in liquidating millions of undesirables – however so defined) & by @vel in defence of pragmatism. Obviously there is a point at which pragmatism can morph into a complete sell-out, but I take a sharp intake of breath when Maryam speaks of despising pragmatism. It speaks to me of a mentality of opposition to any compromise, of absolute certainty that one is right on all issues, of intolerance of any difference of outlook. History is replete with examples of how organisations, sometimes formed by genuinely oppressed people – be they religious or secular – have unleashed hell on earth in their zeal for the absolute certainty of their own convictions. As a Communist, Maryam cannot but be aware of the monstrous barbarity committed throughout the twentieth century & beyond by proponents of this ideology. Humane Communists as well as humane Muslims will say that Stalinist & Islamist tyrannies are a vile distortion of Marxism & Islam, but what both types of regimes have in common is the wielding of absolute power through the elimination of opposition motivated by the conviction of their own rectitude. Dare I say a little humility is called for and a constant mindfulness of Orwell’s message in 1984.

    1. 15.1
      alanflynn

      “Orwell’s message” … erm … I really meant Animal Farm, *palm red face*

  16. 16
    davidb

    My first thought on reading PZ’s categorisation of atheists was that it was a pretty effective rebuttal of claims from some quarters that he basically wanted all atheists to be just like him.

    And valuable for that.

    I have also, on occasion, described myself as a militant atheist.

    Though I usually try, in my now pretty long discussion board history, to try to respect the person I am arguing against, if not their beliefs, and engage them in conversation under the presumption that beliefs can change.

    Which sometimes they do – a significant number of my internet friends and allies were fundamentalist Christians at some point in their lives, sometimes decades of their lives.

    Sometimes, though, in the course of discussion, respect for the person is lost.

    Thinking about it now, though, I’m prepared to adopt an agreement to differ with what I might term secular religious people, that is to say those who don’t seek to impose by law, or by violence, their religious views on dissenters.

    As regards to those who do wish to impose their views by force of law or violence, though, be they Christian, Muslim or whatever, then staunch opposition seems to me the only stance to take.

    In this day and age, while there are Christians who do wish to impose their views, it seems more prevalent in political Islam.

    And, as such, opposition seems to be the only stance as a secularist, leave alone as an atheist, and I regard myself as both.

    David B

  17. 17
    davidb

    Oh, and I’ve just looked at Pharyngula to see PZ’s response.

    Which I think fair enough.

    David B

  18. 18
    KiwiInOz

    This is why I never call myself an atheist. I am atheist. I have a range of personal, social, and environmental values that are unrelated to my disbelief in gods.

    1. 18.1
      Peter Wessel

      That was an illuminating way of phrasing it. I concur.

      1. Peter Wessel

        Also, I hate threaded comments.

  19. 19
    ...

    Weaknesses: Pragmatically fickle. If the atheist movement does not address human concerns, they’ll leave and follow institutions that do. Why be an atheist if an inclusive, progressive church were to do a better job? Why be an atheist if we neglect the concerns of women or minorities, or belittle civil rights?

    I agree with that. Another way of phrasing it would be: Why be a member of an atheist movement which runs away from all hard fights? And, yes, that was directly in reference to Myers.

    Anyway. I was trained by the greatest anti-Theist that ever lived, so I don’t know where I fall in those boxes.

    My first thought on reading PZ’s categorisation of atheists was that it was a pretty effective rebuttal of claims from some quarters that he basically wanted all atheists to be just like him.

    Yes, Myers posits a firm spectrum of beliefs all the way from A to B. Please get real. With the exception of the sterling work done by Namazie and Taslima, ftb is a uniform as a regiment.

    1. 19.1
      Goldstein's Pal

      Taslima has called for the elimination of religion. How about the rest of you?

      1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

        Some of us think religion is the product of an elimination.

        Its a medical term, look it up.

        Others have called for Taslima to be eliminated – murdered for being who she is and thinking and speaking out.

    2. 19.2
      Goldstein's Pal

      By the way, who is the greated “anti theist who every lived” in your opinion?

