Rod Liddle

Christians – and Muslims – still behave better than the rest of us

I wonder what Dawkins and de Botton make of that?

18 January 2014

9:00 AM

18 January 2014

9:00 AM

Two years ago this week the philosopher Alain de Botton unveiled his proposals for a giant gilded tower in central London at which atheists such as himself could indulge in a spot of self-worship. This edifice was to be 46 metres tall and a line of gold at the top would pick out the years on earth at which creatures almost as brilliant as Alain, i.e. human beings, have been kicking around. He wanted his tower to have majesty and mystery, ‘like you get from looking at Ely Cathedral’, and added: ‘You should feel small, but not in an intimidated way.’

I don’t know if this monumental Tower of Arse has got the go-ahead, or how long it will be after it is built before God smashes it in half and scatters its smug worshippers to the four corners of the earth, as detailed in the Sibylline oracles. Alain’s proposals were criticised by the High Priest of British Atheism, Richard Dawkins, causing a schism in their church from which they have yet to recover. De Botton’s suggestion that one should not feel intimidated by a temple built to himself reminded me a little of Dawkins’s rewriting of the Ten Commandments. Gone was all that tiresome thou-shalt-not stuff, and in its place we had encomiums on living a good life — get out a bit, see lots of people, make sure you put your rubbish in the correct recycling bags etc — the sort of thing you might find on a leaflet in the foyer of your local council, a leaflet for which you have paid good money through the council tax and which is unsurpassable in its irrelevance and presumption. Alain wouldn’t want you to feel intimidated by his fatuous tower, Richard doesn’t want you to be intimidated by his uncommanding commandments. Nothing should intimidate anybody, because we’re all too grand for that, and we shouldn’t have proscriptive rules and regulations.

It would seem to me that the first hymn to be sung at Alain’s temple of atheism would be Eddie and the Hot Rods’ inane but tuneful comeback hit ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’. Barry Masters and co. asserted, with some force, that they didn’t ‘need no politician tell me what I shouldn’t be/ neither no optician tell me what I oughta see’.


I wonder if either of them, Dawkins or de Botton (not Barry Masters), saw the story in this week’s newspapers about the study carried out by researchers at the University of Manchester. This suggested that there was direct correlation between a higher number of visits to ‘religious places’ and low crime figures. Not only did young people (the study covered those aged between 18 and 34) who attend church show far less propensity to commit crime — especially shoplifting, drug-taking and music piracy — but the more often they went to church, or to the mosque, or wherever, the less likely still they were to commit these crimes.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that, as we know, church attendance has been in decline for 50 years and now fewer than 20 per cent of us go to church at all. The last survey available suggests that almost one third of us now consider ourselves to be, like Richard and Alain, humanists.

The University of Manchester researchers drew some strange conclusions from their study, mind. They said that one reason for a low crime rate associated with church-going might be that the attendees were not mixing with the wrong crowd, which seems to me a rather circular argument. They commit less crime because they are mixing with people who commit less crime — but this doesn’t explain why the other people commit less crime, does it?

The researchers added, for reasons which entirely elude me, that other ‘more secular activities’ may serve a similar role in transmitting the norms of civil society. I can’t think of what those ‘more secular activities’ might be, off hand. Shopping? Going to the pub? Watching television? Being on parole? One thing the researchers didn’t conclude, although it seems to me almost certain to be one cause of the low crime rates, is that the Bible (like the Koran) teaches you not to nick stuff, shag around, get out of your skull on any narcotics, urinate in the doorway of JD Sports while eating a kebab at three o’clock in the morning and rather, of course, to do unto others etc, etc.

Quite why they failed to note this is a genuine mystery to me, although I suppose it might be because they thought it was so obvious it wasn’t worth mentioning. And an attendant reason might be that young believers felt truly, properly intimidated by the thought of some vast and quite annoyed-looking omniscient being watching their every move, and marking things down in His celestial book of wickedness and transgressions. Being cowed by an authority greater than what we have down here on earth seems to work, as a means of stopping people behaving like pigs. Another survey suggested that countries in which there was a widespread, strong and unshakeable belief in the existence of hell also had much lower crime rates than countries where the population tended to believe only in a rather amenable heaven, where everyone goes and has a bloody good time, free drinks, huge buffet and so on.

I wonder how Alain and Richard would explain this, and whether or not they think it’s a good thing?

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  • Mglass

    Interesting comment but where is the specific evidence that believers behave better than atheists? This crime index http://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp doesn’t suggest that religion is effective in stopping crime. Both highly religious and less societies can be found in the ranks of high and low crime rates.

    • MichtyMe

      I can recollect a bit of work done by some academics at an American university, decades ago now, where a wallet was left in a public place, the religion or denominations and the actions of those who found it then established. Cannot remember how they all ranked but the atheists were the most honest.

      • Atheists most honest? Speaking as an atheist, I sincerely doubt that.

    • VitaBrevis1

      Here are some figures from R J Rummel’s ‘Death by Government’. You will notice that mass murder by atheistical states, including Nazi Germany, dwarf those committed by others:
      4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
      5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
      6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
      7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime

      III 19,178,000 VICTIMS: THE LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS

      8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
      9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State

      11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
      12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
      13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
      14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s SlaughterhouseIV 4,145,000 VICTIMS: SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS

      15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
      16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
      17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia

      • David Kay

        the reason why crime was so low in 1921, and why people could go to bed at night without locking their doors, as my grandad always tells me, people had nothing to rob back then (he was born in 1923)

        • La Fold

          BOLLEUAX!

          • David Kay

            and bollox to you as well my very strange friend, with nobs on

          • VitaBrevis1

            The crime records for 1921 included such activities as riding a bike without a light and playing games in the street – things that wouldn’t be classified as crimes today.

            People didn’t have electronic gizmos etc then but other things were attractive, such as food, clothing and so forth.

          • David Kay

            well now you mention it the only conviction my grandad has is for gambling, playing cards in the pub.

            In 50 years they’ll look back at 10% of all crimes heard in magistrates courts were for not having a TV licence and think how barbaric the laws were when you could be jailed for not having a TV licence

          • VitaBrevis1

            I think Oliver Twist stole handkerchiefs, didn’t he?

      • Lookine_ajahtelija

        God of bible (fairy tale book for grown ups).
        From bible and other sources:
        God’s victims 24,634,205
        Satan 10

  • bwims

    “the Bible (like the Koran) teaches you not to nick stuff, shag around” I’m pretty sure the Koran does teach that it is OK to slaughter your non-muslim enemies, take their women as slaves and shag them

    • bwims

      http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm

      “Muhammad was a military leader, laying siege to towns,
      massacring the men, raping their women, enslaving their children, and taking the property of others as his own. On several occasions he
      rejected offers of surrender from the besieged inhabitants and even butchered captives. He actually inspired his followers to battle when they
      did not feel it was right to fight, promising them slaves and booty if they did and threatening them with Hell if they did not. Muhammad allowed his men to rape traumatized women captured in battle, usually on the very day their husbands and family members were slaughtered. ”

      The highlighted words (massacring, rape, captives) reference further articles with references to academic texts.

      • VitaBrevis1

        The ‘Prophet’ executed up to 900 men of the last Jewish tribe in Medina, the Banu Qurayzah ( I think that’s the right spelling) by beheading because they refused to convert to Islam. The women were then raped.

        He then took as a concubine a woman whose father and husband he had just had slaughtered and thrown into a ditch before her eyes only hours earlier.

        Beheading is a favourite method of despatch for unbelievers. It is written into the Qur’an : ‘ So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them”.

        That’s why Lee Rigby was beheaded and why captives of Islamic groups are often beheaded.

        • Guest

          VitaBrevis you Bigot, lets look in to the Bible, since you have so much to say about the Holy Quran. Just a few out of 100 verses that will make the Quran look like baby stuff.
          Numbers 31:17 “Now kill all the boys [innocent kids]. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

          “Do not suppose that I [Jesus] have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)”, Example Iraq, for no reason but a fanatic evangelical bloodlust

          “Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished. (Isaiah 13:16)” no leniency for the captured, this is why many past christian wars ended in brutality where no woman, child or man were all killed. example native americans

          There are 100’s more, So VitaBrevis1 go cough up someone else’s branch that you can turn into a zombie

          • VitaBrevis1

            See above. I am not a bigot when I point out the actions of Mohammed proudly proclaimed by the ‘Prophet ‘ himself.

        • Cy Kh

          VitaBrevis you Bigot, lets look in to the Bible, since you have so much to say about the Holy Quran. Just a few out of 100 verses that will make the Quran look like baby stuff.
          Numbers 31:17 “Now kill all the boys [innocent kids]. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

          “Do not suppose that I [Jesus] have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)”, Example Iraq, for no reason but a fanatic evangelical bloodlust

          “Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished. (Isaiah 13:16)” no leniency for the captured, this is why many past christian wars ended in brutality where woman, child or man were all killed. example native americans

          There are 100’s more, So VitaBrevis1 go cough up someone else’s branch that you can turn into a zombie

          • VitaBrevis1

            When Jesus said ‘I bring a sword’ he meant that his followers would be persecuted and their faith wouldn’t cause upset, not that they should kill anyone. That is perfectly plain given his message of universal love and brotherhood.

            As for the passages from the Old Testament, Christian theology pointed out centuries ago that God reveals himself according to our ability to understand. The morality of a millennium before Christ in the Old Testament was superceded by Christian morality.

