Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Are Christianity & Islam falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater ?

Christopher Hitchens begins his speech with a reference to “Shouting fire in a crowded theater” which is a popular metaphor for speech or actions made for the principal purpose of creating unnecessary panic. The phrase is a paraphrasing of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s opinion in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States in 1919, which held that the defendant’s speech in opposition to the draft during World War I was not protected free speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
I wonder if both Christianity and Islam are crying fire, creating panic where there is no need? Where is the evidence for the fires of hell ?
If someone falsely cried fire in a theater but no fire alarm bell was heard then people might ask if it was a prank. With so many test alarms now people might doubt it and ask if it was just another test ? In modern times schools and work places carry out practice exits to try to give the habit of calm procedure.
If most were educated to a high enough standard in history of science, history of religion, comparative religion, etc and were aware of the reasons to think the scriptures were largely fictions then they would be more likely to ignore the cry of “fire” by priest & Imam.
IMO it would be good if the world would say Mohammad was the last prophet because Allah was senile, got cancer and died in the 7th Century therefore the Coran ceased to apply after the 7th Century and we will just have to make up new & better rules now as best we see fit; to maximize human well being and minimize human suffering.
A related Wikipedia article on Surrey Music Hall says: In 1856 religious services were held at the Music Hall by the famous Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, with an audience of 10,000 inside and as many outside unable to enter. It was marred by tragedy when someone shouted fire, and a panic to escape ensued. Seven were killed in the crush, and many injured.
[How come Spurgeon had no ‘word of knowledge’ to call the alarm a hoax? How come not enough calm to exit in an orderly manner? How come no quick prayer for angels to extinguish any fire ?]
The music hall was destroyed by fire in 1861

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