Once upon a time, it took a Pope or a Stalinist dictator like, um, Stalin to have scientific discourse banned by decree. Nowadays, however, it merely takes a large and influential publishing house, and the agreement of Turkey’s criminal court of peace. So it is that the website of leading UK biologist and thinker Richard Dawkins …
Need money ? Invent a religion !
Since time began there have been people who have stood up and said this is the word now please give generously and when their livelihood is threatened they will then use the sanctity of the court and its thugs to protect the revenue stream, thus keeping the flock of sheep well herded and paying.
Dickie Dawkins your wasting your time with these brainwashed sheep and con artists as no amount of good hard scientific evidence is going to convince them that Evolution is a FACT.
PS I'm starting a new religeon, Its called the curch of free love and girls between 20-30 only need apply.
Paris ? Because we are off to a Tarts and Vicars Party :)
"We are not against freedom of speech or expression but you cannot insult people."
Erm, then you ARE against freedom of speech. Duh!
To much of this argument from religious nutters of all flavours recently. You can't have the "but" clause, the "but" clause means that you are are only prepared to allow freedom of the kinds of speech that you find acceptable.
This is fine if you want to self censor because your imaginary world view is so fragile that it falls apart when exposed to reasonable criticism, but attempting to use the same argument to remove critical opinions from the public domain entirely rather neatly shows the beastly way that religion and oppression tend to go hand in hand. It's also intellectually extremely lazy, instead of engaging in a debate to defend your point, you just shout "heresy!" (or it's modern equivalent "insulting to my beliefs!") and fire up the braziers.
Thank goodness it couldn't happen here, oh hang on, shit ...
Flame, because unless we Just Say No to religious nutters, they'll be lighting fires under all our rational asses again before to long.
Ankara now worse than Anchorage
Unless Palin gets her way.
Definition: Freedom of Speech
We are not against freedom of speech or expression but you cannot insult people. We found the comments hurtful. It was not a scientific discussion. There was a line and the limit has been passed."
I've never met anyone who was *violently* opposed to me saying something they agreed with or paying them a compliment. Freedom of speech *is* the freedom to insult and hurt feelings. That's the point.
Now, having clarified that, if you don't agree with the idea then feel free to come out and say you are against freedom of speech. You won't find me calling for your imprisonment or execution, but please don't pretend that you are on my side. That's dishonesty, and no human culture has ever defended the right to be dishonest.
Insulting someone or there beliefs is not the same as inciting hatred against a person/group. Followers of islam are allowed to incite hatred against women being treated as equals, but I don't see anyone clamoring to take care of that. As long as it's in that community, then the rest of the country (includes my good ol' U.S. of A) doesn't seem to care. What needs to occur, is that the followers of islam need to be told they don't get to violate the rights of those in their community, simply because they belong to a particular faith. It shouldn't be seen as an excuse anymore. No one in England is going to arrest an iman for telling his followers it's o.k. to remove the clitoris on a girl, they can beat their wives into submission, kill their daughter because their honor was tarnished or that women should have to wear a burka, even though it falls under the same category. There should already be laws on the books covering discrimination and violent acts against people. To start making laws against speech, and by extension thought, doesn't make a lot of sense. Aside from our Bill of Rights in the states protecting free speech, we've already started down this stupid road of punishing people just because they hurt someone's feelings.
Can we ban Harumph Yada Yada Yada?
Or whatever his stupid pseudonym is, please?
Oh, it wasn't a scientific discussion... So what?! Your book is nothing more than a pathetic attempt at forcing your own, frankly, barmy ideas onto impressionable minds, and handing out a few hundred copies for free simply goes to show that. Send me a copy, I've just run out of bog roll.
I'm sick to the back teeth of reading about how creationism is a 'science'. Show me ONE piece of scientific evidence that a creator exists, and we'll discuss putting creationism (which brand?) into our schools. Until then, Adnan Oktar, feck off with your pathetic little musings on how YOUR particular religion is correct and the facts of science are not.