            Mohammed’s bloodthirsty morality when it comes to non – believers is valid today as it was when he practiced it and wrote it in the Qur’an.

            That ‘s the difference

          • Shahna

            Rubbish.
            When Jesus said “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” he meant “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Had he meant he was come to bring universal love and brotherhood he’d have said “Think not I am come to send discord on earth: I came not to send discord, but universal love and brotherhood love in abundance.”

            Unless you think he was a blithering idiot who couldn’t say what he meant.

            And the bloody side of Mohammie’s message is as valid today to the bloody Jihadhis. Not the nice family that lives directly across the road from me. Which makes ’em no different from the Christians next door.

          • VitaBrevis1

            I am afraid you have completely missed the point of Jesus and his message.

          • Cy Kh

            VitaBrevis1, I am afraid you have completely missed the point of Muhammed pbuh and his message. The Holy Quran has over 6000 verses. People often try to distort the meaning of the Holy Quran. But in the Quran itself it clearly says:
            “He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical (have multiple meanings). But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.” (Quran 3:7)
            “and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding”

          • Shahna

            ….. or I’m not into wiggling what old folk said — to make it fit nicely.

          • James Lovelace

            “The morality of a millennium before Christ in the Old Testament was superceded by Christian morality.”

            Mohammed exalted all the worst violence in the Old Testament. What the Profit of 20% could not stand, was the tolerance and moderation of Jesus and the rabbinical tradition of Judaism.

            Muslims love to tell the story where Mohammed called a rabbi to judge on an adulterous, but the rabbi covered over the portion of the Old Testament which said she should be stoned. Consequently, she was stoned to death.

            This is the crux of islam, and why it can never be reformed. Islam was founded by a rejection of 1500 years of reformation of the barbaric values from the Bronze Age.

      • Clearly deranged. And people saw this as divine? What a low opinion they must have had of God….

    • crosscop

      Indeed. The Koran teaches that it is lawful for Muslim men to have any non-Muslim female that they can capture. It also has a whole chapter about sharing out booty (including slaves, of course) that has been “nicked.”
      And the Hadith reveal that the “prophet” even swapped two captured girls for a particularly beautiful one that one of his men had already taken.
      Perhaps you should read up on it sometime, Rod. Then you might have some understanding of what is going on with the worldwide epidemic of Muslim grooming/rape gangs.

    • Cymrugel

      I fear Rod has succumbed top the temptation to pretend that all religions are equally valid/unvalid and share the same norms.
      This is not the case.
      Particularly in Islam where its do- as-you-please, to non-believers.
      How any religion can believe a god will sanction murder rape and plunder as long as the victims do not belong to his special club is beyond me.
      Islam is morally bankrupt and devoid of ay real spirituality.

      • VitaBrevis1

        It is beyond you because you are working within Christian assumptions.

        • Rocksy

          No, we are working with observations. This is not at all what we assume, it is what we see. Note: that ‘special club’ also excludes anyone with a different brand of Islam.

    • StephanieJCW

      The bible also endorses slavery in certain circumstances.

      • VitaBrevis1

        Paul doesn’t ‘to ‘endorse’ it. He accepts it as a fact of life at the time.

    • mikewaller

      I regret to inform you – and have to confess that it would take me sometime to find it – that I strongly believe that there is a passage in the Old Testament in which the Jews are give exactly those instruction: i.e kill all of the enemy’s tribe with the sole exception of young women who have not borne child. These, they are told, they may keep for their own use.

      • VitaBrevis1

        What on earth makes you think that without religion there would have been any progress whatsoever from pre AD standards?

        Calvin pointed out long ago that God reveals himself according to our ability to understand.

      • Rocksy

        Yet Israel is a democracy. The only one in that neighbourhood.
        Are Christians and Jews perfect? Of course not but statistics and biblical quotes are a poor substitute for hard evidence. Is it just a coincidence that the countries which are operated as Islamic states (including Turkey) are without exception the cesspits of this world.
        Or that the countries operating on Christian ideals are where everyone wants to live?
        No one is banging down the doors to get into Iran. And last time I looked, Lampedusa and all the other illegal doorways to freedom were in the West.

      • Francis Drake

        The reason that God commanded Israel to slaughter those people was that they were up to their necks in human sacrifice to demonic occult gods. Their iniquity had come to full fruition.

    • Shahna

      You should try actually reading the Bible.
      All of it.
      From start to finish. Esp the OT.
      Murder, rapine, looting and selling daughters into slavery ‘n stuff.
      And slaughtering of non and wrong believers.
      Lots and lots of slaughtering of non and wrong believers ‘n stuff.

  • OrionJones

    “Another survey suggested that countries in which there was a widespread, strong and unshakeable belief in the existence of hell also had much lower crime rates”.

    Could you give a reference for that survey.

  • Common Sense ✟ كافر

    “there was direct correlation between a higher number of visits to ‘religious places’ and low crime figures.” Maybe Church regulars, but every Muslim terrorist has been known to visit their local mosque very reguarly – learning what the Koran instructs V well.

  • Common Sense ✟ كافر

    Are these the same Muslims who committed 7/7, killed Lee Rigby, involved with the systmatic and nationwide sexual abuse of White English children, hold hate speeches be it Amjem Choudry or Abu Hamza to name a few of the 1000s of bigots??

    • crosscop

      “the systmatic and nationwide sexual abuse of White English children…”
      That should read “the systematic and worldwide sexual abuse of non-Muslim children.” It happens anywhere there is a substantial Muslim population – from Glasgow to Melbourne and from Paris to Minneapolis. It is part and parcel of Islam and sanctioned by the Koran. All non-Muslim females are fair game.

  • VitaBrevis1

    It’s not just lower crime figures among Christians at least that are a result of religion. It’s civilisation itself; at least higher civilisation, one which ‘makes life worth living’.
    In his ‘Notes Towards the Definition of a Culture’ which he equates with Civilisation, T S Eliot says that ‘No culture has appeared or developed except in relation to a religion’.
    The Harvard Sociologist Pitirim Sorokin who died in 1968 made a persuasive case for the orientation to the spiritual as being the foundation of the character of a civilisation. (‘Social and Cultural Dynamics’, ‘The Crisis of our Age’.) Civilisations oscillate between the spiritual and the material in focus. The West, he said, was like the late Roman Empire: between epochs. It was in the last stages of decay of a ‘sensate ‘ culture, ie one whose focus was materialistic, characterised by atheism, relativism, moral chaos, an eat drink and be merry, carpe diem attitude and a new epoch which will be oriented to the spiritual.

    • Mglass

      It’s al very well to praise Christian civilisation. Remember that Christianity, when it was at its height, persecuted Jews, “witches” and other minorities, banned divorce, supported slavery and opposed many things that we simply take for granted.

      Western civilisation, that we prize so much, was the result of the Enlightenment values of tolerance, respect for science and learning, and respect for human rights. Such reforms were opposed by many Christians. Even John Wesley said: “The giving up of (a belief in) witchcraft is in effect the giving up of (a beilief in) the Bible.”

      We have more to fear from global warming than from the decline of religious belief. Civilisation could survive without Christianity; I’m not so sure it could survive runaway global warming.

      • VitaBrevis1

        I have no doubt that Christianity as practiced had blemishes. You though are judging it by its own standards, clarified by the Enlightenment which was itself was an outgrowth of Christianity, one of whose unique characteristics was faith in reason.

        Without Christianity, we have no reason to think that we in the West would have progressed beyond the limits of the 16th century. Islam, for example is stuck in the 7th Century in many respects and has made no progress in seven centuries,

        We would have been devoid of modern science, since empirical science is another outgrowth of Christianity, having its origins in medieval doctrines of the goodness of a loving, personal, law – giving God who could be found and understood through reason in his lawful, good creation, nature.

        Indeed, the very idea of ‘progress’ is Christian in origin, originating in the Christian doctrine of the coming Kingdom of a God. Other religions and philosophies had no conception of progress, but thought of history as cyclical or mere procession.

        Incidentally, C S Lewis pointed out that to associate witchcraft with Christianity is a category error. There is witchcraft ( still widely practiced) and there is Christianity.

        We can see the truth of Eliot’s views and Sorokin’s predictions ( made over half a century ago) all around us as the attitudes which created our civilisation are ‘ground to dust ‘

        A view of the future,not necessarily contradicting Sorokin is the grim one of Nietzsche who captured the essence of post- Christianity, when he pointed out that without belief in the divine there were no grounds for adhering to its morality, or indeed, any morality except power.

        He predicted that the twentieth century would see ‘Wars such as have never been seen ‘ (correct) but that the 21st century would be even worse because the last shreds of Christian morality would have disappeared, with ‘bands of brothers ‘ at each other’s throats.

        There would be an attempt to invent a new morality , which would fail. This new morality is surely Political Correctness.

        • Mglass

          If the enlightenment was an outgrowth of Christianity, then how could Human Rights be a danger?

          Is there a problem with freedom of religious belief?
          Is there a problem with insisting that everyone without distinction shall have human rights?
          How could defending human rights be classed as anti-Christian or anti civilisation?

          Sometimes you argue that the Enlightenment is an outgrowth of Christian belief; at other times you argue that values from the enlightenment are against belief. Perhaps the world is far too complex than can be sorted out with a simple checklist of goodies and baddies.

          • VitaBrevis1

            Que?

