May 2008

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Converting to islam, isnt such a bad idea. Every muslim male gets 72 virgins in heaven, not a bad offer ! Personally i think the amount of virgins is very high, maybe its possible to exchange a few of them for a car ?


Won't work. If everyone in the world becomes Muslim today, it's only a matter of time before a billion different sects emerge. And with no non-Muslims in the world to fight now, wouldn't the attention turn to Muslims of other sects? So, instead of say, al-Qaeda Muslim versus Christians, it's now al-Qaeda Muslim versus some-kind-of-non-al-Qaeda-Muslims.


Maybe we could get away from the specifics of Islam a bit and ask the more general question: if everyone in the world magically (and willingly) converted to the same religion, would it be a step towards world peace?

I think it might be, though it would probably be a small one. The label you put on yourself (Christian, atheist, Muslim, Mormon, whatever) matters less than the way you live your life. There will always be extremists who think that you're not performing the sacrament of mowing your lawn correctly. It might cut down the sheer number of things people are likely to use as an excuse to fight, though.

Moving on to a different angle on Scott's provocative and interesting post -- does religion make the world a better or a worse place? As an atheist I would like to take the view that people brought up to think for themselves and educated in a set of rational principles (such as "do as you would be done by") would behave much better than those who have been conditioned to use old books (creatively interpreted by your local preacher) as an infallible guide to the way that EVERYONE should live. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be much evidence for this view. Perhaps the rational education part hasn't been tried properly yet. Or perhaps it's a case of "the insane ye shall have always with you"...


Scott, only 2 problems so far, 1) no alcahol & 2) no Bacon
not a good idea. :-)


Interesting, funny and provocative, as always!

Did some google research, and surprisingly (warning - religious quotes! ie Quran):

"2:256 There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way...

16:82 But if they turn away from you, your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message...

6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you (of your own choice) a guardian over them."

Hmmm....looks like Islam itself says other religions existing is a fact of life...


We have to remember this war with the Muslims has been going on for thousands of years.We will never stop it but the world goes in because of the wrongs to those who are less fortunate, those born female.
Do I want a partner beside me, or a child beareer to walk behind me. Thank you I will take my partner not to put up on a pedistal, Not to walk behind me, but to keep by my side where we can hold hands always. where our hearts will beat as one together in partnership always. I will stay a christian Thank You.


in response to the poster that says that he is a non-caring agnostic - you are an apatheist!

Parth Awasthi

Why not Vegetables?
We can all be vegetables and then no one will fight no one.

Differentiation within species is a part of Evolution and if it could be contested, boy, wouldn't the world be a simpler place?
I see no difference between the argument and the idea that 'Lets all become intelligent.' or 'Lets all become Idiots.' The point is just this... That Similarity shall never breed contempt is a false argument, simply because similiarity can't be achieved beyond a limit and if it would, it would be utter de-evolution.

Interesting idea neverthless.


I fully agree. At least if I become a Muslim I will learn new skills. 1. I would learn to fly an airplane (I wonder how many hours of training I would need, the bare minimum or does Islam require more?) 2. Bomb making Virgins here I come. 3. Learning the trick to that loud war cry done by flicking the tongue lau lau lau lau lau - I know there is a trick in there somewhere. 4. How to better control women. I really get pissed when I see a woman's elbow and my backhand needs work. 5. Stoning and the art of killing and please people from Denver we are talking actual stones here. 6. Learning to hate anything that does not conform to my beliefs. 7. How to not masturbate or not have sex while unmarried. Think of all the time I'll save! 8. How to have as many children as I can. 6 billion? Let's for 60 billion!!! 9. No alcohol or drugs. And while we are at it no relaxation of any kind. There are more but...I'm bored now.

Nick the Infidel.

"You’re probably thinking there is no way you could be happy becoming a Muslim, unless you already are one. But that flies in the face of all science and evidence."

That's just incorrect and if had been written with any serious intent, I would ask you to produce said evidence.

I feel happy when I have a simple bacon sarny for lunch (Toasted. With Cheese and brown sauce). I am happy when I get to relax while enjoying a nice cigar and some port wine or sherry. I am happy when the missus shows off in public the dress I bought her to celebrate her success at work.

These are just a few instances of simple pleasures that I afford myself and that make up my 'happiness'.

Islam simply prohibits afore mentioned activities. Ergo, I cannot be as happy as I am today if I were to convert to Islam. Q.E.D.

Andy Watt

"I hope when Jesus comes back, the first thing he does is close every church, mosque, and temple. It will be the first significant step towards world peace in the history of mankind."

This has to get my vote as the single most rational, humanist post I've seen on this blog. A better answer to modern strife: every human being realising a sense of internal morality rather than following strictures of an external force based on the fear of eventual damnation. The internal voice of conscience comes with a higher understanding, an evolution of the mind: most of the existing religious orders (at least, the ones which seem to prosecute wars - Christianity, Islam, Judaism etc) seem to rely on shame and guilt, which in turn are more effective on the less enlightened.

Why can't we all just transcend and.... get along? (Thank you Jack Nicholson)

Andy Watt

Fascinating - I'm away for a couple of days and a post like this turns up. Where to begin? I'm catching up as it is...

I see the usual mishmash of half-understood truths within some of the comments (Sharia law is always invoked within muslim states, they're like the borg, they seem to have catholic style addiciotn to guilt, happiness has nothing to do with religion (well, that's the point)). I should add my own.

This is a logically argued posting suggesting that a rational approach to not getting bombed/killed by Osama is pugnatiously and facetiously convert to Islam as an entire nation, then essentially pursuing the same agenda (liberalism, no doubt topped off with that wonderful capitalism I usually rant about) and subverting Islam from within.

