The Burqa’s Hijab Defense

on Tuesday, August 11

There is a lot of debate about the burqa and its links to oppression today. To state my stance immediately, I dislike the burqa for everything—and I mean everything—that it stands for. I however, do not say we should ban it, but complete criticism of it should be brought forth. I have an issue with the current struggle in the debate; I can see where the anti-burqa argument is coming from… I however, have no clue where the pro-burqa argument seems to get its legs.

For those who wear the burqa “freely” the argument amounts to it being religious tradition. They’re not oppressed, it’s their religious tradition and heritage and they’re proud of it. For those not wearing the burqa, the defense is the Qur’an doesn’t actually enforce the burqa (they’re not being forced to wear it, and if they are being forced to wear it—it is the culture).

These arguments aren’t compatible—they’re contradictory. The fact that they are contradictory is a sign of oppression itself. Why do these women think that burqas are a part of their religion if they are not? The banning of the burqa proposal is constantly referred to as an attack on the Islam religion, and yet, at the same time the same people are arguing that the burqa has nothing to do with the Islam religion itself but with oppressive cultures… The argument contradicts itself even.

Perhaps we should inspect why people think the burqa is commanded by their religion. I’m sure everybody is aware of commands to lower gazes, cover privates parts and so forth. The main aspect is covering the beauty, and that the traditional khimar would be extended to cover the bosom. The Qur’an directly calls for a hijab, as Muhammad clarified on these parts and stated their meaning as covering all but the face and hands (although hey, I for one think the face is an incredibly beautiful part of the body).

But hold on now, do not take this into thinking that the Qur’an doesn’t say that women should cover their faces. The niqab, or burqa, has the impression of being required in a later passage. It’s a matter of interpretation, which one is it? Typically the one that comes later as a general rule of all religions is the one that actually matters (which brings up the question why give it in the first place if it was just going to be labeled obsolete). Even though the niqab rule comes later sequentially in the book (Surah an-Ahzab 59 for the niqab vs Surah an-Nur 31 for the hijab), chronologically it’s argued to be actually before… There is a bunch more evidence for that as well though.

The issue here is that the Qur’an indeed does indeed have the burqa as a requirement, even though it is supposedly rendered obsolete. This rendering obsolete, however, is a matter of interpretation. Along this, there are interpretations that the clothing is not required at all but rather more suggested by the prophet Muhammad… This is contradictory, as Muhammad’s words are law under Islam religion, especially considering Muhammad clarified the rule as opposed to creating it anyways—overall it is simply trying to explain away oppressive doctrines by applying what they think is morally right to a book that is supposed to define what morals are.

But just a second here, most conclude that the burqa is not required but the hijab is. What is the difference? Is the hijab so much better? I don’t think it is at all! Under the common interpretation, the only parts of the body left uncovered are the face and the hands… I’m sorry if you don’t find that nearly as oppressive as I do. For that matter, from a book ordering nearly 96% of the body to be covered, is it not safe to assume that the rest should be as well?

Let’s get back to the debate that is occurring. It is claimed that the anti-burqa movement is simply anti-Islamic (yet again, at the same time they conclude that the Qur’an doesn’t enforce the burqa…). Is it really so hard to see why women and people in general associate the burqa with this oppressive structure that subjugates and confines women under the name of Islam?

All I see is that they are obscuring the fact that there are indeed pervasive and sexist propaganda in the Muslim communities for favor of these burqas. Women are murdered for it even in the Western world, and giving a blind eye to that fact is—in my opinion—a completely uncaring and wrong action to do. Let me ask you, why it is a “choice” to choose whether or not to get murdered and not a guaranteed right.

Do you know the real problem about the burqa is? Why do some many women hate the burqa? Can you differentiate between two burqa wearing women, even if you knew them personally? When women wear the burqa, in a sense, it the most perverse kind of sexual objectification… that woman, is identified by absolutely nothing other than her gender: a shapeless, faceless, nameless woman and nothing more than that at all.

Perhaps a ban is needed, maybe just a temporary one though—one that enables women to escape if they need to from their oppression. To allow them to get their voices and give them back their right to be human. Have no mistake, many need help, and to ignore those pleas is perhaps the worst action to do by those who are free.

Rise of the Gnostic Atheist

on Thursday, July 2

Alias: GMNightmare
Name: Jesse
Date: 29 July 2009
Birth: 1988 C.E.
Gender: Male

In my beginning, I was born to both a new mother and new father. My birth was a rather large event to my extended family, for I was the very first great grandchild. As my mother’s family is very close, of course many made an appearance. Near birth, I was blessed and baptized by my great grandfather under Christianity.