      (Anti Theism and Uncompromising Militant Atheism are a call for the elimination of religion. Noble sentiments to the contrary are just some much BS.)

      1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

        Really? Citations needed.

        I want religion to be :

        1) A matter of personal individual choice and not forced on people by childhood brain-washing, accident of birth and social and political pressures or forced down people’s throats when they don’t want it.

        2) Kept far away from the political power, kept even further from science classrooms and taxed along with all other non-charities. (No religion ain’t charity. Or not-for-profit.) Also not exempt from laws such as anti-discrimination and anti-pedophilia laws.

        3) Exposed to proper scrutiny and questioning and ridicule where appropriate.

        If we have these three things then I’d be very happy and I don’t think anyone is calling for worldwide atheism being imposed at swordpoint. Unlike, say, religions which do want just that.

        1. Umberto

          If you want to say the religious can’t be involved in politics, then you ARE saying that atheism will be imposed at “swordpoint”.

          1. Maryam Namazie

            I didn’t say religious can’t be involved in politics. Secularism is the separation of religion from the state, education and justice system not banning religious political parties! Secularism and atheism are not the same, and on and on. I wish I could record myself repeating the same thing over and over again for those who can’t bother to read anything I write but want to comment nonetheless.

        2. Umberto

          In the United States if you are going to have separation of Church and State then you can’t tax Churches.

          “The power to tax is the power to destroy”.

          That and Keeping Religion “out of politics” would leave the religious with no redress.

          Which is of course what you really want and have basically just come out an admitted.

          1. Upright Ape

            Really Umberto? The power to tax is the power to destroy? But Jesus said give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, so Jesus didn’t agree with you. And separation of church and state is in the constitution while tax exemption for churches is not.

  20. 20
    Upright Ape

    You know what Mohammad ibn Abdullah and Lenin had in common troll? They both wanted the “apostates” dead before they took power, and put them to death once they grabbed power.

    1. 20.1
      Umberto

      And Lenin was an atheist!

      A pretty Militant one at that. Anyone who is a Communist today is a moron.

      I don’t think many atheists like being linked with Communism, even if Maryam brags about here Commie affiliations.

      But she thinks Lenin wasn’t a “real” Communist. snicker

    2. 20.2
      Upright Ape

      And prophet of Islam was not a real Muslim either.

  21. 21
    Upright Ape

    What Umberto is parroting is an oft-heard lie. “If religion can’t be involved in politics that means atheism will prevail by force”. No it doesn’t. It just means the state will be NEUTRAL on matters of conscience. Prior to the Red Scare the pledge of allegiance didn’t say this is a nation without God, it just stayed out of the debate, and it should be.

    1. 21.1
      Maryam Namazie

      By the way Upright Ape, have I told you I love you for all your comments? LOL

  22. 22
    Re-Enlightenment

    I’m really not into the whole humanist thing.

    I heard someone say a while ago it’s just a polite way of saying you’re an atheist, and I agree with that.

    It also – deliberately or not – taps into people’s automatic reluctance to mock or criticise a belief system. Tell someone you’re off to an atheism or secularism event and they raise their eyebrows; tell them you’re off to a humanism event though and they’re more likely to say, “ooh, that sounds interesting. So tell me, what do humanists believe?”

    Humanism benefits to a certain extent from the pathetic deference paid to religion and the religious.

    When was the last time you heard the phrase militant/aggressive/intolerant humanism?

    Amazingly, I have even blogged about some of this:

    http://enlightenmentlover.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/for-atheists-who-dislike-the-word-atheist/

  23. 23
    Love to Jog

    It looks like Goldy the troll is back!

  1. 24
    An important correction! | Pharyngula

    [...] have mischaracterized Maryam Namazie! Fortunately, she has done an excellent job of correcting me: I am an atheist not because the atheist movement cares about rights (it doesn’t) or has been [...]

  2. 25
    Quran-Flogging Atheist: Why I Feel Sorry for Him, Proud of ex-Muslims » Eggheaded

    [...] all of which Maryam replied with, “Not that kind of atheist,” in which she explains, There is an assumption in the Humanist Atheist label that people [...]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: