Monday, August 29, 2011

Secular Crimes and Religious Crimes

If a man walks into a room full of people, yells "Allahu Akbar!" and starts shooting, that gets classified as a religious crime.

If a man walks into a room full of people, yells "Death to the capitalist pigs!" and starts shooting, that gets classified as a crime.

But it's a secular crime.

Somehow, it evades that distinction. You can go to the wikipedia page on secular ethics and you'll be treated to adorable little examples like "The Boy Scout Oath". Missing is the Thief in Law code.

Yet another one of those ridiculously common omissions. See, secular ethics are only secular if they're advocated by a man with a soothing voice and are popular at the time - or at the very least, if they're being advocated in company that won't find it unspeakably revolting. Otherwise, they're not called secular. Why, they're not even called ethics half the time. It's just 'crime' or 'craziness'.

It makes conversation more fun, though. For fun, tell an atheist of the Cult of Gnu variety that "rape is an overwhelmingly secular activity".

4 comments:

IlĂ­on said...

"If a man walks into a room full of people, yells "Allahu Akbar!" and starts shooting, that gets classified as a religious crime."

Oh, silly! That's a "tragedy" and a "random act of violence"; everyone knows "religion" had nothing to do with it.

Crude said...

Alright, bad example. It depends on the group in question.

I remember that army base shooting where pretty much that was reported to happen and, you know, let's not jump to conclusions.

But Breivik, the guy who wants to make common cause with atheists and secularists and cultural christians? Clearly that's the picture of orthodox Christianity!

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

I am reminded of the atheist "argument" that all humans are born atheist. And as we all know, people untouched by any hint of religious conception are saints. Strange how theology bleeds out of atheism light bleeds into shadow.

I wonder if you saw this, apropos: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100053450/mass-rape-by-paedophile-catholic-priests-is-a-myth-says-secular-humanist-magazine/

Crude said...

Nope, I didn't see it, though that was long my understanding anyway. The main focus I always heard was on the distinction between pedophelia and the other one that takes place with post-pubescent boys - but this puts things in greater relief. I'll actually have a post about that sometime, giving my own perspective.

But I find the whole 'secular ethics' thing ridiculously funny and biased. As I said, the Boy Scouts Oath makes the cut. The Thief in Law code, apparently not. Because, you know. Secular ethics are supposed to be cheery and nice and positive.

I swear, some people at this point think that slavery is a 100% religious institution, and that there were no secular reasons or justifications for slavery.