Atheist in the Maldives Kills Himself July 15, 2010

Atheist in the Maldives Kills Himself

When one man in the Maldives confessed that he was no longer a Muslim, all hell broke loose.

That’s what you would expect in a country that requires its citizens to be Sunni Muslims.

That man, Mohamed Nazim, eventually recanted. Of course, he was still a Muslim.

That’s what it took to stay alive.

Ismail Mohamed Didi couldn’t deal with that. In an email, he had written that he was an atheist. A news website got ahold of it and published it.

He said his colleagues had spread word of his apostasy and that his closest friends would no longer meet him.

He was afraid for his life and knew no-one in the country who could help him, he added.

The website said his employer at the airport had launched an investigation into his lack of belief and referred him to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

He couldn’t deal with the stress anymore… and so, on Tuesday, he went to work and killed himself.

He was found on Tuesday hanging at his workplace — the air traffic control tower at the international airport in the capital, Male.

It’s horrible. Depressing. Maddening. This is is direct result of what happens in a theocracy. You’re not allowed to think for yourself.

I don’t know if there’s a way to fix it, but if there was, it would start with Muslim groups publicly denouncing this country’s practices. They need to openly state that freedom of religious belief is vital to any nation, and it’s perfectly ok for people not to be Muslims.

I’m waiting…

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  • Trace

    “…Muslim groups publicly denouncing this country’s practices.”

    Crickets

  • Hitch

    I don’t think anybody in can in good conscience go for vacation in Maldives until they clean up their oppressive system there.

    It’s country where you get executed for thinking freely, thanks to a strict interpretation of the Sharia.

    Whenever I debate moderate Muslims I hear they are tolerant. The Qur’an says: “There is no compulsion in the religion.”

    I get cognitive dissonance every time the real world becries this claim. In this case I’m outraged. Just like atheists need to be assertive, it is high time that tolerant Muslims become assertive and say no to this kind of stuff.

    It creates a very odd and bad dichotomy if it’s always the non-Muslims criticizing Islamic regimes for their civil rights records.

  • Raven

    I really wonder why it is that the people with the most extreme faith are so staggeringly afraid and insecure when it comes to dealing with people having slightly different viewpoints from themselves. They proclaim that their god is omnipotent, yet somehow he’s too weak and thin-skinned to handle the existence of an unbeliever.

  • Chaoticag

    If anything, I’m expecting this to turn into a spin about how there is no happiness without god.

    @Hitch
    It depends, there are bits in the Quran that do advocate violence, and bit’s that don’t, as well as parts that are the same with tolerance.

    The problem being that a lot of the Quran lacks the historical context of when the suras were written. Generally speaking though, tolerance was advocated during the early years of it, while intolerance cropped up after the Hijra.

    But for the last point though, there are muslims that do criticize Saudi and the like, but it either tends to be on interpretation of the Quran and the Hadiths, or not very publicly, since most Muslim nations don’t tolerate criticizing Islam.

  • Richard Wade

    “I’m waiting..”

    Don’t hold your breath. These people are cowards. If they have to protect their religion from doubt and challenge with laws imposing imprisonment and death, then they have immediately proven that their religion is weak, false and morally bankrupt, and their faith in that religion is just as weak, false and morally bankrupt.

    The Ministry of Islamic Affairs were going to send the Thought Police to that man’s home to capture the terrifying, dangerous monster called a mind that disagrees with them. “Cowards” is far too nice a term for them. “Barbarians” is far too nice a term for them. They are beneath contempt. “The religion of peace,” my ass.

    May some day there be a memorial to Mr. Didi and all those who have suffered because of religious tyranny. In the meantime, boycott everything having anything to do with the Maldives.

  • Hugh Kramer

    I don’t know if there’s a way to fix it

    Eventually the problem will fix itself… at least as far as the Maldives are concerned. The Maldives are the lowest-lying country in the world; the highest point being only 2.4 meters above sea level. Global warming has already worsened the effects of storm surges and tidal peaks upon it. Within, perhaps, the next 50 years, sea levels will have risen to the point where the Maldives will disappear beneath the waves like some repressive Islamic Atlantis.

  • Aaron

    @Hugh

    Within, perhaps, the next 50 years, sea levels will have risen to the point where the Maldives will disappear beneath the waves like some repressive Islamic Atlantis.

    Do you think the Muslims will take that as Allah punishing them for not hanging him quickly enough?

  • Randall Morrison

    MILLIONS were forced to their death in officially atheistic countries.

    Including my grandparents, who sent my mom out with her sister.

    MILLIONS.

    I hold you all in contempt because your pretensions to superiority are so hypocritical.

    Friendly atheists?

    Gimme a break. This is barely a step above a hate site.

  • Aaron

    Randall Morrison Says

    Hey, look everyone, another troll who cannot tell the difference between Stalinism (I assume) and atheism. I don’t remember anyone being charged with “belief in God”.

  • Hannah C

    Randall Morrison-
    It’s true that millions died in those countries, but the rulers didn’t do those evil things in the NAME of Atheism. They did it because they were power hungry, and couldn’t afford any dissent. I don’t recall Stalin sending people to prison because there is no God.

    You really can’t compare a man killing himself because he lived in a society where a certain religion it mandatory to all the people who died under the reign of Stalin.

  • Hitch

    @Chaoticag: To me the Qur’an is not a priori relevant. The only thing that is relevant is what happens. If someone gets threatened with persecution because of supposed atheism the right question to ask is why. And if the answer is that the penalty for apostesy in the Qur’an is death, then it becomes relevant to discuss the Qur’an. If everybody just followed the nice passages of the Qur’an it would be a non-issue. But that is not the case. And because the Qur’an is holy we cannot just remove those violent passages and hence solve the problem.

    As for Randall, yes too many people have died to violent intolerant bigotry. So why does that make any future deaths any better? I have no sympathy for these comparative misery arguments. Go away.

  • ihedenius

    Here is another probable suicide attempt by a freethinker:

    Well-known Maldivian writer and blogger, Ismail Khilath ‘Hilath’ Rasheed, 34, has been found unconscious from a suspected drug overdose on an uninhabited island in Raa atoll, according to a Haveeru report in Dhivehi.

    http://minivannews.com/society/maldivian-writer-and-blogger-found-unconscious-on-raa-atoll-8565

    I’ve been reading a lot comments from the minivan site since May. Hilath even stood up for homosexuals, the only one I ever seen there to do that. There is a mix of really hateful islamists and some very liberal muslims (defending freethinking and evidently evolution is taught in schools (for now)). Maldives hangs in the balance. 2004 it became an ‘democracy’ but too many only understand ‘democracy’ as the tyranny of the majority over the minority (to paraphrase a Maldive commenter).

    From the comments: having an honest opinion of not believing in god needs to be ‘peacefully resolved’ (on Nazim), another commenter equaled it to ‘espionage’.

