RE: Youtube starts banning ‘religiously offensive’ videos

   To be honest when I first got the take down notices, about 6 of them in an hour or so (4 content inappropriate with no chance of appeal, and two privacy complaints) I thought,

‘another harassing and minor annoyance in running the channel.  A quick email to YT should sort it out.’

   I was then simply stunned when youtube claimed these videos had been reviewed by professional and impartial moderators and were removed for either hate speech or privacy violation.  The more so as some of these videos constituted some of the milder things I’ve said about religion.  The bottom line was, if this really was the new bar for hate speech, not only would it in an instant render the Thunderf00t channel unviable, it would render virtually every rationalist channel unviable.  Youtubes actions were simply unintelligible.  Indeed if someone had told me these were youtube actions, I simply wouldn’t have believed them.  But there were the words on the screen in black and white.

   I had no option but to make the video “Youtube starts banning ‘religiously offensive’ videos“.  There were simply no other alternatives.  A fairly high stakes game given that youtube could easily have said my action violated the terms of service and just killed the account.  But then again, if the words I had in black and white on the screen were correct, then channel was already dead, and the only thing left to do was give a good accounting of itself before the inevitable banhammer.

    By coincidence this happened about one week after the Hamza Kashgari incident.

Kashgari made about 3 vanilla tweets mildly critical of Islam only to find himself in fear for his life.  He fled Saudi, only to be arrested in Malaysia.  There he was deported back to Saudi with no due process to face a potential death sentence over three tweets.  That’s fucked up beyond ALL recognition.  But it really underscores the problem that religions find arbitrary things offensive.  Given this simple observation, having a clause in the Terms of Service about not offending religions is simply incoherent.

   If youtube really is willing to give religion this latitude of freedom, and to further scale what they consider ‘hate speech’ by how offended people are, then youtube would inevitably find itself in thrall to the Imams.  Many of them find anything that is not Islam offensive beyond comprehension, as was demonstrated by the Imam crying over the three tweets of Kashgari calling them ‘the worst thing he’d ever read’.

   So it was that I wrote potentially my last email to youtube asking them to apply whatever policy they had uniformly, which, taking ‘The Best emotional PORN‘ as the benchmark, would mean either about 7/10 of my videos would be hate speech, and they should delete them and ban my account, or reinstate the videos (which are vanilla compared to some of the videos on my channel).

The BEST emotional PORN, the new bar for ‘hate speech’,  Really?

   Thankfully, some 48 hrs later, with over 17000 thumbs up, well over a thousand mirrors and ~160k hits Youtube had a change of heart over what constituted hate speech.

   Now I have mixed feelings about this.  The Churchill quote about ‘The United States will always do the right thing…. once all other options have been exhausted’ kept coming to mind.

   Sure Youtube had done the right thing, and had the humility and plasticity to correct their previous mistake (a fairly honorable and humble act), but only once all other options had been exhausted.  You then look at what other options youtube had on the table (banhammer, ignore or stick to original judgment), and this is BY FAR the most dignified thing they could have done.

   So all things considered, I think this is as happy an outcome as could have been hoped for.  For the strong response of the community (and yes, it was the communal action that made this possible, for I as an individual had tried to take this to a sensible resolution and failed (I have the gut feeling it was not my email that swung the balance here)) ensured that free speech is maintained on this forum.

Many Thanks to all who made this outcome possible!

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84 Responses to “RE: Youtube starts banning ‘religiously offensive’ videos”

  1. leffehoegaarden Says:

    This form of sensorship is out of character for the likes of YouTube, it makes me wonder if strings are being pulled behind the scenes. But by who? It doesn’t seem to add up. Well for now we can put it down to a mistake in the hope that it truely was, only time will tell. But I get the feeling that we haven’t heard the last of this. Religion is power, YouTube is suseptible to heavy outside influences. Keep pushing the envelope Thunderf00t, find the line, step up to it and push it back, that’s what you’re best at.

  2. Cephas Borg Says:

    You’re welcome, mate. But I’m not sure that a few tens of thousands of users would even register on their radar. Methinks the shark-snouted lawyers gave YT the “thumbs down”, given that more than half of all rational channels would be a bit hard for those channels to swallow. And _their_ combined viewership would be a very large, angry, eloquent blob on their radar.

    I’ve been seriously contemplating suing religion(s) for some time now. Billy Connolly’s “The Man Who Sued God” was a good primer on what *not* to do. But the time to take it to the next level is fast approaching.

    I saw footage of “a” (if not “the”) Crying Imam. Now if those basalt-hearted scarecrows can’t cry on cue, I don’t know who can. I wonder how they do it so well? Plucking nostril hairs? (That would explain the beards). Sniffing acetic acid? Onions?

    Turning a tweet into a cause for imaginary-friend-sanctioned ritualised murder? Count on a muslim to turn Mohammed’s Molehill into a Mountain!

  3. Yuma Says:

    Congratulations Thunderf00t! My selfish gene wants your channels to continue, for my enjoyment 🙂

    I saw this coming as I noted earlier in this blog – I deleted my account, opened in 2007, after the notice of the new privacy statement. Of course you have a channel brimming with value, and mine was … well.. less.

    I don’t see this ending here. The herding of cats comes to mind. Atheist are simply not a block. Theist are all deluded together and need each other so the whole deck of cards doesn’t come crashing down. Together they will work against you and YouTube has already let you know it is not their problem.

    May I suggest that you have an open discussion spot on your blog for others who may want to communicate with you without placing a tag-a-long within another subject? You know, the ones who have closed their YouTube channel…ahem…so are unable to post to your channel?

  4. Spiny Norman Says:

    An incredible victory TF. Seeing as how this may be a recurring problem for your peers such as C0nc0rdance, AronRa and DPRJones, perhaps it would be wise to use multiple services to post videos or combine your accounts into one entity, much like the Magic Sandwich Show only for YouTube.

    It seems like the best way to combat the problem of censorship is to have a lot of back up. Both community support and technology should be embraced and exploited respectively.

