In case anyone wants the sources as I couldn’t comment on the Livestream chat at the time, I think its because I didn’t have a log-in but I can’t be sure. Here are the Sources:
This fairly short book has struck me with how John Stuart Mill absurdly contradicts himself every step of the way. Perhaps that sounds harsh, but I honestly expected more than what the contents provided given how lauded this philosophy is and how celebrated John Stuart Mill is in history. This work was suppose to be his main philosophical driving force for many of his progressive ideas, but at every point there is a contradiction that makes it more vacuous than it seems at first glance. I fear that such a charge will be given the worthless accusation of hypocrisy because I suggest Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy is open-ended and adaptable, so why should John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarian philosophy not be seen as malleable? The difference lies within the respective aims; Friedrich Nietzsche dedicated himself to preemptively ending nihilism in the West which has become part of Existential Philosophy while John Stuart Mill aimed to provide a philosophy for communities and a perfected form of a social system. As such, I assess his philosophy by different criteria and I find no issue by judging each by different standards when their aims are not the same.
My first criticism is that John Stuart Mill deliberately conflates utility and happiness; those aims aren’t always the same. They surely overlap a great deal, but they aren’t the same and pretending they are can lead to negative drawbacks. This issue broadens throughout the book since Mill seeks to apply the principle of happiness to everything from the social order, to justice, to wealth disparity, and even to the concept of self-sacrifice. I fear that he broadens it to the point where selfish aims like rich people gaining more than the rest can be qualified as part of Utilitarianism while paradoxically social systems like Communism and Socialism which are about a more equal distribution of wealth can also be called Utilitarianism. He doesn’t answer the question of how Utilitarianism can work with economics except to argue that ether position is meant for maximizing the happiness of all people. He insists that an ideal society is one where people only seek to further the happiness of others without any personal regard for themselves and to the objection of selfish or hostile people existing for their own narrow-minded aims, he argues that it can be enforced through the influence of inducements. Inducements seem to be his suggested enforcement method and these inducements include public opinion of individuals as a censure of their harmful actions to the community in order to impose the community’s collective will upon all individuals within it. Unfortunately, for people who support John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarian philosophy, I think this shows the limits of Western Philosophy where modern psychological studies (not necessarily the hard sciences) have absolutely shattered antiquated notions about the rational model of human beings and the expectations therein. Inducements are secondary and don’t work to motivate people towards a philosophical outlook like John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarian philosophy; what is crucial, according to modern psychology, in understanding how to motivate people is their self-conceptions on what their group orientation is (their social identity) and more importantly, their intrinsic desires. Their intrinsic motivation is of paramount importance to their happiness so if they don’t desire to strictly help others and don’t agree with helping other people as being beneficial for their happiness despite the benefits that it affords other people, then we have a clear discord in the conflation of happiness with utility.