Under such pretenses I assume many would suspect that I was raised under a very religious setting. This was luckily not the case. It is worth mentioning that my mother’s ancestors stem from a long line of clergy, and they are all fairly religious… And while my mother is also mildly religious, my family couldn’t seem to find a church that we fit into.

Sure, my family tried—I understand that we were almost sucked into Mormonism. In the end, the situation basically turned out to be a lax kind of religious attitude. There was definitely more church attending during my younger years, but we went less as time progressed. Both my parents worked difficult and long jobs, and Sunday just needed to be an actual day of rest… as well as spending time with their kids.

I vaguely remember somewhere around the age of 10 or so… well, actually quite clearly, a day dining at a restaurant. My parents posed a question, of what we (the kids) thought of hell. My personal response gave the more “good” you where in life the better you would live in heaven... Hell didn’t really exist to me even at this point in my life. My sibling’s response was far cruder; basically amounting to saying a certain relative of ours should go there.

At this point, my parents informed us that our great grandfather had done some “research” into it (Biblical studying hardly amounts to research) and came to the conclusion that hell didn’t really exist as a place. All hell basically amounted to was nothing, you died and that was it. Much like the atheist point of view of death in general actually. This certainly made more sense at the time to me than some torturous place.

A little time later would be about the time I entered a Christian summer camp. A fun place really, but only posed to delay my atheism, if it even could. The reason for Jesus’ existence was answered here, being the sacrifice to end all the sacrifices… I remember this being an epiphany at the time, although it would of course only pose more questions later.

Some more background information here would be helpful before I move on. My life has been quite an easygoing one. I’ve led a very happy life, with few problems or hindrances to bar my path. So when it came to going to church gatherings and this camp, it of course wouldn’t bring me more happiness or joy than I already had.

When your life is full of strife and sadness, a good break every week is a nice and happy moment. I, as said above, had no need for this. It all comes into focus, when comparing myself with the rest of the congregation. They treat these meetings as something that brings them more happiness. For me, I was just as happy there as I was at any other time. You could say I was immune to the “joys” of the church.

So back at the camp, there would be nightly fireside chats. Other kids would share their god stories… where a prayer would be answered, or they were helped out through harsh times. Out came another problem… I simply didn’t have any. I tended to doubt each story as well—typically not the story itself, but the intervention or actual act of god in it.

Perfectly reasonable actions were attributed to god. Even worse, the positive actions of others were explained away as simply god’s plan. These stories did not sit well with me. I would ask myself, “Why do these people believe those were acts of god? What acts then do come from god?” Let me tell you, mind tangling questions…

The only real answer that even starts to work is god controls them all: good or bad. You know, god tests you… There was a big flaw here, coming from my situation: why wasn’t god “testing” me? Why was I so much more blessed than anyone else? Two cases then: I didn’t need it, but then why would anybody need it? Or I take the more egotistical approach that I was special.

As much as people like to assume, I’m not quite as egotistical as I would seem. I did not like the notion that I was special and that everybody else wasn’t based upon god’s seemingly random will. Let’s face it as well; the Bible never really helps unless you know where to look… And of course, depending on where you look, you’ll get different answers.

Upon leaving the camp, I would of course revert to what I normally did during summers… Programming video games and debating online. The programming is relatively irrelevant; the debating on the other hand consisted of all topics including religious ones. They were all of course very intellectually stimulating; debating such things as parallel universes, dimensions, the meaning of life, and so forth.

From all the experiences compacted with time, I would eventually start to become nonreligious. Unfortunately I would still consider myself Christian for quite a number of years, although quite clearly my beliefs did not match the title. In fact, I hardly doubt my beliefs ever really matched the title. It still would not be until the start of my college years that I would come to the notion that I was not a Christian, and was indeed nonreligious.

I still had a belief in god at this time mind you. My view of god consisted of basically the god that is just there in everything. I would come to understand that my views aligned with that of Pantheism a little while later. Fairly word for word, and for never hearing about Pantheism before I was quite surprised.

Finding a religion that pretty much directly coincided with my beliefs gave me gumption. Eureka was the thought, but I knew what this meant in its entirety. Pantheism is very agnostic in its nature; it basically amounts to feeling that it’s true and I had come to this conclusion. In fact, Pantheism is akin to atheism, except with a belief in god… it’s one of the most basic yet at the same time advanced forms of theism. Thus, I felt far more aligned to atheism than Christianity at this point in time.