Have you read the synopsis on Amazon? "Living things did not come into being through the imaginary processes of evolution. All the living things that have ever existed on Earth were created by God."
PROVE IT! Why your god? Why not someone else's god? Fool.
To state that the evidence backing up the theory of evolution isn't factual, and to go against one of the most brilliant minds in evolutionary theory today (Dawkins), you have to be a complete numptee. Mr Adnan Otkar, I think your book is trash, and that you are stupid. Feel free to sue me for that. When you provide proof that evolution is false, then I'll pay you compensation, and I think the Nobel Prize board might have a gift for you. Until then, feck off.
i don't remember any threatening language in Dawkin's books.
the "religious hatred" law has been in place for decades, and was enforced countless times throughout Europe, allbeit in the guise of "anti semitism" witch hunts.
His press assistant, Seda Aral, added: "We are not against freedom of speech or expression but you cannot insult people."
Erm, yes you can! You'd have to ban 99% of the internet if you wanted to remove all the insults.
You really think that the UK *escaped* this?
If Dawkins is so smart, why does he aggravate the very people he's trying to convert?
We Atheists would do well to remember that in the world today, we are in the minority. If the major religions got their act together, they could sweep Atheism off the planet. If it really came to a cultural war, Religion would win. It has been around for much longer, it has been practicing the subtle art of indoctrination for thousands of years, and it continues to gain new converts throughout the Third World. Most people today, if they had to choose between a few technological trinkets, and a life that gave their tiny little egos a chance of "salvation" would go for the salvation.
Dawkins is an idiot.
Dawkins, the UK's leading biologist? Ten or fifteen years ago, when he was actually writing about biology, maybe, but not now. These days he is just a shouty angry reactionist who is more of a rent-a-rant for TV "science" programs and the press.
Religeous numpties at it again
Why is it in the 21st century that, supposedly an age of rational enlightment and scientific discovery, because some brain washed numpties believe in fairy tale fictions like the bible and the koran, it gives them the right to dictate to others what they should say or do.
Feels like we're slipping into a neo-dark age.
2 minute hate anyone?
whilst Dawkins has a direct approach that some find offensive to their delusion of choice it is usually backed up by some form of theory and conclusion rather than "i don't know so it must be diety/ies" .. and they want to be admitted to the EU. yeah right. I can see them signing the Human rights act...
Dogma is dogma, whatever the religion
It used to be Catholics who'd denounce, then torture you.
Our latest dogmatic, ignorant pawn is either the fanatical so-called "muslim" or the equally moronic and dangerous gun-toting, Bible-bashing neo-Con.
In short: same ol', same ol'. It's just that the number of people they affect has grown.
Missionary position required ;-)
No intelligence needed or assumed, only acquiescence.
Ban it all... burn the books, execute the infidels and ignore science.
If it floats it's a witch.
Stop right there!
Just slow down attacking on the followers of Islam. I am Turkish, and I don't believe in the non-sense evolution theory. But also, Adnan Oktar or the followers of him, or the Turkish court that banned the website doesn't represent me. I am against all bans, so most of the people in Turkey. You Tube was getting banned by the courts in Turkey, and people were crying. No more than 10-20% supported those bans. And 10-20% is a normal percentage for every country. But the judicial establishment is so old fashioned, they ban these websites not because they are religious, but because they have no idea what the internet is. And they DON'T represent the Turkish people, at all.
So, just slow down. There are atheists in Turkey, Christians, Jews, and others, and they have (almost) no problem. Some people react to them, but it is not much comparing to how people react to muslims in western countries. And, I think, that is normal too, because people react to things they don't quite know.
Lastly, evolution is a theory, has never been proven, will never be proven, because it is a stupid non-sense theory that was made up, so that who doesn't believe in God can have something to believe in.
But I find the mere existence of Noel Edmonds a personal affront. Can I have him banned?
Atheism is about as inspiring as celibacy...