J.S. Mill argues there is a qualitative element to judging experiences for the community. The quality of experience arguments struck me as peculiar. John Stuart Mill argues that people who have experience with a subject matter should give their opinions on that subject matter for whether it is positive or negative for the community as a whole. Essentially, the majority view on any specific experience should be directed by the community in determining whether the quality of an experience is worthwhile for everyone. J.S. Mill insists on going by whatever the majority of people say is for the best for this determination, but he doesn’t seem to acknowledge the obvious problems. What if the people who experienced a particular event like a film or eating a particular food were evenly split on adapting it into the community or throwing it out? There couldn’t be a reliance on the will of the majority should such situations occur and it shows the failings of this idea despite how often we may rely on reviews before making an decision in the information age. A more devastating issue, part of the many self-contradictions of this philosophy, arises when John Stuart Mill first claims the majority view shouldn’t be imposed to destroy personal liberties of individuals, but then he argues that people should vote on whether to discard people’s personal liberties should the will of the majority find it fitting to do so. This opens societies up to vigilante justice and mob violence being a go-to method to enforce societal rules as a consequence. John Stuart Mill never tackles mob violence or the mob mentality in any of his assessments on happiness being the founding principle. At best, all he says is that we should pursue pleasures (he distinguishes intellectual pleasures as higher and more worthy than the “animal” pleasures of physical intimacy) and decrease to the best of our ability what causes pain. The quality argument creates problems with this since quality is assessed as what the majority opinion is, therefore the pros and cons are decided by a popularity contest. Why should this be problematic? Well, let me give a hypothetical, consider if a community decided shooting heroin was good for all people because of the quality of happiness despite the horrible health effects, the health risks and early deaths weren’t as important to the community as the feeling of happiness experienced by doing heroin, and the majority view didn’t budge from this issue despite the horrific social consequences. According to John Stuart Mill’s philosophy, this isn’t wrong so long as the majority agree that the feeling of elation from heroin is much greater to the happiness of the community than the negative health effects. Consider the real world example of Jim Jones’s leading his flock to mass suicide in Jonestown, the justification being conspiracy theories about the US government intelligence agencies including beliefs that the US would torture their children upon capture, the strong faith in Jesus Christ as their forgiving Lord and Savior, and the belief the world was too inhumane to continue living in. If we apply Utilitarianism to the Jim Jones mass suicide, then nothing they did was morally wrong under the maximizing happiness principle since they believed that they would go to heaven due to their unyielding faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior which would be the highest happiness attainable for any Christian. Even excluding the Christian element, all that is required under John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarian philosophy is the majority agreeing that the quality of happiness in committing suicide is greater than the negative drawbacks of continuing to live. John Stuart Mill explains that personal liberties should be removed in favor of the majority opinion which further reinforces that what happened in Jonestown is indeed permissible under his form of Utilitarianism.
In my own personal opinion, I think that perhaps the worst failing of Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill is that at no point is the truth a factor in his assessment of maximizing happiness. Utilitarianism is far removed from the supposedly cold logical stereotype that it is given because the truth of a belief as any sort of qualitative value is never brought up by John Stuart Mill in his book. The assessment is focused narrowly on how happy a belief or experience makes a person and what the consensus of such a belief is. I had initially thought that perhaps the shared experiences among the majority of people who had taken part in a particular subject matter was somehow related to following the truthfulness of a claim or expertise, but I realized it was not so upon reading further since it is based upon majority sentiments instead of facts. The veracity of a claim or an experience is never once considered in the book. As already established, this leads to far too many dangerous and counterproductive consequences. Truth itself is valuable for its own sake and understanding fact from fiction is incredibly beneficial in preventing harmful behavior and horrifying tragedies like Jonestown; where the horrifying consequences of the doubtless flock of people with their faith in Jesus Christ ran amok and caused a mass suicide in which the Christian faithful believed they would go to an eternal paradise in heaven to be with Jesus. Obviously, John Stuart Mill couldn’t possibly have accounted for such scenarios, but the existence of such scenarios when applied to Utilitarian philosophy bears merit in questioning the very matter of the utility claim. If it can’t prove useful against such modern objections, then has the Utilitarian philosophy aged well and can it truly benefit modern times or have we already bore witness to its limitations due to the incompatibility with modern situations? Of course, an objection could be raised here that no philosophy can truly do that, Jonestown itself is an extreme example, and the point of progress is to add onto existing ideological structures, but J.S. Mill himself tried to depict this as the perfect philosophy, so I think these criticisms of mine are food for thought that people should explore and ponder. Jonestown might be an extreme example, but it happened and if Utilitarianism can’t tell us that it is wrong, then is it really useful as it claims to be? It is my belief that no system can truly benefit humanity without a rational outlook based upon fact-finding research.