    The Constitution defines every citizen as ‘muslim’ which makes for an Orwellian farce that some recognize while others want to … pretend I guess.

    Under the dictatorship islam was enforced but retards like Naik Zakir was kept out. The Maldives are fast radicalizing, women are losing rights, a ridicoulus new ‘islamic ministery’ wants to puts it noose into everything, supported by parts of government unfortunately.

  • Rich Wilson

    @Randall

    What one person has done in the past doesn’t excuse what another person does in the present. That would be like Protestants raping little boys and saying “The Catholics started it!”

    I’m surprised, given your position, that you aren’t a greater critic of theocracy. It doesn’t matter if the state position is atheist or Muslim or Catholic or Hindu. If the state has a position, people will be oppressed.

    Having said that, my understanding is that at least in the USSR religious discrimination was was really more about politics than religion.

  • Robert

    Hannah- In response to Randall’s comment, you make the point that Christians and Jews were sent to death by Stalin because he couldn’t afford dissent, not because of their beliefs. He sent people to prison and killed them because they believed in God.He got rid of people of faith because he wanted to set up a society that was free from the influence of religion because he was an atheist. These people were killed for their beliefs and were not free to worship as they believed. It was the same as this poor gentleman coming from the opposite end of the spectrum.

  • Hannah C

    Robert- Yeah, I kind of realized that when I re-read what I wrote…

    But still, I might be totally wrong, and call me on it if I am, but what happened in the USSR seems to be much more focused on politics than religion, while what happened here seems to be a more religious thing.

  • Aaron

    @Robert
    Atheism was not his motivation. His motivation was that they dissented. He wanted people loyal to the state, not the church. He wanted no other power structure to exist that could challenge him. I would love to see anything that says “Atheism demands that I, Stalin” well, do anything. His motivation was power, not “the lack of belief in deities”.

  • Maliknant

    @Randall

    Thanks buddy. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have known that believing in the right of people to be free to worship or not worship as they wish makes me a tyrant like Stalin. How could I have missed it! Duh!

  • Aj

    Randall Morrison,

    Don’t be ignorant. Islam and other religions have had long traditions and laws derived from scripture or authorities, demanding horrible punishment for apostasy or heresy. If you don’t know about Islam’s hadith, then you haven’t got a clue what you’re saying. If you haven’t read the Qur’an or the Bible then you don’t know what you’re saying.

    Atheism doesn’t motivate anyone to do anything. Atheism has no customs that are passed on. Atheism has no laws, no scripture, and no authorities. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. Atheism has no book that calls for punishment of non-believers. Atheism doesn’t logically lead to Stalinism or any other form communism.

    Not all religions are violent or oppressive, but they’re all based on faith which can lead anywhere. It’s inherently dangerous, for example, to trust people who claim they’re talking for gods. Yet most of the main religions have prophets, religious people follow others, claiming to speak for gods. More dangerous, are those themselves who claim to speak for gods.

  • Hugh Kramer

    @Randall. The government of the Maldives is well aware of the threat posed by Global Warming. They have a plan to purchase land, perhaps on the Indian subcontinent or Africa, and transfer their population there en masse when rising sea levels make their current dwelling place untenable.

    Observing that the Maldives will eventually be underwater is not the same as wishing they were or that their population drowns with them. If that’s what you were implying I said, I think you were letting your own prejudices speak for you.

  • Molly

    Actually, this news report sounds a bit suspicious to me because he was found dead at his workplace. Was foul play perhaps involved? At least in the US, only 3.5% of suicides occur at the workplace. It’s far more likely to be assaulted or killed at work. Maybe by calling it a suicide they’re shifting blame onto him and not investigating a murder. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it’s just a thought…

  • Aj

    Robert,

    …because he was an atheist.

    That’s ignorant, hateful, and false.

  • joshing_uno

    @ Randall Morrison
    So because someone who lacks a belief in gods, yet has absolutely no connection to the regimes you speak of as well as no support whatsoever for them, chooses to speak out against a government that is actively persecuting anyone who thinks differently, you hold us ALL in contempt. Excuse the run-on sentence, I didn’t know how to tackle all that was wrong with your post. I realize you have a very emotional connection to what you see as the issue, but I assure you, you are not seeing this site/issue/situation clearly.

  • plutosdad

    randall we have addressed that in about 100 previous posts here, why do you continue to flog the dead horse?

    they did not do it due to atheism, or in the name of atheism. The same drive to put ideology over human life that lead the communists to mass murder, is the same exact reason the theists did it. It’s the same thing: ideology over everything, another term might be worshipping a false idol.

    That is not the same thing as saying the scientific method is the best way to acquire knowledge. Quite the opposite, scientists were in great danger under communism, because they had the annoying habit of looking for truth. But autocrats are not interested in truth, truth is a threat to them.

    That kind of thinking is exactly what we are all against. But atheism and theism have nothing to do with it. But the search for truth leads one naturally to atheism, is what we propose

  • Hitch

    And it worked. We talk more about Stalin than about harm people take here and today.

  • Maliknant

    @Hitch

    Don’t sweat it. We were all just killing a few minutes waiting until Islamic groups began denouncing the way Didi was treated. That’ll happen any second now…

  • Claudia

    I’m not bothering with Randall. Blah blah, totalitarianism as a quasi-religion blah, atheism has no creed blah. He either has an interest in investigating the reality of the beliefs he holds in contempt or he can move to the Maldives, where he can find a whole country full of intolerant small minded people just like him.

    @Chaoticag, my thoughts exactly. Instead of recoiling at the horror that a man could be made so miserable by the ostracism and threats of violence due to having a differing opinion they’ll just say “This proves that atheists are all depressed Nihilists!”

    I wonder, can an atheist living in a country whose official doctrine is execution of atheists apply for asylum in the US or Europe? I hope so, but if not it would be something worth fighting for.

  • muggle

    I wish I could be sure he hung himself. But even if he did rather than some nutcake Muslim, it’s a sad, sad, terrible thing.

  • That’s so sad. Why don’t people realize by now that theocracy doesn’t work? The leaders scare the people so much that they can’t consider changing their minds and, as we see here, even some members of of the population won’t associate with people who are not of the “right” religion — whether out of fear or hatred, I don’t know.

    I don’t know what can be done here. The only way to improve the situation is to change people’s minds, but that requires the willingness to talk with others of different religions and realize that they are regular good people. With the laws against different religions, people may be afraid to associate with non-Sunni Muslims just out of fear of the government.

    Recently, I read about another very sad news story, about a woman who was convicted of adultery and faces execution.

    http://www.irshadmanji.com/im-with-the-world-cup-over-theres-a-new-way-to-a-world-citizen

    (In this case, the blog post is by a Muslim who is speaking out. It’s a step, but there have to be more Muslims speaking up about these kinds of human rights violations, or there’s going to be the inevitable accusation that the calls for reform are just interference from the outside. Reform in Islam can’t be done unless Muslims are a part of it.)