...so I'm also thinking about starting a new religion. It will be based on the figure of the trickster - Bugs Bunny, Brer Rabbit, Loki, Coyote, Puck, Maui, Roger Irrelevant and Spike Milligan to name a few - and the only commandment will be not to take it seriously.
May the Farce be with you.
@Can we ban Harumph Yada Yada Yada?
Whoa, careful there! You're gonna get El Reg banned in Turkey with that language, sir!
Because we know El Reg people are true paragons of the Freedom of Speech cause and would *never* remove your comments "or else"...
"Definition: Freedom of Speech"
... no human culture has ever defended the right to be dishonest ...
But dishonesty is speech and therefore protected ! If not, Tony B. and Dubya and countless other politicians would be in jump suits.
Exactly. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Oh yes I can.
>"Seda Aral, added: "We are not against freedom of speech or expression but you cannot insult people."
Yes I can. To wit: Seda Aral and Adnan Oktar are a pair of censorious knobheads.
There. Proof by existence. QED.
"If Dawkins is so smart, why does he aggravate the very people he's trying to convert?"
Because he hates people. He hates people who disagree with his particular view of the world.
There would be no "Intelligent Design movement" without Dawkins: he created it as the sustenance he needs to keep going as a small minded, anti-human bigot.
As for Dawkins the biologist: er... he's never actually been any kind of scientist. Dawkins has never done any research. (The boring stuff in labs with mice and petri dishes).
He has done forty years of serious media time mouthing off about how people are less enlightened than Richard Dawkins. But, er... that's about it.
Professorships are cheap these days. Anyone can buy one.
@Stop right there
>>"I am Turkish, and I don't believe in the non-sense evolution theory."
Assuming for a few seconds you're not just a troll, then I pity either your lack of education or your miseducation, your dogmatic resistance to learning, or your inability to understand a remarkably simple theory.
>>"Lastly, evolution is a theory, has never been proven, will never be proven, because it is a stupid non-sense theory that was made up, so that who doesn't believe in God can have something to believe in."
Of course. How obvious it all is, now you point it out.
And I suppose meteorology was just made up to give people who didn't believe in [deity] crying rain and throwing thunderbolts something to believe in, medicine was made up to give people who don't believe in [deity] miraculously healing people something to believe in, astronomy was just made up to give people who don't believe in [deity] painting stars on the inside of some nearby black dome something to believe in, geology was just made up to give people who didn't believe in the earth just being willed into existence something to believe in, and so on.
I'm afraid it's too late for the politicians of the world. they have all jumped the shark. Too bad we have so many religious nut in the world. I'm all for putting them in one building and sealing the doors (no, not until they're done fighting it out...until they're done...period).
Mine's the one with the key in the pocket.
Bring it on, Primitives!
Okey doke, lets try this on for size shall we?
God is not real. No more than fairies, father xmas, buddha, mohammed, bugs bunny, Frodo Baggins or my invisible friend, Jack.
Any adult who believes in unproveable things is often labelled as a crank (see: UFOlogy for examples) and at worst they are labelled as medically insane.
Those who believe in God are simply deluded and need help. Belief in God is a stupid and primitive way to look at the world, fostered only in primitive minds. In the hands of the more capable thinker it is a tool cynically used to control the sheep-like masses in order to further personal power and wealth.
I repeat, those who believe in God are simply backwards and primitive.
If you would like to challenge me on this subject, I will meet you in court where you can attempt to refute the evidence I shall present for your delusion by proving that God exists.
See you there.
The guy is brilliant, you need people as strongly behind belief in science as the religious zealots are behind their chosen cause, but somtimes Dawkins does go a little mad, loses the thread a little and starts ranting. This is exactly what the "opposition" want, you then start to lose some of your credibility if you can't hold an argument together without keeping your cool. Then again, when has anything argued under the name of religion ever rational!
@Paul M and Stefan
Dawkins isn't an idiot, you two are. Dawkins can back up his claims with his research, he's written books not just ignorant comments on a comments section.
