8 users responded " Eight years later "

"Eight years later" was posted by and 8 users commented
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Edwin said,         
September 10 2009

That is a funny picture you have there (funny in a black comedic sense), because the message is true. 9/11 is one of the most horrific events for a long time and will forever be remembered in history. I have been an atheist before 9/11, well been an atheist since I first learnt the word ‘atheism’ which was when I was 13. I do think the rise to the New Atheist movement was triggered by 9/11, perhaps also the War on Terror which saw many new terrorist attacks since then, like the Bali bombing in 2002, the London bombing in 2005, Mumbai and others. You can also argue about Israel’s actions in recent times of claiming the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories as their ‘God-given right’, making the peace efforts difficult in the Middle East. Also I guess the continual debate of evolution vs creationism and the sexual abuse within the Catholic Church also gave rise to the New Atheist movement.
Where I come from in Australia, less and less people have been attend church services and there has been a trend to put ‘Jedi Knight’ as a religion on the census forms. I guess this must say something about New Atheism.

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Jon Dreyer said,         
September 10 2009

I wonder how many religionists will respond with the name of your blog: “That’s not my god,” because the Al Qaeda god is bad but theirs is good.

Just today there was a Boston Globe article:

http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2009/09/10/preacher_says_god_wanted_him_to_hijack_jetliner/

in which a preacher received revelation from (the Christian) God that he should hijack a jet because the date, 9/9/09, was 666 upside down. Is that also not their god?

Of course most religionists don’t do things this evil or silly because of their religion, because they have a bit more common sense, but the point is the risk is always there. As I like to say, when faith is allowed to trump reason, the result may not be reasonable.

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Sarah said,         
September 14 2009

Hi Edwin,
A lot of my Facebook buddies were using that picture as their avatar last week on 9/11. I wasn’t expecting that, but I think it’s great that we all see the tragedy for what it is.
I heard about Jedi religion, but I didn’t realize that it was big in Australia. May the force be with you, mate. Seriously, though, I’m proud that in your fair country, more and more people are rethinking religion.

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Sarah said,         
September 14 2009

Hi Jon,
How funny (to quote Edwin, in the black comedic sense) that the hijackers and their passengers spent their last moments praying to the same god? It’s a mad, mad world.
I doubt I’m original in saying common sense is the death of religion. Thanks for sending the article! I didn’t see the 666 part, but I wonder what the terrorist’s beef really was in that story.

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mark said,         
September 23 2009

It’s called asymmetric warfare. During the Revolutionary war, many of the American fighters broke the rules of war by hiding behind trees and rocks. They would have been decimated had they fought the “legal” way but in many European circles this was considered scandalous. But we won that war so the scandal dissipated. Menachim Begin was an anti British and anti Palestinian terrorist who broke the rules of war in helping to create Israel. Israel won that “war” and Begin later became a highly respected Israeli official. The fact of his terrorism dissipated.

When one army is monstrous in size and materiel, and the other “army” is so impoverished that it doesn’t even exist as an army, there is only one option. To break the “so called” rules of war. If you win, nothing becomes of your “war crimes”. But if you lose you become a pariah and if caught, executed.

Some of the 9/11 hijackers were duped by religion but the leaders were not. To those leaders this is at most a culture war though there are good arguments that this has aspects of anti colonialism in it.

After 9/11, some statesmen opined that in order to defeat this terror, we needed to find out the real reason those people hated us. To the rabid right wing this implied we did something wrong so these wingnuts coined the abstraction that those statesmen hated America. Or were part of the “hate America first” crowd. Those wingnuts controlled the debate for 8 years, and still somewhat control the debate. Meanwhile, our oil industry makes sure that some of the worst antidemocratic states in history continue to stay in power. Like Saudi Arabia. Thus driving the common people into religion and eventually into buildings. And with our GWOT we’ve continued to drive even more of those common people into the hands of Al Quiada. Thus increasing the chance of another 9/11, which will therefore increase the chances of the wingnuts coming fully back into power, thus expanding the GWOT, thus driving more common Muslims into war and yet another 9/11, thus more wingnuts, thus more war. When you consider just how much more powerful fundamentalist Islam is in 2009 than it was in 2001, what they did on 9/11 worked better than their wildest dreams. And it worked great for the American military industrial complex, tho I don’t believe for a second that they planned it.

This entire process works great if you are wealthy. Not so much if you are 17.

I’m an atheist, but this issue of flying planes into buildings is a lot more complicated than 72 virgins.

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Sarah said,         
September 24 2009

Agreed, it is more complicated than 72 virgins… it has to do with the entire fabric of society and in this case, with the world at large.

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Chris said,         
November 6 2009

Even though the post is old, I thought I’d comment on it now in light of recent events. Another pissed-off Muslim decided to go on a shooting rampage, this time at Fort Hood.

When you think about it, there is really no reason to shoot random people if you think those people directly or indirectly oppress you, and won’t be swayed. Even if you can’t change their minds peacefully, you can agitate them, reinforce their beliefs, and encourage massive retaliation with such acts.

Muslims are concerned about being unfairly targeted…after they shoot unarmed people in a rage. Sorry, but it seems pretty fair now. This isn’t the only Muslim who has pulled a stunt like this against fellow troops, and let’s not forget how much damage the DC snipers did before they were caught.

Sarah, you wonder about how these incidents might cause people to lose their faith. But I wonder if a better question would be this: who owns the faith, anyway? Is it really the call of the peaceably religious to claim they also represent all stripes of followers, EXCEPT when things don’t work out, like at Fort Hood?

It all points to a logical conclusion: everyone has his or her own spiritual journey to follow, not bound by some arbitrary set of labels or principles. The religious end up proving the arguments against them by claiming not to represent the most devout!

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Sarah said,         
November 9 2009

Hi Chris,
One thing I constantly have to repeat (not to you, just in general) is that I don’t think all Muslims are terrorists or vice versa. I know that there are many Muslims who are just as saddened by these tragedies as you and I are.
I don’t wonder about how these tragedies make people lose faith… in some people, they strengthen faith. Go figure.
Good point in that Muslims seem to say that the good things in Islam represent them, not the bad. There may be some truth in this, but that’s not the point.

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