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Atheists Face Discrimination And Persecution According To Report

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http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/10/15814394-like-lesser-americans-atheists-face-discrimination-persecution-report-says

'Like lesser Americans': Atheists face discrimination, persecution, report says

GENEVA -- Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven countries can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued Monday.

The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe -- sometimes brutal -- treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.

But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States that favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.

The report, "Freedom of Thought 2012," said "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry."


Other laws "obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents."

In the United States, for example, where freedom of religion and speech is protected, a social and political climate prevails "in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans," the report said.

In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars atheists from testifying as witnesses at trials, the report said.

Atheist billboard hits snag in Hasidic neighborhood

"It is often not the case that when people hear of freedom of religion they interpret that in terms of the non-religious too," Bob Churchill, a spokesperson for IHEU, told NBC News. "This report shows clearly how people who mildly criticize religion may go on to suffer months or years in jail, even awaiting a death sentence."

The report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who said in a brief introduction there was little awareness that atheists were covered by global human rights agreements.

The IHEU -- which links more than 120 humanist, atheist and secular organizations in more than 40 countries -- said it was issuing the report to mark the U.N.'s Human Rights Day on Monday.

According to its survey of some 60 countries, the seven where expression of atheist views or defection from the official religion can bring capital punishment are Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

Forced to lie
The 70-page report lists no recent cases of actual execution for "atheism" -- but researchers say the offence is often subsumed into other charges.

Atheists bill big names for 'coming out' party in the capital

In a range of other countries -- such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait and Jordan -- publication of atheist or humanist views on religion are totally banned or strictly limited under laws prohibiting "blasphemy."

In many of these countries, and others like Malaysia, citizens have to register as adherents of a small number officially-recognized religions -- which normally include no more than Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.

Atheists and humanists are thereby forced to lie to obtain their official documents without which it is impossible to go to university, receive medical treatment, travel abroad or drive.

In Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin and North America, countries which identify themselves as secular give privileges to or favor Christian churches in providing education and other public services, the IHEU said.

In Greece and Russia, the Orthodox Church is fiercely protected from criticism and is given pride of place on state occasions, while in Britain bishops of the Church of England have automatic seats in the upper house of parliament.

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:49 AM
Replies (191-200):
TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 12, 2012 at 5:09 PM
1 mom liked this

I never said that you did say it was wrong, however your belief, and assertion, of an atheist's belief system IS wrong.  Atheism is unique to each individual.  Most of the time an atheist doesn't even THINK about being an atheist.  

Religion, a "belief system", often requires the religious person to constantly think about how they are fitting into their chosen belief system.  

Putting faith/trust/hope in just anything/anyone is a gigantic difference that putting it into a religious belief system.  To compare the two is insulting, IMO, of the relationship between a person and their god.  I have family and friends who love love love their faith in God, and I am happy to see them happy in that.

How have I not been doing "live and let live" in this post?  Please point that out.  

Quoting KamWorthy:

I would venture to say there are many believers who might say that some cannot wrap their heads around their type of belief because that can't see past their own zealous love of self-logic, and scientific proof which they subsequently trust man to provide, and try to accept that someone else may interpret the world differently. It's almost a handicap because they'll never truly understand those of faith in general. I have no issue whatsoever with atheists not believing in a supernatural being, not one problem whatsoever. I've simply stated that saying they don't put trust, or hope in anything is preposterous, that's all. I've never once said that relying on ones self and/or science for confirmation, stability, strength or hope or trust was wrong. I think it would be a grand gesture if we truly could see that we all believe just in different things and then live and let live. :)
Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I really just think some cannot wrap their heads around our (general) disbelief. They can't see past their own zealous love/faith to even try to accept that someone else may interpret the world differently.
It's almost a handicap, because they'll never truly understand atheists in general.


Quoting FrogSalad:

It's another variation of telling us what we "really " believe because we can't possibly know for ourselves.


Something some religious folks hate when it's done to them, yet have no qualms doing it to us.  


(general we/us)

Quoting romalove:


Quoting KamWorthy:

I know that everyone has a god they trust, believe in, rely on for forgiveness, comfort, confirmation, adoration...the only difference is to some that God is supernatural and to others that god is their spouse, children, school, job, or self.

I think this opinion is nonsense.



