The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I had never heard of this gentleman

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian writer -- a Nobel laureate, too.  He hadn't really been on my radar; in fact, I'd never heard of him.  But, man, when he's right about something, he's really right.

"... the science fiction archetype of the mad scientist who craves to dominate the world has been replaced by the mad cleric who can only conceive of the world in his own image ..."

"Certainly it cannot be denied that religion has proved again and again a spur, a motivator and a justification for the commission of some of the most horrifying crimes against humanity, despite its fervent affirmations of peace. Let us, however, steer away from hyperbolic propositions and simply settle for this moderating moral imperative: that it is time that the world adopt a position that refuses to countenance religion as an acceptable justification for, excuse or extenuation of crimes against humanity."

The quotes are from an address he gave to  the 2012 Conference on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence at the UN.  The Root has the entire text here.  Worth a look.

Update 2012 10 04: Ed Asner agrees. He said in a New York Magazine interview, "I tend to think that religion has probably killed more people than anything else."

While that's not statistically supportable (being alive is the number one cause of death, after all,) I applaud the sentiment.

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