          • Mglass

            What don’t you understand? If you argue that Enlightenment values grew out of Christianity but also argue that Enlightenment values can be against religion then life is more complex than just classing people as goodies or baddies.

  • Aasiyah Sattar

    Different page same comments. Sooo monotonous ..Bleh

    • Does your brain hurt, bunny?

      • Aasiyah Sattar

        Why would my brain be hurting ? I don’t over think to a point of fabrication like everyone else here..just fascinated with how well the copy and paste function has been mastered

  • Paul Goldson

    I’m confused, why has this become a Christian/Muslim debate. Surely Mr Liddle was merely suggesting that Religion (generally) was a good thing for making people behave themselves and act in a way that contributes to society. That said, i’m not sure if crime figures are the best way to judge any religion.

    • rodliddle

      Yes, that’s right mate. Ah well.

      • Ian Walker

        ‘Standards of acceptable behaviour are poor,’ I can accept as a hypothesis. ‘Religion is the answer’ I can’t.

        • He’s not asking you to choose. He’s not giving you a simplistic referendum question, Ian. It’s more a question of how good societies come into being and how they might be sustained.

          • Ian Walker

            Ah, well the ansdwers to those two are: “Through the actions of mankind” and “Through the actions of mankind”

            No fairy stories required.

          • What guides and informs the actions of mankind? That’s the $99,000 question.

          • Roxane Featherstone

            Fairly easily answered. Can I have the spondoolies now please?

            Just in case I need to make my case, the answer to what guides and informs the actions of mankind SHOULD not be the weird, irrational, ill-explained rantings of an ancient warlord pretending he had heard the word of god, but good explanations of the facts of the matter.

            Atheist morality is the exercise of maximising human well-being through seeking truth-seeming explanations of the facts of the matter. Human well-being is an objective fact (if we can only ever know it tentatively, given the separation of world and our representation of it), and we seem to be best off seeking those good explanations of how humans work best, and seeking to implement the ensuing morality!

            By way of an example: seek not to coerce, because coercion means being forced to enact a theory that is not active in the mind, hence reducing the capacity for rationality and creativity – which given the coming Perfect Storm (not the Second Coming, but the crises of population, energy, food, water, climate, aging, huge govt debt), we really do NEED!

            There, that’s a good objective-seeming, moral code, based on good explanations of the facts of the matter. No need for God.

            Sam Harris does a good job explaining all this in The Moral Landscape. Spose he does deserve the cash really.

          • No need for God.

            No need, but man is more than food, drink, and comfortable self-preservation. He is rational, yet he is also irrational. Hence the ‘need’ for God.

          • Roxane Featherstone

            Whilst most of us do hold a huge number of irrational theories all the time, and indeed can never be sure that even our most rational theories are the truth of the matter, surely it is better to strive towards truth through rationality, rather than acquiesce in the confusion of irrationality?

            People often don’t seem want to let go of irrationality perhaps because they really cannot bear too much reality, or possibly because they assume that a non-religious life cannot possibly be as deeply satisfying as a faith-based one.

            I am pretty convinced this last fear is totally unfounded and that is is perfectly possible to have an amazing roller coasterly thrilling emotional/aesthetic/thrill-based (as well as moral) life completely independent of religious faith.

            A rational approach to reality is by far the most exhilarating, by far the most beautiful experience one can possibly hope to have. Am pretty sure this is something to do with congruence…or integrity:

            Beauty (whether this be in the physics of a super nova or a quantum jiggle,) or in a perfect piece of logic or a perfectly nailed argument, or a bit of music that pins the harmonies precisely, could (though of course we can’t do it as yet) be precisely understood, and to the degree that it is already understood, we can see it’s integrity.. and in the bits we don’t, we sense it!

            It is integrity in the truth seeking, the honesty, the bright glare of explanations that fit reality!

      • Daniel Maris

        So why are Muslims over-represented in prison by nearly 200%?

  • DaHitman

    Christians yes I don’t see them blowing people up around the world in the name of Christianity but Muslims, come off it

    • Eddie

      Oh I dunno. I think Catholic priests have got quite a reputation for blowing in the choirboy community ;o

      • DaHitman

        Yes disgusting but they’re not murdering people like Muslims continue to do

  • Perseus Slade

    Oh dear, Rod, you can do better than this.

    Morality has nothing to do with religion.
    Altruism is displayed by many animals.

    If you tie your morality to fairy tales like those of the blood-spattered Abrahamic religions, when it dawns on you that they are rubbish, you can easily your morality as well as your faith. But then you need to take it a little further.

    There is no mystery about individuals exhibiting non-selfish behaviour from a Darwinian viewpoint. In life, there are two players: the individual and the group. Neither can survive alone. Selfishness is in the interest of the individual. Altruism is in the interest of the group. You might say that altruism is the selfishness of the group, and selfishness is the altruism of the individual. There is a constantly re-drawn dynamic equilibrium between the two trends, actually the subject of nearly every novel, play and film.

    Stick to the golden rule.

    • VitaBrevis1

      We might feel natural sympathy for others,. But what if we don ‘t? People are all different. Some people, whom we call psychopaths, feel nothing.

      If there are no absolute standards, who is to say that the inclinations or actions of the psychopath are inferior to those of Mother Theresa?

      Why should anyone be altruistic, if they don’t feel inclined, either because of their nature or because of a particular circumstance?

    • VitaBrevis1

      The ‘golden rule’ in the familiar form, ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’ is in fact Christian.

      When taught by Christ, it was unprecedented in world history. Google John Topel’s article ‘The tarnished golden rule (Luke 6:31): the inescapable radicalness of christian ethics’.

      • Eddie

        Oh my gosh you are ignorant!

        The soundbite you mention did NOT originate from Christianity! A little bit of research will show that very many cultures that predate Christianity had the same phrase or ones of identical meaning.

        Christianity stole most things from the cult of Mithras, and a 4th century church council then cobbled together the bible, the earliest parts of which were written a century after Jesus (who was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem).

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2010/10/02/where-did-the-golden-rule-come-from/

        No doubt it existed in oral cultures for thousands of years too, for which no written record survives.

        • VitaBrevis1

          You clearly haven’t read, or if you have read if, failed to understand Professor Topel’s short memorandum on this subject.

          • Eddie

            And you clearly haven’t read very much at all.

          • VitaBrevis1

            You haven’t said whether you have read Topel’s memorandum or not, and if you have, what and why you disagree with it.

        • VitaBrevis1

          Good books on the dating of the New Testament which you clearly have not read or considered include:

          Redating the New Testament John Robinosn. Robinson puts alltof the New Teatemt ebfore the fall of Jerslem in AD 70

      • Mglass
        • VitaBrevis1

          Correction. A version of the Golden Rule is to be found in some of them, None of them are as full as that taught by Christ.

          In Islam, there is no reference to the Rule n the Qur’an, which shows the lack of importance given to it, while it is at the heart of Christ ‘s teaching. Unsurprising, given that the Qur’an advocates the mass slaughter of unbelievers.

          In the Hadith, a version says, ‘Do not do to your brother what you would not have him do to you ‘

          This version

          Is not active (do not do )
          Excludes women (brother)
          Excludes non Moslems (brother)
          Lacks the context of Christ’s teaching of love.

          As I said, there are versions of The Rule.

          • Mglass

            OK. You have made your point about Islam, but what about the other world religions?

    • ‘Morality has nothing to do with religion’.
      OK: what DOES it have to do with, then?
      I think you’re wrong, and my personal motto is No God But Truth.

      • Eddie

        Morality comes from human nature, not religion (belief in things one cannot see).
        It really is a lie to claim religions invented morality or decent values (just read some history!).
        People can do good or bad in the name of religion though. But their values come from humanity, not an imaginary friend.

        • VitaBrevis1

          Certain feelings come from human nature, which in any case varies from person to person, but morality, rather than simply ethics -rules of behaviour, involves an imperative.

          Without religion there can be no imperative. The rule becomes; ‘obey the rules but there is no need to bother if you aren’t so inclined and you can get way with it’.

          Increasingly, people can get away with it nowadays and so they don’t bother to obey the rules. Hence rising crime etc.

      • VitaBrevis1

        Swanky, without God there is no absolute truth.

        • That may well be true.

  • Roxane Featherstone

    I can’t find a source for the original research from Manchester Uni, but from reports elsewhere, eg: in the Mail, there are pretty good grounds for questioning its rigor.

    For starters, the research relies on self-reporting from young people of all faiths. It is actually not unreasonable to wonder if at least some of those who attend religious institutions just lie more! In fact, certain sections of the Koran explicitly legitimize lying to fool kafirs: see Shoebat on muruna or taqiyya.

    All that aside, and if the results do indeed hold, it is wrong of Rod to implicate atheism. Atheism ISN’T the default position of those who don’t attend religious institutions. The default position of those who don’t attend religious institutions is frequently a complete muddle of new false beliefs, moral relativism, herbalism, all out debauchery.

    Whilst God may not be directly involved in most of these beliefs, this isn’t the atheism of genuine atheists! Atheism is, or at least should and quite possibly will be, (once given a chance to mature), a sophisticated set of rationally argued theories on who best to achieve a fruitful and happy existence, with win/win solutions for all. Sam Harris sketches the way forward with “The Moral Landscape” which given its rational base, represents a far better way forward than Rod’s possibly implied call to retreat to irrationality.