~"Dream the dreams of others and you will be no one's rival." ~


 




 

KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 1:05 PM
If an athesit is a human being, they have a belief system. This is what I have said from the beginning. You are incorrect about one who posesses a religious belief system having to constantly think about how they are fitting in, well, maybe not entirely wrong. In the early seasons of ones faith, any faith, some might struggle with the changes especially if they are coming from a place of having to do a 180 from where they once were. However, those who are seasoned reach a point where their faith is no longer second nature, but first nature. This is automatic and requires no thought about fitting in or a need to remind themselves of how to be and think. I simply can't fathom how saying that everyone whether they are Atheist, Jew or Gentile, Buddhist, or Wicken etc... have a belief system, is insulting. When I said that I think it would be a grand gesture if we could see that everyone believes in something or someone, I meant "we" as in the general "we".
Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I never said that you did say it was wrong, however your belief, and assertion, of an atheist's belief system IS wrong.  Atheism is unique to each individual.  Most of the time an atheist doesn't even THINK about being an atheist.  

Religion, a "belief system", often requires the religious person to constantly think about how they are fitting into their chosen belief system.  

Putting faith/trust/hope in just anything/anyone is a gigantic difference that putting it into a religious belief system.  To compare the two is insulting, IMO, of the relationship between a person and their god.  I have family and friends who love love love their faith in God, and I am happy to see them happy in that.

How have I not been doing "live and let live" in this post?  Please point that out.  

Quoting KamWorthy:

I would venture to say there are many believers who might say that some cannot wrap their heads around their type of belief because that can't see past their own zealous love of self-logic, and scientific proof which they subsequently trust man to provide, and try to accept that someone else may interpret the world differently. It's almost a handicap because they'll never truly understand those of faith in general. I have no issue whatsoever with atheists not believing in a supernatural being, not one problem whatsoever. I've simply stated that saying they don't put trust, or hope in anything is preposterous, that's all. I've never once said that relying on ones self and/or science for confirmation, stability, strength or hope or trust was wrong. I think it would be a grand gesture if we truly could see that we all believe just in different things and then live and let live. :)
Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I really just think some cannot wrap their heads around our (general) disbelief. They can't see past their own zealous love/faith to even try to accept that someone else may interpret the world differently.
It's almost a handicap, because they'll never truly understand atheists in general.


Quoting FrogSalad:

It's another variation of telling us what we "really " believe because we can't possibly know for ourselves.


Something some religious folks hate when it's done to them, yet have no qualms doing it to us.  


(general we/us)

Quoting romalove:


Quoting KamWorthy:

I know that everyone has a god they trust, believe in, rely on for forgiveness, comfort, confirmation, adoration...the only difference is to some that God is supernatural and to others that god is their spouse, children, school, job, or self.

I think this opinion is nonsense.



TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM
Look, I'm tired of going around and around with you. You are taking a general statement: "human beings often rely on belief systems", and applying it to individuals.
Have a great day.


Quoting KamWorthy:

If an athesit is a human being, they have a belief system. This is what I have said from the beginning. You are incorrect about one who posesses a religious belief system having to constantly think about how they are fitting in, well, maybe not entirely wrong. In the early seasons of ones faith, any faith, some might struggle with the changes especially if they are coming from a place of having to do a 180 from where they once were. However, those who are seasoned reach a point where their faith is no longer second nature, but first nature. This is automatic and requires no thought about fitting in or a need to remind themselves of how to be and think. I simply can't fathom how saying that everyone whether they are Atheist, Jew or Gentile, Buddhist, or Wicken etc... have a belief system, is insulting. When I said that I think it would be a grand gesture if we could see that everyone believes in something or someone, I meant "we" as in the general "we".


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I never said that you did say it was wrong, however your belief, and assertion, of an atheist's belief system IS wrong.  Atheism is unique to each individual.  Most of the time an atheist doesn't even THINK about being an atheist.  

Religion, a "belief system", often requires the religious person to constantly think about how they are fitting into their chosen belief system.  

Putting faith/trust/hope in just anything/anyone is a gigantic difference that putting it into a religious belief system.  To compare the two is insulting, IMO, of the relationship between a person and their god.  I have family and friends who love love love their faith in God, and I am happy to see them happy in that.

How have I not been doing "live and let live" in this post?  Please point that out.  

