Anti-theism vs science

by | September 12, 2014

Whose side are you on?
Antitheist or science?

It might be an unfair question, but if you had to choose?

The findings of the Flinders University study are supported by the research conducted at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, which was partly funded by the Defense Department’s Threat Reduction Agency. The authors, Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman, examined more than 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to present. Their research reveals that more than 90 percent of suicide attacks are directed at an occupying force. Of the 524 suicide terrorists carried out in the past 30 years, more than half of the attackers were secular. Let that rock your worldview.

I’m not an anti-theist of course. So I’m going with science.

Fact is, political reality often trumps just about everything else, even religion. Most people don’t want to be revolutionaries or even activists, what they want is to live their lives, but when your children get murdered in the streets or are dying of hunger…. often desperation is followed closely by a need for revenge.

It is a common human failing.

2 thoughts on “Anti-theism vs science

  1. Diana MacPherson

    That seems to me a false choice. I’m an anti-theist in that religion is often pernicious and false thinking leads to bad ideas which leads to bad outcomes. This doesn’t mean that I’m against people believing in whatever they want, I just think religion is ultimately harmful.

    Of course I think science is important. It’s the best way we have to determine if something is true.

  2. Jim Royal

    I find the linked article a bit disingenuous. The “new atheist” argument about religion and violence is not that religion is the root cause of violence, as CJ Werleman seems to believe, but rather that religion is a major contributing cause to the intractable nature of so many conflicts.

    And more specifically, the point of the “new atheists” is to run counter to people such as Chris Hedges and Glen Greenwald who ignore the religious component of these conflicts altogether, instead insisting that they are entirely political.

    “To pretend [American] occupation of the Middle East (44 U.S. military bases and an aircraft carrier group permanently parked in the region) isn’t the root cause of Arab-Muslim motivated terrorism is not only to ignore the founding charter of al-Qaeda, but also the terrorists who actually carry out the deeds.”

    Yet most Islamic terrorism is only incidentally aimed at the USA. The goal of these violent groups is to reform the Muslim world, not the west. The path from Sayyid Qutb to the Muslim Brotherhood to Islamic Jihad to Al Qaeda to ISIS/ISIL/IS is paved with the frustration of Islamists who have failed repeatedly to convince their own people to revert to “traditional” Islam. They tried words, then coercion, then violence, then assassination, and then terrorism in an escalation that simply failed to convince most other muslims that they were right. By the end of the 90s, these people had killed so many, and yet had failed to convince most others of their rightness. The attacks of 9/11 were in large part a way for the Islamists to demonstrate that they were still relevant. And thanks to the US overreaction, they succeeded.

    To turn the tables on the author of the piece, how can one look at the situation in Iraq and Syria and think that this is an attack on the USA or a response to US actions? That seems narcissistic, and a projection of his own politics onto others.


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