Atheism

Left-wing blog post won’t say the I word

I was fascinated to come across an article critical of religion on a NZ left-wing blog site. NZ left-wing blogs have been consistently critical of Christianity and God and supportive of secularism and atheism yet, at the same time, apologists for Islam and Allah. The article proposed banning all religions but both it and the comments only acknowledged Christianity. Not one person was prepared to utter the I word.

I’m a little worried about God.

Not only does God not exist, the reasons for needing him to exist are fast fading. The human race is approaching the end of its adolescent years and is heading for maturity.

…Clearly, the world’s population is still mostly religious. But the countries where citizens are happiest are, for the most part, agnostic and social democratic. The Nordic example is where the world should be heading as a next step.

Given that there is no God and no  is reason for there to be a God, what do we do about religion? Should we remain tolerant of the unfounded beliefs of the billions of adherents? Should we continue to parse individual religions, identifying some strains of faith as being acceptable, while decrying other, more militant, sects?

I think it’s time to end religion.

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Face of the day

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Omar Mohammad Batawil was a 17 year-old freethinker from Yemen, who shared his thoughts and criticism of religion and religious scholars and institutions on his facebook page. He was accused of apostasy and murdered yesterday by an Islamist group.

One of his facebook statuses (translated from Arabic):

“They accuse me of atheism!
Oh you people, I see God in the flowers,
And you see Him in the graveyards,
That is the difference between me and you.”

-Kacem El Ghazzali FB page

Face of the day

Richard Dawkins has been known to ruthlessly criticize Christianity, but now that he sees how dangerous Islam is, he seems to have changed his tune.

Richard Dawkins has been known to ruthlessly criticize Christianity, but now that he sees how dangerous Islam is, he seems to have changed his tune.

Today’s face of the day is a famous atheist author who has always been a darling of the left. Richard Dawkins has been a strident critic of Christianity, but now he uses it to illustrate what a true religion of peace looks like.

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Atheism is the new hate speech

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Activist Maryam Namazie was due to make a presentation to Warwick University’s Student Union on October 28, having been by the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists (WASH) group

Don’t believe in God? Then you are offensive to Muslims. Atheists have unwittingly joined the rather large club of groups of people that are offensive to Muslims. It seems that simply not believing in a higher being is offensive and in the case of Maryam Namazie ‘ highly inflammatory ‘.

The outrageously offensive topics she was intending to discuss in the mistaken belief that there is this thing called Freedom of Speech inside Universities were apostasy, blasphemy and nudity in the age of ISIS.

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A contest of ideas

Quote from Rowan Atkinson

Quote from Rowan Atkinson

What I love so much about democracy and Freedom of Speech is that we can have an open and honest exchange of ideas. We can debate issues, we can question. We do not have to follow any doctrine blindly and unquestioningly.

Today we do not have to buy anything off the rack, we can customise it to suit us and the same goes with our belief systems.

One size does not fit all and so as we grow we listen and observe, we debate and we reason, constantly re evaluating the beliefs we hold dear. At least that is how it is for the women in my family. My mother was brought up a Catholic and now considers herself a Humanist.

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Proselytizing atheists give atheists a bad name

Most people know that I am a Christian. I don’t hide because it is my belief that Christians all too often forget that we are supposed to spread the good news….that we are saved.

I personally can’t stand proselytizing and evangelistic Christians, I think they give Christians a bad name.

But there is another equally annoying group of proselytizing and evangelistic morons out there who are trying desperately…for some reason or another to convince people like me that we are mad, crazy, stupid or all of the above for daring to believe in something.

The thing is they also believe in something, and somewhat more fervently than most of us who believe in what we believe.

One atheist is somewhat annoyed with what he calls “In-Your-Face Atheism”.

The president of American Atheists, David Silverman, defines firebrand atheism as simply telling the truth about religion, with the emphasis on the telling. He says we should make clear that it’s religious beliefs we’re attacking, not the person. He says, “I’m not attacking humans; I’m attacking those humans’ silly beliefs.”

That word “silly” is the problem, as is Silverman’s whole take-no-prisoners assault on religion.

Think about what religion is—a total worldview that lets each believer feel like she’s found meaning and purpose in a bewildering universe. So, it’s not much of a stretch to argue that people are reluctant to give up their religious beliefs when they are intimately tied to their sense of self-worth.

It’s one thing to give up a belief about a political or scientific fact that doesn’t directly affect your life—like whether or not global warming is caused by humans. But it’s another thing to give up a belief that you think determines whether you’ll be strumming a harp with angels or stuck on the business end of the Devil’s pitchfork after you die.

So, if we’re going to change someone’s beliefs, but we’re going to have to resist the temptation to roast them while we’re doing it. But listen to what Silverman has said in his talks promoting firebrand atheism: “Religion is a lie—all of it—that’s the truth.”

“Respect is earned, and religion hasn’t earned any.”

Even if he’s right, the tone of these comments is just going to raise the emotional hackles of your average believer.

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Wednesday nightCap

Bear Grylls and Stephen Fry talk about their beliefs

Two of my favourite people in the world.  Wish I had been there with them at the time

New Years Day nightCap

Did any of you figure out the maze today?  Here is the solution:   Read more »

Are atheists more intelligent than religious people?

Are atheists more intelligent than religious people? Quite possibly, on average.

Tom Chivers comes to the conclusion that even though evidence suggests atheists might be more intelligent than religious people it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are smarter.

[T]he internet is currently interested in a meta-analysis, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, which finds that atheists have a higher IQ, on average, than the religious. They base this on a review of 63 studies, but, as the authors say, this news isn’t new. The evidence has been around for a while.

There are several reasons given, including a suggestion that the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to need empirical and logical reasons to believe something; and, interestingly, that the things that religion does for people (helping them to delay gratification for greater future reward; providing an “anchor” in their life in hard times) intelligent people have less need for, because they use other methods. It’s an interesting study.  Read more »