Not all of this is purely negative regarding the contents of the book, John Stuart Mill excels at criticism of other philosophies and viewpoints just like in his mostly excellent work of Three Essays on Religion. In his book Utilitarianism, he makes an argument about justice that I agree with insofar as he recognizes that all the pleasantries and social enforcement are but a means of revenge to enforce societal consequences upon an individual who has violated the society’s norms and ethics and uses the example of the crime of murder. Insofar as he doesn’t try to add his own paradoxical view of the principles of Happiness and Utility as being the core of Justice, I can largely agree with his summation. His argument against a Hobbesian outlook where he points out that narrow-minded interests would be paramount because absolute power is easily lost against whatever destroys the one holding the reins of power at the very next instance of social upheaval is a solid argument. It gets directly to the point of the failings of a Hobbesian outlook. However, I was most intrigued by his arguments against the social contract; I hadn’t expected this one at all and I was truly blindsided because I had believed that Utilitarianism was built upon the premise of the Social Contract. To my astonishment, John Stuart Mill completely repudiates it; he seems to present Utilitarianism as an alternative and not an additional support structure as I had assumed. John Stuart Mill maintains that the Social Contract is an argument of pure fiction. At no point did anyone who was birthed into a society that maintains the social contract ever actually agree to anything that the social contract claims, J.S. Mill argues that there was never a point where we joined together as a whole society to agree to the Social Contract so it can’t be considered legitimate because nobody consented to it. Furthermore, this fiction of the Social Contract is simply maintained because people grew up with it and were taught it from their adult figures and parents, but that isn’t the same as consenting to it and instead it is accepted after the fact that it is taught. J.S. Mill argues that the Social Contract as a form of “justice” was imposed upon people by creating make-believe consent by court systems to punish perpetrators for crimes in court trials in order to pretend that the criminals somehow agreed with the rule of law despite never once being asked for their consent in actuality.
To conclude, despite my misgivings, I did enjoy the book and I’m glad he wasn’t going on a random racist tangent against all Asian people like in Three Essays on Religion. I enjoyed Three Essays more despite that major failing because J.S. Mill seems to excel when making criticisms of other philosophical or theological arguments. He definitely had a sharp wit and I do enjoy reading him despite this book being so excessive in verbiage, sometimes I had to re-read sentences because he would go on lengthy run-on sentences about an array of topics before getting to the point. Nevertheless, Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill is a very short read of only five chapters and two of which are barely a few pages in length. I can’t agree with his philosophy after reading his explanations and justifications though. I think I’ve made it sufficiently clear as to why that is. Utilitarianism can’t possibly function as intended because it bases itself on mob mentality and not the validity of the arguments made. Oddly enough, the cold logical calculus as a stereotype for this philosophy is entirely unjustified because at no point is fact-based information ever a factor at all. I think that was the strangest revelation for me when reading J.S. Mill’s book as there is nothing preventing mob violence or mob rule so long as the majority believe violating personal freedoms maximizes happiness. J.S. Mill was certainly an intelligent person, but I think that the obvious drawbacks of his book is the paradoxical arguments, the generalization of any action (including martyrdom) as a form of maximizing happiness, and the lack of safeguards for personal freedom of individuals. I would personally rate this book as a 3 out of 5, but I would recommend, especially given how quickly this book can be read, that people read it on their own and draw their own conclusions.
As for what the Catholic Church is doing to fight this? Why making child rape a lesser offense, of course!
I’ll start with more lax critiques before going into major ones regarding history:
Are contemporary Christian conversions working in India? It seems to be decreasing everywhere except China and South Africa, but perhaps all isn’t what it seems? Christianity’s only claim to power is in privileged resources; do people not recognize how self-refuting that is? Christianity’s entire theology is framed as anti-materialist and includes warning people of being part of it, but then gives people material wealth to convert. When Christianity isn’t being materialistic, it’s being insane. Look at the horrors fostered by the so-called “saint” Mother Teresa. When Christianity isn’t doing any of that, it’s seeking to teach contempt over “heathen” Hindus and spread the psychotic Islamic-Christian violence of the West and the Middle East into India.
Christian missionaries first encounter with India and mission to spread the faith of Jesus Christ began with .
The first Catholic organization that took hold from Portugal spent 250 years forcibly amputating Hindu men in front of their families, burning alive Hindu men in their churches for sport, and destroying Hindu temples as idol worship as .