Quoting KamWorthy:

I would venture to say there are many believers who might say that some cannot wrap their heads around their type of belief because that can't see past their own zealous love of self-logic, and scientific proof which they subsequently trust man to provide, and try to accept that someone else may interpret the world differently. It's almost a handicap because they'll never truly understand those of faith in general. I have no issue whatsoever with atheists not believing in a supernatural being, not one problem whatsoever. I've simply stated that saying they don't put trust, or hope in anything is preposterous, that's all.
I've never once said that relying on ones self and/or science for confirmation, stability, strength or hope or trust was wrong. I think it would be a grand gesture if we truly could see that we all believe just in different things and then live and let live. :)



Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I really just think some cannot wrap their heads around our (general) disbelief. They can't see past their own zealous love/faith to even try to accept that someone else may interpret the world differently.

It's almost a handicap, because they'll never truly understand atheists in general.




Quoting FrogSalad:

It's another variation of telling us what we "really " believe because we can't possibly know for ourselves.


Something some religious folks hate when it's done to them, yet have no qualms doing it to us.  


(general we/us)

Quoting romalove:


Quoting KamWorthy:

I know that everyone has a god they trust, believe in, rely on for forgiveness, comfort, confirmation, adoration...the only difference is to some that God is supernatural and to others that god is their spouse, children, school, job, or self.

I think this opinion is nonsense.



Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Raintree
by Ruby Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 3:09 PM
2 moms liked this

Hi Danielle.

Quoting KamWorthy:

I agree! Some think atheists don't have a belief system, they certainly do.
Quoting candlegal:

I don't think anyone should be persecuted for their beliefs.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting candlegal:

I wonder if as many athiests have been killed for their lack of religion as Christians have been for theirs?

Quoting romalove:

I thought I might put some perspective here for those who like to cry "persecution"....


Huh?

Did you not read the article?

And do you want to talk percentages or do you want to talk sheer numbers?

Because the Christians have a huge advantage because there have been so many more of them over time than there are atheists.

And does this response mean you don't care about atheist persecution, only Christian?



KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 4:26 PM
Of course I'm applying it to individuals....atheists are unique individuals, are they not? In fact, Jew & Gentile, Christian & Buddhists are all unique individuals as well. They all possess a belief system. Take Buddhists for example, they do not worship a supernatural deity, does this mean they posses no belief system in your opinion? I do agree, though, we are going round and round and it is futile. Merry Christmas.
Quoting TCgirlatheart:

Look, I'm tired of going around and around with you. You are taking a general statement: "human beings often rely on belief systems", and applying it to individuals.
Have a great day.


Quoting KamWorthy:

If an athesit is a human being, they have a belief system. This is what I have said from the beginning. You are incorrect about one who posesses a religious belief system having to constantly think about how they are fitting in, well, maybe not entirely wrong. In the early seasons of ones faith, any faith, some might struggle with the changes especially if they are coming from a place of having to do a 180 from where they once were. However, those who are seasoned reach a point where their faith is no longer second nature, but first nature. This is automatic and requires no thought about fitting in or a need to remind themselves of how to be and think. I simply can't fathom how saying that everyone whether they are Atheist, Jew or Gentile, Buddhist, or Wicken etc... have a belief system, is insulting. When I said that I think it would be a grand gesture if we could see that everyone believes in something or someone, I meant "we" as in the general "we".


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I never said that you did say it was wrong, however your belief, and assertion, of an atheist's belief system IS wrong.  Atheism is unique to each individual.  Most of the time an atheist doesn't even THINK about being an atheist.  

Religion, a "belief system", often requires the religious person to constantly think about how they are fitting into their chosen belief system.  

Putting faith/trust/hope in just anything/anyone is a gigantic difference that putting it into a religious belief system.  To compare the two is insulting, IMO, of the relationship between a person and their god.  I have family and friends who love love love their faith in God, and I am happy to see them happy in that.

How have I not been doing "live and let live" in this post?  Please point that out.  

Quoting KamWorthy:

I would venture to say there are many believers who might say that some cannot wrap their heads around their type of belief because that can't see past their own zealous love of self-logic, and scientific proof which they subsequently trust man to provide, and try to accept that someone else may interpret the world differently. It's almost a handicap because they'll never truly understand those of faith in general. I have no issue whatsoever with atheists not believing in a supernatural being, not one problem whatsoever. I've simply stated that saying they don't put trust, or hope in anything is preposterous, that's all.
I've never once said that relying on ones self and/or science for confirmation, stability, strength or hope or trust was wrong. I think it would be a grand gesture if we truly could see that we all believe just in different things and then live and let live. :)



Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I really just think some cannot wrap their heads around our (general) disbelief. They can't see past their own zealous love/faith to even try to accept that someone else may interpret the world differently.

It's almost a handicap, because they'll never truly understand atheists in general.




