Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unreasonable Faith (atheism, religion)


REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle

MY RECOMMENDATION: YES

AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Unreasonable Faith , by Daniel Florien

WEB ADDRESS: http://unreasonablefaith.com/

BLOG DESCRIPTION: This blog contains reasonable thoughts on religion, science and skepticism.

MY REVIEW: I review religious blogs in this blog review blog, but I don't think I've reviewed any atheist blogs yet. I myself am an atheist, so I found it interesting to read this blog.

Many people contribute to this blog, and so there's a range of topics that are covered, from irony over the outrage over gay marriage, to Christian evangelism, to Muslim outrage over every little thing.

Highly recommended - for atheists and religious types alike.

Sample post:
Non-stop Evangelism
By vorjack on June 29, 2011 in Christianity, Ray Comfort Mania, Videos.
You gotta give Trisha Ramos credit. She one bad tract-distributing lady. If there were an ancient ninja clan dedicated to distributing evangelical tracts, Trisha would be their secret leader lurking in the back of the cave. She friends with Ray Comfort (surprise!) and she runs a blog called Fish with Trish where she displays some of her more interesting techniques, such as using your dog to carry spare tracts.

Here’s one that PersonalFailure posted in which Trisha is at a Taco Bell/KFC drive-through. In addition to being incredibly rude -- hey, would it kill you to put down the cell phone while carrying on a transaction -- Trisha passes off tracts to her server and the car behind her. PF vents her spleen over at Forever in Hell. (at least I think it’s a spleen. I was never good at anatomy.)

Supposedly, St. Francis once said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” If you listen to the video carefully, you can here him weeping in the background.

and
Engineered Anger and Outrage?
By Custador on June 28, 2011 in Current Events, Islam.
News from the BBC today on another case of “Muslim outrage” drew a bit of a knee-jerk from me (“Muslims offended over a triviality. Gee, that’s a first”), but when I stopped and thought about it, I began to wonder if I was being fair. So, being a curious kind of guy, I thought I’d examine the issue a bit.

Today’s story is fairly typical of the genre: Person does something largely harmless / a little bit humorous but somehow connected to Islam, Muslim Outrage™ ensues.

In this case, Naguib Sawiris (a very rich Christian from Egypt) Tweeted some cartoons of Micky and Minnie Mouse in conservative Muslim garb (Micky robed and bearded, Minnie in a Niqab with just her eyes showing). Cue howls of anger from high profile Muslims, formation of facebook groups calling for a boycott of his company, grovelling apology, etc. etc. I should say at this point that I searched at length for these cartoons so that I could repost them here, but I’ve so far been unable to find them anywhere.

Reading around various media reports on this story, it’s easy to get the impression that the response to this “incident” (for want of a better word) is a general Muslim one, but if you dig a little deeper it seems like the screaming and shouting in Egypt is being orchestrated by the Salafi minority. Salafi are an ultra-orthodox group who reject all religious debate, claiming that religious matters are beyond debate or apologetics because the Q’ran says so. If it’s in the Q’ran, it’s literally true, and that’s the bottom line, ‘cos Stone Cold Mo said so; they reject any form of politics but Islamic theocracy, and any form of law but Sharia.

But are they a true reflection of Islam in Egypt? This is where things get a little tricky. An Embassy report from 2009 which was released during the Wikileaks deluge says that this ultra-conservatism is on the rise, and it’s true that (not surprisingly in a majority Muslim country) there are serious social inequalities, but it should also be noted that of senior management level employees in Egypt, 25% are women (or were prior to the Arab Spring; it gets hard to find stats after that). That doesn’t speak of a nation in thrall to extremists – in fact, it’s significantly higher than the USA could boast as of 2009, that figure being a pretty paltry 14.7%.

So, to wrench this ramble back on course, are media reports portraying general Muslim outrage over yet another triviality a fair and accurate reflection? In truth, I don’t really know – But the balance of evidence suggests that it’s probably not.

Over to you, UFers. What do you think of Islamic reaction to things like this, and how it’s portrayed. Better yet, are you in Egypt? Is it the powder-keg we’re lead to believe? I’d love to hear from you.
RECENT POSTS:
--An Evil God?: Introduction
--A Guide to Christian Clich├ęs and Phrases
--Why I Deny the Virgin Birth of Jesus
--Pastor Gets Caught Lying for Jesus
--Irrefutable Proof Baal Exists!
--The Tragic Trap of Christian Marriage

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Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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Whose Body, by Dorothy Sayers (the Annotated Edition)
The Coldest Equations (science fiction)
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
The Lady and the Tiger...Moth

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