    @Randall: I assume you don’t like it when people accuse all religious people of being hateful based on the actions of a few, so please don’t assume that all atheists are hateful based on the actions of a few. You say that this is a hate site, but Hemant and various commenters have expressed concern for religious people who were being discriminated against as well. Do you care when others are being discriminated against, or do you only care when it’s people of your own group?

  • Bob

    @Randall:

    If it’s hypocritical, then you simply acknowledge that organized religion is nothing more than a veneer slapped over man’s inherent barbarism. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Muslim or Christian, religion is a division created for the sole purpose of disenfranchising another group.

    As you – clearly not an atheist – are doing as well.

  • @Randall,
    As a former cold warrior and rabid anti-communist, I do understand where you are coming from. I regret any pain or suffering your family and others have had to endure because of communism. Know this, however…the political systems that you despise were pseudoreligions in and of themselves.
    Why do you think so many “atheists” in the former Soviet Union immediately converted to Islam or Orthodox Christianity after the fall of the Evil Empire? They had spent their entire lives in worship of the state…not in atheism. My wife was raised in the Soviet Union. She is just as superstitious as folks from my father’s village in southern Lebanon. Why? She was told there was no god, but she was never raised to think for herself. There are those who are atheists in the loosest sense because they are told there is no god. There are those who can think for themselves and have come to the conclusion that there is no god based on experience and critical thinking.
    I’ve seen your anti-atheist rants here before. I ask you to think about what I’ve written and reconsider your point of view in light of the facts I’ve brought up.
    Atheism or no atheism, some people will do evil and some people will do good.

  • Dan W

    Well, “moderate” Muslims have avoided saying anything about similar lack of freedom of religion in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia, so I won’t be too surprised if they choose to remain cowards and refuse to speak out against the theocratic government policies in Maldives.

    And to Randall, stop trolling. No-one has killed anyone in the name of atheism. There is nothing in “lack of a belief in god(s)” that makes someone kill people. We don’t have dogma, unlike many religions which have dogma that tells their followers to kill unbelievers in their deities. I see no reason to be “friendly” to idiots like you, Randall Morrison.

  • Chaoticag

    @ Claudia

    Possibly, although I have no idea whether they would accept the idea of asylum. Either way, it might be safer to do what I plan to do and apply for a citizenship secretly. It’s that, or live a lie of sorts in my case, or death, but I can justify moving to the US for career reasons to my family, should I choose not to cut off ties.

  • Greg

    Does anyone seriously think Randall is going to read any of these posts? He’s posted the exact same thing before without paying attention to responses. (I know, because I answered it)

    ::puts up sign::

    “Please don’t feed the trolls.”

    😉

    @Claudia: I certainly hope so. The problem, of course, is that the idea of moving to another country, and meeting new people with different languages and customs can be frightening enough on its own, but added to the pressures they are currently suffering, it may be too much for them to go for it. They would be risking effectively outing themselves just by applying for asylum.

    Ideally, I suppose, there would be organisations set up to deal specifically with that kind of issue, with people who have made such a massive jump themselves, but that’s not something that’s going to magically happen.

  • It’s gonna be a loooooooong wait.

  • Iggy

    Well, as someone who works very closely with ATC I can say it’s not that uncommon for one to take their own life chiefly due to the stresses the job brings. The outing was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  • @Hannah C,
    You were right, don’t be so quick to back down. 🙂
    The issue is that there was only room (in Stalin’s mind) for one system that would exert control over the population. It’s not that these groups were religious and that Stalin was an atheist, it was that religion by its very nature is a competitor with politics for the control of men.
    How else does one explain the constant struggle for power between the Catholic Church and monarchies throughout the history of Europe?
    Atheism was and is irrelevant to the discussion. It’s about competing systems of control and manipulation. Soviet style communism was one such system. So is religion. In Russia, it came down to who was the toughest and meanest kid on the block. Religion lost, Soviet communism won.

  • Robert

    “Atheism is the natural and inseparable part of communism”- Lenin

    “our program naturally includes the propaganda of atheism”- Lenin

    The two were tied together. In order to pursue their communist agenda, they had to promote atheism and persecute religion.

    If you don’t think that their atheism played a part in their murder sprees, and that it was really just control and politics, would you then please quit saying that religion has caused wars. You can’t have it both ways.

  • All it takes is one good atheist to disprove the notion that “goodness comes from believing in God”. There are plenty of good atheists. There are also plenty of bad believers in God. Whether or not someone is good or not is dependent on many factors including how grounded they are in the notion of doing as little harm as possible and helping and being fair to as many people as possible.

    We can all agree that Stalin was an example of a bad atheist. But no generalizations can be made from that fact.

  • muggle

    Ai, Robert, I was trying so hard to ignore you, mainly because of your obvious pain.

    I’ll concede your point. I don’t jump on board letting Atheism off the hook when it acts badly even though it’s rather comical to call it an organized anything. Since all it means is to disbelieve in god.

    However, Stalin promoted a certain vicious breed of his own State Atheism. Just as Hitler promoted a certain vicious breed of Christianity. All Atheists are no more guilty of being like Stalin than all Christians could be linked with Nazis. To assume so is absurd and you are closing your mind to that because of your pain.

    If a woman gets raped by a red-head, should she then view all red-heads as rapists? Your argument is just as absurd. She may very well do so in her pain but she’d be wrong as are you. My sympathies are with you as they would be such a rape victim but I’d want to take you both aside and gently say, hon, it’s not all of them.

  • Robert

    Muggle, my point was not to say that all atheists are bad. I know better. My only point was that you can’t separate Stalin’s atheists views from his acts and merely call it politics. As for Hitler, you are not claiming that he performed his atrocities in the name of Christianity are you?

  • @Robert,
    You are wrong. Dawkins puts it ever so better than I could, but it does take him 8 pages to do so. Read pages 308-316 of The God Delusion and then get back to me personally if you want to refute his findings. Lazy minds on both sides of the spectrum want to dole out and receive information in little parcels and soundbytes, but it actually does take time and effort to treat a subject like this with the thoroughness it deserves. A blog is not the medium or venue in which subjects like this can be discussed properly without one of more parties monopolizing the thread. We’ll have to agree to disagree as I do not concede one iota.

  • JB Tait

    @Molly – That was my immediate thought, too, when I read “at work,” and on rereading, I saw phrases that made it being murder even more likely. If he was afraid for his life, why would he sacrifice it?

