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Lawyer Smokes Pages From the Koran and Bible

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the attention-whore-of-babylon dept.

Australia 138

Daehenoc writes "Thanks to a lawyer in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, we now know that the Bible makes a better smoke than the Koran. From the article: 'In the clip, titled "Bible or Koran - which burns best?", the professed atheist says burning religious books is no big deal and people need to get over it. "It's just a f---ing book," he says. "Who cares? It's your beliefs that matter. Quite frankly, if you are going to get upset about a book, you're taking life way too seriously."'

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138 comments

Am I the only one (2)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 3 years ago | (#33562972)

Who started singing Iron Maiden's "Holy Smoke" after reading this?

Re:Am I the only one (2, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563102)

Some of us may have thought about it, or quietly hummed the tune, but yes i believe you're the only one who started signing.

Obligatory (2, Funny)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563184)

Holy smokes!

Doesn't understand (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563194)

"He defended the stunt, saying basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech, should not be threatened simply because someone might be offended."

Yet another person doesn't understand freedom of speech.

He's perfectly free to say it. But he has to deal with the consequences. The government isn't saying a word about it. It's his peers and employer that are upset. And he'll face their wrath, as it should be.

Do I think he should be fired? No. What he did was thoughtless and inconsiderate, but it wasn't illegal and it wasn't on behalf of the school.

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563552)

Well not necessarily.

I do not know how it works in the USA, but even in countries that have general freedom and specifically freedom of speech that is not necessarily true.

In Canada for example we have Freedom of speech, as long as we do not offend anyone.
But of course everyone always just quotes the first part and i do not think most people even realize that we actually do not even have a little freedom of speech.

Re:Doesn't understand (0, Flamebait)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563788)

Canada dose NOT have freedom of speech.
If the government can come in and shut you up because "Someone" was offended. You do NOT have freedom of speech.
I can understand how Canadians may feel better about themselves by saying they have freedom of speech, but that dose not make it so.

Re:Doesn't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563918)

Sometimes, it's a good idea to read someone's complete post before replying ...

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564472)

That could work. But wouldn't I be ostrasized by /. for doing so?

Me fail English? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564484)

Sometimes, it's a good idea to read someone's complete post before replying ...

Ooh, what a burn! I tried that, though, and this bit threw me for a loop...

"i do not think most people even realize that we actually do not even have a little freedom of speech."

Dang, tough one to untangle. I guess he's saying that Canada doesn't have freedom of speech, after all? If wisnoskij's point is that Canadians have freedom of speech (except not) then I think Dishevel is quite right to say that this isn't freedom of speech at all...

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567426)

What's a good idea?

Re:Doesn't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563938)

Since when does the government trampling on our rights mean that we aren't SUPPOSED to have that right?

I guess this means American's don't have the right to privacy, the right to a trial and the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure? 'Cause last I heard, the US gov was doing all that and more.

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563952)

So libel and death threats are protected speech in America?

No.

What happens is, you offend someone, they sue you, or call the police, and then you are in court (the physical manifestation of the government) defending yourself. And if the charge is true, you are punished for it. Not for speech, but for its effects, however intangible.

And the entire time that your case is in the hands of the government, you may be subject to a gag order preventing you from speaking to anyone but your lawyer and the judge about anything the court decides you should not discuss.

"Freedom of speech" is a concept relating to certain features of the law, not an absolute reality.

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564324)

Stop! You're offending hundreds of Canadians...

Re:Doesn't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33568570)

How many is that in Americans? I kid, I kid... don't hit me with the poutine.

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566326)

Canada? QUT is in Australia.

In any case, even Canada protects religion and religious expression, and atheism is usually considered a religion for the purposes of such laws.

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564436)

Saying that Canada has freedom of speech "as long as we do not offend anyone." is a gross inaccuracy in my opinion. What the law actually states is that our freedom of speech is (emphasis mine) "subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." That does not mean "offending someone" is against the law. It means that if someone offends you with something, you must prove in a court of law that they have overstepped the expected bounds of free speech in our society. Generally speaking, peoples right to freedom of expression ends where it begins to result in promoting violence and hatred towards others. Simply offending someone else with your opinion is not enough to have your freedoms restricted.