    • VitaBrevis1

      Atheistic societies have already been tried. The results were mass murder on an unprecedented scale. ( see my post on recorded crime etc above ).

      The inevitable result of atheism is the reduction of a human being to the status of an animal, who is then treated as of no more intrinsic worth than an animal.

      Appeals to evolution in such matters as altruism must Iead in the end to a nazi – like view of humanity. You cannot talk about the evolutionary development of humanity in some respects and close out forever as ‘racist ‘ its development in others , such as intelligence / ability / temperament / inclinations.

      • Eddie

        False argument.
        All atheism means is a lack of faith. If evidence presents itself, those who are rational can and do change their minds.
        The societies you talk about are quasi-religious, and ideological (commis, fascist), NOT ‘atheist societies’. Stalin and Hitler were brought up Christians and have inspired plenty of modern dictators. Religious societies were pretty good at mass murder in the past too, and still are.
        You may also ponder the fact that Christianity and Islam didn’t invent anything or create any values – they and all religions merely appropriated the values already in human societies and appropriated their traditions and festivals too.

        • VitaBrevis1

          In fact atheism comes from the Greek word meaning ‘no gods ‘ and specifically refers to lack of belief in the Divine.

          The Soviet Union, responsible for some 60 million deaths, was virulently ant – religion.

          Hitler believed in an Aryan Jesus who opposed ‘the Jews’.

          Complete nonsense, since Jesus cannot be understood except as a Jew. Both he and Stalin rejected The Christian message of love.

          Christianity reversed the Nietzsche – like morality of Rome where if one had no power, one was literally nothing in the eyes of the law.

          For the first time in history, the meanest individual , regardless of race culture or religion, had standing as a loved child of God.

          A very good book on the impact of Christianity on values is ‘Atheist Delusions. By David Bentley Hart, which was awarded a prize by the Archbishop of CAnterbury.

          • Eddie

            People have been killed in their millions in the name of communism, fascism (both quasi religions led by those raised by priests) – and also in the name of all religions that believe is a supernatural being.
            No-on has ever been killed solely in the name of Atheism because it is NOT an ideology. As you correctly state, it means NO GOD – so atheists simply believe there is no god as their is now evidence.
            There is no ‘and then…’
            Hence your attribution of mass murders to Atheism is false argument – though one often used by religious types clutching at straws.
            The Church (and all power bases for religions ) enslaved and oppressed people – until people came along who challenged that.

          • VitaBrevis1

            I can’t agree that no one has been killed in the name of atheism. But even if that were true, atheism leads on inevitably to a view of humans as having no intrinsic worth which in turns means they can be slaughtered at will.
            You are right up to a point about Communism and Fascism being pseudo religions. ‘ When men cease to believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing ; they believe in anything’.
            All modern ideological utopias, including the ones envisaged by Neo Cons and Political Correctness are perversions of Christianity; perversions of the coming Kingdom of God.

          • VitaBrevis1

            Would those people who marked this post down please explain what they found incorrect in it.

    • mikewaller

      I read of research carried out in Japan that compared a Catholic school with one with a more liberal approach to morality. The experiment entailed having children identify a toy animal behind a screen on the basis of a recorded sound. After a few bleat/sheep, moo/cow, bark/dog episodes a sound was made that suggested nothing. At this point a confederate came in to call the experimenter away. The latter on leaving the room told the subjects that they must not look behind the screen. Almost all of them did, with the Catholic children being slightly slower to do so. Obviously all the children who had done so gave the experimenter the correct answer when he/she returned. Equally obviously, none could explain the relationship between the object and the sound. The big difference lay in the willingness to confess that they had looked. The liberally educated children “fessed up” pretty quickly, most seeming to find it no big deal. But many of the Catholics simply would not confess. As you indicate: “It is actually not unreasonable to wonder if at least some of those who attend religious institutions just lie more!”

    • Aasiyah Sattar

      The Mail ??? A newspaper which informs or should i say invents or create further hatred towards muslims. Only reporting the crime of what muslims commit and not what is done to muslims by other religions ?? The Quraan has no surah’s named Shoebat, Muruna or Taqiyya..Explicit verses in the quraan enforcing muslims to lie to the kuffaar to fool them ??? This is something I’m shocked to have missed while reading..But hey like you said your research was done through the Mail, another fabricated article i assume..Its like paging through Jamie Oliver’s cook book in search of instructions on how to change a flat tyre..

      • Roxane Featherstone

        Hi Aasiyah,

        Just for accuracy’s sake, I didn’t cite the Mail in relation to Muslims, I was citing the Mail as the only source I could find for the original research relating to religious attendance and lower crime stats, as cited by Rod in the original article.

        And Shoebat isn’t a surah, he’s a bloke who seems to understand these things, having grown up a Muslim. Name: Walid Shoebat. He explains about muruna, etc, though I gather there is controversy about who believes what…for example: Sunni Muslim apologists say it is a Shiite doctrine.

        This had nothing at all to do with the Mail, and I never said that it did.

        (Hmmm…trying hard not to draw conclusions about reality checks and those inclined to religious thought.)

        • Aasiyah Sattar

          Hi Roxanne

          My apologies for misunderstanding your post Roxanne. I’ve never heard of Walid Shoebat , and having said to grow up a muslim is totally different to actually being a muslim. So i decided to Google him and this is what a CNN article has written :
          Walid Shoebat is trying to make as much money off of gullible and uninformed US taxpayers as he can. He’s never been a terrorist, but his story that he is an “ex-terrorist” affords him an opportunity to fill his belly on your dime, to the tune of $5,000 per lecture. By continuously paying him, our government is complicit in Shoebat’s thievery.

          So i guess his knowledge on Islam and muslims is useless and fabricated , and apparently his fraud identity was too blatantly obvious so he’s now labeled a fraud, clown and thief.

          But just to correct your statement on the Sunni Muslim and Shaii doctrine has nothing do to with Islam or the quraan , but a political defect to separate muslims by modernizing Islam to suit them. Inventing laws that was not obtained for us is what the Shai believe is valid. To other muslims we live according to scriptures of the quraan and the ways of the prophet.

          The quraan has no verse, chapter or command from God instructing muslims to lie to the kuffar in order to fool them. Like the 10 commandments , one of them is “thou shall not lie” , we as muslims believe lying is a sin. I feel it unfair to categorize criminals according to religion, a thief is a thief , a muslim thief is no different to a christian thief , the only time that would matter is when they stand infront of their creator and has to answer for their actions which will be dealt accordingly

          • Roxane Featherstone

            I gather there are reasonable grounds for thinking that Walid Shoebat was the subject of a CNN hatchet job…but that aside, I also gather The Qur’an has a number of verses, at least one of which explicitly compels a Muslim to tell a lie…eg: 16.106….or which skirt around the issue but could easily be taken to mean it, such as those that say that Muslim codes of conduct don’t have to be adhered to when dealing with non-believers (9:3) and, for example, that a believer would be right to hide his faith amongst non-believers and is right to lie to his wife in order to achieve reconciliation.

            Plus, from the Hadith: Bukhari (49:857) – “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” In other words, lying is permitted when the end justifies the means. And Bukhari (84:64-65) – confirms that lying is permissible in order to deceive an “enemy.”

            And from Islamic Law:

            One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is entitled to lie.

            I gather there are also other verses and stories which show that the prophet used deception for the purposes of gain.

          • Aasiyah Sattar

            I’m not really sure what you mean by “Muslims codes of conduct don’t have to be adhered to when dealing with non-believers” (9:3)
            What are the muslims code of conduct ? You quoted 9:3 and here’s the explanation to that specific verse :

            Verse 9: 3

            And [it is] an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is disassociated from the disbelievers, and [so is] His Messenger. So if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away – then know that you will not cause failure to Allah . And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment.

            Stating that Islam encourages lies and deception to non muslims to me is abit immature. People lie , its a human defect. Human’s were not created to be perfect, and there isn’t a person on this earth that hasn’t told a lie or bent the truth, religion doesn’t have to allow it for people to do it.

            The bible states in Mathew : Deny me infront of your friends and i will deny you infront of the father .

            The Quraan;

            2|2|This is the Book (the Quran), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqun [the pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].

            2|3|Who believe in the Ghaib and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and spend out of what we have provided for them [i.e. give Zakat, spend on themselves, their parents, their children, their wives, etc., and also give charity to the poor and also in Allah’s Cause – Jihad, etc.].

            2|4|And who believe in (the Quran and the Sunnah) which has been sent down (revealed) to you (Muhammad Peace be upon him) and in [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.] which were sent down before you and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter. (Resurrection, recompense of their good and bad deeds, Paradise and Hell, etc.).

            2|5|They are on (true) guidance from their Lord, and they are the successful.

            2|6|Verily, those who disbelieve, it is the same to them whether you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him) warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe.

            2|7|Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearings, (i.e. they are closed from accepting Allah’s Guidance), and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be a great torment.

            2|8|And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: “We believe in Allah and the Last Day” while in fact they believe not.

            2|9|They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not!

            Verse 10 : 106

            And do not invoke , besides Allah that which neither benefits you nor harms you for if you did then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers

          • Roxane Featherstone

            Hi Aasiyah,

            Thank you for for the above. I am not sure that your argument disproves the existence of people who manage a very different interpretation of the verse you cite, and indeed I have seen such a very different interpretation which states that lying is appropriate when dealing with non-believers. Your argument also doesn’t rule out the existence of other verses elsewhere which strongly suggest the same thing.

