Attacking ideas is a considerable portion of what we as atheists do.  Why attack ideas?  Ideas earn attack when they don't serve people, not just us but those who adopt said ideas, mistakenly thinking that they have value when they don't.  Our attitude is that an idea which doesn't serve a person or causes a person to serve the idea more than the idea serves him or her is an idea at minimum worthy of question if not unmodified hostility.  In short: PEOPLE MATTER ... and ideas should serve people and not vice versa.

Enter our good friend, TheraminTrees.  In the following video, he looks hard at the idea which is Islam and the evolution of his own point of view about that belief system.  He relates stories from his life which were mileposts in his own thinking and how his take on Islam changed over the years as a result of those experiences.

This piece is on the long side, but I believe it is very much worth your time and attention.  Please enjoy.

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I've only watched the beginning so far -- might see how the soundtrack holds up as a "podcast", as it does so well for "bending truth".

A still from Friendly Atheist, illustrating how some ideas co-opt the language and framing of worthier ones:

Still from TheraminTrees’ video, “attacking ideas”: In one corner, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic symbols (cross, Star of David, star and crescent) with “privileged immunity” from debate and criticism; critics and non-followers, in the other corner, labeled “heretics” and “blasphemers”, shunned, imprisoned, censored, and killed. Critics are now also labeled “prejudiced”, “racist”, and “phobic”. In foreground, tablets representing two established ideas and two mimics: “PREJUDICE [hostility based on unfounded opinion] IS UNFAIR”, “PR3JD!C3 [hostility based on specific evidence] IS UNFAIR”, “RACISM [judging folks on the basis of race] IS UNJUST”, “R^C!SM [judging ideologies on their content] IS UNJUST”.Hemant Mehta writes:

What was once, in [TheraminTrees'] mind, a pro-science religion that promoted peace turned into a religion that treated women poorly, discriminated against LGBT people, and detested blasphemers. It wasn’t just the extremists who felt this way. It was part of the package for even the so-called moderates he knew.

“Getting to know a religion is about seeing how its ideas shape the lives it touches,” he says. And the way Islam shaped the Muslims he knew — on certain issues that he felt were beyond debate — was something he could no longer defend.




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