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Tags: Ramadan Islam
"Then you [as an atheist] have to argue rationally with irrational beliefs." Des Demona.
Precisely my dear Des, which is why the rattier religious resort to ad hominem attacks on anyone who disagrees with them. It is virtually impossible to argue dialectically with these people, despite their constant pleading for someone to do so. They tend to jump ship where logics die.
They are faced with incontrovertible facts, in real time, which surround religious hypocrisy, metaphysical improbability and the role of the intransigent pious in attacking human rights. These things they can only address by somehow trying to make either wildly optimistic dubious texts or the lorry loads of encyclicals fit or justify their preferred stance.
Because they are pretenders to knowledge and the selective conveyors of 'truth', they assume that their notions of origins and futures is information the rest of society lacks.
Although he was talking about epilepsy, the words of Hippocrates (c460-c377/359) are apposite.
"The facts about the sacred disease are as follows. I don't think it is any more divine or sacred than any other disease; it has its own symptoms and cause, but because of their inexperience and its extraordinary and unique character men supposed it had some divine origin. I think that the kind of men who first attributed a sacred quality to this disease were similar to today's magicians, salvationists, quacks and charlatans, who all claim to be very religious and to have superior knowledge. Because they felt helpless and had no effective treatment to suggest, they took refuge in the pretence of divinity, and treated the disease as sacred, to conceal their own ignorance. (On the Sacred Disease Hippocrates 1ff)
Elizabeth ...you tell'em :)
Oh my dear Blueberry, my reference to whistling was of course a Pythonesque example of a concept of humour, wholly unknown to religious miseries like you. It also served to explain my genuinely-held belief that ritual for itself has little meaning. You don't like that, in your world of taking yourself very seriously? Hard damn luck.
"It might, of course, be of interest to you that the vast majority of wars in the past 100 years can be attributed to ideological disputes largely devoid of religious sentiments."
Oh tell that to the Huguenots et al. It might interest you to know that this simply will not wash. And why impose a restriction of 100 years - other than to skilfully eradicate millenia of religious strife? If you seriously belief that the Middle East is an entirely secular cauldron of unrest, you must be joking. Shari'a law? I agree with you that we are not going to concede to that in a hurry. Stalin put to death 10,000 believers. The 'Catholic' Hitler murdered Jews. Blatantly Evangelical Americans, together with the 'Catholic' Blair signed the death warrant for 600,000 Muslims (The Lancet) as collateral damage, because God was on their side. Northern Ireland is defined by religious difference, used to underpin the thuggery and criminality and fuelled by the brainless partisan marches.
"...sarcasm and condescension...mock, demean and pour scorn over those who have the temerity to believe in something over and beyond materialistic nihilation."
Oh DO try to show that all non-believers are materialists and those with religion are not - or that spirituality somehow exists separately and only takes one form, with nihilism the only logical alternative. I fear my sides may split.
I am of course some considerable distance from merely indulging in mockery Ms Blueberry, even though you follow the 'offended' Christian line of non-argument. And I am also very far from ignoring religion. Religious ideologies which demonstrably encourage prejudice and discrimination, violence and tyranny, whilst claiming moral elitism cannot be so easily dismissed. Christians are wont to complain that the moral fabric of society is broken and is too materialistic - indeed a large percentage of their endless campaign of judgmental moralizing is based upon it. This pious attitude, of course, they deem to be perfectly acceptable within society. However, should some of the victims or those affected by their continual slurs and patronising innuendos have the audacity to point out the stinking hypocrisy, some immediately become miffed to a degree, and fire off careless salvos of opprobrium in the way you have just done. Who the hell do you people think you are?
Why should those without religion put up with the continual intolerance, abuse, marginalisation and rancour, delivered by the pretenders to knowledge who claim divine revelation? We are ALL citizens of the world. Why should anyone be silent in the way you insist upon in your last paragraph? You want to be religious and have someone, anyone define your mindset and behaviour? You want to cocoon yourself in dead dogma? Good luck. Under no circumstances assume that your partial views are going to be regarded as relevant by everyone. Do not allow them to infect those who do not want them. Do not expect to be treated as special case, merely because of past centuries of religious privilege.
Many aspects of religious faith are a disgrace and seriously affect harmony and balance in this world - no finer example than Ratzinger, his all-male high command and the stealthy hypocrites that support and worship him. Do we want him here? Some do. Some most certainly do NOT. Those who do not are perfectly free to complain loudly about his visit.
The nervously religious, peeping out from the swamp of terror surrounding their own mortality are quite free to complain about who they like. So am I. You ask for less aggression. Try being a homosexual Christian, a religious lesbian or an 'apostate' willing to stand up and denounce Islam for the dissembling mind control system is actually is.
When you finally realise that it is NOT non-believers that are responsible for, or driving 'religious phobia', but that it is a response to the actions of the indoctrinated and those beating others with their preferred wish list of judgmentalism, you will be somewhere near talking some sense.
I disagree with any notion of God not only on Philosophical grounds but also on egalitarian grounds, I believe in equality and I when I die I would rather enter nothingness than meet a benevolent dictator.
I don't see how anyone who also believes in equality can also agree with the idea of any of theisms gods.
To make a fairly useless point: All the men you (Medhi) just quoted as believers and of the left are Christian rather than Muslims, including the author of the book.
The problem I think with jumping from a Christian God to the Muslim God (for an intellectual) is that the Quran is believed to be written on tablets in paradise and therefore is perfect whereas the Bible operates in a more hazy area. That means the intellectual person has to for example, when approached with verses in the Quran, which some are really nasty, believe that it was Allahs will. The oft sited Surah 4:34 being one example, wither it is a misinterpretation to say husbands can beat their wives (which is a ridiculous arguement) or it is God's will or you do not think the Quran is correct.
Iran...that would take some understanding.
My view is that I can't do anything about whether there is a God, or not.
I am far more worried about how to stop my life being controlled by certain former public schoolboys.
''no bad language or bad behaviour whatsoever, from sunrise to sunset each day. That's the challenge.''
Does that mean al Queda takes a holiday for a month Medhi ?
A problem I have always had with Ramadan is that everyone around me becomes, in my view, less 'Godly'. That is they all get moody because they are not eating and just shout at each other. However they believe themselves to be more Godly because of the fasting, so ritual trumps behaviour, which in my view is the wrong way round.
What kind of a hypocrite would just be holy for a month (e.g. give up swearing for the month). What kind of religious piety is that? SUrely those who love God would seek this at all times and so that aspect of Ramadan would not be necessary.
Anyway, question for you Medhi: Do you have difficulty working during your fast; does your work output drop? Also do you see the same problem I see with everyone acting more religious but treating each other worse?
''Some of you may have noticed that it is the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.''
Quite frankly, who cares ?
Dave, Totally agree.
Apparently Iran will postpone any punishments and Killings during Ramadin.
So thats ok then
Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.