  • P. Coyle

    Sooner or later, Stalin reacted viciously against any and all internal political opponents, actual or potential. In Russia, the Orthodox Church had a history of being an actual opponent of the revolutionaries. There was no tradition of separation of church and state in Russia. The tsar was the head of the church, and exercised his control through the office of Ober-Procurator of the Hoy Synod. Do a Wikipedia search on “Konstantin Pobedonostsev” to find out something of the views of the worthy gentleman who occupied that office for a quarter of a century after 1880, when Lenin and Stalin began their revolutionary careers. During the Russian Civil War, the Church of course sided with the Whites, not the Reds.

    Stalin himself was well schooled in Orthodox Christianity, having been enrolled in a seminary as a young man for six years. He would say later that it was early in his time in the seminary that he became an atheist. What did he learn about religion there? I don’t know. Maybe they taught him that, if there is no God, there can be no such thing as moral right or wrong. If so, should we be surprised that that might have been one Christian teaching that he actually took to heart?

    For Christians, Stalin presents a difficult theological problem. Did he succeed in his bloody repression because God allowed it, or did he succeed because God intended it? Surely it must be either one or the other. To say that God considered it better for Stalin’s victims to suffer than for him to intervene to halt such suffering would seem to be a minimum conclusion.

    Christians often say that “everyone is put on this earth for a purpose.” If that is what they believe, might it not be reasonable for them to conclude that Stalin must have been put on earth by God for the purpose of persecuting believers, since he was so successfully at it? Why, perhaps God regarded Orthodoxy as a heresy and its adherents as people who thoroughly deserved what they got!

    Atheists have — or at least ought to have — no difficulty in labeling Stalin as a thoroughly evil man, end of story. Christians, on the other hand, would seem to be logically required to wonder at the inscrutable ways of an Almighty who either allows a Stalin, or causes him. After 2000 years, the Catholic Church has belatedly seen the wisdom of recognizing the essential role of Judas Iscariot in bringing about God’s plan for the salvation of the world. Perhaps in time Christians will come to recognize the essential role of Stalin in some divine plan or other of God’s as well.

  • Aj

    Robert,

    “Atheism is the natural and inseparable part of communism”- Lenin

    “our program naturally includes the propaganda of atheism”- Lenin

    The two were tied together. In order to pursue their communist agenda, they had to promote atheism and persecute religion.

    If you don’t think that their atheism played a part in their murder sprees, and that it was really just control and politics, would you then please quit saying that religion has caused wars. You can’t have it both ways.

    Lenin was right, atheism is a part of communism, more specifically Leninism. Communism is not a part of atheism. No one is denying that communist regimes promoted atheism. The two are not tied together, that’s ignorant and false. You’re absolutely right, as a communist agenda they promoted atheism. It’s communism that motivated their actions. Leninism and Stalinism, plus various other forms of communism, forcefully promoted atheism as part of their ideology. I have no problem saying that Stalinism led to the deaths of people because they were not atheists.

    Atheism has no ideology, no book, no authorities. No one has an “atheist agenda” or does something because they are an atheist. Atheism is just a lack of belief in a god or gods. How could atheism play a part in murder sprees? Murder does not logically follow from atheism. You say “because of his atheism” or “his atheist views”, you are wrong, those phrases are illogical, and show your complete ignorance of atheism. Atheism doesn’t naturally lead to communism, libertarianism, democratic socialism, or any other secular ideology.

    Do wars logically follow from religion? It depends on the religion, obviously, but the way in which religion is created, through irrational belief in authorities such as prophets, books, and preachers, religion could promote anything. I guess you think religion has nothing to do with the various wars over the “holy lands”, including crusades and the creation of Israel. Apart from that example, religion usually only plays a minor role in motivating wars, it’s good at justifying the violence when it has already started, as religion is often present within militaries. However, you cannot say religion hasn’t motivated governments to kill large proportions of groups it doesn’t like, religion has many murder sprees of its own. Heresy and apostasy were punishable by death in both Christian and Muslim states for centuries.

  • Am I the only one who’s tired of the fact that most of our threads have been hijacked by fundamentalists recently?

    I might feel differently if I thought they were interested in learning anything about us or in honestly communicating with us, but it seems more like they just want to derail the disussion and promote their own point of view. I know we’re all supposed to be friendly and tolerant here, but it’s getting on my nerves. If I wanted to read that kind of thing on a regular basis, I’d hang out on Christian blogs.

    If fundamentalists want to debate, why don’t they try the Friendly Atheist forum? There’s a special section for that.

  • Hitch

    People should read the communist manifesto.

    There is one key justification of the use of force in it:

    “If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.”

    No trace of atheism in that justification. The justification for the use of force comes from the Marxist notion of class struggle, not of atheism.

    But yes, the communist manifesto describe a post-religious utopia too. But that doesn’t mean that all atheist are post-religious utopian or that all post-religious utopias have to come about through the violence of communist class struggle.

    In fact those two qualities, the totalizing nature of the utopia, and the permission to use force to bring it about are the key criticisms that I would leverage against communism.

    Neither of these criticisms have to do with religious disbelief.

    It’s a critique I have for any world view that is totalitarian and permits force to implement it.

  • Greg

    Hmm – I wrote a response to Robert which doesn’t seem to have come up. I’ll try again.

    Incidentally, Anna, I agree completely.

    Anyway, back to what I wrote previously that didn’t show up…

    Robert, the important thing to remember is that all atheism means is not believing in a theistic god. If you want to find a causal link between atheism and any action, good or bad, then the only thing you have to go on is that one bold-ed statement above.

    To give you an example of a causal link when it comes to Christianity:

    The Bible says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

    Now, if you believe that, and you also believe that someone is in fact a witch, then you are divinely mandated to kill that witch.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that all people who burnt witches did so because they were Christians. What it does mean is that there is a causal link between Christianity and killing witches.

    (Just like there can be a causal link between turning the other cheek and Christianity.)

    See what I mean?

    Just to be clear, claiming that atheism leads to rationality, scientific advancement, or ethical behaviour is equally absurd.

    They can easily coexist with atheism, but they are not caused by lack of belief in god.

    Okay, hopefully this message will show up. Knowing my luck I probably explained it better in the other! 😉

  • Getting back to the original topic, I’ve been looking for Muslims mentioning this case online, but there’s pretty much nothing out there.

    There are some Muslims standing up against the persecution in the comments here, but there’s also a whole lot of victim-blaming going on:

    http://minivannews.com/society/hanged-air-traffic-controller-sought-asylum-for-fear-of-religious-persecution-9381

  • Robert

    Aj and Greg,

    I truly think it is a stretch to try and separate Stalin’s atheistic views and his actions or communism’s goals of a society without religion and the purges and persecution of religious people to further those goals to say that they were not promoting atheism. Because they did not believe in God and didn’t want anyone else to either, they persecuted those who did.

    That was my only point. I did not and will not say that all atheists act this way or that atheism necessarily leads to these actions. But I will not agree that atheism did not play a role in those actions or that they were not promoting those believes through violence.