My questioning wouldn’t stop there. The fundamental question that made the difference was “Why do I believe what I believe?” Why? Just to feel good? Just to fit in? Was it just easier to explain to the masses? In a way, yes was the reply to all of those questions.

A belief in god still felt good. A belief in god still allowed me to fit in. A belief in god was easier to explain. None of those answers were intellectually sound. Why should I believe something with such weak convictions such as those? The answer of course is I shouldn’t—or not that I shouldn’t but that I didn’t want to.

Of course this didn’t happen that quickly or easily, but progressed over quite a large sum of time. But when everything was said and done, I had become an atheist. Let’s make certain, debate and rigorous pursuit of knowledge has never stopped this whole time. It indeed continues to this day. Thus, the story does not end there.

Oh no, we have only gotten to the atheism, the question of how I came to be gnostic still remains. This is very much a recent change, as in, barely a week before I wrote this. There is a very exact process into which I came upon this as well. It happens to center around my confrontations with none other than professed agnostics.

First, let us clarify. Atheism means you don’t have a belief in god. On the other hand, being agnostic simply says you think god is impossible to prove or disprove, or in other words that you don’t know. Now you can be an agnostic theist… or you can be an agnostic atheist. Not knowing while also not believing is a fluffy way of saying you don’t have a belief in god (but may have one later), thus atheist (currently). The majority of atheists are agnostic.

So here’s the issue: I run across a lot of posts by claimed agnostics that being in a religion or being atheist is both equally ignorant. That’s putting it nicely. Constantly having to say they are actually atheists themselves, becomes quite a hassle—also put nicely. Now most claimed agnostics (that aren’t theists) claim to be agnostics for two reasons… first are the negative stereotypes against atheism, and second being they just don’t understand the terms. The agnostics that I’m talking about here also happen to be incredibly egotistical to boot. Here’s the funny bit, they seemed to be gnostic about their agnosticism…

This brings us to the question, what is knowledge? Knowing does not mean truth; it means you regard it as true. Knowing is paradoxical in its nature, how can anything be known with exact certainty? It can’t, but for the sake of progress we have to start at some point.

I’ve argued against countless excuses for god. I’ve found fundamental flaws against any kind of omni-ability. I’ve argued against not only the existence but the uselessness of a creator. Essentially, I’ve argued if god cannot be known in this reality then god has no basis in this reality. I’ve even argued the word classification of the word god even.

All and all, perhaps it’s just more honest. I have found flaws and argued against all types of gods, how much more must it take to know? I’ve argued against the whole notion, reason, and existence of god… why can I not be certain there is no god?

And that, is my story of why I am a gnostic atheist.

Everything About Global Warming

on Thursday, January 8

Global warming is huge. I mean HUGE, and by huge I mean popular. Of course popularity isn’t everything, but in this case it seems to be the only thing going for it. In this case, when a stance is popular among society—rarely does anybody need to give proof. Equate this to ADHD, if anything is wrong with a kid somebody just slaps the label on it. No proof necessary really, perhaps the child is just a kinesthetic learner but looking into things is hard and it is much easier to slap some made up disorder to it. Seriously, there is no known cause and if I put that kid with a video game then suddenly ADHD goes away, it is therefore a behavioral problem—not a disorder. But that is a blog for later, back to global warming.

Articles pore out from all kinds of sources. Global warming is causing this, global warming is causing that. If following all the articles, we'd find that global warming causes everything. Yes, everything, according to this list of articles, somewhere around 600 things are caused by global warming. Bah.

Does any of those articles really provide any sort of proof that global warming is the real culprit? No. Vague notions that weakly correlate the event with warming climates. Articles claiming global warming is affecting the salmon population... Really now? The article even states that "Anglers were out in force on the first day of the Scottish salmon season." Certainly then, we wouldn't blame, say, them right? Because blaming overfishing... nah, what was I thinking? Rather make the claim global warming is doing it than hurt fishing industries and people's love for fishing.

The list just goes on and on. Here's a good one, apparently global warming is causing HIV to become more widespread by making you more vulnerable. Now if you can't see that as being plain BS, I don't know how I can help you. Seriously, I'm pretty sure the only way I'm vulnerable to the disease is to have sex (mainly unprotected) with somebody who is infected. But it's not just that! We have tons of links that simply contradict themselves, such as bigger fish yet smaller fish, and global warming hastening our coming ice age yet also deterring it. What is this? Covering bases? It can't ever be wrong if you cover both ends of the spectrum, and that's exactly the plan.