  5. Ben Says:

    glad to hear the good news. To be honest, I did go around flagging any religious video I came across. In the box where you state your reason for flagging I merely copy pasted the terms of service regarding religion and then simply stated “offensive to my atheism”.

  6. confusedious Says:

    I sincerely hope that should YT do this the door will swing both ways. They should also, by this logic, pull down all religious videos as all religions are somewhat offensive to each other.

    Ludicrous. Perhaps a boycott? Try to get as many viewers as possible to immediately cease use of YT.

    Promoting rationalism isn’t offensive, it is merely stating what is and opposing those who would have us believe that what isn’t should be a driving force in this world.

    I’ll attempt to start a protest group at my University, sure to get support here (only dedicated biological anthropology research centre in my country).

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I actually felt sorry for the Imam. It was a benifit that Hamza Kashgari was in the news and your direct quotes of the tweets made it obviously a free speach issue in his and your comments. I think it wise to consider how under threat the Imams and our own religious feel. The religious leaders of both persuasions are using these as another fear based tactic for gaining unification and complience from there followers. Fear is an effective motivator. I would say it got me and several others to Like and pass your video to friends. We are going to learn that we have more reasons to join together than to stay in our comfortable independant thinking and maybe watch our freedoms errode.——–David– Sacramento

    • Mike Says:

      “I actually felt sorry for the Imam.”

      Not me, not one bit. If his great sky-daddy is so weak that some simple criticism can threaten it, then his religion ain’t worth a shit. That imam is a doddering old fool with no sense of proportion, and I don’t feel the slightest bit sorry for him.

      Personally I think we should start a “Make A Muslim Cry Day” or a “Make An Imam Cry Day”, where people say the MOST offensive things possible about Mohammed, Allah, and the Muslim religion. Just like “Draw Mohammed Day”, the goal is to let them know that we will not tolerate ANY strictures on our language or free speech.

      • jshowa Says:

        You do realize that doing something like that is basically doing the exact same thing the Westbaro Baptist church and all the fundamentalists that cause such divisiveness. In fact, if you make such an attack personal, as to insight immediate breach of peace, as saying something that is MOST offensive would do, you are NOT protected under free speech. Better to be careful about things like that and tackle such things rationally, instead of calling them names.

  8. Prelude610 Says:

    TF, congratulations. I can barely imagine the heart-break, feeling of betrayal, stab in the heart feeling, of having YT turn on you so suddenly and seemingly at a whim. We all have a relationship of sorts with YT in that we count of them being fair and reasonably intelligent about how they handle these sorts of issues.

    I wonder how much the recent murders in Afghanistan, motivated by the book burning, might have to do with this. If YT is caving already from that, well, I guess the terrorists have already won. And if burning a book can send a whole country into a murderous frenzy, what the hell does that say about them?

    I too am very close to closing my little YT account, which has no videos of any real value, and moving the few I have there to my Vimeo account. Bing isn’t bad as a search engine either. The smaller my footprint on Google, the better off I feel I will be, especially after this episode.

    But please know that I have found your videos informative, inspiring and enjoyable and I dare say you have made some classics. I hope you keep doing this. Yours were the first I ever saw from the atheist community and you introduced me to many other fine channels. And most of all, your video have mattered to me and my friends. Lone atheists in this culture are bound to be pretty confused atheists, but having this community has really helped us.

    I guess from here out we should all be a little more mindful how tenuous this YT thing is, and both keep in mind how poorly they handle the DMCA and now this issue, while at the same time building a presence and audience elsewhere.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I wouldn’t end it just there thunderf00t. What we should do next is to change that “Hate Speech” flag and retitle it “Racial Abuse” because thats all thats important to keep off youtube.

  10. Cephas Borg Says:

    I’ve taken the liberty of posting this (unfortunately long) list of questions and comments on the YT feedback forum. It will be interesting to see if anyone takes the bait. Or it could just be TL;DR, I guess. I have bad digital diarrhoea…

    My apologies for the length of this posting. I feel too strongly about all this BS to be brief. 🙂

    I have been participating in YouTube for as long as it has been running (under various pseudonyms), and until recently, I was unconcerned about DMCA takedown abuse and so-called “hate speech” attacks, because YT’s policies, both toward violators of your terms of service, and to the fraudulent and repeat takedown offenders raising false claims because of some personal or professional vendettas.

    However, a number of the channels I subscribe to have had multiple fraudulent and malicious attacks made against them, firstly in the form of fraudulent DMCA takedown requests, and more recently in the form of fraudulent hate-speech takedown requests.

    While I understand that with the volume of material on YT, you need to rely on automated processes to perform initial checks and scans of channel content, I also understand that further examination is done by human beings. It seems that the second part of this process is flawed beyond usability.

    Let me raise my primary concern here. Despite YT’s written, publically viewable DMCA abuse policy guidelines, repeated false DMCA abusers not only are not penalised, they are permitted to repeat their YT policy violations, in some cases up to 8 times for a single channel! This is bad enough, but the fact that YT is not following its own policy on these matters leaves me confused as to how these policies can be applied fairly and rationally by the current crop of moderators and monitors.

    The issue of so-called “hate speech” is even more concerning to me as a user. I have now seen the case where a number of quite obviously non-hate speech videos were reviewed by a YT committee, who then agreed amongst themselves that somehow, in some universe normal human beings are unaware of, these mild, rational, and unhysterical videos constituted hate speech!

    If you apply those guidelines, using those moderators, to YT’s amazing breadth of content, the vast majority videos could be easily construed as clearly breaching your hate speech guidelines. Is YT going to ban all video material that could possibly be construed as hateful to any minority group? Because if that’s so, I have a list of over 350 videos that quite clearly (and proudly) contain hateful, denigrating, intolerant, inhuman, unconscionable material aimed at the majority of people. Willl YT be following the same process as it (mistakenly, since the apparently “hateful” videos were reinstated without explanation just 48 hours later) followed in this most egregious breach of impartiality?

