Atheist appreciated story of Butler’s new book

Thank you for publishing that review. That’s gutsy and I appreciate it.

Mr. Butler, thank you for proclaiming “The emperor has no clothes!” loud and clear. As an atheist since 1970 and having lived for three years in a Muslim country, a total of five years in Catholic countries and been raised a Protestant, I see the hypocrisy in all religions. And by “religions” I exclude more humanistic ideas such as Buddhism and Hinduism.

Regarding Judaism I didn’t live in their country but I’ve certainly dealt with them. They’re extremely egotistical, greedy and put their love of money and its power above fellow human beings. I admire their drive and ambition but it’s basically always about themselves.

If you don’t mind, a couple of thoughts and opinions:

1. Religion will fade away within eight to 10 generations (@ 20 per) thanks to the spread of information/knowledge via the Internet or its successor.

2. MOST top top level religious leaders eventually realize there is no such thing as god, miracles, etc. but will not give up their power and position. They just play political games.

3. The same people (especially Muslims) also realize that secular education and female emancipation is their death knell and will fight both until the end.

4. First in the developed world and then spread out, religion will be replaced by social media and digital connections but not involve going to traditional meeting houses at regular intervals. Those cathedrals and mosques and temples will become museums showing how NOT to treat people if they don’t bow down, pray for miracles and tithe.

However, in the short term it’s gonna get much worse. The Muslim world’s OVERALL education level (with many disparities) is low enough that they can be lead like sheep. Their leaders constantly invoke the Crusades to inflame people which shows they will use that 1,200-year-old history forever. The Muslims men also like togetherness, big crowds, close bodily contact and really love shouting slogans until hoarse. That makes them ALL feel like brothers. So, with that mentality, when you kill one man all his brothers will avenge that killing. In other words, killing one actually multiplies your enemies. In English the words for friend and brother are very different. In Turkish, they are almost identical so “my friend” can quickly become “my brother,” and if you do something bad to my new brother, I will avenge him.

Another gigantic problem they have is the idea of Inshalla/Mashalla or “if Allah wills it.” You ask Mustafa if he’s going to the bread store, and he’ll reply “Inshalla.” They do not have a sense of self determination like we have. Everything is in Allah’s hands. All they have to do is count their worry beads and wait, which they’re good at.

Martyrdom is another idea we don’t have but is normal in their mentality. We can understand their mentality but they cannot understand ours. That means reform and education must happen WITHIN their countries and we cannot impose it. The harder we try the more they resist. The more we kill the more we have to kill. It’s a vicious cycle that will worsen.

Currently, the Palestine problem will probably not be solved in our lifetime and until it is the Muslims will fight for their cause.

Religion, which creates both fear of death and rewards for after death, uses that carrot and stick to control people. Freedom of religion is simple: You’re born. You live. You die.

There’s nothing wrong with that. What is there to fear? Living life without fear is what I’ve experienced for over 40 years, and I’m thankful for that. I just wish more people could experience freedom from religion.

Doug Hicks
Tampa, Florida

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