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564090)

What, no smoking a Torah also?

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565400)

Comes as part of the bible, no?

Re:Doesn't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33564698)

His employers have no right to fire him unless he made his statement/presentation while on the job/on behalf of his employers. Similarly, your employer cannot fire you for going to gay bars or dancing contests. Obviously, assuming there was no contract explicitly stating he could be fired for such reasons.

You CAN be fired (1)

Ohrion (814105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565626)

In many places in the USA, you CAN be fired for what you choose to do on your own time. You can be fired for just about anything. It's called At-will employment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment [wikipedia.org]

Re:You CAN be fired (1)

infaustus (936456) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567974)

From your link: "Several exceptions to the doctrine exist, especially if unlawful discrimination is involved regarding the termination of an employee." Political discrimination is pretty much always unlawful. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is unlawful in many states.

Re:Doesn't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33564788)

Do I think he should be fired? No. What he did was thoughtless and inconsiderate, but it wasn't illegal and it wasn't on behalf of the school.

Well, four years ago some Muslim boys urinated on, spat on, and "smoked" a Bible. This was in a school in Australia, and last I heard they were expelled. So, maybe that would be par for the course. You may have missed the 2006 pee/fire/spit Bible incident since it didn't go global, so here it is: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/muslim-boys-urinated-on-bible/story-e6frg6nf-1111112640400 [theaustralian.com.au]

Re:Doesn't understand (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565678)

He's perfectly free to say it. But he has to deal with the consequences. The government isn't saying a word about it. It's his peers and employer that are upset. And he'll face their wrath, as it should be.

Nice idea. But if you look into the history of--just for the sake of argument--Nazi Germany, you'll find that especially in the early days the government itself rarely interfered or intervened against dissenters. If you tried to exercise your freedom of speech, you would simply have a squad of SA goons or the like accost you on the street or at your house. Government officialdom was rarely directly involved.

And yes, many of them would be your peers or indeed employers. In fact, that's probably the point of your post. Social and financial control can and should be exerted to stifle dissent. You are only as free as far as you can face the unpleasant consequences of being so. Funny how majorities and those with money never seem to have faces such repercussions isn't it?

religious discrimination (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566252)

He's perfectly free to say it. But he has to deal with the consequences. The government isn't saying a word about it. It's his peers and employer that are upset. And he'll face their wrath, as it should be.

He is an atheist. To an atheist, the Quran and the Bible are not holy and opposition to them is a moral duty because of the harm they have caused. Therefore, his actions are not just free speech, they are protected religious expression, making discrimination against him based on his actions illegal (Australia also has non-discrimination rules). (Furthermore, QUT seems to be a public university.)

What he did was thoughtless and inconsiderate,

Many religious offend each other; people are trying to sweep that under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist but that doesn't change the facts. To a Christian, Mohammed must logically have been an impostor and the Quran fake. To a Muslim, the holy trinity and the divinity of Jesus are fake and the Bible is corrupt. And both religions (and others) get away with heaping vitriol, lies, and committing highly offensive acts against atheists (and homosexuals, and others) who don't fit into their narrow world view, all under the cover of religious freedom and religious non-discrimination.

Freedom of religion and non-discrimination laws against religion have to protect you even if you offend other religions because offending other religions is pretty much inevitable. And atheism, for these purposes, is a religion.

It's just a f---ing book (1)

blai (1380673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563196)

I shall erase your social whatever number from our government database. It's just a f---ing entry in our database. No big deal.

Re:It's just a f---ing book (2, Insightful)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563306)

I don't think that's a good analogy. It would be more like, we are going to shred this piece of paper that your SSN is written on.

Re:It's just a f---ing book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563450)

That would be excellent.

Re:It's just a f---ing book (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566298)

I'd pay you good money to do exactly that...

Never about the books (2, Insightful)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563204)

It's always been the symbolism. I could wipe my ass with either book, and someone would get offended. It's just paper...
The thing is, if people are willing to believe in the whacked out nonsense contained in either book, why would anyone ever believe people wouldn't get pissed about burning them?