. The exposure of these crimes was met with the
and allowed a massive disease in World War 1 to kill another 40 million culminating in a death toll of 70 million as a result of Anglican Christianity.
Oh, and also, Christianity has no basis in reality and will only lead you to be unhappy and unfulfilled with self-loathing in life:
Don’t pretend Child Rape cases don’t have lifelong impacts. After the Catholic Church was exposed having rape rings where thousands of young boys were repeatedly raped by pedophile priests protected by the Catholic Church decades ago, the devastation is still felt to this day. Men committing suicide at high rates, men suffering from drug abuse to keep their night terrors at bay 20 – 40 years onward (imagine living with nightmares for all your life based on trusted adults raping you), and all the while your money is being given to Churches that don’t care about keeping your children safe from pedophiles they’re purposefully bringing into your communities, hiding the fact they’re raping your kids, and then sending them away so they don’t face any trials or jail time for raping kids. Only after your country pressuring the Church are they brought back to face jail time after a trial for their crimes. And after all that’s done, they refuse to make amends and don’t help as the men around you are killing themselves unable to deal with the trauma of being raped as children.
Is that what Indian communities want for either their men or women? Do you think this stuff doesn’t spread around in India too? Do you think people aren’t going to warn their families in alarm at what these Christian Churches do to children?
Don’t take my word for it, here’s a wife of one of the victims in Australia crying as she recounts seeing family members and friends kill themselves, become drug users, and are unable to sleep with horrible night terrors they suffer for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile the Catholic Church refuses to expend any money to help them; money they got from these people’s lifelong faith in Jesus Christ. That’s what the teachings of Jesus Christ really amount to; children being sent to be taught fairy tales that aren’t real and the ramifications are child rape victims.
Please note: From now on, I’ll be more public with my physical appearance and real name in my blog. The reasons for the pseudonym has largely exhausted itself. I had feared it being misused because the email I put on this blog was used to make materially false statements to a corporate bank about 2 years prior so I felt wary of the prospect.
“Mankind are always predisposed to believe that any subjective feeling, not otherwise accounted for, is a revelation of some objective reality.” – John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism on page 44.
I had intended to write this several days ago and I cogitated over it for a long time because I was unsure of how to articulate my growing dismay and increasing disappointment with Western Ex-Muslim internet personalities. I’m unsure of where to begin or end this blog post and I worry I’ll just be regurgitating many of the same criticisms I gave out previously, but I think it is best that my changing views be made clear and explaining the reasons why is important as I want to make sure that I’m not being callous about this issue. I want to be as impartial in this assessment I’ll be giving as possible, but I am a fallible human being so if my arguments and reasoning seem foolish then I suppose I’m showing my limits with this blog post. I derive no schadenfreude from these blog posts criticizing them; it is my intention for this to be the final one about Western Ex-Muslim personalities, perhaps of Western Ex-Muslim movements and atheist movements in general, and yet another strong personal belief falls to be open to new ideas as Annie Duke’s Thinking in Bets, Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy, and several schools of thought in Sanatana Dharma recommends for all those who seek truth.