"If Dawkins is so smart, why does he aggravate the very people he's trying to convert?"
He's not trying to convert anyone. He's pointing out the stupidity of believing in something that you only believe in because someone else told you it existed.
"Because he hates people. He hates people who disagree with his particular view of the world."
Hmmm, where have i seen that attitude come from before...let me think...hmm...ah, religions! That's where.
No-one is trying to convert you. Those rational enough to see through all the nonsense (no hyphen) also realise you're all too far gone to ever come back to the land of the thinking.
@Stop right there
"Lastly, evolution is a theory, has never been proven, will never be proven, because it is a stupid non-sense theory that was made up, so that who doesn't believe in God can have something to believe in."
Yes, evolution is a theory, as are quantum electrodynamics, gravity and that 2 plus 2 equals 4.
But more and more bits of the theory are being proved in the lab. We now have experimental proof that mutation can produce new species and that selection can cause that new species to replace the old one. The work was done in bacteria, as waiting 30,000 generations can be a bit tedious otherwise, but it shows all the elements of Darwinian evolution work.
Of course, it doesn't prove that WE evolved from something else - creationists can still claim that some divine being assembled us from a flatpack kit if they wish - but they can no longer claim that "evolution doesn't work".
Why is it someone who can easily accept a notion that:
god has always existed without being created
god created himself
god vomited out the world
god masturbated life into existence
or any other unbelievable story have such a hard time accepting the theory that given the right chemical elements under the right conditions life can spontaneously begin? I know which story I find most believable
It's also funny how most of these religious zealots have no problem accepting the parts of science that they like, such as generated power, polymers, medicine and refuse to accept anything that conflicts with their world view.
Careful everyone, if these people get their way we will soon be heading towards the dark ages - part 2
>>"There would be no "Intelligent Design movement" without Dawkins: he created it as the sustenance he needs to keep going as a small minded, anti-human bigot."
Bollocks. ID is simply a US-based attempt to get round US prohibitions on teaching creationism, the latest round in a struggle between science and ignorance that's been going on in the US since before the Scopes Trial
About the only influence Dawkins might have had is in educating some people about what evolution is through his science writing.
>>"As for Dawkins the biologist: er... he's never actually been any kind of scientist. Dawkins has never done any research. (The boring stuff in labs with mice and petri dishes)."
Science is about more than just experimentation, and anyway, isn't labwork the kind of thing many people get their students to do while they're busy thinking, lecturing, and applying for the next round of grant money?
>>"He has done forty years of serious media time mouthing off about how people are less enlightened than Richard Dawkins. But, er... that's about it."
So the media were interested in him a decade *before* he published his first book?
He must have been a pretty impressive public speaker.
>>"Professorships are cheap these days. Anyone can buy one."
Do I hear the sound of petulant little feet stamping on sour grapes?
No doubt everyone can be a bestselling science writer as well, at least in their dreams.
Dont feed the troll - hell he even posted anonymously, obviously isnt too proud of his beliefs.
I think we need to have a course entitled "Evolution for Creationists - Ten Things You Didnt Know"
I can think of a few topics.....
1. Abiogenesis, Evolution, and the Big Bang Theory, and how they have nothing at all to do with each other. Also covers why Abiogenesis != Evolution (very common mistake, ask my local Baptist Church).
2. Evolution is a fact - it happens. The Theory of Evolution attempts to explain why and how it happens. It is, as you might have guessed, a theory.
3. Scientific Theories, and why their name does not mean scientists are in doubt about them.
4. How Scientific Theories, including evolution, are refined and changed over time.
5. Why the Flying Spaghetti Monster is infinitely superior to your own religion (stripper factory and beer volcano, can you top that?).
News Flash !
Confirmed - The Earth is flat and is the centre of the Universe !
And we have just had another report in that the Spanish Inquisition have just discovered a witch and are now lighting the bonfire as we speak, nobody was expecting that !
