Wednesday, October 22, 2008

George Carlin on Religion - Classic

by Nico Rahm

George Carlin
May 12 1937 - June 22 2008

George was one of the all time best comedians ever, not so much for his comedic sense, which was great, but for his rationalistic point of view.

If you have to watch only one of Carlin's acts it has to be the one in which he summarizes his view of religion. Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Muslims Spread Koran Through Violence Not Video Games

by Nico Rahm

In what can be viewed as yet one more example of the ridiculousness of religious institutions, a video game's release was delayed by its distributor over concerns by Muslims that one of the game's background music tracks contains verses from the Koran.

LittleBigPlanet, a game where players can create a character and its environment was pegged to be Sony Playstation's biggest release to date. However, Muslim groups voiced their concerns over a particular track by Mali-born singer Toumani Diabate, in which Koranic verses are sang. Islam condemns the use of holy verses from the Koran in conjunction with any form of entertainment or leisurely activity. Sony had to spend millions in rewriting the game in addition to the millions it had lost by delaying the launch.

Shouldn't Muslims actually fight to include Koranic verses in family friendly games and entertainment if they want their faith to spread around the world? I would think they should! This was their opportunity to spread the word of Allah to millions of children all around the world in a legal and subtle manner. Instead, Muslims choose to spread their faith through violence.

One is inclined to think that either religion in general (or Islam in particular) has yet again proven its intrinsic lack of common sense, or that religious institutions are only interested in securing their slice of the financial pie through fear and madness.

Muslims missed yet another chance to spread their word to the world without inciting fear.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is the USA the Next USSR?

by Nico Raj Rahm

While the whole world deals with the massive decline of the financial system I can't help but blame the US. Call me unpatriotic if you must, but given the fact that the greedy investments into risky mortgages by everyone on earth was initiated by, who else, Wall Street, I'm not off base to suggest that the U.S. has really put itself in a bad position.

The U.S. was already fighting a long winded and expensive war in Iraq before this financial crisis started. Its international reputation and respect were already faltering. So if tremendous debt, and sinking worldly relations were not enough, the polarized state of the American populace has me really worried.

I don't think there ever was a time in recent decades that this country has been so devided on everyday issues, and usually based on nothing else but personal religious beliefs, whether they were conservative fundamentalist christians or liberal atheists. An American has to only cross some state lines to feel that he or she has just visited a completely different country. Political trenches are being drawn like no other time before, state by state, and county by county, all the way to cities and districts. It has become difficult to disagree with someone on political issues without declaring social war!

All this scares me, especially when considering the fate of the former USSR only a couple of decades ago. At that time, the USSR was stuck fighting a long and expensive war in Afghanistan. Its member states were polarized politically. Financial constraints were expansive. Doesn't that sound so much like today's USA?

It's easy to imagine how the U.S. could very well be on its way to a simlar fate as the former USSR. Imagine Florida, New York and California as separate nations, or Alaska as part of Canada!

While I don't think it is likely that the USA will break apart any time soon, but with the current problems, and the imminent rise of China and India as global powers, this is not the time for Americans to fight among themselves if they want their country stay in one piece.

Or is it too late?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bill Maher is an Atheist, Whether He Knows It or Not!

by Nico Raj Rahm

I was watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other night, and to my delight Bill Maher was the guest. Bill was there to promote his new movie Religulous opening this weekend, which I'm really excited to go see.

Bill Maher interview pt.1
Bill Maher interview pt.2

During the interview Bill declared to Jon that he was not an atheist. Bill explained that atheism is an extreme view; the polar opposite of religious extremism. For someone to be an atheist, Bill suggested, they would have to believe firmly in the non-existence of a creator. His personal stance is that he is not one hundred percent sure that a god does not exist. I believe that Richard Dawkins also made a simlar claim if I'm not mistaken.

While I respect Bill's point of view, I do not agree with it. I believe in the non-existence of a creator as much as I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow. Now, having this belief, can I declare that "the sun will rise tomorrow", or is it more correct to make that claim with an attached disclaimer such as, "the sun will rise tomorrow, according to historical evidence".

If it is within reason to claim that the sun will rise tomorrow minus the added disclaimer, then it also follows that I can make the claim that a creator, or God, does not exist, which by default means that I am an atheist.

Bill Maher is an atheist, whether he knows it or not!