I’d first like to reiterate my lamentations, which I mentioned previously in prior blog posts: my main disappointment comes from the complete lack of dialogue when many of these Western Ex-Muslim personalities argued either on their Normalizing Dissent panels in various colleges or in their Youtube videos that they’re open to changing their mind because they know that they can be wrong. There’s been no meaningful dialogue or openness; I initially felt that this was understandable when I considered that many of them have tens of thousands of followers and obviously cannot get to each tweet by them. However, after seven months with no response to my criticisms which I shared on their Facebook page, their various Twitter pages, or via email; I came to recognize that they weren’t listening. I was essentially talking to a wall while they continued to espouse the same views without listening to any criticisms that I gave them. Important political criticisms such as the Indian National Congress party supporting Sharia courts which could get Ex-Muslims of India killed weren’t being listened to. With respect to Ex-Muslims of North America, I know they’re aware because I had discussed it with one of their people via phone personally and made sure they looked into the email I sent where I linked the news article. Despite all of that, they have continued to retweet news supporting the Indian National Congress party and uncritically defend them. Comparatively, I had the privilege of getting into arguments on Twitter with Ridvan Aydemir (the Apostate Prophet) on our disagreements about Christianity and Western philosophers, he had more followers than many of these other Ex-Muslims at the time and yet, he could always spare time to criticize my arguments, he didn’t block me when I criticized back as I feared (while other Western Ex-Muslim Atheists simply ignore what I say), and I never felt ignored when commenting on his tweets. When he was temporarily banned from Twitter, I made sure to support and tweet his video, even pinning it onto my Twitter profile in defiance of Twitter’s actions against him until he was restored approximately a month later. I informed him that he was an inspiration for all and I still see him making time to talk to people and being willing to accept criticism from others on Twitter. This is contrary to the actions of most of the other Western Ex-Muslim personalities more affiliated with Ex-Muslims of North America and Anti-Theism which Ridvan Aydemir sees himself as separate from. Thus, throughout it all, I had a consistent example of someone open to criticism and changing their views in response to their followers arguments and he can be obstinate in some of his views just as I am, but he’s willing to listen and discuss when he has the time. When he’s going away on vacation and explaining health complications, I obviously understand and respect this wonderful person’s privacy, as I’m sure most of his fanbase does. If he had issue with something I said, he’d criticize. If other Western Ex-Muslims ever had issues with my approach or disagreed with something I said, in most cases I had no way of knowing because there was no dialogue whatsoever so how can I change my views and how do I know that what I say has any value without dialogue? Most of the other Ex-Muslims of the West largely just give unintermittent uncertainty due to this issue.
Second, I want to make it absolutely clear that this is not an attempt to vilify the important contributions of organizations like Secular Jihadists (run by Ali A. Rizvi and Armin Navabi), Ex-Muslims of North America (co-founded by Sarah Haider and Muhammad Syed), Faithless Hijabi (founded by Zara Kay), Faith to Faithless (run by Imtiaz Shams), and many others like their organizations which seek to stymie violence against Ex-Muslims, deal with violence against Muslims, address domestic violence against Muslim women in the Islamic communities within the West, talk about Ex-Muslim issues to help fellow Ex-Muslims, bring more interesting content to Ex-Muslim audiences across the globe, and so much more. I’m fairly certain that my social media complaints on their public relations should count on the bottom of the importance in rank of what they work on a daily basis regarding Muslim community issues and Ex-Muslim human rights. Many of the people they’re helping are hesitant to be public, so if you care about human rights and the issues that these non-profit groups are working to mitigate then I think it is plainly obvious that they deserve support and assistance to work on these domestic efforts. Not being perfect by arbitrary whims of their fanbase such as people like me is probably just as much a ridiculous standard of expectations on my part and I must put blame on my own personal drawbacks too. I am sure that, whatever I say, it should rank at the bottom of the barrel in rank of importance when they’re working hard to decrease world suck for Muslims and Ex-Muslims. Insofar as anyone concerns themselves with the human rights of Ex-Muslims and Muslims alike, you don’t need to have any parasocial relationships to appreciate their best efforts and aid them in pursuing the mutual political interest of either adjusting Islam to Western standards or getting rid of it entirely as such efforts benefit all of us. Essentially, we should be willing to support them based upon their efforts and not upon whether we personally like them as such a standard helps us all work together better for shared goals of what we want the outcomes of our actions upon the world to be. In short, we must work together to prioritize reforming, casting doubt, or destroying Islam through intellectual rigor and Free Speech for the benefit of all people.
I’ve written about how Faith in Doubt was a 4-year project and about why you shouldn’t be daunted by the page count, so I’d like to go into more details for people who might still be on the fence despite such assurances and explain briefly what each section has to offer so I wanted to explain in more details what each section contains for both Part I and Part II.
