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Ethics and Atheophobia

14 May 2013, 10:15

After my last articles on atheism, the respondents of Part 2 contacted me in several ways, and threatened me, they would either shoot me, or assault me or do my wife and family harm.

The one that contacted me the most repeatedly asked me what my address was. (Stalker alert…lol) He also stated that if I didn’t remove the article, mentioned his name again he would sue me, as his lawyer and himself was going to monitor N24… I said I would have no problem, but would like to know the crime I committed.

His answer was that I had no permission to use their names or link it to their profile. I retorted by saying there was a clear message

"Hermann Bohmer Ek bedank jy vir julle antwoorde. As daar iemand is wat nie sy naam genoem wil he nie, laat asb dit hier

April 24 at 10:05am · Like

There was not a single response there after concerning the usage of their names, except for a person that did give permission, but said I should give the editor a private message. Because of its nature, I refused…J

Back to the “scene of the crime”, one of the bloggers (and there were many such remakes) stated I had no authority to do so, as the Facebook group was a closed group and therefor if they say something in a closed group, there is no way that it may leave that page… Basically according him, I was unethical about everything. I was stunned… Firstly, I said, Facebook is a public forum, and although the group is a closed one, I was accepted into the group, I requested that if there a problem with the usage of their names, they should record it here, which no one did. Secondly, if something is said in a public forum, one is allowed to either report it, or mention it, as a “Closed group” isn’t a place where things can be kept in the dark. Thirdly I reminded him on what ethics is…Ethics is doing the correct thing at the right time in full view of everyone. Nothing is hidden, all things are transparent.

During this, I had a conversation with a regular of News 24 , Delusion Buster. I asked him why he is using the pseudonym.  He stated he was afraid his family will be targeted in some way, and that he would lose clients if they knew he was an atheist. He said, a few hundred years ago they would have been burned at the stake for being atheists. This is very true…

“Those labeled as atheist, including early Christians and Muslims, were as a result targeted for legal persecution”

1.      Gey, Steven G. (2007). "Atheism and the Freedom of Religion". In Martin, Michael. The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 250–253, 260–2. ISBN 978-0-521-84270-9.

2.      7.^ Armstrong, Karen (1994). A History of God: The 4000-year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Random House, Inc. pp. 98, 147. ISBN 978-0-345-38456-0.

“"Americans still feel it's acceptable to discriminate against atheists in ways considered beyond the pale for other groups," asserted Fred Edwords of the American Humanist Association. However, other atheists reject these comparisons, arguing that while atheists may face disapproval they have not faced significant oppression or discrimination”

However they have protection from the law… against atheists

But what about South Africa…? To check, let first get some background and learn new neologisms…

Firstly, the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against atheists is called Atheophobia.

On Apostacy

Apostasy is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy (or who apostatises) is known as an apostate. The term apostasy is used by sociologists to mean renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to, a person's former religion, in a technical sense and without pejorative connotation.”

Many countries have extreme sentences for apostates, which include jail sentences (3 years), Death penalty and of Judaism does not follow the Torah's prescription on this point: there is no punishment today for leaving Judaism, other than being excluded from participating in the rituals of the Jewish community, including leading worship, being called to the Torah and being buried in a Jewish cemetery.

South Africa is currently seen as a Christian country. So what is the penalty according to Christians? Will Delusion Buster be targeted?

In Christianity there are mentioning of apostasy, one being adultery: "Apostasy is symbolized as Israel the faithless spouse turning away from Yahweh her marriage partner to pursue the advances of other gods (Jeremiah 2:1-3; Ezekiel 16). . . . 'Your children have forsaken me and sworn by god that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes' (Jeremiah 5:7, NIV). Adultery is used most often to graphically name the horror of the betrayal and covenant breaking involved in idolatry. Like literal adultery it does include the idea of someone blinded by infatuation, in this case for an idol: 'How I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts . . . which have lusted after their idols' (Ezekiel 6:9).”

Nowhere does it saw something about being put to death from committing apostasy… or any other punishment.

So it is a big “No” on that topic. Delusion Buster can sleep safely on that account…

So I have seen no events where there are discriminated against atheist in South Africa. Our Constitution is one of the best worded on the matter

“9 (3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth. “

In this very same blog a female teacher ranted about having to participate in Ascension Celebration, although she doesn’t belief in Jesus. I asked why she can’t be open and honest about it, she too referred to that she and her child will be targeted. Her child? Why a child, unless the child too have been indoctrinated…

1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness

2a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

b : the doctrine that there is no deity( Note Doctrine) J

Dogma is the official system of belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system's paradigm, or the ideology itself.

“Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology (see doctrine)”

So if we look at the possibilities on which one of those could atheists be discriminated against or targeted…

Atheists are spread through all races, they are both male and female, across many ethnics or social origins, are across all colours possibilities, they are hetro-, bi-, homo- and asexual, they are sometimes a part of LBGT groups or support them, they are across all ages, some have disabilities, others don’t. They have the same morals as we do, as no moral act differs between atheists and that of the religious or non religious. They have many different cultures, speak different languages and born in different places etc. They keep on saying it isn’t a religion or a belief, although definition might disagree with them, they will just reject it. So what will they be discriminated against?

So the question why a pseudonym? A pseudonym is a name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from his or her original or true name (orthonym). If the purpose is atheism, and atheism stands for honesty, especially intellectual honesty, why the need for a pseudonym?

Like I said before I was accused of being unethical, not being in the open, not doing the right thing on the right time in the open for all to see then I am giving the impression that I must be either ashamed of the position, or one is hiding something from the public.

We all recall the black uniformed men that were part of the AWB, covering their faces standing for something, but to “ashamed” to be known in public. Even the terrorists that do beheadings cover their faces? Why, if they belief in their views and believed that they are good, there ought to be no hiding…

So I wonder about any pseudonym in any forum / social media like Facebook and News 24. Why create a pseudonym to hide their identity? Even the profiles created in Facebook which entitles the pseudonym person to comment on News24. If they can create one fake profile , they can create many others, giving a false perception about the support of that particular person’s stance or ideology.

Most of the religious people here use their real profile and numerous attack in the form of ad honimen’s are done. A prime example, is Lyle’s weight

So to finish off, tell us the reason why you are hiding or for what reason you will be discriminated against with, and why will you be targeted, if you yourself is targeting or opposing the Christian religion as listed in this page .

Studies have shown people find atheists untrustworthy, mostly because of this hiding behind pseudonyms. There are many more reasons ;)

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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