            And so the question I would ask is, given all this ambiguity and obscurity, the impossibility of knowing for certain who meant what, why does one look to a screed that offers such confusing advice? There are great new texts which offer incredibly clear advice on lying…and what’s more, one is free to question it! Does it work, does it really stand up to criticism, can I make it work for me? I can freely engage with it, and won’t be punished!

            There is, for example, Sam Harris’s book on lying. It is a great book, well argued, providing incredibly cogent explanations about the benefits of avoiding lying. Despite this, I would still argue with him, as I am free to do, and he won’t punish me for it! For example, he says there is no exception…one simply should not lie. He provides a very good argument (which I must revisit as have forgotten it) but as it stands I still think there CAN be moments when lying is proportionate, eg: if a Nazi came to the door, I would lie if I had Anne Frank hiding in the attic.

            Overall, to return to the original argument, I think Rod is likely to have used a poor bit of research. My suspicion is that those people who attend religious institutions are less criminal not because they go to church, but because they are a self selecting set of people who were already less criminally inclined in the first place.

            In other words, Rod’s conclusion – that we can’t behave without external pressure and threats, is wrong. These people were just like that already.

            And I think the implications of Rod’s conclusion are also worrying. His conclusion suggests that those who are free of external pressure and threats cannot behave, with the perhaps even further implication that we must therefore return to a coercive, illiberal enforcement of behaviour.

            I strongly believe this idea to be false. Whilst I think many who are free of external pressure and threats DO behave badly, it does not mean that freedom and good behaviour are incompatible. The fact that one could think this is, I think, a huge failure of the current education system, a system still trying to extract itself desperately from a mire of muddled epistemology and that doesn’t understand that a sophisticated set of non religious ethics is out there simply waiting for others to wake up!!

            People can, and indeed many already do, behave well without threats and oversight and this because when they have been “offered”, only “offered” not threatened with eternal damnation or constant oversight, information about why good behaviour causes everyone to prosper, and they have the necessary autonomy to enact good behaviour, they choose to do it!

            Rod’s implied implication that we must all return to the dark ages of thought to behave well is utterly unnecessary. As we have established through the difficulty of working out the meaning of ancient texts, it just makes everything unnecessarily complicated. There are better ways to go.

          • Aasiyah Sattar

            Sahih Bukhari Volume 009, Book 084, Hadith Number 064.
            Sahih Bukhari Book 84. Dealing with Apostates

            Bismillah-Hir-Rahman-Nir-Raheem
            Narrated By ‘Ali : Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah’s Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e. I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game.

            #before i explain i would like you to know that
            The Qur’an, Hadeeth, Sunnah was originally revealed in the Arabic Language. No translation of Qura’n , Hadeeth, Sunnah can be a hundred percent accurate, nor it can be used as a replacement of the Qur’an text. Islamic scholars have tried to provide a mostly acceptable english interpretation of the Qur’an , Hadeeth, Sunnah but cannot guarantee it’s 100% accuracy. Its merely to give understanding of what’s written.

            #Explanation : Islam urges and encourages muslims to have a witness (Wakeel) when an important conversation or situation occurs. The narrator is not blatantly confessing to being a liar or saying that he lies, but merely explains that when two people have a conversation which is being related to the third person, either one of them may convey or misinterprets or add or leave out details of what had been spoken which is human and unintentional. This could end up in an argument and it would be a “my word against yours situation”..The narrator therefore calls upon God as a witness when conveying a hadeeth as proof that it is what the prophet had spoken..Relating the hadeeth to a group of people ensures that the message of the hadeeth is spread with the utmost correct details and illuminates different stories being said regarding one situation.

            Hadeth 65

            Bismillah-Hir-Rahman-Nir-Raheem
            Narrated By ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Yasar : That they visited Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and asked him about Al-Harauriyya, a special unorthodox religious sect, “Did you hear the Prophet saying anything about them?” Abu Sa’id said, “I do not know what Al-Harauriyya is, but I heard the Prophet saying, “There will appear in this nation… he did not say: From this nation… a group of people so pious apparently that you will consider your prayers inferior to their prayers, but they will recite the Quran, the teachings of which will not go beyond their throats and will go out of their religion as an arrow darts through the game, whereupon the archer may look at his arrow, its Nasl at its Risaf and its Fuqa to see whether it is blood-stained or not (i.e. they will have not even a trace of Islam in them).”

            Here some important directives are addressed to the Prophet (peace be on him) regarding how he should preach the Message of Islam and how he should guide and reform people. The object of these directives is not merely to instruct the Prophet (peace be on him), but also to instruct all those who would shoulder the same responsibility after the Prophet (peace be on him) was no longer amidst them. The major directives are as follows:

            (1) The most important qualities that must be cultivated by anyone who calls others to the truth are tenderness, magnanimity, and forbearing. Such a person should also have the capacity to tolerate the lapses of his companions and to patiently endure the excesses of his opponents. He should also be able to keep his cool in the face of grave provocation and gracefully connive at the offensive behavior of others. In facing the angry words, slander, persecution and mischief of his opponents, he should exercise the utmost self-restraint. Harshness, severity, bitterness. and vindictive provocativeness on his part are bound to undermine his mission.

            The same point seems to have been made in a Hadith in which the Prophet (peace be on him) says that he has been commanded by his Lord:

            ‘…to say the just word whether I am angry, or pleased; to maintain ties with him who severs ties with me; and to give to him who denies me (my right); and to forgive him who wrongs me.’ The Prophet (peace be on him) also instructed all those whom he deputized for preaching:

            “Give good news rather than arouse revulsion: make things easy rather than hard.’
            This distinguishing feature of the Prophet’s personality has also been mentioned in the Qur’an.

            It was thanks to Allah’s mercy that you were gentle to them. Had you been rough, hard-hearted, they would surely have scattered away, from you (AI ‘Imran 3: 159).

            (2) The second key to the success in da’wah work is to stay away from excessive theorizing and intellectual hair-splitting. One should rather call people in clear and simple terms to those virtues which are recognized as such by the generality of mankind and appeal to common sense. The great advantage of this method is that the Message of Islam finds its way right to the hearts of people at all levels of understanding. Those who then seek to oppose the Message are soon exposed and end up antagonizing the common people. For when the common people observe on the one hand decent and righteous people being opposed for the simple reason that they are inviting people to universally-known virtues, and on the other hand observe those opponents resorting to all kinds of immoral and inhuman means, they are bound to incline to support the standard bearers of truth and righteousness. This process goes on until a point where the only opponents left are those whose self-interest is inextricably linked with the prevailing unrighteous system, or those’s who have been totally blinded by their bigoted adherence to ancestral tradition or by their irrational biases.

            The wisdom underlying the Prophet’s method accounts for his phenomenal success and for the speedy spread of Islam in and around Arabia within a short span of time. People flocked to Islam in vast numbers so much so that in some lands eighty and ninety per cent of the population embraced Islam. In fact there are even instances of a hundred per cent of the population embracing Islam.

            (3) The interest of the Islamic mission requires, on the one hand, that righteousness should be enjoined on those who have the propensity to become righteous. On the other hand, it also requires that those who are overly insistent in their adherence to falsehood, should be left alone, and that their acts of provocation be ignored. Those who seek to spread Islam should confine their efforts to persuading only those who are prepared to consider the Message of Islam in reasonable manner. When someone becomes altogether unreasonable and quarrelsome, and resorts to indecent methods of taunting and reviling Islam, Muslims should simply refuse to become adversative. For all the time and effort devoted to reforming such people will be totally wasted.

  • StephanieJCW

    It would be interesting to see the socio economic profiles of those most likely to actively attend church/mosque/gurdwara etc and see if that affects anything.

    I.e. is it the type of people who go to church, or the act of going to church full stop that makes one less likely to commit a crime.

    “Another survey suggested that countries in which there was a widespread, strong and unshakeable belief in the existence of hell also had much lower crime rates than countries where the population tended to believe only in a rather amenable heaven, where everyone goes and has a bloody good time, free drinks, huge buffet and so on.”

    Hmm I’d like to see the link through to this, as some of the most violent nations on earth (see countries in South/Central America, The Caribbean parts of East Europe etc) have incredibly high levels of church attendance and religiosity.

    • Eddie

      Good points.
      The more educated and modern societies become, the less their people want to live under the cosh of a church or mosque.

  • mikewaller

    Please, Rod, tell us that you only put up this mish-mash of nonsense as an act of Christian charity to make James Delingpole for once look the epitome of reason argument.

    • When it comes to drugs, sex and licence: that will never happen. When it comes to the Trojan Horse of climate socialism, James is B A N G on.

  • I get your point, Rod, and good on ya for making it, but I think you’re unfair to Botton, who is a real thinker and a good sort. Dawkins is not so self-aware, and not so knowledgeable of his own civilization, either. But: you think that temples are monuments to a God only and not to the priests whose power depends on him? You think not? I think there is more in common between Botton’s tower of Babel and the temples of old than you acknowledge.

    As for your other questions: I was raised an atheist but I believe in virtue, which is a dirty word these days. But then, I read old books and listen to genuine philosophers (Leo Strauss, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Plato et al). I ask questions. ‘The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.’ — Socrates

    • Eddie

      Most of religion is not about faith itself.

      It is about tradition, family, match-making, ceremony, belonging, identity, language, food, music, art, community etc.