Similar example (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563252)

take that green pieces of paper and burn it. Is just a f---in piece of paper, who cares? Is your belief that have a value what matters. Quite frankly, if you are going to get upset about a bunch of money, you're taking life way too seriously.

Re:Similar example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563376)

Except that you can actually use those green pieces of paper for something, like an exchange for goods....

Re:Similar example (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564482)

A bible (or any of the other books for the other religions) have some use. Could be a first step for getting eternal life, gives you a community, could give some respect, all inside the people that believes in its value. And money can lose value pretty fast, like in Zimbabwe.

Re:Similar example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33565482)

+1 funny

Re:Similar example (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566354)

Burning a bible (or any of the other books for the other religions) have some use. Could be a first step for getting a life, gives you a community, could give some respect, all inside the people that understand its value. And bibles lose their value pretty fast, like when you can get them for free by just calling a phone number.

Fixed that for you.

more common use (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566370)

A more common use for Bibles and Qurans is for people to get money and power quickly by becoming preachers. Most commonly, this is then accomplished by preaching hatred and discrimination against a bunch of common minorities: atheists, homosexuals, "fornicators". And these people have their hate speech protected under freedom of religion and non-discrimination clauses.

Re:Similar example (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563534)

Since when was a religious text as valuable as money? It's not like you can feed a citizen on holiness now is it?

Re:Similar example (0)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564352)

I would argue that more people have been fed by Christianity than by excess money...

Re:Similar example (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564428)

Oh, I forgot. Bread + Fish + Christianity = More Bread + More Fish, right? My bad.

Re:Similar example (1)

mpeskett (1221084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566940)

Fed by religious adherents, yes (and non-believers too, of course). Fed by the holy text itself? Not so much.

Also, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bObItmxAGc [youtube.com]

(summary: Christianity could feed a lot more people if the Pope were to follow Matthew 19:21-24 a little more literally and sell his big house, or at least a little of of his hoard of treasure)

Re:Similar example (1)

Pandrake (1513617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563560)

I sense that you are trying to be sarcastic, but I see it as a very apt substitution. Currency has no value other than what we assign it, just like books.

Re:Similar example (2, Insightful)

fedtmule (614169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563632)

You are turning things upside down. People are upset, that he is burning his own personal copy of the Bible/Koran and that is just silly. If he burned another persons copy of the Koran/Bible, then by all means get upset.

If you decide to burn your own money, it would not make me upset. Not the slightest. Money are just I-Owe-Yours from the government. When you burn money, you resolve the government of it's obligation. So go burn all your own money, it will just mean I have to pay a tiny bit less in taxes.

Re:Similar example (1)

semiotec (948062) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563920)

Actually, In Australia non-coin money is made of plastic, burning and smoking it would be considerably more toxic than burning books, and people will get quite upset about it. They are also mostly non-green, except for the hundred-dollar bill.

Re:Similar example (1)

digit1001 (1009191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564826)

Not really the same. I have no emotional attachment to a $100 bill. If it's yours, burn it and I won't protest. I can take that $100 to a store and exchange it for lots of things that may mean more to me, or may feed my children. If I take a load of (insert your preferred religious text here) to Target, I'm not going to be able to exchange it for pampers. Also, you burn a pile of money that you earned, that's your business. If I burn a copy of MY (insert your preferred religious text here), it tends to become the problem of groups that feel that the text, regardless of the cheap manufacturing that went into it, has some sacred significance to it as the word of god(s) (TM). I think a closer analogy would be burning a flag... it's just fabric after all...

Re:Similar example (1)

Pandrake (1513617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566164)

Had to think for a minute, maybe even retract my first reply to the parent of your reply, but... I can't remember; isn't there some federal statute about the only people who can burn money is the federal mint? Otherwise, I believe, it's illegal as far as destruction of federal property (ie, no, we don't own the script, we merely use it under the conditions imposed by the real owner - the US Treasury).

Re:Similar example (1)

digit1001 (1009191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566458)

Like I said, "I won't protest". I'm not going to speak for the US govt.

It appears you're correct on the legality of doing so though:

"this is a violation of Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code, which says that “whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued, shall be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.” The law is enforced by the Secret Service."

http://www.freelawanswer.com/law/3175-3-law-4.html [freelawanswer.com]

Re:Similar example (1)

Pandrake (1513617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566634)

Ya, thot so. Vague memory of being told, "That's illegal," when someone burnt a bill in protest or for a magic act or something.

