Friday, January 8, 2010

Martyrdom, Missing the Goddamn Point

This post occurred with very little forethought. As a result, the end product is a little messy. You have been warned (and probably didn't care.)

Something that I've always found very...curious is the way religious people will argue amongst themselves. It's interesting to see, and impossible to understand.
Take a quick trip down memory lane. Do you remember in 2002 when everyone was joking about how the terrorists thought they would have 72 (or 74 or 76) virgins when they entered heaven. It was hard to avoid comments like these and ever since then, people know exactly one (1) fact about Islam. Keep in mind that jokes about the virgins in heaven came from people who believe that cutting off the end of their dick and dipping babies in water will get them into heaven. Oh, those silly terrorists!
Another argument that I love to overhear is who has it the worst. When it comes to being religious, nothing says "legitmate" more than persecution.
Especially after Christmas, when I know that people said some dumb shit back in the States about Christians being persecuted for celebrating Christmas instead of...a...happy...holiday. I'll be honest with you, this is another argument I don't understand. But for some reason, it's cool to point out how big your religion is, how popular it is, how it came directly from god himself, but that it is liable to collapse if people don't say Merry Christmas.
But, that's the argument itself, what I don't get is why this is so lauded over. I'd like to think (I'd love to think) that at most times, I have a handle on at least the general concept of what other people think when it comes to their behavior. (Full disclosure: Not true.) However, when it comes to this one, I don't get it at all. I don't see the benefit of knowing that people of your religion, growing up in places completely different from your own, have died. I don't get why religious people seem to almost celebrate these things, letting everyone know how much it sucks to be them.

Malaysian churches fire-bombed as 'Allah' row escalates

This is, the next "my religion is better cos we die the most" argument, so I would like to circumvent it as quickly as possible, in two ways.
First, one thing that I hate hearing from people is how bad "our" group has it when someone dies, because it's so close to being a conscious, genuine concern for the loss of human life, but falls tragically short. Suddenly, the thousands of people who die around the world every day for stupid reasons are not nearly as important as this one group of people, who are being becoming martyrs. I think that the people with moral integrity regard one life as being equal to another, regardless of how similar they may be to your nationality, ethnicity or religion. It seems so simple I can't even explain that any further than I already have.
Secondly, letting everyone know about how people of your religion have died have misunderstood why they died. Yes, it is true that people die because they are of a certain religion, but I would argue that is much closer to the truth to say that they died because they were not somebody else's religion. Had Malaysians died in this church bombing, it would be only in part because they were Christian, but mainly because they were not Muslim.
It is for this reason that whenever I hear theists telling me about how members of their religion have died that I can't help but think they just gave me another good reason to argue that there should be no religion in the world.
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