@Stop right there
And don't forget archeology. Dinosaurs were here before humans.
Don't know anything about the law and I won't state my religious opinion or anything the likes (well, ok, I'll state that I think that religious/xenophobe rants are a waste of time and energy and pretty much only show the repressed frustrations of the ranters, whichever religion/area in the world they're coming from...), but I am on a conference in Istanbul (which is in Turkey..) at the moment and as a matter of fact the website is beautifully accessible via different open wlans (wifi-heaven, here, btw!), other than e.g. youtube (access forbidden, due to: "Access to this web site is banned by "TELEKOMÜNİKASYON İLETİŞİM BAŞKANLIĞI" according to the order of: Ankara 1. Sulh Ceza Mahkemesi, 05/05/2008 of 2008/402.")
So I guess it is an interesting read and good to raise awareness, but the real world seems to differ..
my 2 ytl,
Hate to burst your bubble, but no belief was around before belief. Someone had to come up with the idea of an outside force acting on them. I'd almost bet that since they didn't have the means/ability to LOGICALLY reason it out, they just made something up that made sense to themselves. Then they had to go about convincing others. I'd bet that someone in the group thought that it was a load of BS.
You could remove every atheist on this planet and, within a generation, you'd end up with atheists again. You'd end up with them even if you removed every document that suggested a dis-belief in religion. Religion has CONSISTENTLY changed it's god(s) over time. Atheism is still the same... the lack of belief in a person's claim of a god(s).
You clearly know nothing of Richard Dawkin. To describe him has misanthropic is simply ridiculous. He certainly loathes the nonsense that many of the indroctinators spout about but, everybody who knows him describes him as a humane, liberal human being. There's certainly nothing in any of his books which indicates any hate for humanity - just the inane, stupid, blind statements and actions that are carried out by a good many in the name of faith.
As far as him inventing ID - well that's a joke too. It's a fig-leaf invented by some Christian fundamentalists to pretend oin some way that this "theory" is scientific - which it isn't as it is founded despite the evidence. It is unscientific in the sense that it produces not predictions which can be tested, and where there is voluminous evidence that contradicts some interpretations (such as the "young Earth" creationists believe) then this is ignored or discounted on spurious grounds. To detest the spreading of such ideas which are in direct conflict to rationality is no more to hate human beings then to detest the ideas of the eugenics movement of the early 20th century.
To espouse enlightened rationalism over authoritarian dogma is not to be misanthropic. It's a final recognition of the nature of human beings, what makes us unique. Like it or not, our own sense of social responsibility, ethics, behaviour and sense to what is right and wrong is a consequence of the way humans and our socities evolved. It's not due to some dictats on slabs of stone or the endless prophets and chosen ones that litter history and pre-history.
Are you sure about that? A significant number of Dawkins' observations/arguments/examples are taken from the field of behavioural ecology. No mice, petri dishes or labs required. And you can't really accuse anyone that studied under Tinbergen of not being a biologist.
Just come back from Turkey, agree wifi heaven - no security anywhere - and dont know if its just me but put an out of country DNS server into your config and lo and behold - the web opens up - this is of course a miracle and proof that the flying spaghetti monster exists and wishes us to read Dawkins
's funny, but...
I thought that this was a 'freedom of speech' story, as opposed to a 'my God's better than your God / no God' story.
I actually feel sorry for Adnan Oktar. Clearly here is a man with a 'theory' that he believes is, or should be, true. His mediocre intellect is far too feeble to withstand criticism of his viewpoint, so he resorts to the tactics of attempting to suppress any opinion contrary or detrimental to his own.
A 'Creation Mythology' exists within all (AFAIK) human cultures, varying in details, but all with similar themes (mankind created by a 'supreme being', everything else created for his use/consumption/pleasure). This Mythology, like most mythology, fails to stand up to scientific scrutiny, particularly in the face of the evidence gathered, verified and accepted as 'true' over the last 150-200 years.