Thanks for not taking my mention as an argument against your stance, as I also do not speak for the US govt (tho as a citizen of the US, I can - the whole of the people thing).

Plus, I feel better about my other reply to the parent, er, maybe gp, post when I said that burning money is as "wrong" as burning a book - both only have value that we assign to them, rather than an intrinsic value. Merely, we've assigned a very high value to a publication if it's money (so much so it is, indeed, illegal to burn it and therefore any exception to First Amendment protection is probably handled on a case by case basis).

As you state, Flag burning is more apt as a comparison to book burning (especially that it's codified by a 1989 Supreme Court ruling).

Ya, I've been all over different discussions about the whole 451 acts lately, being a literary buff and all; which is the only reason I now know that about flag burning laws.

Burning books? (1)

shimage (954282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563304)

I had thought that burning books of any kind was in poor taste, but I guess it doesn't really matter if the books are still in print ...

Re:Burning books? (1)

horza (87255) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564558)

There was a ridiculous piece in the UK newspaper the Guardian which tried to compare that American preacher burning copies of the Koran he had bought to Hitler burning selected 'banned' books nationwide. Burning your own books is not a problem, burning other people's is.

There is nothing sinister about burning books, in fact they are a perfect source of fuel. From plagues to depressions, books have been burned through necessity. With modern printing on demand, the symbolism is now almost irrelevant as you can burn a million copies and you are not going to deprive the world of said literature. Another million can easily be printed.

The lawyer is making the same point about the Koran as defenders of the Danish cartoonist who pictured Muhammad. Feel free to have your beliefs, but if he is not of the same religion then why should he have to share yours?

Phillip.

Only rss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563358)

I came here from my RSS feed, but for some reason, it's not showing up on my main page. Yes, I have Idle enabled. Anyone else have that happening?

Re:Only rss? (2, Funny)

marcobat (1178909) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563432)

i think someone smoked you main page

FSM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563404)

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster would have won the smoke contest. In fact, his noodlines aproves the use of the gospel as smoking paper.

Re:FSM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563572)

His Holiness also recommends to print the gospel solely on natural, untreated Hemp paper. So his followers always have a good smoke handy, and to everyone else, it's "just a book".

Freedoms (5, Insightful)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563622)

Being a Christian myself (a relatively logical one, as well), here's my point of view.
He bought it, it's his book, so he's free to burn it. I personally would never burn a Bible, and I don't like even the idea of Bibles being burned, but as long as he's doing it to his own property, he's free to. To me, it's the words that matter, not the paper. As long as I have the words, he can burn as much paper as he's willing to buy. I can disagree with him, but that's all I can do. No more.

He's right in that "it's just a book.. get over it". However, I do hope he's not doing it with the purpose of taunting, because I would view that as malicious. If he wants to burn books because it makes him feel good, that's fine. It's doing it with the sole purpose of mocking others that creates an issue. I wouldn't do that to a Muslim's Koran, despite how much I disagree with them.

Re:Freedoms (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563752)

As a little experiment, I would like to burn every copy of the bible on earth, and kill all the Christians, just to see what would fill the void. Either existing religions, or else an almost but not quite Christianity like religion would be invented, to fill the gap.

My theory is that practically any shit will do to fill that brain hole. Not that religious practitioners see it that way whilst under the influence.

Re:Freedoms (2, Insightful)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563818)

+1 Sudden Outburst of Common Sense

Re:Freedoms (1)

Xiver (13712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564146)

I think the vast majority of Christians feel this way, myself included. However with any group, religious or otherwise, a few people can skew the perception of the whole group and no matter what you or I say, people will believe whatever they want to believe.

you're probably not a Christian (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566656)

Based on polls about religious belief, it's clear that the vast majority of "Christians" (at least in the US and Europe) aren't Christians at all, they believe some tolerant New Age feel-good religion that has little to do with Christianity. (Islam seems to be the same way, but there is less data.) That's nice as far as it goes, and atheists generally don't have a problem with those kinds of pseudo-Christians.

