I am an antitheist. I do not believe that there is a god. The more I look at things the more convinced I am that there definitely is not. As an antitheist I believe all that religion and superstition in all its many guises has done more harm to human beings and the planet than good. I do think that there are good things that have come out of religion but they are greatly outweighed by the bad. Over the centuries the torture, stonings, burnings, inquisitions, beheadings, crusades, pogroms, witch-hunts, indoctrination, jihads, wars, holocausts and huge wastes of time and energy devoted to pointless rituals, prayers, fasts, and devotions have clearly spelt out to me that religion is man-made and has held us back from dealing with the problems we face.
As an environmentalist I am appalled by the mindless stupidity of religion in exhorting people to multiply. The seven billion people on this planet are destroying it. We need to reduce our numbers drastically to stand a chance of both surviving as a species and preserving wild-life and wilderness. I particularly would point the finger at Catholicism and islam as the worst offenders.
I have an extremely negative view of Islam. I have thought long and hard about this because I am concerned that my own jaundiced views are not just the result of a negative climate created by the media. So I have applied logic to the case. I would welcome views of Muslims to correct me on these points. These are my objections to Islam:
a. It is an extremely intolerant religion. The forcing of people of other faiths to adopt Islam is an infringement of human rights. I see examples all around the world. Apostasy is threatened with death.
b. It indoctrinates young children with brainwashing techniques in madrassas. I find the process abhorrent. It used to be the case with Christians and Jews and still is to an extent. The idea is that by instilling the dogma into young minds you have them for life. That is psychologically correct. Indoctrination is abominable.
c. It is misogynistic. This is true of all the Abrahamic religions. They stem from a patriarchal Arabic culture. Women are second class citizens, subjugated and subservient. They have an imposed dress code that is draconian, are disenfranchised, segregated, subservient and deprived on rights.
d. It is bigoted. It believes that it alone has the word of god. It is written in the Koran. It has to be obeyed. It has to be imposed on every human being on the planet. We have seen (and still do see) this same evangelical zeal in Christianity with its missionaries and wish to impose itself on other cultures. Islam appears to be the worst example at this present time.
e. It is violent and barbaric. Islam supposedly means peace yet we see the most violent and inhuman practices being carried out in the name of Islam. Seemingly there are sections of Islamic thought that believe it is OK to fly airplanes of innocent people into buildings, to behead aid-workers who are trying to help, to stone to death women for the crime of allowing themselves to be forcibly raped by their relatives, and to use suicide bombers to blow up innocent civilians in mosques, planes, trains, buses and underground. They seem to reserve their worst crimes for their own kind. The senseless war between Shia and Sunni seems to have surpassed anything seen between Catholics and Protestants in its ferocity and callousness. The killing of innocent people with electric drills is too obnoxious to contemplate.
f. It is stultifying. Islam seemingly wishes to freeze time in the era of the prophet. The region, which was the seat of civilisation – giving rise to maths, science and agriculture – is no longer a place for creativity and progressive thought. People are still wearing mediaeval costume and behaving as if it was over a thousand years ago. The culture has been castrated and all new thinking is stifled.
I could go on. I can see that the stupid policies of America and Britain in the Middle East have only served to exacerbate and inflame the situation. But two wrongs do not make a right. I am opposed to a lot of the capitalist philosophy of the West which has created a lot of the difficulties in the world. Islam appears much worse to me than capitalism.
I believe in freedom, tolerance, justice, peace, respect, fairness and love. I do not see either Islam or Capitalism espousing those values.
I believe we have to build a new zeitgeist based on that philosophy of love and freedom. We have to respect each other and save the planet from destruction.
My views are laid out in my books:
I’d like to hear your views. Particularly anyone who is Muslim who would like to explain where I am going wrong.