With Great Power, Comes Great…

No, not “responsibility”. What comes with great power is great “authority”, and that does not create greater responsibility, not necessarily. It would only create great responsibility if the one with power is a moral being. Without morality, there would be no responsibility: If Spider Man was to be a psychopath, he would never have felt any reason to go out in a dark, cold night to fight with a thief in a dark alley.

This is the reason why we should care whom we elect, and where we do that. Giving authority to those who do not care, will never create the best possible outcome.

And more importantly: This is one good reason not to choose any religious person to a place of authority, especially when they are extremists: What they do not have is the mind of reason, which is the only possible guide to being “good”.

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The problem of Prayer

I think many of you may know the problem of evil:

  • If there is an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient God in the world, there should be no evil.
  • There is evil in the world.
  • (Therefore): There is no such God.

One of the usual defences against this is to use free will as a justification of God not intervening. If God has given human beings free will, therefore he will not interfere with the choices that they make freely, even if they are most evil, like Hitler or Stalin killing millions of people. Therefore, this world is the best of possible worlds that God can create.

Also in case of natural disasters, there is the matter of “bigger plan” as a defence and the fact that God is apparently responsible for natural laws as well. God has a bigger plan for all of us, one that we cannot see with our limited human vision.

I want to point out that these defences create two immediate result, which turn out to be very problematic for religions all over the world, specially Abrahamic ones:

Firstly, if this world is the best of possible worlds, and God is omnibenevolence, then God does not have free choice himself. He could not choose any other world other than this one, because then he would not have been omnibenevolence, would he?

But my main point in this post is the second one: If one believes that the God does whatever he does, because he has a bigger plan, or because he has given other people free will and he would not stop their choices, whatever those choices may be; then one has successfully destroyed the whole incentive and any point in prayer.

Why do you pray, when nothing is supposed to happen? Imagine a Jewish mother with her child, captured by Nazis and sent to “take a shower”. The woman knows that this is no ordinary shower, she prays as hard as she can for God to kill all the Nazis instantly. If not, just to stop the gas from pouring into the small chamber. If not, just to make her child immune to this and at least  save the innocent baby. But NO, God says: “I cannot do any of those things. The only thing I can do is to send both of you to heaven, and of course, even that was supposed to happen!”

Imagine people caught in a tsunami: They pray to the Lord almighty to save them. If not, at least make them suffer less. But NO, God says: “This is all a part of my plan. Even your suffering is a part of my plan, therefore even instant death is not an option!”

Well, except that people are told by their religion TO pray, there is nothing to pray FOR: Absolutely nothing will change with those prayers. And of course, that seems like some type of a sick joke from a sadistic tyrant, unless you do not believe in such a God?!

 

Darren Hayes: Neverland

The last post was about child abuse in Islam. During the course of writing that, I remebered a song about child abuse: “Neverland” by Darren Hayes.

I was 15, and I was just browsing through some videos we had on a CD, when almost accidentally I stumbled upon “I knew I loved you”. My instant thought was “Who is this singer? he’s so gorgeous!”. Of course, I didn’t say it out laud that I liked “him”, but instead I said that I liked the music of Savage Garden a lot (which was true, but not as much!). I didn’t even know his name until some years later, when I searched “Savage Garden” on internet, and also realized that he was gay.

But then, I realized that he was not just a pretty face. His music is deep, emotions flow through it, and he knows how to make the best of his unique voice.

This particular song is indeed a masterpiece. It is the true image of all those thoughts going through an abused child’s head, when he or she is hurting. An abused child answers to the cruelty of pain by those who suppose to love him/her by incredible mutual cruelty. The abuser is often killed in the worst ways possible in the child’s imagination, so that he/she may be happy, and go to the “Neverland”. That imaginary place in which he or she could be happy, and whatever that place may be, the abuser shall not be there.

The song is tense, vivid and colourful in picturing those terrifying imaginations, and yet more amazingly it is sung in such a way, a childish high pitched voice, that makes that image of an abused child’s mind stick in the listeners head. This can only be made by personal experience, which is most probably the case of Hayes himself.

The following video is from “This delicate film we’ve made”, based on the title of his 2007 album “This delicate thing we’ve made”.

Me vs. Islam: A Systematic Child Abuse Called “Marriage”

Mohammed “married” Aisha (عائشه) when she was 6, and had sex with her when she was 9.

This is a historical fact based on strong Hadith. But recently some Muslims have tried to deny it, since they have realized there is no way they could avoid calling the prophet Mohammed a paedophile after this. But true or (however unlikely) not true, this has become the base for justification of child marriage (i.e. systematic rape) in the Middle East.

In many ME countries, including Yemen, Iran and Saudi Arabia, this kind of so called marriage is allowed by the law (based on Sharia law obviously), and is being practiced. It is mostly  common in villages and among tribes, but could be found everywhere including big cities.

What, except religious faith, could create such denial of human rights? What could be more horrifically inhuman to inflict pain and suffering of abuse on a child but religion? And then to make the parents close their eyes on it?

This practice should have stopped when the psychological effects of this practice were shown in the light of modern psychology, but like any other faith based system of belief, reality itself is denied: Mohammed did it, so it “Must” be right (This type of belief in Islam is called Sunnah). Many children have lost their childhood because of such practice, and as long as Islam remains as a system of belief, these atrocities are going to continue.

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Mind you: Religion, however the cause, is not the only problem, abuse itself is undeniably a vicious circle: The victims of abuse themselves tend to give in to it, some accept it in the sense of surrendering to a psychological numbness about it, and some of will even become abusers themselves.

Introductory Logic (Poisoning the well)

I was debating some Pro-Life people on twitter about abortion. One of them, seeing my profile picture (which is two guys having a moment) thought that it’s a good idea to give me a link to his friends blog, because as he put it “she is WAY better” than him at this. “This” happened to be a post against Homosexuality, and she turned out to be one of the most irrational people on planet earth, of course, like many other fundamentalist religious people.

My point in this post is not to show what lies she has put there, and why she has failed in the most obvious facts known about homosexuality today (for instance “born this way” theory is not just about the gay gene). My point here is to point out one obvious fallacy in that post as an introductory example to logical fallacies, since it is a perfect text book example of such fallacy. The following paragraph is directly from the post linked above:

“But the proof offered, my dear friends, needs to be towards the unbiased side of the spectrum. This means that those pro-homosexuality and/or LGBT supporting websites shouldn’t be part of your argument, since – in most cases – the information is biased and misleading. A friend of mine told me she was reading a book on this type of research, for example, and the authors were a homosexual couple. One would assume that information might have been mishandled or the research conducted might have been leading (i.e. forced), for example.”

This is a text book case of “Poisoning the well” fallacy, in which instead of refuting one’s argument (in this case research or data), an attack is made based on “who” has said this and “why”, and claims are made like : “They are wrong (Their research, argument, statement etc. was wrong), because they are a Homosexual couple”. Logically speaking, it does not matter if a mad drunk Nazi has said it, or the Pope himself, a personal attack will never refute one’s argument, because it’s irrelevant.

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One more thing for a good ending: In that post we read “I believe it’s wrong to want to have or defend the unnatural behaviour.”

Well, surgery is absolutely unnatural, therefore… it’s wrong to have it?!

Good Read on the subject: Crimes against logic by Jamie Whyte.