But the religions and beliefs that the terms "Christianity" and "Islam" actually represent, are nowhere near as tolerant: the proselytize to convert atheists, they condemn atheism as immoral, and they often even call for atheism to be restricted or punished by law. Of course, atheists have a right to speak up against that, and according to atheist beliefs, they also have a moral obligation to speak up.

Proponents of Christianity (and Islam) are trying to be in a position where the vast crowds of moderate, tolerant people who use the names of those religions are used as a kind of "human shields" to deflect justified criticism and opposition to the intolerant and hateful interpretations of those religions. If tolerant Christians and Muslims don't want to be criticized by atheists, they need to come up with a way of referring to themselves that is different from the terms that the intolerant and hateful proponents of those religions use. That is not a problem that atheists can solve for these groups.

I'm sorry, pal (4, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564218)

There's no way to be "christian" and be "logical" at the same time. Christianity (and most other religions) by definition requires you to suspend logic and believe in the outdated mythology written by unwashed, barely literate savages approximately 1900 years ago (50 years _after_ the death of Christ), and since then creatively rewritten a few times to suit head honchos of the various sects. You believe in something you, again by definition, can't observe or confirm the existence of. That pretty much destroys your claim at possessing "logic".

Re:I'm sorry, pal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33564656)

You believe in something you, again by definition, can't observe or confirm the existence of. That pretty much destroys your claim at possessing "logic".

So... inductive logic, which is, by definition, tending towards but not absolute confirmation of the truth of a proposition, is also not logic. Nice to see the bar kept high.

Re:I'm sorry, pal (1)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564676)

This is the same attitude that you're criticizing. I say "I believe this, but you can believe what you want", and all you can say is "you're illogical and wrong". This makes you no better than the Christians who lack logic and have no idea what they're talking about. They make the Christians who do know what they're talking about look bad, just like you make the "scientific origin" crowd look bad. I'm sure that some of them are genuinely seeking truth, but all you're doing is throwing unsupported blabber on the wall and hoping something sticks.

I'd love to get into a scientific debate about the topic but this is not the place, nor are you actually looking for answers. You've decided your answer already and are sticking to it, so a debate would be absolutely pointless. Let's just say you won, so there won't have to be any more useless posts, k?

Re:I'm sorry, pal (1)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565318)

I call that passive aggression. He had a point, you know, regarding logic and unfounded beliefs. Unfortunately, no one can actually "win" the argument as there is no way to prove one side or the other (you can't prove the existence of fairies and I can't disprove their existence either). I guess what it boils down to is that you also have decided your answer already and are sticking to it, just like him.

Re:I'm sorry, pal (2, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565698)

Um, no. It is a fundamental rule of science to not take unobservable events and entities as truth. Religion is, at best, an unsupported hypothesis, with VERY long odds against it. And odds are getting slimmer by the day as science explains the world in greater detail, and uncovers the facts that directly contradict religious doctrines.

Re:Freedoms (0, Troll)

RossumsChild (941873) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564284)

"I personally would never burn a book, and I don't like even the idea of books being burned."

Fixed That For You.

Re:Freedoms (1)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564752)

Didn't occur to me to say it that way, but yes, now that you say it, that would hold true for me. Especially if it is ever forced upon somebody.

Re:Freedoms (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564708)

Being a Christian myself (a relatively logical one, as well), here's my point of view.

He bought it, it's his book, so he's free to burn it. I personally would never burn a Bible, and I don't like even the idea of Bibles being burned, but as long as he's doing it to his own property, he's free to. To me, it's the words that matter, not the paper. As long as I have the words, he can burn as much paper as he's willing to buy. I can disagree with him, but that's all I can do. No more.

Well, sure, but that's not really the point.

An act like burning someone's holy book, by itself, is meaningless. You make a fire, keep yourself warm, or whatever. But this isn't being done in a vacuum. It's being done as a little hate-rally, and the message of hate is, judging from how well this whole stupid thing has been publicized, being propagated to the subjects of that hate.

I think it's a reprehensible way to act. Americans should be better than this. Christians should be better than this. So hell yes, I will heap scorn on these ignorant fools for burning "just a book".