    There have been physical death threats aimed at the targets of these fraudulent takedown artists, by the people claiming violation of YTs TOS! Why do such people get away with what they do?

    Between YT’s tolerance towards members of organisations with some political clout, in terms of failing to live up to YT’s stated policies and guidelines, and YT’s incompetent judging panel, who not only mistakenly approve material as hateful but who then reverse their decision without reasonable explanation, I am one of many hundreds of thousands of YT participants who now have little or no faith in YT’s governance. It would appear that YT’s management is also not fully competent to apply their own rules and regulations. That means people like us will be watching what, if anything, happens as a result of this unbelievable partiality being brought to light.

    Put it this way : If I were YT’s boss, every single person involved with abrogating these important and fundamental rules would be sacked, as of COB today. Those people involved would then be required to provide a public accounting of their actions and misdeeds, and would be required to apologise, publically and in writing, to all the scared and overwhelmed channel owners who have been so clearly shafted by YT itself, simply because YT is too scared of a certain type of individual (and they are ALL individuals) because of political or religious affiliation.

    Shame on you anonymous, careless people.

    So I formally request YT to provide an (unadulterated) list containing a breakdown of the number of fraudulent (i.e. reversed) DMCA takedowns, lodged by individuals (not companies or organisations, individuals), compared with the reverse – the number of fraudulent DMCA notices applied to those fraud’s own channels. In fact, I dare YT to provide this information! I also want to see the number of penalties applied to both types of fraudulent takedown instigators. I strongly suspect (i.e. I pretty much already know) what those figures would look like. But perhaps it would be helpful for other participants – users AND channel owners – to see this information, so they know exactly how level YTs playing field is these days.

  11. John Vezina Says:

    I leave you with the following quote from Thomas Paine because tyranny disguised as moderation is still tyranny: “The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” — Thomas Paine

  12. peterheisenberg Says:

    It was an honor to be of service.

    I regret that I have but one channel to use for the cause sir.

  13. moriyamug Says:

    I only discovered this problem today, but I mirrored your videos upon arriving home. It pleases me greatly to know the decision was reversed.

  14. Mike Says:

    I’ll be surprised if this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.

    Youtube *should* be fair and impartial but it’s easier for them to be dictatorial and simply wipe out anything that enough people claim is “offensive” (whatever that is). There are a lot of religious fundies out there who will stop at nothing to silence any dissenting opinion, and my guess is that they’ll be back.

    Congratulations on prevailing, but please don’t let your guard down. The censorship-happy jackasses who did this will probably do it again. 😦

  15. Rigó Jancsi Says:

    No chance to get YT tell you who filed the complaints? Would be interesting to see whether your suspicion was correct or not. I didn’t see any reaction so far from Dawah, and usually he’s so easily angered…

  16. Phred Says:

    Keep in mind that YouTube is now owned by Google, and Google probably has some say in what they do. It may be that the decision to block your vids in the first place came from Google and not YouTube. Just a thought…

  17. Anonymous Says:

    We need people like you Thunderfoot! Please keep going!

  18. Mk Says:

    Never mind ‘who filed the complaints’,
    I would like to see the YT committee give more detail as to specifically WHAT was offensive, and what would have to be removed/modified to make the video acceptable.

    All in the name of being able to craft ‘acceptable’ videos, of course.

    If they did that, then the consistency & fairness of their system would be apparent to all.

  19. Gábor Koszper Says:

    Don’t forget that Youtube is a company. It does whatever it likes. If it wants to have only religious videos, it will have only religious videos. But then there will be another video sharing service that fills the niche. So it’s totally reasonable that Youtube turned over the censorship seeing that many customers didn’t like its decision.

    Though it’s very interesting that the creationist videos I see have mostly a red bar and atheist videos have mostly a green bar in approval rating, so I don’t understand why would they censor the ones that have a better approval from their costumers.

    • Yuma Says:

      Gábor, just thought I would add to your excellent post that we are the product, not the customer. The customer is the advertiser. Don’t mean to split hairs but this is an important difference.

      Let’s suppose that advertisers complain about content, as an example: Glenn Beck (ouch..). As good as he was(puke) with eyeballs, he was still removed possibly because of the backlash by advertisers which was well documented in the media. Beck, the product, was summarily dismissed regardless of his ratings.

      So we, in this case Thunderf00t, are expedient and must fit within the dirigiste. Of course we want to be treated fairly but there is no guarantee that we will. We can only rely on their terms of service, to protect us (more importantly to protect them), which content can be changed at any time at their whim – as is the case presently.

      • Gábor Koszper Says:

        Thanks and you’re right, in this regard we are the product, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. We are Youtube “producers”. And we have to endure the problems that comes with producing, being a product, etc. We are the ones, who wanted to make videos on Youtube.

        But I also assume that at the very end of the day we are the costumers, too. We are the ones who buy things from the advertisers. And here I don’t mean we, as the Youtube producers, but I mean we, as the ones who push the thumbs up or thumbs down button. They are the ones who consume the products of the advertisers. If the majority likes atheist videos and not creationist videos, the advertisers will want to aim their messages towards people who like atheist videos (that doesn’t necessary mean they are Atheists, they are simply reasonable people who don’t think “Goddidit” is a reasonably response).

        So, yes, we are the products, but in the end we are consumers, too. This is the best (or only good?) thing in capitalism.

  20. Flosailor Says:

    Well, it’s going to be a long war, TF. But doesn’t that make every victory taste just a little sweeter? 🙂

    Keep doing what you’re doing, man. We’ll do what we can to help, just show us what you need.

    You do great work, so thank you for sharing your insight, your knowledge and understanding. The internets are in your debt! 😉

  21. ShouldersofGiants Says:

    Anyone want to make a guess how long we have before Dawahfilms makes a video whining about the “anti muslim bigotry” YouTube has shown in reinstating these “hate filled videos”.