But none of these articles, again, offer proof. They give situations, this will happen and this will happen... Scientifically why these things happen is never given. Indeed, many times situations aren't even given. Articles say global warming is causing it and that's it. Why do people accept these poor excuses of articles? Why is it acceptable to give no evidence yet make wild claims? Here, there are people out there claiming that our emissions are the only problem. That it is all that we should target. Can't we as a whole see past this lie? It's so simple, if CO2 is the problem, and trees reduce CO2 in the air... Got it now? Deforestation and our mowing down of tropical rainforests must then play a part, and walla, we've already proven that our emissions are not the only cause. But hey, rather face deal with a CO2 hoax them live without our tissues, paper towels, and wooden houses filled with wooden bookshelves/cabinets full of paper junk.

The biggest lack of scientific evidence, is in fact the worst. There is no scientific evidence that CO2 is causing great global warming. It's simply not there. To any supporter of global warming, you can ask them. Go ahead, they'll never give you an answer. They'll refer to doomsday articles that also don't give answers. They'll ask you how can you not believe it, yet they'll not supply the proof. I have faced off against them countless times, asking—begging for proof, yet never do I acquire some.

But I do have proof of something else. That CO2 isn't the big bad guy. And it's all here. All the scientific calculations and reason. Why the global warming hoax has taken such a hold is first that the common person does not understand how greenhouses gases and especially CO2 works. We commonly think that greenhouses gases act like a blanket and trap stuff in—which is completely false. In simple terms, greenhouse gases absorb certain radiation, and once they absorb so much they stop. Also note that the absorbed radiation still leaves... in reality, greenhouse gases simply slow down some radiation.

Furthermore, many do not understand how much CO2 is in the air and relation to everything else. Carbon dioxide represents about 0.038% of the air. Humans are responsible for only 3.4% CO2 admissions annually. Humans, are the little guy in this game. CO2 isn't even the big bad man of greenhouse gasses even! Water vapor makes up for 70%-95% of the big picture. Here's where all the calculations give, CO2 AS A WHOLE, all the increases have caused 0.6 degrees. Seriously people, wake up, all the calculations, again, are here, click me, read me, HERE. All the scientific data, all laid out for you, right there.

When CO2 becomes a problem to temperature, guess what? We'd die by then, by the CO2 amount in the air being so large it's toxic. That's right, before temperature due to CO2 could do any big damage, CO2 would kill us off. Now this isn't to say that CO2 is bad, or even that greenhouse gases are bad. In fact, without greenhouse gases Earth would be inhabitable. And CO2 itself is an essential trace gas that is required for life—indeed the slight increase in CO2 has been a boon for the biosphere. Look, all the global warming claims basically size up to this: "zealots constantly shrilling over atmospheric carbon dioxide misdirecting attention and effort from real and potentially addressable local, regional, and planetary problems."

YES, real addressable issues are being ignored in favor of this cure-all hoax. Instead of blaming overfishing, blame global warming! Instead of blaming deforestation, blame global warming! Even instead of blaming our overly sexual culture for STDs, blame global warming folks!

Okay, you want more? I'll give it to you. Acid oceans right? Global warming is going to cause them. You know what is really causing acidic oceans? Plastic. PLASTIC. We have a plastic landmass in the freaking middle of the Pacific ocean. Twice the size of Texas, it's just sitting there, ya know, acidifying. Oh hey, it could also be killing a lot of fish while we're at it... Remember that fish article earlier attributed to global warming instead? Or hey, you know, I bet that landmass has some effect on temperature around there... just maybe? There you go, a real threat facing our environment. Yet do we focus on this threat? No, of course not, plastic is EVERYWHERE in our society. Seriously, plastic this, plastic that, plastic packaging, plastic, plastic, plastic. Oh, not to mention we just toss it away when we're done... Plastic doesn't decompose naturally people, it stays basically forever. But targeting this would be very hard thing to do for people. They like the convenience of plastic... that's why global warming is here.

Global warming... the cure-all solution for people. No, don't worry so much about all the problems of consumerism. All the bad things we are doing to Earth. You should consume things now that help against global warming! No need to change your consumerism habits just to help the environment! And let's not even go into the politics of it. If every nation was developed right now, were would we get our cheap labor? Know the easiest way to hinder development of a poor nation? Remove industrial revolutions. That's right, enforce some pollution controls so strict on poor nations that as an individual in a developed nation many people surpass on an hourly basis. Hey, we can't have them destroy our Earth by having an industrial revolution like us!

