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Can one be insulted by proxy?

Muhammad died in 632 CE, yet Muslims in parts of the world want to punish (by death or imprisonment, usually) those who "insult" him.

How can one insult someone who isn't alive to be offended?  Isn't it really the believers who are offended?  Do you think their offense warrants the types of punishment they mete out to those who bother their religious sensibilities?

If Muhammad isn't around to be offended, can he be insulted by proxy? 

Bangladesh cracks down on "blasphemers".

Answer Question

Asked by jsbenkert at 12:17 PM on Apr. 1, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I would guess the theory is similar to how someone could insult your dead grandmother. You know what was said about her isn't true, you're offended on her behalf, thus they've insulted her. Followers of that religion "know" that the insult isn't true, thus the insulter has offended them and therefore insulted their god.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 12:25 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • Your link goes to the April Fools Day snope.


    Answer by anng.atlanta at 12:35 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • This is the core of heresy, apparently. To insult the godwhore's imaginary deity, or god-man, or prophet is a great sin. As is calling the "holy book" a pack of fairy tales and lies. The religious are quick to act when these things happen, not to protect their gods or their texts, but themselves and their beliefs. As an atheist, I CANNOT truely insult a deity that I have no belief in. To say that god is not real isn't a genuine insult to anyone but god. And, since he has seen fit not to speak to me about it, his followers shouldn't either.

    Answer by witchqueen at 12:38 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • Sorry, anng.atlanta.  I think I fixed it.



    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 1:01 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • You insult his memory and so as most humans do, it is shorted to insulting him.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:05 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • I find it ironic (and incredibly sad) that the bloggers are called "militant atheists", yet they use only words to express themselves.  Those who call them militant, however, threaten, injure or kill those "blasphemers".  Who's militant?

    Bangladesh Atheist Bloggers Are Getting Censored and Threatened

    I will use blasphemy here in solidarity with those who are really suffering under this sort of regime:  Muhammad is not worth any kind of respect if he would support censorship and murder for the use of language to express opinions.  Those who support what those Muslims are doing also do not deserve my respect.  They are a blight on humanity.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 1:33 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • No support, just an answer.

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:27 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • yes, yes, of course not, mayhaps...

    Muhammad isnt offended as he is dead, but you can insult his name & the memory of him. if i say "Benjamin Franklin was a total douche who did more harm than good for America" im insulting him, but he's not offended. there would probably be some who are offended for Franklin and/or his legacy as what i say could harm ppl's view of him.

    and i would hope it goes without saying that the Muslims who kill "blasphemers" and those they feel have insulted Muhammad are scum.

    Answer by okmanders at 2:45 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • I was thinking about that, okmanders - about how we might admire someone from history, but come across others who don't appreciate the historical figure in the same way. I suppose it can be taken personally.  I might, for example, be a huge fan of William Shakespeare, but find someone who hates his poetry and plays, and everything Shakespeare stood for.  I might find that the opposition's opinion suggests that there's something wrong with me for admiring Shakespeare, and be offended by that.  However, I wouldn't call that person "militant" nor would I threaten to kill that person.  These blasphemy laws are sickening.  I think it shows a true weakness to the religion if it can't stand a little criticism, and those who support the violence against people with different opinions are disgusting.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 3:23 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • I suppose one could be insulted on somebody's behalf, if he or she chooses to, but there's no excuse for violence against those with differing opinions. Personally, I think my God is big enough to handle people who don't believe and speak their minds about it, or people who mock. I sometimes get offended at the way things are said about God, more than about what is said. But violence is an unacceptable response, period.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:17 PM on Apr. 1, 2013

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