Re:Freedoms (1)

randyleepublic (1286320) | more than 3 years ago | (#33569516)

What's so bad or wrong with hating evil? The net result of religion is an increase in human suffering. That's evil. I hate evil. I hate religion. I express my hatered by burning their evil manual. One less evil manual, a tiny bit less evil in the world. Plus, those whose thinking is not well considered may, observing the inconsistent and illogical responses of the religiously brainwashed may have an awakening.

works both ways (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566530)

However, I do hope he's not doing it with the purpose of taunting, because I would view that as malicious.

And why do you hope that? To many atheists, Christianity and Islam are intrinsically morally wrong and evil and therefore to be opposed. One aspect of that is expressing that the "holy" books are neither true nor deserve special reverence. Of course, such a burning is supposed to get your attention and it is supposed to make you think.

Religions are the same way. Conservative Christians often preach in highly offensive ways against atheists and "desecrate" things that to atheists are objects of reverence. Conservative Muslims go as far as advocating and requiring the death penalty for atheism; how much more "malicious" can you get? And both religions do that in part because they consider it their mission to spread their message and recruit atheists into their fold. Well, it works both ways.

Re:Freedoms (1)

portablejim (1538997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33568710)

I am a Christian as well, and although the Bible should not be burned, it is his copy to do as he likes with it.

The reaction that I have towards what he has done, so it pray for him

One more great reason to make paper from (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563706)

HEMP!

Reminds me of something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563746)

http://holyrollersshop.com/

Hateful (1)

jlf278 (1022347) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563750)

First off, it's poor taste to burn books in general. More importantly is the context. This guy is just a narrow-minded jerk. I guess if it doesn't upset HIM, it's no big deal? The problem for me is that most burning of religious texts is done out of hate and spite. They are done to threaten a religious group and demonstrate a hostility that goes beyond what I find acceptable.

Re:Hateful (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566398)

But of course, two wrongs don't make a right. Yes, the people burning the books are assholes. But the people getting all pissed off about it are no better. Don't feed the trolls.

it is 21st century - what about holy ebooks!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33563800)

While people are still reading dead tree books...

Wonder what are people attitudes toward (oops) deleting a holy e-book?

Do you use permanent delete, so it does not land in a trash can/recycle bin?

What is an attitude towards burning of a usb drive with a holly e-book?

Re:it is 21st century - what about holy ebooks!? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564768)

Relevant XKCD [xkcd.com]

True (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563826)

From all the bibles, the best is Russian Orthodox, as they print on really thin paper.

Just some knowledge from my study years :)

Of course the bible is better (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 3 years ago | (#33563980)

It's made out of that cheapy paper so it burns easily.

Book Burning = Destruction Of Knowledge (1)

TwinkieStix (571736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564032)

Before the printing press, the duplication of data was a tedious, expensive and error-prone process. Burning books represented the destruction of knowledge. Countless volumes of data have been lost to all time at the hand of ancient book burnings. Today, we look back on every book burning as an act of ignorance. While I agree with the bulk of the comments that state, "who cares, it's just a book", I still feel upset when I see people exercising their right to destroy their own property (and whatever permanent knowledge it contained) even though I know there are an infinite number of copies of that knowledge now contained in digital media.

I just hope we don't reach a time where the mass-destruction of knowledge becomes possible again.

Re:Book Burning = Destruction Of Knowledge (1)

Xiver (13712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564178)

I don't know what you're talkinga bout we've always been at war with Eastasia.

Re:Book Burning = Destruction Of Knowledge (1)

horza (87255) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566162)

Very good retort. However, the governments' inability to shut down The Pirate Bay or Wikileaks is a healthy sign we are not yet headed down that dystopian future.

Phillip.

Hypocrite (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564198)

"burning religious books is no big deal and people need to get over it."

If it's "no big deal," there was no reason to do it to begin with. There are cheaper ways to get rolling paper.

Rather, to him it is a big deal: it's a pulpit on which to stand and say "It's no big deal."

Re:Hypocrite (1)

horza (87255) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564748)

I think you are in the minority. Most of us think it is no big deal that he thinks it is no big deal. He will probably think that it is no big deal that you do think it is a big deal about him thinking it is no big deal. And you are just going to have to deal with that.