Quoting FrogSalad:

It's another variation of telling us what we "really " believe because we can't possibly know for ourselves.


Something some religious folks hate when it's done to them, yet have no qualms doing it to us.  


(general we/us)

Quoting romalove:


Quoting KamWorthy:

I know that everyone has a god they trust, believe in, rely on for forgiveness, comfort, confirmation, adoration...the only difference is to some that God is supernatural and to others that god is their spouse, children, school, job, or self.

I think this opinion is nonsense.



KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM
Wrong number. I've never shared my name here.
Quoting Raintree:

Hi Danielle.

Quoting KamWorthy:

I agree! Some think atheists don't have a belief system, they certainly do.
Quoting candlegal:

I don't think anyone should be persecuted for their beliefs.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting candlegal:

I wonder if as many athiests have been killed for their lack of religion as Christians have been for theirs?

Quoting romalove:

I thought I might put some perspective here for those who like to cry "persecution"....


Huh?

Did you not read the article?

And do you want to talk percentages or do you want to talk sheer numbers?

Because the Christians have a huge advantage because there have been so many more of them over time than there are atheists.

And does this response mean you don't care about atheist persecution, only Christian?



LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:17 PM
1 mom liked this

I think the distinction that's making a mess of this particular thread is the conflation of the terms 'beliefs' and 'belief system.'

Everyone has beliefs (that they're short, when it's a relative term not an absolute; that they're likely to live through tomorrow, when they have absolutely no way of predicting the future; that their experience of life is not in fact an entire hallucination provided to them via the Matrix, etc.)

That's fundamentally different from a 'belief system' --which is a system of beliefs, often compiled from received wisdom including that of religions, which is accepted (by the individual) never (or only under extreme duress) to be evaluated for validity again, specifically relying on 'faith' in the existence of anything supernatural.

For example: as a lifelong atheist, I have no beliefs of any kind about what happen after death --only an understanding of the facts: bodies stop performing all the functions of the classification 'alive' (expirating, eliminating, consuming, autonomous movement, cogitating, complex and coordinated biological function, etc.) What, if anything, happens to any imagined 'spirit' or 'soul' or other-worldly aspect of previously-alive humans is, to me, not only fruitless and hilarious speculation, but irrelevant to my entire life.

I like the idea of reincarnation, but I've never believed in it. I believe in tables, air, gravity, combustion propulsion, in the inevitability of humans misunderstanding each other, and post-it notes. I don't believe in other planes of existence, deities of any kind, heaven, hell or anything in between, or miracles. I certainly don't believe that men in dresses or complicated hats who hold objects over their heads in a state of reverence while chanting in modern or ancient languages are communing with or transmitting messages from anywhere unseen: they are practicing the modern equivalent of rubbing blue mud in their navels when the sun is at its zenith on the longest day of the year, which to an outside observer always looks absurd.

I'm with the blogger who explained why 'belief' had ceased to be, to him, a credible argument or debate-ender: the declaration that you forevermore have determined not to examine or evaluate this thought is not scholarly nor a sign of commendable intelligence.

Perhaps if you determined in advance if you're talking about 'beliefs' or 'belief systems', this particular dead-end argument wouldn't happen again?

TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:28 PM
Thank you. I felt like I was trying to nail down a cloud.

Edit to add: I definitely learned not to engage I they can't stick with one or the other.


Quoting LindaClement:

I think the distinction that's making a mess of this particular thread is the conflation of the terms 'beliefs' and 'belief system.'

Everyone has beliefs (that they're short, when it's a relative term not an absolute; that they're likely to live through tomorrow, when they have absolutely no way of predicting the future; that their experience of life is not in fact an entire hallucination provided to them via the Matrix, etc.)

That's fundamentally different from a 'belief system' --which is a system of beliefs, often compiled from received wisdom including that of religions, which is accepted (by the individual) never (or only under extreme duress) to be evaluated for validity again, specifically relying on 'faith' in the existence of anything supernatural.

For example: as a lifelong atheist, I have no beliefs of any kind about what happen after death --only an understanding of the facts: bodies stop performing all the functions of the classification 'alive' (expirating, eliminating, consuming, autonomous movement, cogitating, complex and coordinated biological function, etc.) What, if anything, happens to any imagined 'spirit' or 'soul' or other-worldly aspect of previously-alive humans is, to me, not only fruitless and hilarious speculation, but irrelevant to my entire life.