    All I know is that when he does, I will watch it and laugh

    Congratulations Thunderf00t

  22. Mike Says:

    jshowa: “In fact, if you make such an attack personal, as to insight immediate breach of peace, as saying something that is MOST offensive would do, you are NOT protected under free speech.”

    Who says I’m trying to incite a breach of the peace? All I’m doing is insulting Mohammed, if they choose to riot over a perceived insult, then maybe this is what it will take to make people wake up and stop tolerating this kind of nonsense.

    If I say “Mohammed is a dirty pedophile”, and a group of Muslims go bonkers and burn down a town, who is to blame? Not me. Not even if what I say is really, really offensive. I would be protected under the 1st Amendment. If “Draw Mohammed Day” is protected, “Make An Imam Cry Day” would be as well.

    “Better to be careful about things like that and tackle such things rationally, instead of calling them names.”

    Yes, it’s far better to tip-toe around them and let them suppress *our* free speech than to risk making them cry, right? Under that logic we shouldn’t object to stoning women to death, because it might offend them.

  23. Prelude610 Says:

    “How to Make an Imam Cry”, now that could be an interesting TF video. I’m sure a teary eyed Glen Beck could get slipped in there somehow, too.

  24. Vern_B Says:

    Oh captain, my captain!

    The response was breathtaking and I’m overjoyed to see things were put right — but we still have a ways to go. Afghanistan is in a murderous rage over the burning of Korans again and the US is bending over backwards instead of telling them to smarten the f**k up. Has no one told them it’s bad parenting to give in to the crybaby’s temper tantrum?

  25. Cephas Borg Says:

    The *only* thing wrong with “Making an Imam Cry Day” is that it seems to be too easy.

    “I dropped my Qur’an on the ham” would appear to work just as well as “I will only treat Muhammed as equal, not superior”.

    So do accidents count?

    • Mike Says:

      Cephas Borg Says: “The *only* thing wrong with “Making an Imam Cry Day” is that it seems to be too easy.”

      I know, but think of the fun we could have. 🙂 Like…

      “I made a nice cover for my koran- out of pigskin!”
      “If Mohammed was such a great guy, why did he rape little boys??”
      “I drew a picture of Mohammed- with my cum!”

      Yes, it’s easy, but oh so fun. 🙂

  26. Per Holmgren Says:

    When I saw that ‘The Best emotional PORN‘ was taken down for ‘hate speech’, I at first though “This sucks”.
    Then I got an idea, I pressed the ‘Report an error’, and simply said that the video was not avalible, despite it not breaking the terms of agreement. And something about being consistent would mean all religious and political videos should be removed.
    I happy I was not the only one to take this directly to YT, and not just whine on the web!

  27. Internet Webcomic - Policy Says:

    […] Yup: called it! […]

  28. denisrobertDR Says:

    If they had not reinstated their videos, I would have demanded they pull every muslim video on YouTube, based on the fact that because of Islam’s persecution of Baha’is, Baha’is would naturally find any Islamic video offensive by definition (I was a Baha’i for a few weeks in my early 20s). Then I would have asked for any Christian video to be pulled down based on the fact that because of the Crusades, muslims had cause to be offended by any Christian material. Then I would have asked YouTube to remove all Jewish videos, based on the fact that since “Jews killed Christ”, any Jewish material would naturally be offensive to right-believing Christians, etc….

    Then I’d simply ask YouTube to shut itself down, because its existence and actions in these matters is just too offensive to me.

  29. confusedious Says:

    Sad days indeed. On my own blog, I have recommended that should YT do this again the rationalist public should actively boycott use of their services.

    On my blog, I’m a biological anthropology post-grad student and write on that very topic. Stop by if you are looking for viewpoints on current evolutionary thought.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    I thought I was going to die of a heart attack for the best emotional porn. That was great.

  31. elsa Says:

    interesting to (not) see any comments from moslims whose claimes of being offended had offended YT so much.
    where are hordes of professional moslem objectioners who are most offended by the least questions?
    organising a ” make a moslem cry day “, would be a good start in cleansing some minds from bigotry and close mindedness that at least some if not all of YT is guilty of.

  32. Lem Says:

    How about these religious posts?
    As an atheist, I find some of them offensive.
    Do we also have rights to get those videos shut down?

  33. rowkesh Says:

    The fact is that You Tube is as scared of the political’y correct brigade as some of our Local government officers,
    It is deemed now incorrect for a child to sing songs praising God in school if they have cross denomination pupils, I find that offensive this is our country. If a child of another religion has to go to a school that does not promote his religion, then that’s his parents or his choice don’t penalise the other students because they are there.
    Same as You Tube I find it offensive when some Holy’ier than thou sermonising video tries to tell me who I should worship. Not only that but that my religion is filth and disgusting, because it does not praise one deity (I shall not name ) in particular.

    Why does You Tube not Ban these they are after all as equally racist and offensive, I agree with Lem in the ablove post maybe they should delete these also . Myself I am not in the slightest religious what offends me is the fact that one sect of people want things all their own way and stamp their feet if they don’t get it

    • Mike Says:

      “It is deemed now incorrect for a child to sing songs praising God in school if they have cross denomination pupils”

      And that is as it should be. Religion has no place in school, except in a Comparative Religion class. It’s time to stop believing in all these stupid fucking fairy tales about some invisible telepathic super-being who runs the universe second-by-second.

  34. rowkesh Says:

    I would agree with Mike except for one or two things, religion as a concept I will agree in today’s society, of nobody giving a shit about anything else but ones self is outdated.
    However the one thing that the religious doctrine in schools teaches a child is compassion, tolerance, and the possibility ( not being an invisible telepathic super being who knows and see’s all myself )
    There may just be something else to life than screwing the bird with the biggest knockers having kids and, and moving on to the next as many of the young seem to do today. Or doping ones body up to the limit of its endurance and experiencing outer body happenings whilst sitting in a corner and pissing on oneself? as the many of the others seem to do.
    I am not a religious person as I said before personally I think religion is the biggest hoax perpetuated on man ( other than Banks fooling us into thinking they were safe ? ) and has caused more bloodshed than anything else. But in one form or another Human nature being what it is, and the majority of the planet feeling the need to believe there is a God. Super Being, Master Puppeteer? out there somewhere, it is here to stay . The lessons that it teaches are open to the less scrupulous amongst us, bending their meanings to suit their agenda at the time due to the fact they are so indeterminately obscure in places. But the fundamental meaning is what we would all like to hope the world could be like, but due to the pure selfish desires of a few the rest have to suffer the consequences.
    The only positive thing I know for sure is you cant boil an egg if you haven’t got an egg, so we all got to have come from somewhere .
    Therefore whatever or whoever put us here in the first place, has got a lot to answer for ?

