Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oxford abusers "attended the Mosque"

The Guardian today carries an interesting aside to the deeply disturbing story of the systematic grooming and abuse of vulnerable young girls in the town.

Across the Cowley Road the leaders of the Central Oxford mosque are equally horrified that men who attended prayers inside its doors – men who had wives and children and were well known in the community – could have been responsible.
In a previous post I suggested that religion rarely makes bad people do good things but can and does make good people do bad things. I took as my example of the latter the Boston bombers, the younger of whom (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) had received a $2,500 scholarship from the city of Cambridge, Mass. and was hoping to become a dentist.

Now we have an horrific example of how religion fails to make bad people do good things or,more pertinently in this case, doesn't stop bad people doing some of the most evil things imaginable.


  1. First of all, these men are disgusting and every sex offender, woman abuser and general dangerous person should be exterminated or castrated in my option.

    Second - Religion is not a medication for evil, it's more of a placebo - in that the person makes it work. I am of the opinon that all do-gooders who have "found God" and quit their lives of badness and immorality would have done so whether they chose Islam, Christianity or dancing naked around a tree (*shout out to Spinoza!*)

    Third: suppressing people's natures is a fast track route to problems (*shout out to the Catholic Church!*) Telling people normal, general, everyday things (like women's voices for example, or masturbation, or desiring the opposite sex) is evil - really leaves very little space for maneuver. Basically, you are evil and being tempted by the devil 24/7 or you are some superhuman who does not have any natural desire, likes or temptations (a.ka. you are psychologically lobotomized). Once you have concluded that you are evil and therefore going to hell - the sky really is the limit after that isn't it? I mean, why stop at listening to music, seeing as you are going to hell now?

    I think this point that I am trying to make is important - because if teeny weeny things like listening to music, fancying your teacher or colleague and showing your hair is enough to go straight to hell (which in the texts btw it isn't,but in the community it is) - then why stop? Why bother trying to turn it around? You create the bad guys by leaving them no space to breathe.

  2. "Religion rarely makes bad people do good things"
    Can you think of anything that will make truly bad people do good things? I can think of only one: self-interest. But no one on earth, I think, is completely bad, except psychopaths. People who have committed dastardly crimes may still do a good deed because they still have some kindness left in them. BTW, most people don't do good deeds because their religion tells them to. They do so because of their sensitivity to justice and mercy. Religion exists to tell one how to differentiate between good and bad. If not religion, it is nurture, that is, how one is raised. However, religion does in many cases prevent people from doing bad things. For every terrorist who kills in God's name, there are a hundred nameless people who resist temptations to lie, cheat or say or do something hurtful because of their faith. But do you acknowledge them? No. So you are being one-sided.

    "[Religion] doesn't stop bad people doing some of the most evil things imaginable."
    People have both good and bad inclinations in them. Are you looking at religion as some sort of psychological straitjacket? Because it is not. All religions are sets of rules, just like the rules by which we were raised when we were children. You can overturn them and listen to your bad side if you want, or you can listen to them and do what is right. What you're saying is like me saying that since democracy doesn't always prevent the abuse of power, it is bad.

    1. by and large democracy works. Liberal western democracies have been the most successful societies in terms of providing the greatest good for the greatest number in the history of mankind.
      religion doesn't work.

    2. "By and large democracy works."
      Exactly. Democracy is for society what religion is for the individual. Religion works for most religious people. Religious faith does act as a deterrent from harming themselves or others. It also plays a role in reforming criminals-- whether they believe Jesus died for them, or they see themselves as Allah's slaves, or discover Torah. But even in a democracy, you can have the abuse of power. But that wouldn't make me say democracy itself is bad.