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Burning the Quran

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cyghost
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« Reply #75 on: September 15, 2010, 13:51:42 PM »

The lawyers simply presented their case as they are paid to do. Our problem is the judge. And if he allowed any religious bias to influence his decision, he is a bad judge on top of being wrong.

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Hermes
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« Reply #76 on: September 15, 2010, 14:43:40 PM »

It is not without reason that we hold books in high regard.   It is the traditional store of knowledge and literature.   There are also rare copies, which raises the issue of preservation.   But this is not what is at stake here.   When people burn their own copies of books that are available in abundance, these objections become subjective.   What we are dealing with is the deliberate burning of symbols in order to make a statement.   Should we have the civil liberty to make that statement?   Any person who supports freedom of expression would say "yes".   The only remaining ethical question remains whether it is wise to make this statement at all.   It is here that I disagree with Jones and his ilk.   I do so, not out of respect for anybody's misguided beliefs, nor because I fear the schoolyard bully, but because I fail to see any benefit from the action.
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #77 on: September 15, 2010, 18:04:21 PM »

The lawyers simply presented their case as they are paid to do. Our problem is the judge. And if he allowed any religious bias to influence his decision, he is a bad judge on top of being wrong.

Sure the judge was stupid, but I blame those so called "Scholars of the Truth". They are the ones who are trying to take away our freedoms.
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Lilli
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« Reply #78 on: September 16, 2010, 07:24:55 AM »

But this is not what is at stake here.   When people burn their own copies of books that are available in abundance, these objections become subjective.   What we are dealing with is the deliberate burning of symbols in order to make a statement.   Should we have the civil liberty to make that statement?   Any person who supports freedom of expression would say "yes".   The only remaining ethical question remains whether it is wise to make this statement at all.   It is here that I disagree with Jones and his ilk.   I do so, not out of respect for anybody's misguided beliefs, nor because I fear the schoolyard bully, but because I fail to see any benefit from the action.
Thats because the action will most likely not benefit anyone. An action/event like this will not in my opinion serve any purpose other than to make a lot of people very angry. Regardless of the stupidity or misguidedness of people's beliefs, people have the right to believe whatever they choose. Thats the way its supposed to be. The biggest problem I have with the religious folk is that they are often not willing to grant the non-religious folk the same freedom of expression.
The right to make the statement, therefore in my opinion, is unquestionable (yes I am basically saying the judge was an idiot) Is it wise to make this statement? Certainly not. Just as the statement that was made by the judgement was, as Cyghost said, bad, and wrong.
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« Reply #79 on: September 16, 2010, 17:10:53 PM »

Enjoy........   Evil


Book-burning shelved, it's time to commit atheists to the flames


Quote
IN SCENES of calm bemusement not seen in the lower United States since John Scopes taught innocent schoolchildren evolution, it was reported yesterday that Pastor Terry Jones had given up on his plans to burn 200 Korans and was instead planning to incite atheists by soaking a gross of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion in moonshine and putting a match to them.

Atheists, who hadn't been expected to come out in pick-up trucks with gun racks on their rear windows and circle his church with their engines revving like goaded Rottweilers, didn't.

''Well,'' said Billy-Bob Huxley, a leading Texan non-believer, ''look on the bright side; Dawkins will be happy for the royalties. And we figure the book is filled with truths that can't be burnt.'' *

A spokesman for the Atheist Brotherhood in Australia was quoted as saying: ''We feel strangely unaffected and will seek revenge by raising our eyebrows and shrugging our shoulders. I've already sent Pastor Terry a message wishing him good luck with his ecclesiastical grandstanding, and I feel sure he can grab a TV slot on a Baptist network with a weekly conflagration of tomes he hasn't read and doesn't agree with.''

In Britain and France, countries that remember the Enlightenment, and in Russia, with her seven decades of secularism still befuddling her, nobody burnt Uncle Sam in effigy and mobs of unbelievers didn't riot and burn churches, nor were believers flogged or beaten. So far the body count is nil. Atheists have turned the other cheek. Christians have called this a nasty plagiarism.

President Barack Obama, despite objecting to the burning of the Koran, has been burnt in effigy in Kashmir, where the American flag is also being burnt and 15 people have so far been killed in street battles with police.

When asked about Pastor Jones's new plan to torch Dawkins's magnum opus, the President said: ''It's sweet with me. Let reason be fuel for the bonfires of the faithful. As long as atheists aren't going to whomp on us from the ridge tops with AK47s, let the Pastor light up a complete set of Hitchens and Sam Harris as well.''

Across vast areas of the Middle East and in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where people had rioted and been killed at the mere threat to burn the Koran, nobody stirred.

Emboldened by the pastor's book-burning, in a move calculated to make further trouble by a gross act of free speech, Queensland lawyer Alex Stewart tore a page from Darwin's The Descent of Man, saying he could make neither head nor tail of the thing by reading it and thought it might make more sense when smoked.

He lit up on YouTube, claiming it his right in a free and open society to commit this symbolic act and saying: ''Dudes, it's just a book. Get over it.'' Leading atheists called for calm … and atheists everywhere delivered it, showing themselves to be compliant minions. (Though a rumour persists that as the global supply of effigies is being monopolised by Kashmir and Iran, atheists were powerless to smoke the Queensland lawyer in retribution.)

Professor Dawkins himself, when asked about the burning of his book, said: ''It seems a little old-fashioned and pointless to burn a book in the age of the internet. Like knee-capping a town-crier. Still, the burning of a book is as much a freedom as is the reading of one. It is, to be sure, insensitive and provocative and perhaps foolhardy. But if freedom of speech were not, at times, all of these, it wouldn't need protection by law.''