    • Mike Says:

      “the one thing that the religious doctrine in schools teaches a child is compassion, tolerance”

      Compassion and tolerance? Seriously? Have you ever read the bible? It’s jam-packed with the most horrible things you can imagine, and “compassion and tolerance” are not among them.

      “so we all got to have come from somewhere”

      Yes, but that “somewhere” is not some magical being. We’re on the verge of understanding some of these fundamental things, and god is nowhere to be found.

      I’ll say it again: It’s time to stop believing in all these stupid Bronze Age fairy tales. What you see is what you get, there is no “master plan” as to why we’re here and what we’re supposed to do. And that’s okay.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Yes I have actually read the Bible Mike and to be honest I couldn’t agree with you more, some of the bible is extremely graphic on the subject of horror and supposed damnation and such .
    However in schools today ( and I say this with some knowledge being involved in education through my wife who is in the teaching profession, and has been for the past 30 years ) The lessons learnt from R.E is not centred on the negative aspect of the Bible, but it will give a good grounding for pupils to model behaviour on, I can see from your passion on this that you are obviously as am I an Agnostic. The Bible is probably in my opinion the best work of fictional writing this world has ever seen, it has been transcribed into every known language and read more than any other work of fiction in history , possibly some of the other religious historical manuscripts that are out there have also had as much attention.

    However it can not be negated that since the removal of primary religious education, from the general schooling, behaviour in this country and in other parts of the world has worsened.

    The fact that children no longer fear anything is far more damaging to them , than being taught a fairy take that may or may not help them through this quagmire we call life.

    Although the Bible ( and again I will say I do Not believe in the Bible) may or may not be entirely fiction, it has some merit by teaching people that there is an alternative to most problems.

    This book that Billions of people over the centuries have based their life upon, was written in the first instance by a people that even after 2000 years can still not get along with their neighbours.
    Who still live in the most archaic fashions known to man, and are still mistrusted by 90% of the worlds population.

    Yes Mike I have read the Bible, do I believe it what do you think.
    Do I think its message however obscure is worth thinking about, possibly is it a doctrine that should be followed to the absolute letter, absolutely not . But according to said book the only thing that the !Almighty! supposedly gave us was Free will and however, false, correct, obtuse, extreme they are its our right to think or believe them as the case may be.

    And my original point was as was Thunderfoots, this world has enough people telling us what we can or can’t do, what we should or shouldn’t believe, and what we should or should not accept as out lot in life. Now you may believe my attitude is that of a dinosaur, and they were on this Planet for 160 million years. I wonder how long they would have survived had Man been around at the time ?

    • Mike Says:

      “my original point was as was Thunderfoots, this world has enough people telling us what we can or can’t do, what we should or shouldn’t believe, and what we should or should not accept as out lot in life.”

      No argument there.

      “Now you may believe my attitude is that of a dinosaur, and they were on this Planet for 160 million years. I wonder how long they would have survived had Man been around at the time ?”

      About 30 minutes, or however long it took to hunt them down and turn them into Dino-McNuggets. 🙂

    • Prelude610 Says:

      I would definitely agree that the Bible contains good parts, but that they are only good to the point where you can separate them from the larger message, and that is to obey, fear, worship God, who is actually a proxy for those in political power. Religion is a cultural tool for getting and maintaining political power.

      Watching my nephew grow up, and he is now 11, without a Bible, but with many other great books that teach moral lessons in a much more healthy way, I would have to say that if the Bible disappeared tomorrow that we’d all be better off. He knows the stories he reads are fictions, even if the characters in them do become part of his world. He took from those stories models of genuinely noble behavior, kindness, the necessity of taking action and changing one’s world at times, and conserving it at others. He looks for those qualities in people he meets and who he already knows. And he looks for it in himself. But he does not belittle or chastise himself because he is not like a God, he does not treat others poorly because they didn’t read his book, and his goals do not include trying to please some sky daddy.

      • Mike Says:

        “they are only good to the point where you can separate them from the larger message, and that is to obey, fear, worship God”

        Yes. The bible also teaches one to have self-loathing, constant guilt, and a solid sense of inadequacy, among other things. To be told that you’re a “sinner” and in need of “redemption” without having done a damn thing is wrong (except to be born!) is one of the most repulsive aspects of the bible (and indeed, of most religions).

  36. Cephas Borg Says:

    Isn’t it interesting, that most kids who read and truly enjoy books like Harry Potter, tend to automatically take the positive message out of that – humility, the value of friendship, the wonder of imagination, and, yes, Fear and Loathing (TM) is bad. Muggles, anyone?

    The interesting thing for me in all this, is that the same religionist fundamentalists hate and loathe books like Harry Potter, and claim the same horrific homopathic horrors will ensue to readers of those books that their Babble has taught them. A case of the pot calling the kettle blacker than black!

    It’s the same with agnostics/atheists/scientists – the religionists insist that these generally humble, honorable, passionate people who are so willing to learn, while retaining a sceptical attitude, are “arrogant” or “close minded” or “evil”! Pot, kettle, etc.

    It’s frustrating for a passionate atheist like myself to see this type of antisocial, homopathic behaviour on YouTube, various blogs, TV, radio, etc, etc. The same types of people also believe in the most ridiculous crackpot theories the most – zero point energy, crystals, homeopathy, “whales” being found inscribed on ossuaries (in fact, not just an average, everyday cetacean, but one disgorging a human cranium belonging to one “Jonah”!!!).

