10 thoughts on “How to get me to stop reading your website

  1. Eric S. Raymond (@esrtweet)

    Don’t feel singled out. I judge all monotheisms to be totalizing and evil, not just Christianity. Of course since Christianity has the highest body count it probably qualifies as most evil, but Islam at #2 is trying harder and seems likely to surpass its parent religion fairly soon in historical time.

    1. Andrea Harris Post author

      Yeah, I kind of gathered that from your statement, so you’re just repeating yourself here. Thinking that way strikes me as really stupid, because I rather doubt that a non-religious human race would have been any less inclined to get into quarrels over things that lead to bloodshed. I’m sure there’s a name for this fallacy: if only we remove item X from human history, bad thing X won’t happen. For example, most of the bloodshed you blame on religion was really wars for territory and power. Religion was just the excuse (“God wanted us to have this land and rule these people”). Removing religion doesn’t remove the impetus to seek power and control.

    2. Alex J.

      Seeing as Muslims revere Jesus (Isa), it being a descendent does not strike me as needing much proof.

    1. Andrea Harris Post author

      I think what Eric is trying to say is Mohammed was inspired by the local version of Christianity, which I forget which relative or wife practiced, to start his own version, only “better.” But was it a calculating move to get in on a popular movement, or did he think he was genuinely divinely inspired? That’s something we’ll never know.

      And at this point it doesn’t matter. Getting rid of Christianity, Islam, and every other religion won’t stop people from doing bad things. In fact, it was tried, and the slaughter went up to eleven. Or have we already forgotten Communism? There’s more than a bit of evidence that traditional religions, far from being the inspiration to bloodshed and violence, actually restrain most of their practitioners from engaging in such. Some religions, of course, have more of this restraining effect than others, but that’s due more to the culture of the believers and their circumstances, and a whole lot of other interlocking situations.

      That’s why I’m not on the bandwagon with people who say “Islam is evil!” Islam, like any other religion, is just an idea, a bunch of words, a pattern placed on the unknown. It’s people who are the problem.

  2. BAW

    My take on phrases like “Christianity is evil…” blah-de-blah is that it represents an author’s signaling that although he or she might be skewering a few sacred ideological cows, he or she is still “a right-thinking, good person.” In other words, it’s an ass-covering sop to a particular audience.

    But my years of reading internet discourse have made me excessively cynical.

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