    As for the comment that Atheism does not have an agenda and no one does anything because they are an atheist, that simply isn’t true. Atheists certainly have an agenda of removing any reference to God or religion from public places, our schools, our currency, and even from prayer at city council meetings. That is why they file lawsuits and protest.

  • plutosdad

    Because they did not believe in God and didn’t want anyone else to either, they persecuted those who did.

    No, that is not why. Please read the pages Godless Monster mentioned. Also read The Black Book of Communism.

    “atheism is integral to communism” does not mean “communism is intregral to atheism” or “communism is a natural result of atheism”

    A->B does not mean B->A

  • Colin

    Back to the original topic, when I lived in Europe, I used to see tourism ads for the Maldives all the time, depicting it as an idyllic vacation spot where you could hang out on pristine beaches with beautiful bikini-clad women. Somehow this doesn’t mesh with “repressive Islamic theocracy”. Perhaps a tourism boycott would be effective?

    Then again, many in the tourism industry are probably also the more liberal forces in the island’s politics, so depriving them of tourist dollars might just tip the balance of power more towards the mullahs.

  • P. Coyle

    As for the comment that Atheism does not have an agenda and no one does anything because they are an atheist, that simply isn’t true.

    Atheism does not have an agenda. Individual atheists have agendas. Not all atheists have the same agendas.

    Atheists certainly have an agenda of removing any reference to God or religion from public places, our schools, our currency, and even from prayer at city council meetings. That is why they file lawsuits and protest.

    The “reference to God and religion” that appears on our currency is the official national motto of the United States, “In God We Trust.” It is the official national motto of the United States by an act of Congress in 1956 and is found in the United States Code at 36 U.S.C. § 302.

    Can you explain, Robert, how this conforms to the First Amendment to the Constitution, which provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”? What is the purpose of the national motto except to imply that those who do not “trust in God” are not to be regarded by all right-thinking individuals as part of the “we” who make up the American people? Do you think that if Congress were to respect the Constitution here, and, oh, I don’t know, revert to the original (if unofficial) national motto, “E pluribus unum” (which one can still find on the reverse of the nickel), God Almighty would reach out and smite our country with the mightiest of smites?

  • Robert

    Plutosdad,

    It is an attempt to rewrite history to claim that atheism was not promoted by Stalin or Lenin and was not a reason why they persecuted religion. They were promoting atheism as a part of their overall plan.

  • Robert

    P. Coyle,

    My point was to counter the notion that nobody does anything because they are an atheist. Those to have agenda’s to promote atheism or to remove religion from the public places do so precisely because they are atheists.

    As for your other questions, this is not the proper thread for that discussion, but at the risk of opening it up I will briefly respond. The founding fathers of this country were Christians. They believed in God, but they also believed in religious tolerance, including the tolerance not to believe. They were fearful of the state promoting any particular religion as part of any mandated requirement or establishment. I don’t think they were concerned that some people might not believe that this nation was founded under God or that they trusted him. Agree with it or not, but this country was founded by religious people seeking religious freedom and built a country with that premise in mind. It is part of our history. It doesn’t mean that they were also building a country based upon religious freedom and tolerance.So I don’t think that this motto violates the First Amendment in anyway.

  • plutosdad

    It is an attempt to rewrite history to claim that atheism was not promoted by Stalin or Lenin

    No one has claimed this, so I don’t know why you are bringing it up.

    and was not a reason why they persecuted religion

    Was atheism why they persecuted scientists as well? Or anyone else that disagreed with them? If they persecute and jailed and starved and murdered almost everyone who disagreed with them, including every organization that stood against them, religious or secular, then why single out religion and atheism? Does it not stand to reason there were other motivations and reasons to persecute religious people? It is a huge oversimplification to claim atheism is the reason, just as it is a huge oversimplification to claim religion is the reason for Irish and English conflict.

  • Aj

    Robert,

    How could anyone do anything because they are an atheist? It makes no logical sense. Atheism doesn’t necessarily lead to these actions. It never does. No one denied that Stalin was promoting atheism. Your belief that atheism played a “role” makes no logical sense, and is completely ignorant and false. A lack of belief in something is not a motivation to do anything.

    Also your example of an “atheist agenda” is pathetic. Some theists are against government establishment of religion, believe it or not, some theists actually approve of the US constitution. Deists have traditionally been against it, many deists were behind the ideas in the constitution. Some atheists are actually for government establishment of religion. Being an atheist doesn’t lead one to be against government establishment of religion, as it doesn’t lead one anywhere.

  • Imagine a world where the majority of people believe in garden fairies. Imagine that these believers saw to it that statements of belief in garden fairies were included on our currency, in our courthouses, and in our pledges. If there was also a history of shunning and ostracizing by the garden fairy believers against the minority that did not believe, some percentage of the non-believers might be expected to desire to take some action to “have a place at the table” and to get those statements of garden fairy belief removed from the currency, courthouses, and pledges.

    I think the ultimate cause of any “atheist agenda” is over-stepping by believers (in garden fairies or anything else).

    As the over-stepping by believers incrementally decreases, the chances of there being another Stalin overstepping in the other direction also decreases.

  • Robert

    Plutosdad and Aj,

    I said “a” reason, not the only reason. Promoting atheism was part of their overall plan to control their people. Don’t look to God, look to the state. The way they did that was to actively teach in schools and elsewhere that there is no God and to persecute, kill and destroy religious institutions. If they weren’t atheists they wouldn’t have promoted that. So not only is it logical that their atheists beliefs motivated them, it is a fact. But I never said it was their only reason.

    My only point when this all started was to counter the notion that atheism played no part in their killing of millions of people. It clearly did.

  • Hitch

    Basically there is truth to the statement that atheism was part of leninist, stalinist, maoist and other communist ideologies.

    We all know and acknowledge that. Problem is that we constantly get to hear that as if atheism is at fault.

    That is historic revisionism because these were persucatory regimes that persecuted people for all sorts of things, being an atheist didn’t make you immune to these persecutions at all. But that is not mentioned. All too often the appearance is given that persecution happened because of atheism. That too is often at best a simplification of the context.

    Why did they ransack churches for example? What this out of atheism? Well not trivially. The idea of the communist revolution is to seize all property. No institution had protection, also not churches. So the ransacking of churches was not necessarily out of an “atheist” hatred for religion, but out of the proletariate seizing from the institutions of the ruling class to which the churches are assumed to belong.

    But noone who throws around the stalinism is atheism story will ever tell you those things. Because the goal is to have some shmutz stick to atheims, not historic accuracy or relevance to the now.

    It’s part of the campaign to keep people afraid of atheism by implying if not saying that it leads to stalinist atrocities.

  • Aj

    Robert,

    If they weren’t atheists they wouldn’t have promoted that. So not only is it logical that their atheists beliefs motivated them, it is a fact.