    The stupid, it hurts!!! 🙂

    • Mike Says:

      “the religionists insist that these generally humble, honorable, passionate people who are so willing to learn, while retaining a sceptical attitude, are “arrogant” or “close minded” or “evil”!”

      It’s because we mock their silly bullshit and we refuse to respect their bat-shit crazy beliefs that form the basis of their world view.

      In short, they hate the fact that we aren’t afraid of their sky-daddy.

  37. rowkeshvortash Says:

    I have to agree Prelude610 with your thoughts on the fact that there are other books out there that can teach the same lessons.
    However in today’s society many are deemed politicaly incorrect, or subversive by many who are in charge of what books are allowed into schools.
    Like Mike says the bible teaches self loathing and are over the top,and again I agree with him but it also touches on many other subjects that are avoided in many areas of society today.
    Its only now in the past few years that people are starting to realise that without fear or reprisal or punishment the rule of law is ignored, and that in later years we are going to suffer for it.
    The first words out of most kids mouths today when told off is
    “So What” or ” Am I bothered” because they have no fear of anything and that is such a shame, as it is going to get most into serious trouble.

  38. Adrian Says:

    With the changes Youtube is making, I feel it necessary to create accounts in other areas (dailymotion for example) in case something like this happens to myself as well.

    It is unfortunate that Youtube, in order to protect itself legally, feels pressured to suppress the right to say what one thinks. If this keeps up, however, not many people will be interested in YT at all and we will be forced to diversify the platforms for our expressions.

    Science = the discovery of knowledge.
    Arts = questioning the uses and validity of concepts.

    On the internet we have the unique ability to blend arts and sciences for the betterment of all. Whether it is arts or sciences being suppressed, we all suffer. Use all of the internet to make sure it doesn’t happen.


    • Mike Says:

      Science = the discovery of knowledge.
      Arts = questioning the uses and validity of concepts.

      Religion = the study of fairy tales.

      • Adrian Says:

        Perhaps, but it does not necessarily have to be so. One can make a religion out of the arts and sciences, if one devouts oneself to it without questioning the conepts.

        The trick is to prevent that religion from organizing itself, and making sure every point expressed is challenged in every possible way to ascertain its validity. When that is done, the label “religion” falls away and all that is left is knowledge of either oneself or the universe around you.

  39. User'maat're Se'tepen'ra Says:

    For you thunderf00t to make it fast and the truth. You are what you wanted to be, no one else just you. “There is only one good, KNOWLEDGE, and one evil, IGNORANCE.” Socrates So whcih one is for those thoughts and mind. I am who I am, no one else just ME. Know Thyself. Most want so-called HUman species, want you to think like them, beLIEve, put racist, war, greed, killing and more. Mankind species try to teach you how to be yourself about, and be the best YOU CAN do. So, WE CAN CHANGE is a lie, chant it backward it sound Thank You Satan.

    I will stand it there, and, everyone that puts theirs, opinion, hypothesis, and theirs’ Theology it is for them no one else just themsevles. So most don’t think about that persons text, writing, what you read goes what you are think about.

    No one skin in your body, 62 million colors here and NO ONE skin is the same Black, Brown, Yellow, Red or White. Wake up and this racist wil go away out your thoughs and mind.

    DIVINE LOVE for you its you no one else just you, ponder that one, hmmm

    User’maat’re Se’tepen’ra

    • Prelude610 Says:

      This sounds meandering, dreamy, and a bit delusional, but well meaning.

      I think the reply would be something like the oft cited phrase “You are entitled to your opinions, but not to your facts.” I think the same could be said for theology, “You are entitled to your fairy tales, mythical beings, and all that, but believing them does not make them real.”

    • Adrian Says:

      Your response would be better recieved if it were puncuated properly and was written with better clarity.

  40. Mike Says:

    I believe that someday, people like DahwahFilms (Kevin), NephillimFree, DrcraigVideos, and all those like them will exist only in history books. We’ll look back on religion with the same shame and disgust with which we now regard slavery- as a sad time in human history, an aberration that we managed to cast off and grow out of.

    • Prelude610 Says:

      I was thinking much the same thing yesterday, although the eradication of polio was the analogy that kept coming to mind. I think we have the cure. It just has to get out of the lab and into the world.

    • Adrian Says:

      Surely you are not suggesting that these people are accomplishing something worthy of having their names in history books? I would attribute that distinction to those having some kind of impact on humanity. As it is I see them as one of many giving the same damaging messages over and over again, thus being in the same arena as Hitler and Mengele, just not so popular as to warrant any kind of noteriety.

      Religion will have to, ironically, adapt and go through an evolution of sorts if it is to survive. It will have to abandon its rhetoric and holy books for common sense. Some religions will do just that. Others will not survive. Christianity and Islam both have set down in their fundamental belief structure, that is to say the very core of their being, a series of laws that make little actual sense under scrutiny and that fact alone makes them susceptible to extinction.

      • Mike Says:

        Adrian wrote: “Surely you are not suggesting that these people are accomplishing something worthy of having their names in history books?”

        History should be an accurate record of events no matter what those events were. Who should be the judge of what’s “worthy”?

        History should be described as it actually happened, regardless of who is or was involved.

        “I would attribute that distinction to those having some kind of impact on humanity.”

        I agree, and that should hold true no matter whether the impact was deemed to be “good” or “bad”.

        “Christianity and Islam both have set down in their fundamental belief structure, that is to say the very core of their being, a series of laws that make little actual sense under scrutiny”

        That’s not the point. History should record and describe events accurately *regardless* of what those events were or what value judgements are made of those events. Otherwise it’s not history.

    • Adrian Says:

      Mike, what I meant by “worthy” was whether or not what they accomplished had any major impact on society, enough to be noticed. Surely the names you mentioned have not yet done that, so I am sure we agree.

