In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Women can choose to wear the burka – but can they choose not to?

"I am utterly loathed to add to the feeling of isolation that Muslims are no doubt feeling across the western world, but the truth is that not all Muslims agree with wearing of the burka, and many, many Muslim women are desperate not to wear it – what about them? When we talk about banning the burka, why is our primary concern always for the women who want to wear it, and never for the women who don’t?"

(Read the whole article)

One thing this article doesn’t mention is conditioned desire. There are women who say they want to wear it, but when you’ve grown up under the threat of violence for not covering up; when you’ve been conditioned to buy into the idea that you must be covered from head to toe in order to maintain your family ties and cultural identity; when you’ve been taught from childhood to accept your role as a second class human being who’s very appearance can cause social problems; when you’ve been told since infancy that you honor your God by subjugating yourself or that those who refuse to do so end up in eternal hell… How then can it be considered a free choice?

When someone says they want to abuse drugs, we usually don’t sit back and consider that to be a rational free choice. If a person was given drugs at an early age and developed an addiction, how free is their desire to continue using? When a victim of a hostage situation falls under the spell of Stockholm Syndrome, how free is their desire to remain a hostage?

When someone in either of those two circumstances claims that they truly want to be there, why do we not believe them? But when a person who has grown up in all the psychological and cultural trappings provided by heavily indoctrinated religion, chooses to stick with the harmful practices of their family, why do we assume that their’s is a free-willed decision?

Personally, I’m still developing my opinion on this issue, this is just my current thought process…

  1. ichliebdichnicht reblogged this from jackpowerx
  2. drunken-rambling reblogged this from teachthemhowtothink
  3. storeboughtfix reblogged this from divineirony and added:
    ^ my thoughts exactly.
  4. patoriku reblogged this from teachthemhowtothink and added:
    Not a bad point.
  5. mrodigga reblogged this from teachthemhowtothink
  6. zhounder reblogged this from cactustreemotel
  7. jackpowerx reblogged this from christiantheatheist and added:
    This is true of many things: thanks to societal conditioning, it’s nearly impossible to dictate what is one’s true...
  8. fantasticfemme reblogged this from christiantheatheist
  9. jadkirk reblogged this from christiantheatheist
  10. daffodilsinguns reblogged this from christiantheatheist
  11. keversonian reblogged this from christiantheatheist
  12. justoutofbed reblogged this from divineirony and added:
    I’ve always been uncomfortable seeing women wear a hijab or burka, because I always have to wonder if that woman really...
  13. i-understandwich reblogged this from divineirony
  14. capturethebomb reblogged this from teachthemhowtothink
  15. divineirony reblogged this from cactustreemotel and added:
    Alrighty then. How do we go about protecting those women and little girls in Islam who wish to express themselves by not...
  16. thehungryhungryemo reblogged this from teachthemhowtothink
  17. porcelaintoivorytosteel reblogged this from teachthemhowtothink
  18. teachthemhowtothink reblogged this from divineirony
  19. cactustreemotel reblogged this from divineirony and added:
    Addiction is not the same as self expression. One is a disease, the other a human right. How about you start by getting...