    It’s true that if they were not atheists they wouldn’t have promoted atheism. You seem to have an inability to think logically or you do not understand what “motivated” means. A lack of belief does not motivate. How could a lack of belief impel someone to do anything? The truth is that Stalin had other beliefs that compelled him to forcefully promote his ideas, and that if he was not an atheist, would equally have motivated him to forcefully promote those other ideas. His actions have no connection with atheism, atheism was a goal, not a motivation.

    Think for a minute. You lack belief in something. What should you do? Your answer should be obvious.

  • Robert

    Aj,

    “His actions have no connection with atheism, atheism was a goal, not a motivation.”

    Did you read that sentence after you wrote it?

    How can you reach a goal if you are not motivated by that goal?

    You are really trying hard to divorce Stalin from his atheists believes. To say that he was not motivated by those believes is just silly. It clearly was one of his driving forces. It wasn’t just that Stalin was an atheist that motivated him, but also his desire for the country to be atheist so that the people would have to look to the state instead of God.

  • P. Coyle

    Those to have agenda’s … to remove religion from the public places do so precisely because they are atheists.

    I don’t know who, in this country, is arguing for “removing religion from the public places” under cover of law. A good many people are in favor of not using government power to promote religion. Not all of those people are atheists by any means. The current director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State is Rev. Barry W. Lynn of the United Church of Christ. Unless I miss my guess, he’s no atheist. His organization is dedicated to the proposition that “church-state separation” is “the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.”

    The founding fathers of this country were Christians.

    Except, of course, the ones who were not — that is, the deists among them. You might consider cracking open a history book some time.

    Would we be correct to suppose that, if you think that the motto “In God We Trust” is constitutional because you think the founding fathers of this country were all Christians, you also think that it it would be perfectly constitutional for Congress to adopt, as a national motto, “In Jesus We Trust”?

    I don’t think that this motto violates the First Amendment in anyway.

    Is plain English your second language? How is an act of Congress providing for an establishment of religion not a violation of the express prohibition in the First Amendment against any act of Congress providing for an establishment of religion?

  • Aj

    Robert,

    It should read “no connection with his atheism”.

    …from his atheists believes…

    What are “his atheists[sic] believes[sic]”?

    To say that he was not motivated by those believes is just silly. It clearly was one of his driving forces.

    It’s silly to suggest that a lack of belief is one of his “driving forces”. Name me one time when you have ever been motivated to act through a lack of belief in something.

    …but also his desire for the country to be atheist so that the people would have to look to the state instead of God.

    So you do actually know his desire and his goal. Why do you need to bring his atheism into it?

  • JB Tait

    Nearly all elephants are grayish, but not all gray animals are elephants.

  • JB Tait

    I thought the apostles were the original communists.

    (Acts 2:44-45)
    All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

    But in searching for the passage I discovered it might well have been God’s plan in Exodus 16:16ff

    For those complaining, here, about it being an atheist plot, are you claiming that the rapacious selfishness of our unregulated capitalist corporations and the obscene bonuses for their executives (even when they failed so badly the taxpayers had to bail them out) while so many are without food, clean water, and shelter, is the Christian way?

    I wish I didn’t meet so many prosperous people who think their good fortune is evidence of how much {their version of} God loves them and that poverty is a moral defect.

    If bad people can do bad things in the name of religion, or even claim they were commanded to do so by God, then likewise these bad people can just as easily claim to act in the name of atheism . . . or because a unicorn compelled them to serve him . . . or a Martian . . . or a witch.

    People do bad things. The noises they make explaining why don’t necessarily bear any resemblance to reality.

  • Hitch

    Watch out for those atheist gray elephants though, they killed millions! And eat babies.

  • Greg

    Robert – do you ever read anything I write before responding to me?

    Seriously?

    My original response still stands untouched by anything you said.

    I really don’t think I’m going to bother saying anything to you from now on.

    It’s people like you that makes me less patient with theists than I probably ought to be. (Apologies to any theists who are willing to actually read what I say if I’m shirty with them.)

  • plutosdad

    Robert I think the point is there is a difference between saying

    A: “X was killed because he was a christian (and it motivated him to action)”

    B: “Y was an atheist and promotes it”

    and

    C: “Y killed X because Y was promoting atheism”

    those are totally different statements, and A+B does not imply C.

  • Pete

    Richard Wade

    May some day there be a memorial to Mr. Didi and all those who have suffered because of religious tyranny.

    Richard i agree.Everytime somebody is forced into suicide this way, through mere lack of faith.Let it become like ashes in their mouth.

    That way it gives them more reason to want to change the way they treat people.

  • Pete

    Randall Morrison and Robert.

    Whether Stalin or Lenin were also atheists is a side issue.It was the tyranny and abusive ruler what caused the problems.

    If it wasnt you should expect to see atheists as a group all wishing death on all the faithful folks even today.

    This isnt happening.

  • Robert

    Greg, your comments were well thought out and I see where you are coming from. I do see the distinction you are making. But I I don’t agree with it all together.

    If someone kills a witch because the Bible tells him so, then that person may very well be motivated by his faith. It does not mean that Christianity of itself promoted that action because there are other tenets of Christianity that would call for other actions.

    I understand the posters- Aj, Greg, Plutosdad and Pete who are claiming that all atheism means is to believe that there is no God. I don’t disagree with that. My original point was and still is that Atheism and his promotion of it was a driving force behind Stalin’s actions. Actually i think we agree on that. And it was a driving force because communism required that the people become atheists so that the state could control them. Does that mean that atheism is a driving force that leads to evil, of course not. Just like being a christian and Christianity doesn’t always lead people to stand on the corner with hateful signs at funerals of soldiers.

    People are driven to action by trying to destroy someone elses believe because you believe differently.In other words, your non belief in a god can call you to action. Take this website for example. It is in part a action by Hemant to promote dialogue in promotion of atheist beliefs. I think it is going too far to simply say that atheism is nothing more then a thought and can’t motivate action.

  • Aj

    Robert,

    You do not understand. A lack of belief has never motivated me, and you cannot come up with a single example of when a lack of belief motivated you. A lack of belief in gods contains not motive content. You cannot say an action was performed “because of atheism”, it makes no sense. It also makes no sense to say “atheist beliefs”, it’s an oxymoron. Atheism has no beliefs, it’s a lack of them. I was an atheist without caring what others believed for many years, and there are many atheists who don’t care now. The only thing all atheists have in common is a lack of belief.

    Christianity on the other hand can contain beliefs with motive content. You’ve read one, “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, and that’s why Christianity can lead to action. That’s a part of Christianity’s history, belief that the Bible is the word of God, belief that other people speak for God, may not always lead to witch-hunts but they make witch-hunts likely. Some “Christians” disagree with my definition, but that’s a semantics game.