The book itself is actually 1034 pages with the approximately 1000 other pages being copious citations. I made sure to read and re-read several chapters of the many books that I cited for my research to make sure that I gave the most accurate information to make sure it is applied correctly. That can still be daunting, which is why I made split editions. Part I is 269 pages in total with approximately 12 pages of citations for the Preface and first 5 chapters. Part I is about the general issues of how religion is applied to everyday life such as the belief that personal luck is due to a God’s intervention or a critique of the usage of prayer. Part I applies psychological research from books such as Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman for cognitive psychology aspects, Influence: Science and Practice by Robert A. Cialdini for social interactions regarding some religious behavior, and the social theory of Alexa Ispas’s Politics and Identity: A Social Identity Perspective to apply to in-group/out-group social dynamics of religion. For certain chapters within Part I, I apply Friedrich Nietzsche’s criticisms and perspective such as the chapter on belief in the afterlife and making my own commentary on the research of the mentality of suicide bombers that are cited. I’ve read all of Nietzsche’s main works and apply aphorisms from different books throughout both Part I and Part II to give a different philosophical perspective on religion. For instance, one of Nietzsche’s thorough critiques was that the concept of the afterlife being the purpose of this life was a worship of death over life as a form of meaning. Nietzsche argued ancient people couldn’t find other more healthy purposes for their existence because of all the suffering and confusion that they went through so a hatred of life and worship of death became their meaning, which is what most present-day religions are based upon. I use this perspective in concomitant with the psychological research and analytical philosophy whenever applicable in order to make the most thorough refutation of common religious beliefs and practices that most theists participate in, within the US and across the world.
Part II is broken into separate sections beginning with Original Sin. Original Sin is often vaguely thought of or defined by most Christians and Jews in modern times. Sinfulness’s applicability to Islam is dependent on an Imam’s perspective on how it relates to Islam’s purity theology. As such, I thought it necessary to share my own perspective on the term and Nietzsche’s sharp criticisms of the concept. Sinfulness is interpreted and analyzed as a hatred of human existence and I apply Carol Dweck and Heidi Grant Halvorson’s psychological research on beliefs in rigidity and fixed personality traits to sinfulness because it really does seem to apply accurately. Most people probably wouldn’t make the connection but the very vague idea of Original Sin is ingrained to people through indoctrination. The next chapter focuses on research related to the problem of Free Will likely having been debunked by modern science and the concept of Sin’s failure to measure-up to what we see as a nonsensical view of Free Will. For instance, I cite Beau Lotto’s Deviate to point out that the mind is a statistical distribution where too often you need to unlearn untrue beliefs before you can learn true ones and how much of your beliefs are pre-determined by the quality of your education, the language you speak, and too often how other people treat your ethnic background or religious background. I don’t mean specifically Western countries in this context, but rather apply it to countries like Lebanon where such backgrounds really determine your quality of life because the society is split so heavily on religious grounds. Lastly, I point out how even the defense of Free Will by neuroscientists effectively debunk the vague concept of Sinfulness because the application of the term is the reverse of what people expect. For instance, people who can fight off addictions would have more Free Will than those who are addicted to drugs and can’t fight them off and therefore the very concept as it is believed by most Abrahamic theists doesn’t work with real life circumstances of human experience. It would therefore be a useless fantasy and not an important moral teaching. I cover how the use of human violence to justify the concept sin falls into unjustifiable cognitive illusions where we as people put too much stock in negative events without comparing positive events.