This 'difference of opinion' is undoubtedly creating heated debate, particularly the aspect of teaching "Creationism" in schools. Schools, I believe, should teach as broad a range of subject matter as possible, including 'Creation Mythology', along with all the other scientifically unproven mythological works, as part of human history or anthropology. "Creationism", however, is a fundamentalist viewpoint that takes the 'mythology' expounded in the Bible, the Qur'an et al and cites it as an unquestionable truth. This is not education, this is indoctrination, and should not be allowed. IMHO, all STATE SPONSORED education should be strictly secular in nature. Any parent wishing their child to have a religiously biased education, of any 'flavour', should either stump up for it, or persuade the requisite religious body to fund it.
No-one of sound mind should give even a moment's thought to the religious 'persuasions' of anyone else. It's THEIR business what they choose to believe (or not to believe) in, not mine/yours.
I may not believe in what you say/believe, but I accept your right to say/believe what you will, provided you respect my right to the same position (slander & libel notwithstanding).
Right, that's my tuppence worth.
Tinbergen knew my father...
Hmmm. As someone who did study under Dawkins in the late '70's (does that make Tinbergen my academic grandfather?), I'd have said he counted as a Zoologist. At least, that was the Department of Oxford Uni he was attached to at the time, along with Des Morris - who may have parted shortly before, having discovered it was far more profitable to attach pretty pics to his lecture notes and make a mint with Manwatching.
Zoology was then twinned with Psychology and shared a horrid white concrete elephant of a building somewhere at the arse end of the science area. Those of us interested in topics such as Animal Behaviour and Ethology were sent off to collect a copy of "The Selfish Gene", attend Richard Dawkins' lectures, whilst a lucky few got tutored by him.
Main reason to hate - or envy - the man is not his writings on evolution...but the fact that he married to Lalla Ward!
Paris - cause she reminds me of Lalla Ward. Or is it the other way round?
@ stop right there
"Lastly, evolution is a theory, has never been proven, will never be proven, because it is a stupid non-sense theory that was made up, so that who doesn't believe in God can have something to believe in."
You do realise that Charles Darwin was a committed Christian ?
And he had great internal worries regarding his discoveries ?
Notice the word "discoveries" ?
That is because by OBSERVING the world around him, he actually found EVIDENCE that life EVOLVES, that is to say, the organisms change over time. He didn't invent anything, he just reported on what he had found, and tried to explain it.
Religion doesn't observe the world around them, they have no evidence and they very very rarely change their opinions based on what happens in the real world.
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and flies like a duck, god botherers like to call it a pigeon. Because God said so.
BTW, I don't have to believe in evolution, because I can check it out for myself. The evidence is there for all to see. Unfortunately, religion depends on there being no evidence, so you HAVE to believe.
What do you trust ? Something you can see and touch, or an ancient fairy story that has killed more people than any other thing in the history of humanity ?
I have no problems with people using religion as a guide to their conduct in life. I object to them forcing their unfounded opinions on others. God is merely a concept. The word Good serves just as well. Of course it's nice to be nice to your neighbour, and not kill people and not steal. The easiest way to convince the largely stupid public is to create a story where an all powerful God enforces these rules. When this story was created, stories were the main way of spreading information - it had to be easy to remember and worth remembering. In modern reality, we can choose to be good by ourselves, we don't need the threat of divine intervention to enforce reasonable behaviour.
So which are you ? Ignorant fool who does as he is told, or enlightened thinker who does what is right BECAUSE it is right ?
I think you answered my question already.
Richard Dawkins has taken on a thankless task here, and more power to him for doing so. He has set himself up to be a lightening rod for the religious maniacs to aim at. He is doing it on our behalf. If science has to stand for anything, it must stand up to religion, and if nobody stands up then science loses by default. Then we all lose.
Amazing how the application of SCIENCE allows religious nutters to post ludicrous comments to websites on the other side of the world, while criticizing the very mechanism that allows them to do it ! I'm praying a private message to Mr Anon right now - let me know when you get it.