      I would agree that having such a structure and network is of benefit – so I agree with Rod’s general point (I think!) – but the belief/faith itself could be anything. Why not worship the sun? Just as valid as worshipping a sky fairy – except the sun can be proven with evidence to exist and to be crucial to the creation of life.

      I like Kierkegaard’s take on religion. He believed that God could not be debated rationally – he put it down to choice. The choice is absurd, but it’s choosing the absurd that makes it faith.

      In the UK over the last 30 or so years, hateful forms of religion have raised their ugly head again, thanks to mass immigration (and Saudi oil money radicalising young British Muslims). Not good. In fact, very unpleasant.

      • VitaBrevis1

        Kierkegaard lived before knowledge of the fine tuning of the universe to support life.

        This fact was principally the cause of the conversion to theism of the philosopher Antony Flew, the ‘world’s most famous atheist’ as he was until shortly before he died a few years ago.

        Believing in some ultimate cause of the universe is far from being an absurd choice.

        • But there you have just given us the great leap — positing an Unmoved Mover, which is fair enough, and then proceeding not only to a Rewarding & Punishing God but to an RPG with a precise character and scripture. And that’s where you lose me. ‘Some ultimate cause of the universe’ is a long long way from ‘verily, I say unto you’.

          • Eddie

            Yes, and many atheists would believe in ‘some ultimate cause’ of the universe. Energy. Or as some believers call it, God.

          • VitaBrevis1

            Where does this energy come from? And where were the laws to shape into us before there was anything/

          • Good. Keep asking questions, V. (Hint: not everything is a matter of ‘laws’. In fact, Christianity itself is a rebellion against the Judaic law-based religion.)

          • VitaBrevis1

            We know what God is like because Jesus showed us.

          • I think that is a classic example of begging the question.

          • VitaBrevis1

            Not if you accept the truth of the story of Jesus in the Gospels.

            See my other posts on this.

        • Eddie

          Believing in some ultimate cause of the universe is NOT religion.
          Believing in some old books cobbled together and based on myths and superstition and supernatural wishful thinking IS what we understand y religion, and that is utterly an absurd choice, especially when religious people claim their old books (based on pre-Christian and pre-Muslim myths and stories anyway) trump the rational evidence of science that has disproved most of the claims in them.

          Religion was created by evolution – because those who had a united belief system and a sense of the future (ie those who could IMAGINE) had an evolutionary advantage. I see it as a man-made phenomenon.

          • VitaBrevis1

            Man made when it was the product of evolution?

      • The only thing is, once in a while you get a ‘virtued-up’ religion that gives you something more than mere animism and irrational faith. ‘Do unto others’ is possibly the best idea a religion ever championed.

        • Daniel Maris

          The golden rule was well known to ancient philosophy as well as religion. It’s found in many forms around the world. It is indeed the basis for a good society – not least because it is does not define “others” as a tribe or community of believers.

          Among Islam’s many flaws is the absence of application of this rule.

          • VitaBrevis1

            1. The Golden Rule is not a maxim of retribution or even of reciprocity; rather it is a moral maxim of general altruism, expressed by mutuality between a doer and others.

            2. Logical analysis reveals the greater extension and benevolence evoked by the positive formulation of the Golden Rule in contrast with the negative formulation of the Silver Rule.

            3. When (1) and (2) are attended to, it becomes clear that Jesus’ formulation of the Golden Rule has no precedents in the thought world of his time. It is unique.

            4. This uniqueness finds its ground in the literary context in which Jesus’ rule is located in the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:27-36): the command to love one’s enemies (6:27-30), the rejection of the Greek ethic of reciprocity (6:32-34), and the disciples’ imitatio Dei (6:35c-36).

  • manonthebus

    Well such sentiments would depend on your view of history. The manner in which Christians dealt with other Christians, muslims and pagans in centuries gone by would turn your stomach over. For reasons unknown, muslims were very tolerant of other creeds for the first few hundred years but have been making up for it ever since. I really don’t believe you can equate religion with good behaviour. I think it has more to do with education and socialisation. There are plenty of good people around who are either atheist or agnostic (which amounts to almost the same thing). People also started to behave slightly better towards each other when criminal law became part of the ‘King’s Peace’ rather than leaving it to the blood feud.

    • Bonkim

      Spot on. Man can be civilized when he does not have to battle every day for survival.

    • crosscop

      “muslims were very tolerant of other creeds for the first few hundred years”
      Where on earth did you get that idea? Muslims relentlessly attacked the Byzantines and other Christian nations around the Mediterranean ( as well as Hindu, Zoroasteran and Buddhist nations to the East) throughout the period you refer to. Conquered peoples were subjugated and reduced to dhimmi status if they would not convert. Massacres of non-believers were a regular occurrence. Thousands were enslaved. Thousands were forcibly converted to Islam. All non-Muslims were expelled from Arabia. Look up the Pact of Umar to see how dhimmis in Palestine were treated.

      • Aasiyah Sattar

        around 620, almost 7 years after the idolatrous Persians had severely defeated Christian Byzantium in 613-14. In fact, Byzantium had suffered such heavy losses that it seemed impossible for it even to survive, let alone be victorious again. Following their defeat of the Byzantines at Antioch in 613, the Persians seized control of Damascus, Cilicia, Tarsus, Armenia, and Jerusalem. The loss of Jerusalem in 614 was particularly traumatic for the Byzantines, for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed and the Persians seized the “True Cross,” the symbol of Christianity.174 In addition, the Avars, Slavs, and Lombards also were posing serious threats to the Byzantine Empire. The Avars had reached as far as the walls of Constantinople. Emperor Heraclius ordered the gold and silver in churches to be melted and turned into money in order to meet the army’s expenses. When this proved insufficient, bronze statues were melted down in order to mint more money. Many governors had revolted against Heraclius, and Byzantium was on the point of collapse.175 Mesopotamia, Cilicia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Armenia, which had earlier belonged to Byzantium, were invaded by the idolatrous Persians.176

        The Dead Sea basin where Byzantium was defeated by Persians. Above is a satellite photograph of the region. The Lake of Lut region, which is the lowest region of the world, is 395 meter below the sea level.

        In short, everyone was expecting Byzantium to be destroyed. But during this time, the first verses of Surat ar-Rum were revealed, announcing that Byzantium would triumph in 3 to 9 years. This predicted victory seemed so impossible that the Arab polytheists thought it would never come true.

        On top a satellite photograph of the Dead Sea basin. The altitude of the Dead Sea could only be determined with modern measurement techniques. These measurements led to the discovery that this region is the “lowest region on the Earth.”

        Like all the other predictions in the Qur’an, however, this one also came true. In 622, Heraclius gained a number of victories over the Persians and conquered Armenia.177 In December 627, the two empires fought a decisive battle at Nineveh, some 50 kilometres east of the Tigris river, near Baghdad. This time too, the Byzantine army defeated the Persians. A few months later, the Persians had to sue for peace with Byzantium, which obliged them to return the territories they had taken from it.178

        The Byzantine victory was completed when Emperor Heraclius defeated the Persian ruler Khosrow II in 630, recaptured Jerusalem, and regained the “True Cross” for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.179 In the end, “the victory of the Romans” proclaimed by Allah in the Qur’an miraculously came true within the verses’ stated “three to nine years” time frame.

        Another miracle revealed in these verses is the announcement of a geographical fact that could not have been known by anyone at that time: that the Romans had been defeated in the lowest region of Earth. This Arabic expression adna al-Ard is interpreted as “a nearby place” in many translations. However, this is not the literal meaning, but rather a figurative interpretation. The word adna, derived from the word dani (low), means “the lowest”. The word ard means “the world.” Therefore, adna al-ard means “the lowest place on Earth.”

        Some interpreters of the Qur’an, considering the closeness of the region in question to the Arabs, prefer the “closest” meaning of the word. However, the actual meaning indicates a very important geological fact: The Dead Sea, one of the regions in which the Byzantines were defeated in 613-14, is the lowest region on Earth.180

        As stated earlier, for Christian Byzantium, the loss of the True Cross was the heaviest blow in that defeat in Jerusalem, located near the shores of the Dead Sea.

        The Byzantines and the Persians actually fought at the Dead Sea basin, which is situated at the intersection point of the lands belonging to Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. At 399 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the “lowest” place on Earth’s surface.181

  • D Whiggery

    Islam is primitive and medieval, pure and simple. That many muslims manage to look beyond or ignore the brutality and cruelty in their holy scripture is a small comfort for they do not challenge it either. Whoever felt it was a good idea to invite this barbarism to our shores is beyond me. Never as a country pressed its own self distruct button with so much enthusiasm, only to then stand aside and stare blankly ahead during the countdown.

    Imperial guilt is a powerful force indeed if it can make us collectively pass into history apologizing as we go.

    So sorry.

    • Bonkim

      Is today’s Christianity of the West the real Christianity that existed in the beginning or simply a re-invented and polished remake for the modern man particularly in the West. Christianity and Islam were no different from each other in the early and Middle Ages.

      • D Whiggery

        It’s one that has evolved within its context instead of pretending that we still live in the medieval period.

        • Bonkim

          You are confirming religion is man-made and altered to suit cultures, circumstances, and times.

          Now why should anyone believe in such religion?

          • D Whiggery

            Of course, are many things. That doesn’t make them a bad thing or irrelevant.

