Tag Archive: secular


Being raised in Toronto, Canada, I didn’t realize that there could be any questioning the concept of multiculturalism. It just seemed to work, in Toronto. Now, I have not been to every part of Toronto, but I have been to most parts, and even the neighborhoods most afflicted with poverty — Regent Park and Jane and Finch — are multicultural and there seems to be no serious problem with the mixing of cultures in these areas. In fact, it seems to have made the residents quite tolerant of one another — again, going from the biased perspective I have as an individual and the opinions of my friends who live in these areas.

There are of course predominantly more of one race in certain areas than others, but there is no place in Toronto where a person of any color would step into and feel out of place merely because of the color of their skin.

I didn’t realize until I started traveling that this is not the case around the world. When I first started traveling, I decided to get a hostel in Brixton, England because I figured, London is London. When I stepped out of the subway station in Brixton, I was quite taken aback. I don’t know what the proportion of black people is in Brixton, but for a Torontonian, it was quite surprisingly high. Please, do not confuse this with racism. I would be taken aback by seeing such a high proportion of any minority in an area, regardless of the country. If I were in an Nigerian city and I stumbled upon an area with predominantly whites, I’d be equally taken aback. To me, this seems unnatural. There should be a large degree of intermixing of people in a cosmopolitan city such as London. The reason that this kind of situation was somewhat shocking to me is because there must be a reason why this intermixing is not occurring or at least, not occurring much.

Traveling around Europe, I noticed similar ghettoization. Paris and Rome were two cities that I recollect as having some serious issues.

Why is this? Why is Toronto such a multicultural utopia in comparison to other parts of the world?

I have always believed in the ideals of multiculturalism and as a result, I never really questioned the idea of it even after these experiences abroad. Recently, however, I watched this documentary by Douglas Murray and it has started to change my mind.

I am now starting to believe that in a perfect world, multiculturalism is of course a good thing. People move to a new country with their traditions and beliefs and slowly adopt the traditions and beliefs of their host country. Why would you move to a new country if you don’t like anything about that new country?

Yet, it doesn’t seem to always work this way. Many times nationalism or pride of religion or culture prevents the immigrants from adopting the ways of the host country.

Do not get me wrong, I am not saying this is the only reason for racial division in different cities around the world. In fact, in the Brixton case I mentioned above, I would argue that it was the bad behavior of the English government that caused this ghettoization in the first place. However, times change, and so should demography. But, we are now living in a much more tolerant Europe, yet these divisions remain. I think the reasons are manifold, but I believe that a big reason that segregation exists in these different cities could be an unwillingness to adopt the lifestyle of the host country.

In this case, it is the immigrants who are being racist: quite an ironic twist since racism from the host country would have been the original reason for the establishment of these kinds of ghettos.

In short, I still do believe that multiculturalism is a goal which we should strive for; however, I now realize that it is naive to assume that all people in our society have the same goals of harmony, equality, freedom and so on. Therefore, I think that teaching needs to focus a little less on multiculturalism and a little more on universal human rights. The fact is, our system of government, law and society in the West is something to be proud of. Concessions cannot be made in favor of Sharia or other such primitive conceptions of society. Bluntly, our societal values are superior and we should not be embarrassed or feel guilty about stating this. We feel shame for the ideals of the Enlightenment at our own peril.

The Fall of Theism


For millennia, humans have been subjected to the whims of many kinds of powerful individuals and organizations.  Of these people and organizations, none has caused such devastation with immunity to criticism as religious leaders and their corresponding organizations.  Fortunately, the increasing number of educated individuals in the world in addition to the great access to information the Internet provides has led to a Renaissance of rationalism.  In the coming years, the chokehold of theism on the minds of the masses will slowly come undone.

The result of this Renaissance will be manifold, however, of fundamental importance are two key areas of improvement: a spur in scientific and technological development – no longer held back by superstitious beliefs – and a higher level of morality among the vast majority of the world’s population.

As even those with a minute knowledge of history understand that time and time again, organized theistic religions have hampered or completely blocked scientific and technological development. From the case of Galileo, being forced to recant his findings that the solar system is heliocentric and not – as the church believed then, geocentric – to the more recent criticism of stem cell research, to numerous other examples, theistic religious organizations have continuously impeded the advancement of science and technology throughout history.

Without organized religion, science will prosper for two reasons contemporarily.  First, religious organizations will no longer sponsor political parties (financially and otherwise) in order to influence party politics.  The examples of the fundamentalist Christian movement in America and the fundamentalist Islamic movement in numerous Arab countries demonstrate the strong influence of religious organizations have on political parties to this day.  Obviously, these religious organizations demand certain restrictions on science, such as stem cell research and – according to the Catholic Church’s recently released Seven Modern Deadly Sins – genetic modification. Second, if organized religions disappear, more people who would have lived under the haze of religious dogma will likely venture into scientific fields.  The sheer number of people who alter their understanding of the world according to their religion – that is, away from reason and science – is exceedingly large.  This untapped human capital will only help the development of science and technology in the future.

Additionally, non-religious people are simply more moral than religious people.  Of course, this statement is provocative, and extremely hard to believe by religious people; however, it is true.  As Christopher Hitchens often asks, “Name one thing that a religious person would do that a non-religious person wouldn’t” – that is name one noble act that a religious person does that a non-religious person would never do.  Unfortunately, for theists, there is no answer to that question because humans are fundamentally moral with or without religion.  Further, Hitchens follows up this question with another: “Name something that a non-religious person would never do that a religious person would do”.  Unfortunately for religious people again, this question is quite easily answered: suicide bombers, covering up pedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church, female genital mutilation, circumcision of infants or young children, knocking on people’s doors in an attempt to change said people’s beliefs, and the list goes on.   Thus, in a future without organized religion, people will no longer go against their natural morality in order to fulfill the artificial morality of their religion.

Sadly, people often dismiss this idea with the belief that more deaths occurred in the 20th century from atheism or secularism than religion.  The argument states that because Hitler, Stalin, and others were not religious, the reason they killed or allowed people to die was because of their atheism.  However, this is a non sequitur because there is no connection between these leaders’ atheism and the crimes they committed.  Hitler killed Jews because he hated Jews, not because he was an atheist; Stalin starved millions because he was blindly and callously committed to a political ideology, not because he was an atheist.  At no point did either of these leaders say that they were killing on behalf of atheism.  In fact, during the Nazi era, the Catholic Church sided with the Nazi regime.  Therefore, if a theist wants to argue that Hitler went to war and exterminated Jews because he was an atheist, then they must also accept that the Catholic Church agreed with the idea of Hitler going to war and killing Jews.   Further, any religious organization that had a Holy War of any sort is not in a position to criticize other war criminals without first looking in the mirror.

Thus, the proliferation of scientific curiosity and a greater understanding of morality, are both exciting reasons to look forward to a future without theistic religion – hopefully a near future.

Atheist Assessment

Posts about Atheism and the shortcomings of religion. Sometimes satirical and sometimes serious. #AtheistAssessment


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