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You ought to take a page from Sasha Volokh's recent post at www.volokh.com where, as an exercise, he presents the case for liberalism (i.e. our American democrat socialism). Why don't you try to present a case for the rights of atheists and agnostics in our religious society?

Though famous atheists like Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot have tortured and killed millions in this century, they did not do so in the name of atheism and there is no atheist manifesto that I know of that promotes torturing religious people. Humanists, one kind of atheist, refudiate such behavior, of course.

But in this century, in the name of religion, the world has endured untold misery, mostly at the hands of Muslims. I don't know about you, but I find that genocide, honor killings, subjugation and enslavement of women, killing of apostates and atheists wherever found and other disgusting acts derive directly from teachings in the Koran. While the Bible OT also countenanced such abominations, they mostly died out with the RC Grand Inquisition, except for the continuing enslavement, maltreatment and conversion of native Latin Americans (as in Brazil).

You may not think it important that atheists have no representation in chaplaincies, Congress, White House or the Supreme Court, that we still endure blue laws and crucifixes hanging in our hospital rooms, that we are forced to tolerate god on our coins and pledges, and that we are presented exclusively with judges, prosecutors, juries and even defense attorneys that have compromised any possibility of justice by affirming belief in a Supreme Being.

Wars of liberation of slaves and women have been fought over less onerous persecutions than these, and if you want a war over my right to be free of your religion, I will join it! You will find that I am no Luther, Bruno, Hus, or Wykliffe whom you can threaten and burn without repercussions. I will take thousands of you oppressive religion practitioners with me, as did Sampson.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Let me know when a religion is formed as a result of a play.

When I think of "torment" in the 2oth and 21st centuries, religion does not quickly come to mind, although the Belgian Congo, World Wars I and II (including aerial bombing of civilians...), the Holocaust, fascism, Stalinist gulags, the Great Chinese Famine (1958-191), aerial bombing of civilians in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam, genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, Bosnia...; persistent poverty, hunger and starvation, etc., etc.

There's "dirty hands" everywhere, and not only or mainly among religious folks.

Please have the last word.


It's play all right. But the problem is that folks form entire religions out of fictional works like the Bible, Book of Mormon, L. Ron Hubbard's and Heinlein's, then go on to torment us for ages.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Incidentally, should you be interested in my general views on science, a taste of same is found here: http://ratiojuris.blogspot.com/2009/08/science-technology-basic-bibliography.html

Patrick S. O'Donnell

It's a play, you might want to read it in that light....


There's some nonsense here.

First of all, there are lots of us out here who are anti-natalist, have chosen not to breed ourselves and who gladly contemplate the termination of the human race (as do Christians, by the way). I just hope not to be condemned to spend eternity with Baptists or listening to Hail Marys.

The millions of other species on earth would rejoice, and these characters, if they were real scientists, would understand. Furthermore, a fantastic new scientific discovery in no way would lead to an "overthrow of all scientific knowledge" any more than Newton was overthrown by Einstein.

Steven Shiffrin

Wonderful. Thanks Patrick.

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