Scott, you're a genius. I see lots of dancing in this posting. And as usual, I'm taking the smug aerial view of proceeding and not getting sucked in so I don't look like a gimp. Except, of course, the essential push of this wonderful column is completely nihilistic with regard to the intellectual capacity of the people who are daft enough to comment, so I am a gimp.


Albert Clement


Probably the worst, but definitely the most pointless blog ever written.

Can't believe it received so many responses actually 'discussing' it.


I parsed thru most of your comments and a few phrases from the comments caught my eye.
"Not really intellectually rigorous" ...
"your argument is sophomoric", ....
"Plus I really enjoy a good slab of bacon" ...
"Scott, you completely misunderstand the point of religion"..

Here you are trying to make a point, and you get these golden gems from In-duh-viduals who follow your blog and take the time to post their thoughts to you, to use as fodder for your next book.

You got it going dude! Rock On!
P.S: Have you read "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins? I have a feeling you might like it :)

Dave Knight

I once attended a training course in which the speaker recited some research evidence about how most everything in life only temporarily affects our happiness. Our happiness usually changes for a short period of time and then reverts to it's norm. The two exceptions were getting a pet (positive) and having a long commute (negative).

I guess I should move closer to work and get a puppy.


This is the Pascal's Wager argument. Someone could just as easily say "if everyone in the world was a member of religion X, nothing bad will happen." First of all, you'll never get 100% of people to be all the same religion. It'll never happen.

Second of all, bad things will happen regardless, people will still do acts of violence, they'll just be for other reasons.

Not to mention that religions break into separate sects over time anyway, as people change their minds for whatever reasons on various issues. So it would be impossible, and not only that, it wouldn't guarantee our safety.

And there is no proof that converting to Islam wouldn't affect our happiness, especially for women. Different people gain/lose happiness for different reasons.


Arf arf arf! Grrrr. Arf!


Telanis ...
"Are you kidding, Scott? There are all kinds of studies showing that the deeply religious are happier."

what about Carrie ? I don't think she was very happy.


"And we all generally agree that being alive is better than being dead."
Not really. We don't know how it feels to be dead, so it can still be better than being alive. We try to stay alive because we know can only switch one way and we will sooner or later.


There is no meaning to this post. I am a Hindu and I am not against Islam but I don't find anything interesting, they claim that the first man on Earth was a Muslim (Clearly a foolish statement, everyone knows about evolution). Well we can find wrong things in every religion but what we are born as is what we are destined to be. Not that Jesus Christ will not love people of other religion or Allah will not bless Hindus or Durga hates all Islamic people.
Terrorism, well Islamic people are doing terrorism in the name of religion (Jehad), is that what a civilized religion should be teaching?
You look smart and I am clearly not impressed by what you have written!


I am not afraid of terrorism; terror is for cowards and nincompoops that cannot get their act together long enough for some real war, medieval style, the kind of violence that *do* solve problems.

If the choice stands between adopting islam "for peace" or drive islam back out of Europe with extreme prejudice, I would go for the latter option: War!!

Much more rewarding careerwise than pushing buttons on a PeeCee. Anyway, it's what we do here in Europe when life starts to suck and options become limited.



Then I guess you don't know many smart people.


Okay, I'm willing to bet that someone's already made this point already, but I'm not up to reading all of these comments (it's amazing you can), so I shall just blither on.

You say that, basically, all people are about equally happy with their religions. But would they be happy with a religion that they DIDN'T choose?

When you choose your religion, one would think that you'd pick one that suits you--one that matches your belief system and personality. As time goes on, people can change their religions, if they find it no longer matches their morals and theirselves. But if they and their religion match, yes, they are happy.

If a person were to be FORCED into a religion (possibly by threat of nuclear apocolypse), then they might not be as happy with the religion. I mean, it's not what they would have chosen if there had been no threat.

See what I mean? Probably not. I am a sucky arguer. But just to be clear; Scott, I think you are brilliant times one billion. And, to people who think this blog is stupid; it made you think, right?

Dancing monkey

The vast majority of this post is analogous to "I can't see the back of my head and so can never know if it's a kangaroo, but meat smells purple, so I should play video games." Your premises are completely unrelated to your conclusions and tend to make no sense by themselves anyway.

It is entirely possible that many people know the meaning of life. Everyone who disagrees with these people is just too stupid to realize it.

The fact that there are many religions does not mean that the human mind cannot figure out which is correct, but only that at least a large number of individual minds can't figure it out, and whichever ones are right, if they exist, haven't so far shown an ability to change everyone else's mind.

You cannot say "oh this general group disagrees, so obviously it is impossible to know the answer." It may be impossible for the group, but the group is just a statistical convenience and does not exist independent of the individuals except as an abstract construct in your mind. Meaning that the impossibility can only be attributed to an entity that has no real existence.

You are falling into the mistake of all those people who take the moral relativism crap too far. You are looking at a group, condensing it to an average, making general statements about it which may or may not be right, then assuming that each of these statements applies to all group members. It simply does not work. Try to apply the same techniques to a class of second graders, but focused on mathematics rather than morality, and see how much sense it makes. "Obviously, the second grade mind is not capable of fathoming multiplication, because if they were the students would all agree on the product of 9 and 5. So the only logical choice is to say that this product is 2 because any notion of truth cannot be fathomed by the second-grader and must be discarded, and the bully of the class thinks the answer is 2 and is less likely to beat up those who agree with him." It just doesn't quire fly.


I love how all you bacon-lovers forget that there is such a thing as TURKEY bacon.

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