  • Robert

    Aj,

    I disagree that atheism is a lack of a believe. I believe that there is no god is the same as I don’t believe that there is a god. To that extent atheism is a belief.

    You don’t know there isn’t a god, you believe there isn’t or you don’t believe there is.

    I will certainly agree with you that Christianity has some mandates as part of its faith- love your neighbor as yourself, try not to sin, change your life from your sinful past, help your fellowman, forgive, preach the gospel just to name a few.

  • Aj

    Robert,

    Then you are not really communicating with us, as that is what we mean when we say we are atheists. If you refuse to agree to a definition then there no point responding to each other. If you respond to our posts using different definitions than the ones we are using then you are trolling us, you’re not interested in discussion.

    Clearly belief that there is no god is different to not believing there is a god. You don’t accept that we can hold no opinion on the existence of something? I can assure you that I do not hold a definitive opinion on the existence on your god, and no opinion on many others. With this lack of belief, any action I perform is with the complete absence of consideration about any gods.

    This is the semantics game I was referring to. There is one true Christianity, and it’s the one you believe. That’s not what I mean by Christianity. I don’t even know what your version of “Christianity” is, or particularly care. When I refer to Christianity, I’m not referring to the set of beliefs you hold, I am referring to the religion that spawned from the middle east and spread through Europe, and its history.

  • Arduinnae

    We don’t know for certain that he killed himself – this may well have been murder made to look like suicide. While I’m not saying that that’s the case, I do think that we need to be a little careful with our language. He *appears* to have killed himself.

    In this situation, it’s perfectly plausible for the people who had been trying to kill him, or the people who have been ostracising him for his lack of belief, to have murdered him.

  • Marlowe

    On Stalin:

    All I can say is “yeah? So?”

    Even if he did do everything he did *because* of his Atheism, the great thing about Atheism is that it really was *his* Atheism. We don’t have holy scriptures, we don’t have a ready-made ideology handed to us. The only thing that binds us together is a lack of belief in gods. That’s a pretty flimsey connection, if you ask me.

    So Stalin was an Atheist. He was also a totalitarian. Is there any wonder that his Atheism would therefore take on the colours of totalitarianism? I share my Atheism with him (I assume, who knows what he privately believed), but not the totalitarianism. Quite the opposite, I believe that we should all have the freedom to choose our own paths and hold our own beliefs. So long as our State is secular (meaning that it serves the earthly needs of all its citizens), I couldn’t care less what those citizens believe or say.

    In other words, it’s very difficult to judge all Atheists based on the beliefs and actions of one Atheist. Atheism is simply a negative position – “I do not believe in gods.” Some of us are totalitarian, some of us are Humanists, some of us are Secularists, some of us are Communists, some of us are even “naturists” who believe in nature spirits and astral projection. Our positive beliefs come in a very wide variety.

    Religion, on the other hand, is a positive belief. Most religions bind their adherents together through common scripture or culture. Therefore, it becomes legitimate to decry the religion as a whole (regardless of individual expressions, since people are very good at ignoring their own religious doctrines when these conflict with their internal sensibilities) based on that religions scriptures and/or dominant expression.

    So when I read the Quran and see that it provides instructions on how to beat one’s wife, I am legitimate in saying that Islam is a sexist religion. When I read in the Quran that God hates all non-Muslims and will punish them (or keep them alive and prosperous so that they have the opportunity to accumulate more sins so that God can take even more pleasure in torturing them after death, as the case may be), I am legitimate in saying that Islam is intolerant.

    But if you read something you don’t like in a book written by Richard Dawkins, all you can legitimately say is that you disagree with Richard Dawkins (as do many Atheists).

  • Pete

    Robert

    I disagree that atheism is a lack of a believe. I believe that there is no god is the same as I don’t believe that there is a god. To that extent atheism is a belief.

    You don’t know there isn’t a god, you believe there isn’t or you don’t believe there is.

    Hi Robert i cant see how this is so true.

    I can go outside my door and take photos randomly everywhere,no sign of any Gods will be photographed.I can ask others to do the same,including the hubble telescope,no photographs of any evidence of Gods can be delivered.

    Can you or anyone else supply any good evidence or photgraphs of any Gods from anywhere?.

    If nobody can, then how can you suggest atheism rest solely on faith belief,just like theism does?.

    Atheism is not just about belief.It is backed up by evidence and fact.

    1,No evidence of Gods can be freely observed and recorded by all people.

    2,The evidence of the non existence of Gods,is freely available everywhere for all to observe and even record.

    So why would you say these ideas both rest solely on mere belief ?.

    Im not suggesting this make it 100% certain,Gods dont exist.

    Im just stating plenty of good evidence of the non existence of Gods so far exists .While there is none good evidence of the existence

  • Robert

    Pete,

    If i changed the sentence to read- I believe that there is no God based upon the evidence or lack of evidence is the same as I don’t believe there is a God based upon the lack of evidence, it would be the same.

    I am not saying that belief in God or the belief that Gos doesn’t exist aren’t both based upon evidence. It is not my position that belief in God is a blind faith.

    Unless you know for absolute certain that there is no God, then you are relying on a belief that there is no God. You can say it is based upon a lack of evidence that you accept as evidence, but unless you are 100% certain, it is still a belief. I would say a belief in the negative.

    Marlow- i don’t disagree with most of what you have said. However I would say that selecting select scriptures and using that to decry the entire religion is not legitimate. For example you might find certain aspects of Christianity sexist if taken out of context or not in light of the entire scripture or religion. But in my opinion true Christianity is far from sexist.

  • Pete

    Robert

    It is not my position that belief in God is a blind faith.

    Unless you know for absolute certain that there is no God, then you are relying on a belief that there is no God. You can say it is based upon a lack of evidence that you accept as evidence, but unless you are 100% certain, it is still a belief. I would say a belief in the negative.

    Hi Robert.

    Well the same could be said about pink elephants also.Can you prove 100 % pink elephants dont exist Robert?.What about tooth fairys?.Talking donkeys?.

    Would you considder so far more evidence seems to suggest talking donkeys dont exist?.

    Would you considder so far more evidence seems to suggest Gods dont exist either?.

    If you would agree so far more evidence seems to suggest, both talking donkeys and Gods dont seem to exist.

    Then i suggest believing in talking donkeys and Gods at present, does rely far more on blind faith.

    Translating evidence observed and not seeing it so likely talking donkeys or Gods or tooth fairys exist,is not so much about belief anymore ,and becomes far more about translating the evidence observed.

    Belief starts to be a little beside the point,when we translate evidence that is being observed

    Would you agree with that Robert?,

  • Robert

    Pete,

    I of course would disagree that there is an equal amount of evidence that talking donkeys exist as there is that God exists. I of course do contend that there is plenty of evidence that God exists.

    I would argue that it takes more of a blind faith to say that God doesn’t exist. It does come down to a translation of the evidence I see but based upon the evidence, but in my opinion it is far more rational to believe in God then not.