            Religion is just the politicization of faith. In believing in a particular religion, people choose more or less the morals that they want God to stand for.

            No-one can be sure that God does exist or that he doesn’t so belief in God is a human choice. If God exists, no-one can be sure what he stands for, or if he stands for anything, so that too is a human choice. It’s not because it’s a human choice that it is wrong. In fact looking at societies where atheism has been tried, I can see why people choose to believe in God and why they assign to him a moral code.

            Personally, I happen to believe that what Christainity teaches is generally of good to society, and that over time it has gradually evolved for the better until recently. For the last 20 years or so in my view it has shifted too much and too fast. It has in fact wrongly anticipated cultural change and context rather than reacted to it although the problem is most acute in CofE.

            I also believe that a part of what Islam teaches is of general good to society but that there are also parts of their scripture that are not compatible with our society and that have always been barbaric even 800 years ago. This cultural baggage has been left to one side by many muslims but they have not been challenged and so they stay their waiting to be picked up by anyone with a cause. Part of the problem is the decentralized structure of Islam where pretty much anyone can be an Imam.

          • Bonkim

            Go along with all that – only our view of civilisation is post WW2 Britain and the relative affluence we find ourselves in. When things are uncertain as in the past and also present in many societies around the globe, violence for survival is the norm and civilisation is in history.

            All religions believe that theirs is the one and only true God to be obeyed – if they don’t, cease to be a uniting religion.

            The wishy washy religions of the West and increasingly in affluent parts f the world – simply economic drivers displacing conventional religions and violence seen as destructive to the gains in place. For those that are not affluent and not endowed with education and individual freedoms, blind religion is a powerful force giving them some security in an uncertain world. As you say Islam has certain bigoted followers who see a world populated by believers and cleansed off all non- believers.

            We need to be ruthless in getting rid of such vermin – first step is to do away with the European human rights legislation, deport the bigots to where they cam from. Also stop all overseas aid to the blighted parts of the world – instead make family planning as a condition of humanitarian aid.

            The earth is overpopulated and ignorance breeds ignorance. Don’t assume that all Christian communities of the world share your view of a peaceful and benevolent world – some carry out atrocities same as their Muslim counterparts in South East Asia, the Mid-East and Africa, also South America, occasionally in the west too – the Protestant/Catholic division in N Ireland, occasional extreme Christian gunmen in the US, etc.

          • VitaBrevis1

            Jesus showed us what God stands for. As you say, whether or not you accept this is a choice you make, if you have the grace to do so.

            Having written my thesis on the historicity of Jesus, and in any case accepting his message from the heart, I am prepared to do so.

            Thanks to its current leaders, especially those of the Church of England, Christianity is following public opinion rather than leading it. This is doing it no favours whatsoever,, since those churches are flourishing which most firmly reject current mores.

            People respect integrity of belief. They don’t follow those who seem to bend with the wind.

          • D Whiggery

            I quite agree. If someone decides to follow a particular religion, it is primarily to follow a fixed moral code by which to live their life. That’s not to say that code cannot evolve over time but it has to do so slowly enough for it appear to be fixed. In the last 30 years the CofE has been “evolving” (depends on your point of view) far too quickly in my view.

  • Mr Creosote

    The “omniscient being” thing only works until the age of about five – Christmas presents will only arrive on Christmas day if Santa (who is constantly watching) is assured that the young miscreant has been a good boy / girl in the run-up.

    Thereafter, the miscreants gain a level of brain development that proscribes any such primitive beliefs -except in the case of religious types.

  • Bob339

    Christianity has, despite the Spanish Inquisition and other anomalies, always promoted the idea of human kindness. You will not find a scrap of this in Islam or Judaism

    • Bonkim

      Now that is Christian nationalism speaking – and nationalism is unchristian.

  • Ian Walker

    You seem to have merely discovered that civilisation is a very thin veneer on top of the naked ape. I don’t think this will be much of a revelation to the atheists.

    On the other hand, I’d be interested in hearing how God’s perfect creation is able to descend into depravity merely by skipping a few Sunday chats? The science-worshippers have just managed to get a metal box to make up from a seven month snooze without any communication at all, and behave exactly as planned, so clearly they’re getting something right that God’s maybe missed off the blueprint?

    • Bonkim

      Atheists recognise reality and know man is an animal, and don’t need the gloss of religion to cover the naked truth.

      • Aasiyah Sattar

        Atheism is like a fish denying the existence of water

        • Bonkim

          Yes Muslims drowning in eternal ignorance not believing they need air to free them.

  • Bonkim

    Atheists don’t need any symbol for self-worship.

  • Truth Seeker

    Yep. The cure for all our ills. Pray to your imaginary friend.

    • VitaBrevis1

      Without the Divine, there is no truth to seek, Seeker , since we then make our own.
      cf Pontius Pilate .

      • Truth Seeker

        I have been trying to make my own truth for a long time, Mr Brevis, but I’d rather leave that to the Shadow Chancellor.

  • James Lovelace

    Muslims are 5% of the population, but 21% of those in young offender institutions. Muslims are 13% of the general prison population. And this is with the police/courts showing leniency to muslims (CROP, the only organistion to work with the victims of grooming gangs, says there are 10,000 schoolgirl victims, but no more than 100 people have been convicted, and 95% of them were muslims).

    Please explain how it can be that they “behave better than the rest of us”. Around the time when muslims rioted in Oldham, senior police officers were reporting that they were responsible for MOST of the racist violence in the town.

    If muslims behaved better than the average Briton, they wouldn’t be 3x or 4x as many of them in prison compared to the average Briton.

    • Aasiyah Sattar

      Your census report of the muslim population is utter crap, if 95 % of muslims were criminals, Islamophia should be non existent because they all should be locked up right. To my knowledge or realistically speaking, how would the law suddenly become lenient towards muslims ?? No one has that supreme power in the spur of a moment to change the law for specific race . Even if what you say may be the truth , which is highly unlikely, wouldn’t you rather have muslim behind bars for peace of mind rather then bend the rules. If prison calculated a whole 13 % of inmates were muslims, the remainder 87% of inmates are christians ?? But how insanely wicked is your prime minister to accept money and investments from the muslims ??? Has the prime minister not been informed of the 95% of muslim criminals he may empower by accepting money ?? Or is he that self indulgent to not care of the safety of his people and what it could come to..

      You are hilarious though, and i should compliment your vivid imagination, but before it gets any weirder i would like to inform you that your imagination has run wild. Maybe your prime minister should have taken a grand tour of your prison inmates, where you should point out which are the muslims and which aren’t..Guess its too late now huh..Oh well, give it a few months and you can cut and paste that same make believe census report..Like you’ve done before , hopefully no one else will remember other then me..

      Wednesday, November 6, 2013   

      Prime Minister of Malaysia brings World Islamic Economic Forum to London
      The Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Lord Green, Minister for Trade and Investment, will today launch the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum.

      The forthcoming Forum, entitled ‘Changing World, New Relationships’, will be held at Excel in London later this year – the first time the event will meet outside the Muslim world.

      More than 1,500 government leaders, captains of industries, academic scholars, regional experts, professionals and corporate managers from 100 countries will come together at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in October to boost trade partnerships between Islamic and European markets, and explore London’s future as a global hub for Islamic Finance.
      Speakers from the world of politics will include the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the Governor of the Bank Negara Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, President of the Islamic Development Bank, H.E. Dr Ahmed Mohamed Ali, the Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry, Dato Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Warsi, Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Green, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Greg Clark, and Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan.

      The £400m Malaysian consortium investment is the largest of its kind in the UK. With a development value of around £8bn, it is expected to create 15,000 new jobs and 3,500 new homes. (Muslims helping to create jobs and build homes in a westonised country wow i see the violent tendency’s there already)

      The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It is an immense honour that the World Islamic Economic Forum has chosen London for its first gathering outside of Asia.(Yes let hate him for being a traitor )

      • James Lovelace

        You are an utter loon. Nowhere did I say the Census showed that 95% of muslims are criminals.

        I referred to ONE specific type of crime in Britain — groups of men acting in a concerted fashion to seduce schoolgirls to have sex with them.

        In 95% of the convictions for this kind of crime in Britain, the men are muslims.

        http://4freedoms.com/group/uk/forum/topics/muslim-pimping-grooming-gangs-the-times-survey

        And the British authorities have spent £millions concealing that this crime was going on. The experts who work with the VICTIMS calculate there are 10,000 victims (at least).

        Even muslims who want sharia law in Britain admit it goes on. And they get death threats from other muslims because they admit it.

        And there was a Parliamentary commission into this kind of crime last year. They too concluded that muslims were the principal perpetrators — following the commission’s report, mosques in Britain read out a sermon telling muslim men it was illegal. 75% of mosques refused to read out that report, some of them in the areas where the very WORST incidents had happened.

        As for 87% of inmates who are not-muslims being christians. NO. That shows how thick you are. Only 60% of the entire British population describe themselves as “christians”. No doubt if the authorities released the statistics on how many self-identified christians there are in British prisons, it would be far less than 60%.

        Moreover, all over the world in non-muslim countries, the proportion of muslims in prison is vastly GREATER than there number in that country.

        Mohammed recruited his first 9,000 followers mostly from among criminals. He made rape, murder and robbery into religious acts. No wonder there are so many muslims in prison.

      • James Lovelace

        2010 – 12% of prisoners are muslims. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8558590.stm

        A later report said it was now 13%

        2012 – 21% of young convicts are muslims.
        http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/dec/07/young-prisoners-muslim

        Muslims are supposedly 5% of the British population.