Religious leaders responded by saying Dawkins was a dangerous appeaser whose forgiveness of Pastor Jones could be seen as an apologia for the burning of all books, and while they weren't troubled by the burning of his, there was no need to extend the privilege to authors more divine.

Meanwhile, Effigies 'R' Us in Faisalabad has announced it is making a new Pastor Jones model of yak hair and hypocrisy that gives off an unholy stink when ignited.

Salman Rushdie, from a safe-house in Greenland, has called for calm and offered Pastor Jones a truckload of his novel The Satanic Verses to burn in place of the other texts. He said this should just about satisfy all parties, and if he can't win the Nobel Prize for literature, then he might as well get it for peace.

''My books have been smoked in both hemispheres,'' Salman said, ''so I'm not as easy to upset as some of these one-off authors like Mohammed and God.''

*All quotes have been concocted for the purpose of clarity and truth
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #80 on: September 16, 2010, 18:17:01 PM »

Amen.
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Faerie
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« Reply #81 on: September 17, 2010, 07:18:31 AM »

Brilliant MDG! Love it.
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Lilli
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« Reply #82 on: September 17, 2010, 07:26:30 AM »

Quote
Atheists have turned the other cheek. Christians have called this a nasty plagiarism.
Hehe, made my day! Thanks.
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #83 on: September 17, 2010, 12:40:19 PM »

@mdg

LOL! Especially liked this response attributed to Dawkins:

Quote
Professor Dawkins himself, when asked about the burning of his book, said: ''It seems a little old-fashioned and pointless to burn a book in the age of the internet. Like knee-capping a town-crier. Still, the burning of a book is as much a freedom as is the reading of one. It is, to be sure, insensitive and provocative and perhaps foolhardy. But if freedom of speech were not, at times, all of these, it wouldn't need protection by law.''
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maturin
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« Reply #84 on: September 23, 2010, 21:51:03 PM »

Seems the UK police also want to put a stop to this kind of thing:

Six Tyneside men have been arrested after filming themselves apparently burning copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-11396980

PZ Myers isn't impressed:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/09/grow_up_gateshead.php
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #85 on: September 24, 2010, 16:15:58 PM »

Gateshead Quran-burning
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Tweefo
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« Reply #86 on: September 24, 2010, 16:55:18 PM »

If the Muslims did not over react when Terry Jones said he was going to do this I think this would have been a non event. Somebody threatened to burn the God Delusion and Dawkins just pulled up his shoulders. Are people burning the God delusion? At R400 a copy, definitely no.
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Julian
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« Reply #87 on: September 24, 2010, 18:55:26 PM »



I wonder if PZ is going to burn his Koran or otherwise publicly defile it as with the cracker incident. If normally mild-mannered Catholics got so upset about the cracker,  I'd hate to think what the reaction would be from the far more sensitive Muslims.
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maturin
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« Reply #88 on: September 26, 2010, 07:29:31 AM »

To my mind, the best comment on PZ Myers' blog post http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/09/grow_up_gateshead.php is this one by ThirdMonkey:

Quote
This argument about not offending people’s religious sensitivities seems to be coming up quite a bit lately so I’ve decided to pontificate on the topic.

I was recently asked how is drawing mohammed not the same as calling a black person “nigger”?

Of course this is a nonsense comparison but I had to think for a second to figure out why and the answer was deceptively simple.

No one has a choice in the circumstances of their birth. To disparage someone on the basis of race, sexual orientation, parents or other aspects of the random chance around their birth is unfair, inappropriate and is not a defendable action.

However, everyone has a choice in their religious beliefs. You choose to believe what you believe. You might not have much choice in what faith your parents indoctrinate you with and in some cases choosing not to believe may have serious consequences but you still have a choice. No one is born believing in any particular religion. I think that most people forget that religion is a choice and confuse it with something they are born with, like race.

So when someone is offended at someone else for not respecting that choice they are choosing to be offended. Why would they choose to be offended? I can think of two reasons: to show how pious they are to fellow believers and as a weapon of intimidation. Whenever I see muslims rioting, screaming with anger, tearing at their clothes and hair in rage, all I see are people who are trying to show their fellow muslims and their leaders how pious they are (a desire likely rooted in apostacism being a capital offence). Then their leaders see this and choose to use it as a terror weapon. They encourage this behavior, foster it and grow it until the rioters actually believe that any insult should be responded to with rage. The leaders take this and show it to their enemies as a threat. “Look at our followers devotion! Look at their rage! Do what we say or we won’t be responsible for their actions!”

They gain power over others by intimidating them into “respecting” their beliefs and the first step in doing so is by displaying disproportional responses of outrage to the slightest, most insignificant displays of disrespect.

How do we fight this? Show them that we will not be intimidated. Drawing mohammed or (less tastefully) burning Korans demonstrates that we don’t care how “offended” you are and we will not be intimidated. We have to take away the sanctity of their symbols so they can’t be used as tools of control. One way to do that is to desensitize them by bombarding them with shows of disrespect for their iconography. Eventually either their heads will explode or they will realize that it is meaningless and stop getting so upset.

Taking offence is the choice of the offended, not the offender. That’s why it is called “taking offence”. No one has the right not be offended and shows of offense should only be interpreted as an attempt at intimidation. Never submit to the demands of others in the name of not offending them.
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Julian
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« Reply #89 on: September 26, 2010, 10:09:49 AM »

I would add that when we draw mohammed we are ridiculing an idea, whereas with racial slurs we are attacking the person directly.
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