Sunday, October 8, 2017

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Blasphemy: The Selected Works of a Blaspheming Atheist

An older piece from Michael Sherlock finds him in total opposition to blasphemy laws.

In this book, I’ve collated a number of my most popular essays, some of which have received humbling praise from Richard Dawkins. Further, a number of the essays in this book have been published by the Dawkins Foundation.  In compiling these essays, I wanted to ensure that the reader be granted access to original, unpublished material, so I have revised and made significant additions to my larger pieces on ISIS, The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy, and the Christian nature of Hitler’s treatment of the Jews, for example. I have dedicated this book to the prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi and his wife, Ensaf Haidar, has thrown her support behind this collection of thoroughly-sourced blasphemies.



As well as being infused with seething and well-sourced blasphemies constructed in a manner to see just how far free speech can be taken, this book contains my organization’s (Human Rights for Atheists, Agnostics and Secularists) petition to abolish blasphemy laws, which has the support of Ricky Gervais, Richard Dawkins, D.M. Murdoch, Sam Harris, Roseanne Barr, and other notable celebrities.

Why is the Abolition of Blasphemy Laws a Necessity?

As our petition states:

Blasphemy laws are used to infringe upon human rights. They frequently lead to arbitrary arrest, detention, poor treatment in custody including torture, dubious legal procedures and poor application of justice. The definition of the offence can be left in the hands of police and judicial authorities. Governments have used blasphemy laws to silence political opponents. Individuals have fabricated blasphemy charges against others in communal disputes. Religious extremists have used blasphemy laws to attack opponents. Religious authorities have used blasphemy laws to impose orthodoxy on members of minority religious groups with the sanction of the state. And people accused of blasphemy have been subject to violence by unofficial mobs.

Isn’t This Book Just a Compendium of New Atheist Hate Speech?

Notwithstanding the fact that I don’t believe that there is such a thing as “New Atheism,” I do concede that this book does contain proactive and even provocative attacks on the Christian God Hypothesis, Jesus’ mother, the “Prophet” Muhammad’s brain, the Church, the Nazis, Communism, and theist propaganda in general. Having made this concession, I am very careful in my work not to brand believers with the same pen strokes I use to antagonize their belief systems. As I said in my reply to the charge of inspiring the Chapel Hill shooting:


Very few people seem to be able to distinguish between criticising religious doctrines and beliefs and attacking people. For example, if I criticize the Second Amendment of America’s Constitution, I am not saying all Americans are violent gun nuts, nor am I in any way inciting violence against Americans. The same goes for my criticisms of Islam and religion in general. If I object to Surah 4:34 of the Qur’an, and argue that teachings that assert men as the rulers of women and that endow husbands with the liberty to beat disobedient wives, I am not saying all Muslims follow this teaching, nor am I inciting hatred or violence against Muslims. However, given that quite a few people seem to lack the intellectual wit to navigate the nuance between attacking beliefs and doctrines, and attacking people, I make a point of constantly reiterating this distinction on my Facebook page, in my articles and books, and on Twitter.

For example, a post I commonly recycle on both Twitter and Facebook reads as follows:

…I do not believe that most Muslim men beat their wives in accordance with Surah 4:34, nor do I think that the majority of Muslim women living in secular societies are downtrodden and unhappy. I don’t think that most Christians are completely foolish, hateful and bigoted, in fact, I know many highly intelligent Christians. The majority of religious people that I have had the pleasure of knowing in my short lifetime have been very nice. I have shared the hookah and eaten bacon during Ramadan with Muslims friends; I have enjoyed dinner with numerous Christians from numerous denominations and attended many Hindu festivals and ceremonies.

Most of my friends belong to one religion or another and all of them are completely cognisant of what I think of their respective religions, but needless to say, they rarely engage me in dialogue about them. The reason I am an anti-theist/atheist is because I am first and foremost, a humanist, and the truth is these religions are uncritically accepted, believed and followed, they have the potential to do great harm and that potential is realized all across the planet on a daily basis. These religions have put the largest portion of our species to sleep, causing them to live an entire life on autopilot. So, I am not anti-Muslim, I am anti-Islam. I am not anti-Christian, I am anti-Christianity. I am a humanist anti-theist and this compels me to ferociously attack religion, but sadly, many mistake my attacks on beliefs and belief systems for misanthropy, so I just wanted to qualify my anti-religious ravings.
Excerpt from Blasphemy: The Selected Works of a Blaspheming Atheist.


Hitler – Onward Christian Soldier: Conclusion

‘It is clear to anyone who has eyes to see the mass of evidence available, that the rotten fruits of Nazi anti-Semitism were the direct result of Hitler’s either sincere infatuation with, or crafty exploitation of, the poisonous tree of the religion he publicly and passionately advocated, Christianity.
You are more than welcome to continue asserting that Hitler was an atheist, and that atheism, with its non-existent doctrines and its non-existent set of beliefs, caused Hitler to commit his atrocities, yet you may not do so with the assistance of any kind of rational or reliable evidence, for the evidence available eviscerates such a ridiculous and counterfactual claim. Hitler publicly professed a devotion to the religion of Christianity, as well as expressing an infectious animosity toward atheism, and whether or not he did so for political gain is inconsequential, for the fruits of his regime were in complete concordance with close to 2000 years of Christian tradition, right down to his brutal campaign against those “Christ-killing Jews.”

I sincerely hope you enjoy this book and I look forward to reading your reviews.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Sherlock




2 comments :

James Quigley said...

Sounds a good read.

I can only say that I have experienced first hand the Christian religions or faiths but fundamentally they are all the same, based on belief, fear and intimidation. It is difficult to get away from it because religion no matter what type imbues society in so many ways.

I really only attend births, deaths and marriages ceremonies, somehow I can't take the step not to bother with those. Births and marriages I can pick and choose but death, well in that regard, religion has cornered the market.

My last two forays in religiosity happened in the past month when as it turn out both were death related, one in Church of Ireland and one in Roman Catholic.

The Church of Ireland one was full of fire and brimstone and if you are saved you would join Him in paradise at his right hand and if you are not saved, well that was left to you imagination. There were Union Jacks on the walls and hymms a plenty and the ceremony praised the deceased connections to the Black Perceptory, Orange Order and Free Masons.

The Catholic one was really an ordinary Sunday mass done on Saturday evening for convenience. However this one was offered up for a deceased whose sister and some relatives were not allowed by the deceased husband attend the actual service down in Cavan. Incidentally the priest down there would not divulged the time of the service to the sister saying he was instructed not to.
Anyway the liturgy was much the same as above Church of Ireland one. Again you will bask in glory if you are righteous, but again left out was what would happen if you don't follow them. It is ironical when emphasis is put on a benevolent, forgiving, omniscient and all seeing god but the benevolent bit only pertains to the saved.

The ceremony in the Catholic service was an altogether another affair. There was not one word about religion or the deceased. Instead the whole ceremony was devoted to the parish's finances. It went on and on unashamedly, praising and thanking those who donated generously. Special praise went to those who left fortunes in their will to the church while the jingling of coins and rustling of the basket collection added a somewhat practical note to proceedings.

Niall said...

Never witnessed a Catholic service of remembrance degenerate into a eulogy for the financial dead....