It's time to realize what global warming is and actually help our environment! And it can't be done when people so carelessly attribute global warming to everything. "Oh it's slightly warmer today, guess global warming is to blame ho ho!" or "This winter seems a little warmer than last winter..." Most of these are proven outright wrong with statistical figures. Indeed, in some places where 2008 was the coldest winter in the past century, people say about this winter (2009) that global warming is making it warmer winter than ever. Yet still, some places are having terrible harsh winters already (let's not even mention that winter has barely yet begun in most places). People, this is typical weather and it's never been stable. It's all, literally, in your head.

I'm not even going to go into polar bears right now. That's for later, I have better things to do right now then point out how stupid it is to act like an animal that is facing a population boon and possibly over population. Seriously folks, you remove the ice, then the polar bear basically is an aquatic brown bear. A real threat to polar bears? Overfishing as that actually threatens their source of food. I'll post more on that later.

The time to act is now, but the actions MUST be placed on the right problems. Fight the global warming hoax—fight for real environmental problems.

Call Against Omnipotence

on Wednesday, January 7

Why can nobody answer the question “Can God create an object so heavy that even God cannot lift it?” and postulate the answer for it?

I ask again why?

You know, it would be cool if some preacher out there somewhere actually had the brains to answer it but alas, nobody has. Really, the answer is easy–a breeze to anybody who can actually think for themselves. Okay I fibbed, it’s not that easy… but all a religious person has to do is pray to their god for the answer. I mean there are numerous examples in the bible I can quote saying that all they had to do was pray. Indeed, the fact that this question has not been answered correctly by a theist yet proves that personal gods do not exist. Yes you read that right, the fact that it hasn’t been answered correctly proves it, not the question!

Oh, of course many try to circumvent the problem… sidestep the issue as it were. And all these are because their faith is weak. If they had real faith, they’d pray and get their answer right away. Deep down, all theists know their prayers are meaningless–that prayers don’t do a thing. After all, god’s will will always prevail… Well, at least that’s their favorite excuse–oops, we’ll get to the obvious paradox of god having a will later…

That covers the favorite reason to ignore the question in that thinking the question is, well, unanswerable. God after all, will answer all those who ask and have faith. But then the next favorite is to try to say that the question is somehow illogical. This is also not the case. The question is completely logical - an omnipotent god however is not. Indeed the answer is quite logical, but we’ll get to that later. An omnipotent god, has by definition, unlimited power. So he should be able to create an object so heavy that he cannot lift it. But then by not lifting it he has shown that he is not omnipotent. This is the obvious fallacy of omnipotence. OMNIPOTENCE DOES NOT EXIST. It cannot exist, it is contradictory by it’s own bloody definition. People love to put the contradiction in the question… but that is wrong, again, the contradiction is having an omnipotent god.

Then there are the nutcases that just blindly say yes, cuz he’s god! WHOOHOOOO! Well, you answered the question but can you explain why? Oh, he’s omnipotent… ah, we’re right back to the original problem. Did the person really answer the question? No. (Notice the use of he, because god is male of course… whew, tons of problems with a religion that uses a personal god eh?) This is generally followed by the ideal that it’s a stupid question… this basically places them in the exact same category as those thinking the question is unanswerable for whatever reason.

I sit here thinking, how utterly ridiculous that billions of theists can’t answer this question. That they do not have the deductive and reasoning skills to answer it, nor the sense to question what they currently know with new evidence, to think for themselves… that they ignore everything that may contradict their beliefs and views. I bet everybody sitting there without the answer is practically begging for the answer.

It’s easy really, granted by definition, an omnipotent god could create an infinitely dense and large rock. Of course, infinite density and size would equate to the rock being the universe, thus god could not lift it as there would be nowhere for god to lift it to or move it to.

Walla, that was easy. Of course, reasoning as such doesn’t solve all the omnipotent problems. Precisely because omnipotence is a farce, and any religion claiming an omnipotent god is false–no matter how they try to squirm otherwise.

In The Begining...

GMNightmare said let there be a blog, and one was created purely on his word.

Muahahaha! What spawn have I created? What fiendish things will come? Many my friend, many. Of course, nobodies really reading this since I have only just begun.

Let the blogging commence, with these topics:
atheism, environmentalism, freeware, lifestyle, politics

I believe this covers all facets. Many "experts" advise against multiple topics if I want to be popular, pah. I care not for popularity, this is my blog to convey all aspects of life. There, one topic. Anyways--I could always just post each given topic to single aspect blog such Heaving Dead Cats (Atheism) or whatnot. I have connections yo :D Besides, that is what tagging is for, you only want to see my environmentalism posts then click on it. Yes, I lose more precision with broad tagging, but it fits. Furthermore, I love these topics and I'm going to post on all of them so there.

Enough of that, now for real posts!