The section on Abrahamic religions in Part II is a different approach for each of them. For Judaism, I cite the archaeological evidence debunking the Bible such as the lack of evidence that Moses was anything more than a fictional character. The lack of evidence of Israelites ever having been slaves, how their true origins are a breakaway group of Canaanites that had a cultural revolution to name themselves the Israelites, and takeover another agrarian plot of land separate from their erstwhile group. I cite news articles about how these myths negatively impact the contemporary rights of Jewish women and the LGBT within Israel. I further argue Nietzsche’s own critique where he pointed out that Judaism’s main problem is that it looks for an infallible cult leader referred to as the “Messiah” and how such a theological concept will always create harsh divisions where some Jewish folk will argue the new converts have been deceived by an imposter away from the Abrahamic God, while the new converts to the infallible cult leader’s faith will see their erstwhile community as having been deceived away from the Abrahamic God. Does that sound ridiculous? That’s the entire legacy of Christianity and arguably Islam. Which brings me to the sections on Christianity and Islam in Part II. With Christianity, I cover how the entire religion is a thorough self-contradiction that splinters off into thousands of smaller sects because of every aspect of the religion is based on self-contradictory beliefs. From the Sermon on the Mount’s self-contradictions, to the differences in interpretations by Christian soldiers and Christian pacifists, and to Jesus’s own claims on fulfilling or abolishing the Mosiac law depending upon what denomination of Christianity that you’re part of. If you probe more deeply into the theology, the self-contradictions of Christianity worsen to the point that people have to use open interpretation because the Bible at face value loses any coherence with reality. Christianity is Monotheistic yet follows the Pagan practice of 3 Gods in One (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are copies of ancient Mother Goddess and Father-God polytheism likely stolen from Roman mythology), Jesus is meek and mild while raving like a narcissist about being God and the Son of God, Heaven is a free gift but if you don’t accept Jesus then you go to hell forever, and doing sinful acts like murder or rape are morally bad but Jesus will forgive you regardless of how much you harm other people. In effect, Christianity is a bucket of self-contradictions that actually doesn’t have any moral values to teach people and I make my case more thoroughly in my book. By comparison, Islam is the dumbest religion of the major religious faiths. The entire project is a anti-intellectual cult where the Prophet Mohammad is celebrated as the perfect human being who can do no wrong and every Muslim must strive to be like him, so when Mohammad raped and murdered then Muslims must view that as self-defense or pure perfection beyond conventional morality that goes into an argument from ignorance. Western Muslims make excuses, while people in Muslim majority countries ignore child rape and torture because Mohammad proscribed them or because the Quran teaches such behavior as morally good for Muslims. Islam is also a purity cult, where non-belief is seen as going against the in-group purity and so Muslims are called upon to murder Ex-Muslims to protect the purity of the Ummah (Islamic nation). It’d be more correct to say that Islam is sophistry upon sophistry with its utterly nonsensical belief structure that uses its history and ascetic practices to appear deep and meaningful, when it is sheer madness made by a warlord who said whatever that he wanted off the top of his head because he made a successful cult that perceives everything that he does as infallible. It’s likely that Islamic success in war is what helped it encroach itself across multiple countries; Islam is built upon the success of human genocide and cultural genocide in tandem as it made its bloody mark upon the world. Moreover, people in ancient times believed that people fighting and dying for something must’ve meant that the religion therefore has a deeper meaning of profound truth for why their followers die for it. The success of Islam likely facilitated belief there was a deeper and underlying cause to the success and once you add cultural genocide, the worship of Mohammad as the perfect human being is completed. Islam’s internal theology is categorically against Enlightenment values of Free Speech and Free Expression; to be a Muslim, you must accept the Quran as unquestionable fact with no open interpretation like in Christianity. The Sharia isn’t a proscribed set of instructions that Muslims can pick and choose from, this is a lie taught by Western news media and it devastated my trust in Western corporate news organizations to discover that this was a blatant lie. It really broke my implicit trust in the mainstream media’s authenticity when I discovered how deeply they lie about Islam’s internal theology. The concept of Sharia in particular is somewhat like a theological pyramid that Muslims must follow; the Quran is on top which all Muslims must accept as unquestionable fact, then the Sunnah which teaches about Mohammad’s life, then the companions of Mohammad and the first followers of Islam are all explicitly used to dictate everything that a Muslim can or cannot do according to Islamic jurisprudence. Internally, Islam is taught as equivalent to science with Imams and Sheiks being words meant to designate “Islamic Scholars” — meaning the only people allowed to comment on Islam are people who accept the Quran, that Mohammad was a prophet, and the nonsensical beliefs in flying horses, pens that write on golden tablets, and talking hands and feet. Imams and Sheiks accept Islam as unquestionable fact and never contest these nonsensical beliefs. This theology of Sharia is why Muslims argue that any outsider who criticizes Islam – including Ex-Muslims – have no right to an opinion on Islam; many actually believe that this is deep and meaningful and equivalent to scientific discoveries. There’s so much more which I can’t delve into within just a blog post; a thorough critique on Islam would probably be longer than even all my longest blog posts combined as there is ample material on how insane Islam actually is. If you want to know more, and wish to separate what Islam teaches from what the Western mainstream media explicitly lies about its teachings, I’ve written it all in my book.