Phillip.

Thou Shall Not Make False Idols (5, Insightful)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564386)

The ten commandments, and similar passages in the koran, specifically prohibit the worship of material things via the "Thou Shall Not Make False Idols" commandment. Worshiping the bible, or the crucifix or the koran is not only stupid, its hypocritical by its own standards.

Re:Thou Shall Not Make False Idols (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33564844)

The ten commandments, and similar passages in the koran, specifically prohibit the worship of material things via the "Thou Shall Not Make False Idols" commandment. Worshiping the bible, or the crucifix or the koran is not only stupid, its hypocritical by its own standards.

What's your point? Was there something here about worshipping the various holy books?

The relevant issue about burning someone's holy book isn't that you've removed one copy of the book from the world, it isn't (really) that you've destroyed something that is, by their standards, holy. It is a metaphor. It is a virtual slap in the face, an expression of the deepest loathing and utter disrespect for everything they believe in. It's like talking trash about someone's mom.

Re:Thou Shall Not Make False Idols (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566848)

It is a metaphor. It is a virtual slap in the face, an expression of the deepest loathing and utter disrespect for everything they believe in. It's like talking trash about someone's mom.

So what? "Deepest loathing and utter disrespect" is what prominent Christians and Muslims express for atheists.

Atheists 'not fully human', says Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor

Pope Benedict, in a new encyclical released on Friday, said atheism was responsible for some of the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" in history.

Many Muslim clerics demand the death penalty for atheism. And Christians and Muslims don't stop at loathing and disrespect: atheism is still being punished (occasionally by death) is Muslim nations, and it used to be severely punished in the West as well. You may say that you personally are more tolerant, but if you identify as a Christian or Muslim, you identify yourself with people like O'Connor, Pope Benedict and/or mainstream Muslim clerics.

People like you are apparently oblivious to the kind of intolerance and hatred your religious leaders spread in your name. If you view the Bible or Quran burning as a "virtual slap in the face", consider it a wakeup call to do something about intolerance and hatred in your own religion, because you seem to have dozed off in your complacency.

(And the GP's point is valid: many Christians and Muslims view burning of their holy books not just as a sign of disrespect against them, they view it as a religious offense; but that view is inconsistent with the prohibitions against idolatry.)

Re:Thou Shall Not Make False Idols (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33566984)

It is a metaphor. It is a virtual slap in the face, an expression of the deepest loathing and utter disrespect for everything they believe in. It's like talking trash about someone's mom.

So what? "Deepest loathing and utter disrespect" is what prominent Christians and Muslims express for atheists.

Doesn't make it right.

I don't think there's a conflict with the idolatry rules, either. I always interpreted those rules to mean nothing else should come ahead of one's commitment to god. I don't agree with the idea that many people seem to have, that the rules of their faith should apply to everyone else, too... But that doesn't mean it's OK to be an asshole, either.

To me there's a much more significant conflict, which is that this kind of behavior is (as I see it) against Jesus's teachings. Love thy neighbor as thyself, do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. Of course these guidelines aren't exclusively Christian - really rules like that are just the most basic principles for people to be able to get along with each other - but to me those are among the most essential teachings of Christianity.

People like you...

You shouldn't be too quick to assume you know what sort of person I am. You might just get it wrong.

Re:Thou Shall Not Make False Idols (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567336)

To me there's a much more significant conflict, which is that this kind of behavior is (as I see it) against Jesus's teachings. Love thy neighbor as thyself, do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

One of the basic tenets of mainstream Christianity is that the only way to salvation is to believe in Jesus; in different words, anybody who doesn't will be condemned to horrendous suffering for all eternity. How much more hateful and intolerant can a religious message get than that?

Neither atheism nor most other religions are like that; they believe that there are many ways to salvation, many ways to live a good and moral life.

Doesn't make it right.

It isn't "right" to offend people without cause. But given that Christians have preached hate and intolerance towards atheists for two millennia, often using the Bible as a symbol, atheists have ample cause. And burning the Bible expresses the right symbolism: atheists do not respect the book and refuse to submit to its authority any further.

The only reason that should offend you is if you do believe that atheists should submit to the authority of the Bible after all, which, of course, would make you intolerant.