I like the idea of reincarnation, but I've never believed in it. I believe in tables, air, gravity, combustion propulsion, in the inevitability of humans misunderstanding each other, and post-it notes. I don't believe in other planes of existence, deities of any kind, heaven, hell or anything in between, or miracles. I certainly don't believe that men in dresses or complicated hats who hold objects over their heads in a state of reverence while chanting in modern or ancient languages are communing with or transmitting messages from anywhere unseen: they are practicing the modern equivalent of rubbing blue mud in their navels when the sun is at its zenith on the longest day of the year, which to an outside observer always looks absurd.

I'm with the blogger who explained why 'belief' had ceased to be, to him, a credible argument or debate-ender: the declaration that you forevermore have determined not to examine or evaluate this thought is not scholarly nor a sign of commendable intelligence.

Perhaps if you determined in advance if you're talking about 'beliefs' or 'belief systems', this particular dead-end argument wouldn't happen again?

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
KamWorthy
by Silver Member on Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:51 PM
Thank you Linda. I've read your post. Let me attempt to explain where I am coming from as far as my perceptions of Belief System. The term "Belief System" is not exclusive to only those who belong to organized religion, who practice ritualistic faith or who believe in the supernatural, it encompasses far more than that. In fact the definition is "The basis on which beliefs are based". So as you can see, no one is exempt from possessing a belief system. Are Belief Systems vast and unique to the individual, absolutely, but they are not exclusive. Belief System is the process and the tools which are used to subsequently decide in what to believe and if it is true, your truth. I have been discussing all along in this post "Belief System", not beliefs. Though in the first paragraph of this article, they do refer to Athesim as a belief. .........."Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven countries can be executed if their BELIEFS become known".
Quoting LindaClement:

I think the distinction that's making a mess of this particular thread is the conflation of the terms 'beliefs' and 'belief system.'

Everyone has beliefs (that they're short, when it's a relative term not an absolute; that they're likely to live through tomorrow, when they have absolutely no way of predicting the future; that their experience of life is not in fact an entire hallucination provided to them via the Matrix, etc.)

That's fundamentally different from a 'belief system' --which is a system of beliefs, often compiled from received wisdom including that of religions, which is accepted (by the individual) never (or only under extreme duress) to be evaluated for validity again, specifically relying on 'faith' in the existence of anything supernatural.

For example: as a lifelong atheist, I have no beliefs of any kind about what happen after death --only an understanding of the facts: bodies stop performing all the functions of the classification 'alive' (expirating, eliminating, consuming, autonomous movement, cogitating, complex and coordinated biological function, etc.) What, if anything, happens to any imagined 'spirit' or 'soul' or other-worldly aspect of previously-alive humans is, to me, not only fruitless and hilarious speculation, but irrelevant to my entire life.

I like the idea of reincarnation, but I've never believed in it. I believe in tables, air, gravity, combustion propulsion, in the inevitability of humans misunderstanding each other, and post-it notes. I don't believe in other planes of existence, deities of any kind, heaven, hell or anything in between, or miracles. I certainly don't believe that men in dresses or complicated hats who hold objects over their heads in a state of reverence while chanting in modern or ancient languages are communing with or transmitting messages from anywhere unseen: they are practicing the modern equivalent of rubbing blue mud in their navels when the sun is at its zenith on the longest day of the year, which to an outside observer always looks absurd.

I'm with the blogger who explained why 'belief' had ceased to be, to him, a credible argument or debate-ender: the declaration that you forevermore have determined not to examine or evaluate this thought is not scholarly nor a sign of commendable intelligence.

Perhaps if you determined in advance if you're talking about 'beliefs' or 'belief systems', this particular dead-end argument wouldn't happen again?

romalove
by Roma on Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:58 PM


Quoting KamWorthy:

Wrong number. I've never shared my name here.
Quoting Raintree:

Hi Danielle.

Quoting KamWorthy:

I agree! Some think atheists don't have a belief system, they certainly do.
Quoting candlegal:

I don't think anyone should be persecuted for their beliefs.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting candlegal:

I wonder if as many athiests have been killed for their lack of religion as Christians have been for theirs?

Quoting romalove:

I thought I might put some perspective here for those who like to cry "persecution"....


Huh?

Did you not read the article?

And do you want to talk percentages or do you want to talk sheer numbers?

Because the Christians have a huge advantage because there have been so many more of them over time than there are atheists.

And does this response mean you don't care about atheist persecution, only Christian?



It must really stink that you can't hide for long.

I don't care as long as you play nicely.

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