Note: This is Part 2 of 2 of my critique of people who I use to have more respect for. While many are accepting of my identity of Hindu Atheist/Hindu Anti-theist, there are those in the Western Atheist community who are not and there’s even worse problems on following through with their supposed beliefs and aims.
Shortly before writing this piece, I’ve found myself thrown out from yet another atheist discord server for “Islamophobia” for sharing Yasmine Mohammad’s tweets criticizing Islam. This is getting absolutely ridiculous. Some of these people identified as Anti-Theist, but refused to criticize Islam on the basis of it being “Islamophobic” to do so. Throughout my time there, discussions on criticizing Islam always devolved into accusations of personal bias on my part. I think I understand Sam Harris’s frustrations a bit better now and what he’s dealt with since 2006.
Perhaps beginning this blog post with the aforementioned paragraph seems to be in poor choice because I might be criticizing potential allies, but I really believed in the claims of prominent Western Ex-Muslims and I’ve been disappointed in the gap between the claims and the results. Now, I want to be clear that this isn’t the majority of them, but rather my favorite ones who inspired me. I’ve been assessing their activities after barely getting any meaningful response from them. I want to make it clear that I still absolutely support their activism insofar as support for human rights of people suffering from religious persecution in our contemporary time. Ex-Muslims are by far among the most thoughtful and intelligent people that I’ve met and it really is a shame that more people don’t support them or recognize their human rights. That being said, after seven months of trying to communicate and what felt like talking to a wall, I’ve become skeptical and pessimistic about their approach in their activism. Admittedly, some of it is varied; Armin Navabi and Ali A. Rizvi seem to be about promoting atheism completely, the organization Ex-Muslims of North America seems to have the same goal at least secondary to helping Ex-Muslims who have left the religion, and people like Imtiaz Shams seem more focused on reform while his organization Faith to Faithless is about supporting people who de-converted from their respective religious backgrounds. Sarah Haider recently stated on Twitter a few months back that she exclusively will focus on Ex-Muslim issues herself while being open to hearing Ex-religious stories of other backgrounds; she and non-Muslim atheist activists who escaped cult-like religions are forming a NYC conference in October 2019 to better inform people about how certain religions have cult-like behavior, and to better understand their dangers. Nevertheless, I think the approaches online, specifically on their Twitter interactions, need a re-examination.
My chief criticism are about either the inaccuracy of certain beliefs which when I challenge them on in Twitter (even bringing citations from historians via screenshot images) they never respond to them or when I challenge them on laughing off or ignoring historic abuses of the West, they never respond. It often feels like talking to a brick wall, especially when trying to communicate with the Ex-MNA Twitter account, Ali A. Rizvi, and Armin Navabi in particular. By comparison, Harris Sultan, Fay – the most Gracious, Zara Kay, Muhammad Syed, and sometimes Sarah Haider occasionally respond. However, when challenged on certain political topics that go into the realm of religion, it seems to be less often from a few of them. I want to be clear though: I’m frustrated and chose to write this because there has been no dialogue over issues they keep misconstruing and ignore my criticisms of their portrayal thereof. Over certain topics related to history or human rights, they just ignore my criticisms completely.