You shouldn't be too quick to assume you know what sort of person I am. You might just get it wrong.

Based on your response, it's pretty clear I got it right.

Re:Thou Shall Not Make False Idols (1)

randyleepublic (1286320) | more than 3 years ago | (#33569586)

But I have the deepest loathing and absolutely no respect for everything they believe in. What, should I slap myself in the face, or the things I loathe?

Re:Thou Shall Not Make False Idols (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566358)

Dude, you can't talk to Christians nor Muslims about "idols", they just get pissed off and deny they have any.

0 = 0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33564568)

Nothing is accomplished here, folks. It's equally insensitive to be burning a book valued highly by certain individuals as it is to be fiercely objecting to people burning them as an absurd violation of their own views.

Smokin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33564570)

And later in the day after he finished his first oral argument, the judge asked him "what have you been smoking?"

preacher character (1)

GonzoPhysicist (1231558) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565058)

"What weights more: the Bible or the Bhagavad-Gita? Well worldy scholars and scientists have known for quite some time that the Bible outweighs the Bhagavad-Gita here by a pound to a pound and a half sometimes, outweighs the Talmud sometimes by three to four pounds, outweighs that mighty Koran sometimes by five to ten pounds. You think about that." -Mark

Future Cigar Aficionado Review..... (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565182)

Results:

Bible: Mellow flavor with hints of Frankincense and Myrrh, with a rich oak finish reminiscent of a witch burning.

Koran: Mellow, earthy tones of camel, with smokey hints of burning tires and Semtex.

Russian Orthodox Bible: Rich smoke with strong Orwellian undertones and pronounced earthy and woody notes.

Paper Cost (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565720)

Someone in the comments here said that bibles were printed on 'cheapy' paper. Actually that bible stock is not cheaper than other kinds of paper. Because paper costs are very much decided by weight a thin stock like that used in a bible might seem to be cheaper but considering the book itself is thousands of pages long it is relative. Also that bible stock is usually very strong despite its thinness compared to other forms of paper because bibles are generally seen as books which must last a long time and possibly endure daily use and abuse by Bible thumpers and God Botherers.

Personally, I'm against any book burning regardless of the subject matter. Sure, I might really feel like burning some Dan Brown novels (because they are poorly written rubbish!), but I never would. I think it is simply wrong. I think there are some past events in history that teach us as much.

artifact? really? (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 3 years ago | (#33565836)

How is a common print run of the Bible and the Koran, found in any hotel room, a religious artifact? The administrators must be smoking something even holier.

turn the other cheek then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33566490)

"It is a virtual slap in the face" turn the other cheek then

Sure, I'll bite (1)

l0b0 (803611) | more than 3 years ago | (#33567044)

While working at a major research institute library, the head librarian asked a few of us whether we could burn a book. Any book, for example some Office 95 manual that nobody has checked out since way into the last millennium. There were a few muffled answers, which turned into more of a philosophical question: Would you willingly destroy knowledge (or art, as with the stories of religions), knowing that on one side it would make space for new books which we would otherwise have to pass up, and on the other side someone might turn up, wanting to use it for some purpose we didn't imagine at the time of destroying it?

The real story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33567546)

The real story here is in the reaction from the various religious groups.

Christians: Meh...
Muslims: Kill the infidel!!

Don't Be A Dick, Alex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33568320)

You know, Alex Stewart should really take into heart what Phil Plait said and perhaps refrain from being such an ass:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/17/dont-be-a-dick-part-1-the-video/

I mean, hey, yeah. Stewart had every right to do what he did.

But when people stereotype atheists as hyper-privileged assholes, they'll be using Stewart as an example.

Don't be stupid!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33569502)

I want to conclude everything very short. There are no values in an atheist life because they live for nothing and die for nothing. This guy is so stupid that he doesn't know what he is doing. By burning the Quran the realities can't be changed. Never measure Quran and Islam according to what is shown to you blind people on the media. The facts in Quran challenges the very tiny knowledge of human being to go inside it and discover the undiscovered.

I've got a few books I'd like to burn... (1)

akayani (1211810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33569658)

I guess it is too soon to burn books on Flash. What about Java now it's owned by Orifice?
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