      Christianity and Islam both have had their mark on history, but neither are flexible enough to survive it. I agree that it is incredibly valuable not to taint the actual events of history. The ups and downs of religions and their impacts on our planet must be recorded without bias. However, those religions, because of their inflexibility, will not be around to read what history writes of them.

      • Mike Says:

        “Mike, what I meant by “worthy” was whether or not what they accomplished had any major impact on society, enough to be noticed. Surely the names you mentioned have not yet done that, so I am sure we agree.”

        The only impact any of them had was a brief moment of comic relief. 🙂

  41. Rowkesh/Vortash Says:

    Again I am afraid I will have to agree with Mike in the context that one day we Will look back at the religious doctrines, and wonder why in a civilised educated world we did believe in an almighty when in 2000 years he has given us no other proof of his existence.
    Now many of the devout will say he has everyday in the fact of creation, sorry that’s not enough as far as I am concerned if one child dies due to starvation or through the evil of war or crime, and in this so called benevolent being the children are the innocents. Then he has fallen pity fully behind in his promises even to the devout.
    But also as a catch 22 situation we will also look back and think that there was nothing else better to replace it, in moralistic terms the fact that the Bible / religion did put the fear of God into many people may have curtailed many from leading more disagreeable lives, and yes in the same context it may have caused others to take it to the extreme and therefore cost many more.
    But the plain truth of the matter is simple whatever you believe , what ever you think, how you travel through life is determined by your knowledge of life and the lessons you learn.
    The Bible does start to teach those lessons and whatever you think these lessons are no longer being taught as they should be, but what is plain to see is that the World as we know it is not changing for the better. I am Sixty years Old now and thankfully have never witnessed the horrors of War first hand, but I do believe that unless we change drastically soon we may all become much more familiar with it than we would have hoped for, and I also feel that it will probably be either racially or religiously fuel’d.

    • Mike Says:

      Rowkesh/Vortash Says”Again I am afraid I will have to agree with Mike…”

      Yeah, I hear that a lot, except from my wife, lol. 🙂

      It is my fondest hope that religion ends up becoming a niche hobby, kind of like the Civil War re-enactors who dress up and do their thing on the weekends (weather permitting).

      No one gets hurt, everyone has a good time, and then they get in their cars and drive home.

      Jesus and “god” will take their place in history alongside Odin, Thor, Anubis, and Ra. Churches will wither and die, closing their doors due to lack of interest. Priests will go out and find real jobs, and the Vatican will be preserved as an amusement park. Or maybe it’ll become a historic site similar to the S21 prison in Phnom Penh- a chilling reminder of the horror that one group of people committed upon another.

      Eventually, when told about religion and the “god story”, people will just shake their heads in disbelief.

      • Adrian Says:

        I find it interesting that you should mention pagan “gods” as being what Jesus will eventually amount to. I myself am pagan and would like to point out something about the beliefs you have illustrated.

        First off, I feel it necessary to point out that many pagans do not worship, nor do they believe in “Gods” in the Abrahamic sense. I for one have no illusions that there are beings in the sky watching down over me and judging my actions. The “gods” as it were are better characterized as personifications of Jung’s archetypes, characters created to better relate to the aspects of our human psychology that are inherent in all cultures.

        It is the internal or personal pursuit of the understanding of these psychological traits that leads us to the personification. Imagining (and yes, I recognise that imagination plays a huge role in the process) my connection to feelings such as courage (Odin) love of family (Isis) or intelligence (Athena) allows me to be comfortable with these aspects of myself and bring them into my daily life.

        The trick here is that I recognise that my understanding is unique to myself as I am the only one living my life. As such it would be counter productive for me to demand another live as I do or write down my beliefs as a set of “holy laws”. To do so is to invite misery for myself and others which would inhibit all our growth and development.

        This is where organised religions fail, but not all religions are organised. Because of this, I support the direct questioning of all faiths, including my own, as a means of weeding out damaging philosophies.

        It is up to the individual to swallow their pride when they are wrong. If I don’t preach, then I am the best judge of what is right for me and my argument is safe. If I tell others what to think, I am putting myself on shaky philosophical ground.

        In this sense, you are correct. Either the followers of Christ and Islam will change their ways, or be lost in the history books. However, your use of pagan symbols to illustrate their destination I find to be slightly inaccurate. (If you read all of this, then I owe you a debt of thanks!)


  42. rowkesh Says:

    I think that it is safe to say as far as any religion is concerned, nobody knows the absolute truth, they just have faith that they do if that faith be proven right then we all look foolish.
    If however it is proven wrong then they do, to look foolish is one thing to live foolishly is quite another.
    Probably the best thing to do is live life by treating others as you would like to be treated, and if this is all that life is enjoy the most of it and if not see you later folks ” I hope ” ?

    • Mike Says:

      rowkesh said: “I think that it is safe to say as far as any religion is concerned, nobody knows the absolute truth”

      I may not know what the truth is, but I’m pretty sure I know what it *isn’t*….and sometimes that’s enough.

  43. Mike Says:

    Adrian wrote: “I find it interesting that you should mention pagan “gods” as being what Jesus will eventually amount to.”

    My point is that whatever it is, it will fade away. I could have used buggy whips and mustache wax as examples instead of Odin, Thor, etc etc.

    What I’m saying is that eventually religion will eventually become something that no longer has the same relevance or power that it has today.

  44. Cephas Borg Says:

    I find it interesting that so many people wonder what would happen to our morals without a god.

    AFAICT, the people who ask this are generally the religious types (notwithstanding a similar comment above, I take that within context), who are arguing with atheists/sceptics about the “benefits” of religion.

    And from what I’ve seen, religion does keep the manic, the murderers, the rapists, the child-molesters, the chronically death-fearing, the people demanding certain answers to uncertain questions, and the thugs off our streets to some extent. Unfortunately, according to the latest statistics, those same problems just happen inside the (usually christian or muslim) home!

    So the people most fearful of non-religious morality are the ones who need that clear-cut morality most, even when it’s patently wrong!