> I actually feel sorry for Adnan Oktar.
I don't; with due respect you really should be a little more careful over handing out The Golden Order of The Mediocre Intelllect. L. Ron Hubberd was not a particularly stupid man, and I'm certain a whole plethora of so-called zealots are made in His Image.
I don't know Adnan Oktar; but I'm willing to bet that you don't either.
>>"I'd almost bet that since they didn't have the means/ability to LOGICALLY reason it out, they just made something up that made sense to themselves"
I'd have thought it fairly likely that some religious mythologies developed as a result of parents inventing tales to get curious children to shut up, rather than to satisfy themselves.
Once the germ of an idea of an invisible god was there, it's a bit too tempting to use it when a kid is asking "But *WHY* does it rain???", "What happens when Grandpa dies???", "Why ARE there cows???", etc
Even if most kids grow out of believing, they can still end up telling the same or similar stories to their children, the way we do with folk tales and fairly stories, and eventually it can start to stick.
Also, in some communities (hunter/gatherers, etc), the just-so stories might be a good way of remembering things (which plants are poisonous, how to deal with certain animals, etc), and so retain a use into adulthood.
I used to enjoy reading Dawkins' stuff, but I started to notice that all of his books are the same, and they are increasingly intolerent of religion. I am in no way religous, but I don't feel it's my place to tell people that they're living life incorrectly. Dawkins does.
Somehow, he has made a living of being more intolerent of religion then most religous people are of evolution. He's an angry little man, and he doesn't represent me, or any of the decent evolutionists I know. I wish he'd shut up.
Aliens, because they put us here.
@ David Wilson
Good point. I'd forgotten about some of that. Been a while since I'd taken anthropology.
- e -
Atheist, but not ignorant.
"No-one is trying to convert you. Those rational enough to see through all the nonsense (no hyphen) also realise you're all too far gone to ever come back to the land of the thinking."
Then why does he bother? I'm not religious. If Dawkins just sits there and says religious people are stupid and/or insane, then what is the point? He's just poking them in the eye, for what, his own amusement? For the amusement of Atheists? So they religious people can feel threatened and start retaliating by banning the internet? What exactly is his strategy here? If they are beyond reason/help/enlightenment?
"Hate to burst your bubble, but no belief was around before belief. Someone had to come up with the idea of an outside force acting on them"
Before belief you will find thousands of years of tribal warfare. No gods were necessary, just the protection of blood lines. Your own family was OK and helped, and your own tribe was OK, but anyone else was fair game. Altheists often ignore that in human history, religion was the once force that could unite disparate tribes, under the symbol of an imaginary god, and allow them to come together as a larger social unit. When it is not strong enough, cultures remain tribal, feudal, and more violent. -- Now at this point, most Atheists just say "no way dude, I don't accept that". -- Fine. But notice you've just blanked it out.
>>"Before belief you will find thousands of years of tribal warfare. No gods were necessary, just the protection of blood lines. Your own family was OK and helped, and your own tribe was OK, but anyone else was fair game."
Then civilisation upgrades to religion, and land-grabbing and genocide become things of the past, as can be seen from a quick glance at the Old Testament.
>>"in human history, religion was the once force that could unite disparate tribes, under the symbol of an imaginary god, and allow them to come together as a larger social unit"
...and go and massacre a different large social unit, but now ostensibly for worshipping the wrong god, rather than people having the honesty to admit it was for personal greed and revenge.
Anyway, was Europe a haven of peace when it was all united under the Church of Rome?
Did the people in power actually pay much attention to religion, or just to power?
Personally, I'd have thought that trade was a fairly significant factor uniting different tribes. When communities specialise in one or other form of production, perhaps initially for reasons of geography, and later by tradition, and they can mutually benefit by swapping objects, then they can become worth more to each other alive than dead.
If you don't know how to make a desirable product, you have an incentive not to kill the person who does know.