    In the end, when we both look at the evidence, we decide and choose what we will believe based upon the evidence we see. Or as you put it, as we translate it.

  • Pete

    Robert

    I of course would disagree that there is an equal amount of evidence that talking donkeys exist as there is that God exists. I of course do contend that there is plenty of evidence that God exists.

    Hi Robert thanks for your replys. Well that is a belief,your belief.In my opinion a belief that is questioned by atheists, due to evidence of the existence of Gods being about the same as talking snakes,donkeys etc.The book on the Christian god even mentions talking snakes and donkeys,yet your belief is they dont exist.

    Can you prove 100 % they dont exist?. No i dont think so.

    But you are observing the evidence and translating what is experienced.With regard to talking snakes and donkeys you have moved away from some beliefs of the holy bible ,toward translation of actual evidence you and many others freely observe.

    Seeing nobody has produced any talking snakes or donkeys or even any good evidence of such things.And that is not so much about belief,and more about translation of the evidence.

    We can atleast freely record good evidence for both donkeys and snakes.We can freely provide good evidence they both exist.

    I challenge you to suggest you can provide as much evidence of any god,as can be provided of snakes and donkeys.

    Existence of snakes and donkeys is not just about belief.It dont matter what you think,or i think,or somebody else thinks.

    When a test is done and the donkey kicks me in the back of the head,or i receive a fatal snake bite .What i personally believe realistically matters little any longer.

    Translated evidence says donkeys and snakes exist.They are confirmed.Belief of snakes and donkeys is not only a cultural belief,they have been universally confirmed by humans worldwide.

    Can even you provide the same type test to first even confirm the existence of Gods?.Like we can ! confirm snakes and donkeys.

    Or does your belief rely solely on belief and culture?.

    I suggest you cant even supply equal evidence that Gods actually exist,like we can supply plenty! of evidence that its a fact! that snakes and donkeys obviously do.

    Before we even get to move on further and test the idea that snakes and donkeys could sometimes talk ,or Gods might be omnipotent etc.

    I would argue that it takes more of a blind faith to say that God doesn’t exist. It does come down to a translation of the evidence I see but based upon the evidence, but in my opinion it is far more rational to believe in God then not.

    Well thus far, that is only a belief.Your belief.

    I doubt! you can confirm that as a fact, with good enough evidence .Like we can atleast confirm the existence of snakes and donkeys.

    Because you are unable to confirm Gods exist like snakes and donkeys obviously do.Your belief is only a belief,and as such can quite fairly be claimed to rely entirely on your faith at this present moment.

    So i disagree with you when you suggest it takes more blind faith believing Gods dont seem to exist.

    That idea of yours doesnt even stand up to good reason.

    Its like trying to suggest, just as good evidence exists for Gods as does good evidence of snakes and donkeys.

    Which would suggest humans observe and experience just as good evidence for the Gods as they do the snakes and donkeys ,but yet purposely decided to go against evidence freely observed and experienced .And with mere faith try to believe and say Gods dont exist.

    That idea seems totally idiotic.And in my opinion i doubt you can prove it!.

    However nobody can stop people like yourself arguing the point you have mentioned.

    Maybe there is somehow we can devise and organize a public test to be broadcasted on live TV, right across the nations to compare and confirm factual evidence.

    If we bring along a donkey and see if it can kick you in the back of the head ,or a snake to see if a snake can bite you.

    Would you be prepared to bring along one of these gods to see if it can publically display some type of comparable factual evidence?

    If you would be prepared to do that type test, i would agree your (arguement) is not just about your faith in your belief .

  • Robert

    Good morning Pete,

    Your test is purely a test of evidence based upon our physical senses. The evidence for God goes beyond the physical senses.

    It is an illogical argument to test the evidence for snakes and donkeys and then to say that because the evidence for God is not the same, then God doesn’t exist. That would be like saying, let me show this donkey, now prove to me that your car is a mammal.

    Our evidence for snakes and donkeys is based upon what we see, touch, and maybe smell or hear. If you touch a animal without legs that has a forked tongue,and crawls on its belly you might say its a snake. But you can only say its a snake when you look at what others have called it and defined it as a snake. It is still a translation of the evidence before you. Your translation of that evidence could be wrong. For example, alot of people call a tomato a vegetable, when in reality it is a fruit. Its the same evidence , but a different conclusion. One is wrong and one is correct.

    From the evidence I have, which is not just based upon my physical senses of seeing, touching, smelling or hearing, I translate that evidence that there is a God. Atheists look at the same evidence and conclude that it isn’t enough and therefore there isn’t a God.

    When I see a snake or a donkey, I see evidence of creation which to me is some evidence of God. Atheists don’t see that evidence the same way. But the evidence of God is not just our physical senses.

    Why do i say that it is more rational to look at the evidence and conclude that there is a God? Let me give you an example. An atheist must believe that since there is no God, that despite unbelievable odds and despite the fact that everything had to be unbelievably accurate with no tolerance for error, that the universe randomly put all of these atoms together in just the correct way to form itself and ultimately to us. And they must believe that knowing there was a starting point for the universe, that something came from nothing, which goes against all the laws of science as we know them. Believing in unfathomable odds and something starting from nothing despite it defying the laws of science you hold as true is not rational in my opinion. If you think so, then I would ask if you play the lottery and if not, is it because you think the odds are against you?

    Now if you believe that it is rational for you to conclude that despite the lack of evidence that can be answered now, you hold to the belief that the universe was created on its own without God, then you are believing that based upon faith. Faith that science has accurately explained everything up to this point and faith that with further study more evidence will come.

    In my opinion, the ultimate test for truth is this- can the idea stand without being fallible by its own definition and can the affirmative be undeniable. If so then you have truth. In my opinion, God and ultimately Christianity meets this test and atheism does not.

    If you are willing to explore the evidence of God that goes beyond just our physical senses then i am happy to engage in that discussion.

  • Fayaz

    This blog is full of shit…. First of all Maldives is not a sunni muslim country.. second of all most of them do not follow islam…

    Mohamed Nazim was not Hung.. and he is still living.. go to youtube.. You guys suck.. Atheist my ass

  • Marie Alexander

    “The 1997 Constitution of the Maldives designates Islam as the official state religion. The Government interprets this provision to impose a requirement that all citizens must be Muslims. Freedom of religion is restricted significantly. The law prohibits the practice by Maldivian citizens of any religion other than Islam, and the Constitution precludes non-Muslims from voting, obtaining citizenship, and holding public positions. The president, who is required to be a Sunni Muslim, is the ‘supreme authority to propagate the tenets of Islam.'”

    That was, admittedly, from Wikipedia, but yes, Maldives is a Muslim country.
    Second of all, he never said Mohamed Nazim died; he said Ismail Mohamed Didi died.