        France – 70% of convicts are muslims. Only 10% of the population of France is muslim. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/07/us-france-radicalisation-insight-idUSBRE9460OQ20130507

        Europe’s future is set to follow that of moderate, multicultural Arabia. An army of fanatical muslims is going to cause civil war in Europe.

        • Aasiyah Sattar

          How has it come to a point where prisoners are now accounted for by the religion they follow ? What does it matter of how many muslims occupy prison cells ? Following a religion doesn’t make you any less of a criminal then that of the other person following a different religion with whom you share a prison cell with…. Nor should it be categorized by color race or sexual preferences..The law does not favor you based on religion so what is the point of your whole census report ? Trying to prove that muslims were not suppose to perform any criminal acts due to what their religion expects of them is useless..Then you might as well do the same for all the prisoners who all follow a religion and who believe in God ..Predicting a civil war ? Now that’s just crazy..what are fanatical muslims anyway ?

          • James Lovelace

            I don’t make the statistics, I just gather them and draw conclusions. I have heaps of statistics. And I would love it the governments of these countries produced statistics showing how many christians were in their prisons — because that would show that christians are more moral than muslims (which any sane person knows to be true – because the koran is evil).

            The statistics from France are the clincher. France has got the largest jewish population in Europe, but still it is clear that in a predominantly christian country that the christians make up less than 30% of the convicts.

            And we can reasonably extrapolate, that if 70% of the prisoners are muslims, then in France 70% of all crimes is by muslims. There are certain crimes (e.g. FGM) which are committed almost entirely by muslims. France prosecutes those muslims, Britain doesn’t. If Britain prosecuted them, then there’d be another 400,000 muslims in Britains prisons. We don’t have enough prisons just to house the muslims who slice up their daughters’ genitalia.

            In my opinion, any muslim who knows that Mohammed was a murderer, a rapist and a slave-monger and still thinks he was a good example is an evil fanatic.

          • Aasiyah Sattar

            Its so fatally ironic how crime is divided into religious categories according to your survey , yet my research done has not one muslim mentioned in the most brutal and horrific crimes committed from the year you mentioned till this day..As i predicted i now am positively assured that you have not only lied but is blatantly a muslim hater..To stoop to a level of blaming muslims for crimes that’s just unethical and pathetic .. Your statistics, just proved that the feather you tried pulling out of your crack , hoping a chicken would hatch is cheap sensalization..So no matter how high u jump up and down screaming how evil the quraan is , shows another vessel making too much noise..You just another hater with stupid remarks which in the end has no results. Muslims will continue to exists..Despite your statistics and future hopes of religious discrimination..

            UK is violent crime capital of Europe
            By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent 7:00AM BST 02 Jul 2009
            The United Kingdom is the violent crime capital of Europe and has one of the highest rates of violence in the world, worse even than America, according to new research.

            Analysis of figures from the European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offences in the UK since Labour came to power.

            The total number of violent offences recorded compared to population is higher than any other country in Europe, as well as America, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

            The figures combined crime statistics for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

            The UK had a greater number of murders in 2007 than any other EU country – 927 – and at a relative rate higher than most western European neighbours, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

            It also recorded the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU, and the highest absolute number of burglaries, with double the number of offences recorded in Germany and France.

            Overall, 5.4 million crimes were recorded in the UK in 2007 – more than 10 a minute – second only to Sweden.

            Chris Grayling, shadow home secretary, said: “This is a real damning indictment of this government’s comprehensive failure over more than a decade to tackle the deep rooted social problems in our society, and the knock-on effect on crime and anti-social behaviour.

            “We’re now on our fourth Home Secretary in this parliament, and all we are getting is a rehash of old initiatives that didn’t work the first time round. More than ever Britain needs a change of direction.”

            The figures were sourced from Eurostat, the European Commission’s database of statistics. They are gathered using official sources in the countries concerned such as the national statistics office, the national prison administration, ministries of the interior or justice, and police.

            A breakdown of the statistics, which were compiled into league tables by the Conservatives, revealed that violent crime in the UK had increased from 652,974 offences in 1998 to more than 1.15 million crimes in 2007.

            It means there are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK, making it the most violent place in Europe.

            Austria is second, with a rate of 1,677 per 100,000 people, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Holland.

            By comparison, America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 population.

            France recorded 324,765 violent crimes in 2007 – a 67 per cent increase in the past decade – at a rate of 504 per 100,000 population.

            The Home Office says there has been a downtrend in overall violence for the past decade.

            But last October it emerged that levels of violent crime in England and Wales had been underestimated for more than a decade because of a blunder in recording methods.

            Ministers admitted that some police forces had not been recording offenses of grievous bodily harm with intent as serious violent crime. When the offenses were included violent crime figures immediately increased by a fifth.

            Separate figures disclosed in May showed that the number of people requiring hospital treatment after being seriously hurt in street fights or assaults has risen 50 per cent in five years.

            More than 20 people a day were taken to hospital accident and emergency departments in England last year after being hit, kicked, scratched or bitten. Alcohol is blamed as a factor in half of the incidents and raises further questions over 24-hour drinking.

            “MISLIMS DO NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL”

            Figures for 2011 show that more people were killed as a result of falls (3,885), intentional self-harm (3,644), and transport accidents (1,815), but fewer were killed by exposure to smoke fire and flames (242) or accidental drowning or submersion (175)
            Weapons
            Knifes and sharp instruments continue to be the most common method of killing according to the report with 209 such homicides recorded in 2011/12 – this is down on 234 recorded for 2010/11.
            In the last year almost a quarter of male homicide victims were killed by hitting or kicking without a weapon and 26% of female victims were strangled or asphyxiated. 39 homicide victims were killed by shooting in 2011/12, down on the previous year which included 12 victims of the Cumbria shooting. The number of homicide victims killed by shooting however is at the lowest number since 1989.
            Sexual and intimate violence
            Women were more likely than men to have experienced domestic or sexual violence – 3% of women had experienced some form of sexual assault (including attempts) in the past year, compared with 0.3% of men according to the CSEW 2011/12.
            The difference between women and men was narrower when looking at victims of domestic abuse, which includes sexual and non-sexual abuse. 7.3% of women (1.2m) and 5% of men (800,000) reported having experienced domestic abuse in the last year.
            Because questions in this category are particularly prone to under-reporting, the survey also includes a self-completion module which has a large impact on results. Of all respondents who stated they were a victim of domestic violence in the past year in the self-completion module, only 5% had reported this in face-to-face interviews.
            Intimate violence includes experience of emotional, financial and physical abuse by partners or family members, as well as sexual assaults and stalking by any person. The most common form of intimate violence for both men and women was non-sexual partner abuse. When asked if they had experienced this type of abuse since the age of 16, 24% of women and 13% of men said yes.
            Just as with other crimes and offences in the survey, the prevalence of intimate violence varies according to the victim’s characteristics. For women. those aged 16-19 or 20-24 were more likely to be victims of domestic abuse or stalking. Sexual assault was most likely to occur to women aged 16-19. The highest risk group for domestic abuse amongst women were those that were separated, who made up 1 in 5 victims.

            As well as asking about experience of intimate violence, respondents were asked questions to indicate their attitude towards it. 8% of people stated that if the victim was under the influence of drugs then they were ‘completely’ or ‘mostly’ responsible for someone sexually assaulting or raping. 7% stated flirting heavily with an abuser beforehand made a victim responsible, and 6% thought this true if the victim was drunk.

            You end up saying the same thing most of the time anyway, so as much as you think you aggravating me ? You not even in a 50 million mile radius close to that..

            There isn’t any muslim who believe that Mohammed (saw) was a rapist murderer and slave-monger so i would then presume evil fanatic is non existent ?
            If the quraan had been evil as u claim it is , trust me prison’s would be your sanctuary

          • James Lovelace

            “Its so fatally ironic how crime is divided into religious categories according to your survey , yet my research done has not one muslim mentioned in the most brutal and horrific crimes committed from the year you mentioned till this day.”

            Your research?? Do you even live in the UK?

            Find me ONE example where a group of British non-muslims went out, found a muslim & murdered him for being a muslim (like muslims did to Lee Rigby in London in 2013).

            Find me ONE match for the case of Kris Donald, a 15yo boy murdered by muslims in Glasgow in 2004. They had never met him, but went out looking for a kafir to kill. While he was alive, they cut off his balls, cut out his eyes, stabbed him many times, then finally killed him by burning him alive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kriss_Donald

            Fine me ONE paralllel, for the case of Ross Parker, a 17yo boy murdered by muslims in Peterborough in 2001. After the muslims succeeded in bringing down the Twin Towers, these muslims went out to celebrate by finding a white man to kill. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Ross_Parker

            The world is full of stories of horrific violence from muslims. Because islam is evil. Despite non-muslims being 95% of the population of the UK, you cannot find ONE case to match any of those 3 horrific cases.

            Islam is of the devil.

    • Roxane Featherstone

      Hi James,

      I think this badly needs some sort of response. Rod? Go on, do your stuff.

      • James Lovelace

        I never expect a response from these people. I don’t write for them, because on the whole, they are complicit in what is going on.

        I write this information for passers-by who happen upon such things.

  • Robert Jory

    As an atheist, the only thing I want to see built for people are orphanages, hospitals and schools.

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