    I mean, look at all the problems throughout the ages caused by christians and muslims. These were the rapists, the thugs, the bullies, the homopaths, except they flew a banner to their deity!

    So yeah, there are problems with losing the “moral certitude” of a religious morality – but that’s due to the religious themselves!

    Like others, I wish for a religion-free humanity, but then you’d have to address the complex issues of all those people craving their emotional masturbation, and that’s not a simple (or quick) problem to solve. Of course, we could just ship ’em all off to another solar system (like the Golgafrinchams), and we’d be left with a planet of atheists – but by golly that would be boring! No war, no good politicians, no tabloids, no bible belt to laugh at, just rational people trying to make a better world. Hmmm. Maybe boring is good!

    • Mike Says:

      Cephas Borg said: “from what I’ve seen, religion does keep the manic, the murderers, the rapists, the child-molesters, … and the thugs off our streets to some extent”

      Personally I don’t think it does. I don’t think that people who commit these kinds of acts really worry that some sort of judgement or hell awaits them for their actions. It doesn’t even prevent priests (who presumably are solid believers) from committing some or all of these crimes.

      Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone thinking, “I’d rape that kid except I’d go to hell for it” or “Gee, I’d really like to kill Bob, but I’m afraid of what would happen to me after I die.”

      There may be a few who are kept in line, but I think it’s a very, very small number.

      “I mean, look at all the problems throughout the ages caused by christians and muslims. These were the rapists, the thugs, the bullies, the homopaths, except they flew a banner to their deity!”

      Yep. I always found the term “Holy War” to be hilarious if you think about it for a moment. Yes, let’s kill all those people, because it’s *holy* to do so!

  45. Na Says:

    oh so sad , americans want to help some arab guy while calling them ‘sand niggers’ and blowing their countries with bombs

    • Adrian Says:

      Who are you talking about? Thunderf00t, as far as I am aware, is not American, but British and I know I am not…

    • Prelude610 Says:

      Is anyone here calling anyone a ‘sand nigger’? Is anyone here talking about bombing anyone? The discussion here mostly centers around religion, all of them, and any criticism of Islam is not directed at Arabs in particular, or any people, but Islam itself.

    • JohnDurandal Says:

      DawahFilms is a white American from Florida who lives in Malaysia. You retards should read up on the people you’re trying to defend.

  46. Clive Says:

    The one thing about Christianity and Islam is the similarity between the two. both are based around a single prophet who was the messenger of their faith ie: Mohammed and Jesus.
    Both originated in a countries, who’s people were enslaved in one way or another. Both reached higher popularity after the deaths of those prophets. But if you look at where those countries are today, neither of them really learnt anything by those teachings.
    The symbol of hope for any repressed peoples is either religion or some type of warrior saviour, from these hopes arise stories and fables. The truthfulness of any will always be disputed unless a deity actually puts in an appearance, but due to the radicalism on both sides of these coins , they have caused between them more death and destruction than all the Plagues and all the natural disasters rolled into one.
    Maybe in an age of technological and educational awareness as we have today, these concepts should be kept where they belong in a personal belief and an awareness that you will never how ever hard you try convince some people otherwise without proof.
    Blind faith is as damaging as blind stupidity, the clever man lets people just think he is a fool without opening his mouth and removing all doubt, whilst the fool never realises he is one until its too late.
    Mike said he knew enough to have an opinion that everything in religion is false, I wish I had his confidence, but history has taught us that if there is such a thing as the Devil then his biggest accomplishment is to make us believe he dose not exist.
    But maybe the truth of the matter is that it is we ourselves who are the devils in this World all of us, and two thousand years ago somebody sat down and wrote a book about how he wished life and his fellow man could be if they tried hard enough.
    If that was the case I for one would stand and shake his hand and call him friend whatever his race or religion, just because the simple fact was he cared enough to do it. But he could never have known that others would take those writings and distort them so badly that the message was lost, it is sad to think that after two thousand years of bloodshed and horrors we still haven’t learned to coexist.

    Furthermore if there is a deity out there who created everything he must be totally ashamed of us, I know I would be.

    • Prelude610 Says:

      Clive – “Furthermore if there is a deity out there who created everything he must be totally ashamed of us, I know I would be.”

      Maybe the great Youtube moderator in the sky should start banning certain offensive, inflammatory, and misleading writings. 😉

      We may look back at these times and see them as a time when people started to finally outgrow the Abrahamic myths, like we long ago out grew the classical Greek myths, when that for the first time in maybe forever that it was more or less OK to be an atheist. It will also probably be when we first started to see the greatest push back from religion and it’s sympathizers, as well as religions joining forces to fight this, with some going so far as to morphing into weird hybrids of each other. I think that there is even a good possibly that a non-theistic form of Christianity will develop, and that that may actually be starting already. But for now, I would expect to see TF’s and others’ videos and commentary coming under more vigorous attack, and a lot of it will be ugly. Some of our Christian friends have already shown how low a moral standard they are willing to demonstrate in this area, and with the looney likes of DWF out there representing Islam, anything could happen.

      • Adrian Says:

        I agree with Prelude610. More and more, the religious right method of thinking is becoming ever more decietful. This will only have the effect of making the situation even more dire.

        Eventually it will come down to those who can think for themselves vs. those who need to be lead and believe that all should follow thier way of thinking.

    • Adrian Says:

      Christ and Mohammed were people in political circles. Nothing more nothing less. They are the results of extremely successful public relations campaigns against a populace far too undereducated to resist.

      We are not devils. If there is such a thing it exists as a lie: only having power when we believe in it. If the God of the Abrahamic faiths (all of which extend with varying degrees from the Old Testament) exists, then surely he must be a lie as well. How do I come to this conclusion? The devil’s name, Lucifer, is translated as being “the bringer of light” and the first words out of God’s mouth in the old testament is “Let there be light” Contradictions such as this could not happen in a “perfect” work. To believe otherwise is to believe a lie, thus giving it power.

      No god is judging us. That too, is a lie.

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