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Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

The Root of All Evil

As the evil results of religious extremism start to look like they may plunge us into something approaching another world war, understanding the dangers of religion becomes more and more important – and yet, one of the best documentaries on the subject “The Root of all Evil” which was produced by the UK and Richard Dawkins in 2006 seems to have just about disappeared off the map.

Worse, not just disappeared but it has been deliberately removed by YouTube – and that is a worry considering the amount of pro-religious nonsense available via that channel.

Thankfully I found these.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xpqpkw_root-of-all-evil-the-god-delusion-part-1_shortfilms

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xpqpkw_root-of-all-evil-the-god-delusion-part-2_shortfilms

The Root of All Evil–Part 1
The Root of All Evil Part 2

Private Religious versus Public Religion

I am so glad I was not (even remotely) a lone voice in objecting to Mr Cameron trying to impose his religious views on the nation.  With WELL over half of the country (65% according to YouGov) describing themselves as non-religious – last I heard, in a democracy that makes them the majority. Many of us are sick and tired of having this stuff rammed down our throats and not only at weddings and funerals but on TV, radio and now from our own supposedly worldly-wise Prime Minister. Yeah yeah, we know all about the history and how things WERE and where we would have been without…. etc. This is the 21st century – any spare teaching time needs to go into beefing up our science knowledge, not ancient belief systems – or we are going to lose!

Were it not for kids having religion fed to them on a plate before they are old enough to think, that figure for “non-believers” would be a lot higher (but you KNOW that’s not going to happen).  I’ve no problem with anything anyone wants to do with their lives – none of my business – as long as it doesn’t harm others (I know at least one white witch) but it’s about time this organised endemic version was resigned to history. The job of Prime minister is to rule the country – not to spout off about his own version of one of the many incompatible mystical world views as if it were part of government policy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27099700

Still, it could be worse – at least we don’t (yet) have our own creationist museum. Bill Nye (the science guy) decided to tackle Ken Ham and pretty much wiped the floor with him technically, but if you look at some of the faces in the audience, they were not open to discussion – didn’t understand, didn’t want to understand – and fair enough, if you were brainwashed as a child by both your parents and their friends – and your peers were in the same boat – it’s probably pretty hard to kick that habit. Anyway, here is the (rather long) video of the recent debate in the USA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

Who has the moral upper ground? Well I know of VERY few non-believers in the 21st century who would stop religious people practicing in their own homes (one might object to organised religion but that’s another matter) – on the other side of the coin there are many countries where not having an invisible friend can get you killed or at a minimum, discriminated against – and some of those countries are nearer than you might think.  http://www.thewire.com/global/2013/12/13-countries-where-atheism-punishable-death/355961/ as extracted here “"Our results show that the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers," the study explains, noting that laws in some countries prevent atheists from marrying, attending public school, participating as a citizen, holding public office, or just existing at all.” How to ensure your version of the world survives – by BRUTE FORCE.

Worrying? – certainly is. Think about it – BECAUSE you don’t believe in an invisible friend, the existence of which has NEVER, EVER produced a shred of evidence no matter WHAT religion, you can be shot!

We may have iPhones but we’re still a bunch of savages in the main.

Christmas Cheer

tmp7C5EHad a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses over during the hols. I heard the knock on the door, opened it and “Hi.. don’t you think it’s terrible that people live their lives without Jesus” was their opening line. “We do” I said politely in my opening shot – at which point Maureen started griping about the cat getting out so I had to closed the door.

They didn’t come back – a shame as it’s been 20 years since they last called and I’ve been building up my response. Ah well.

A very good point was made on Facebook today… somewhere in the USA, 200 million dollars spend on NYE fireworks, millions praying – meanwhile millions starve.. something very wrong with all of this.

Happy New Year everyone from Maureen and I, our two cats and our new trouble-making kitten!

Educating Parents

Ok, I’ll grant you it’s a little unseasonable – but then as we’ve had this Christmas stuff shoved down our throats for the last couple of months – mainly thanks to commerce, I found this particularly funny.

Educating parents about Jesus

You don’t have to be Religious to be Good

I found this interesting – not new but confirms other materials I’ve read on the subject – lifted straight from the Chicago Tribune…writer Steve Chapman

American culture is sick, and secularism is the cause. Such is the contention of religious conservatives such as Rick Santorum, who insist that feminism, sexual freedom and gay rights have undermined traditional morality. The argument has “the virtues of clarity, simplicity and plausibility”, says Steve Chapman, but it has one big flaw: it is refuted by pretty much all the evidence. As America has grown more secular over the past 20 years, “most indicators of moral and social health have got better, not worse”. Crime levels, for instance, have plummeted, while teen pregnancy has fallen by 39%. What’s more, the parts of the US with the worst social problems today are the Bible Belt states, not the supposedly sin-ridden blue states, with their dangerous “moral relativism”. Mississippi has the nation’s highest rate of church attendance, with 63% of people saying they go “weekly or almost weekly”, but its residents are also “far more likely to be murdered than other Americans”. Liberal Vermont’s murder rate, by contrast, is a quarter of the national average. Meanwhile, Massachusetts, the first state to legalise gay marriage, has the nation’s lowest divorce rate. So much for the theory that religiosity promotes virtue and the decline of religious faith “goes hand-in-hand with vice”.

Harold Camping–Totally Fruit and Nut

If someone makes a racial statement that could upset as few as one person – they get into trouble – and rightly so (though right now that often usually only applies to the good guys) – but if someone predicts the end of the world, gets  that message onto national media in the sure knowledge that thousands of mis-informed people will believe the message and worry about it– nothing happens. 89-year-old Harold Camping did just that and predictably he was wrong – even more predictably he’s disappeared.

With any luck his god has struck him down – more likely he’s worried that some of his former supporters are going to strike him down.  Perhaps some authorities somewhere might like to charge him with incitement to riot?

The only thing he has achieved, sadly is to further challenge young people to ignore the older generation! As for Keith Bauer who travelled thousands of miles to California because “I was hoping for it because I think heaven would be a lot better than this earth” – should this guy be watched as a potential terrorist if he has so little regard for his own life?

How many times are the claims of those who believe in imaginary deities going to be given this kind of credibility before the world wakes up.  All of these people would be far better employed working for our common future instead of sitting there waiting for the end that is highly unlikely to come. Far more likely we kill ourselves in civil breakdowns when we run out of fuel if we don’t get our act together.