Tuesday 28 December 2010

End Hereditary Religion

First international day of protest against hereditary religion | End Hereditary Religion

Richard Collins.

I’m starting to float the idea of organizing an international day of protest against the religious grooming of children. This is a big undertaking, but simply talking amongst ourselves will never change anything. Discussion is enormously helpful in making us understand the problem we face, but until we serve constructive notice on parents and institutions nothing is going to change.

A 2 year-old fanatic in the making

Muhammad tells it like it is.

Friday 24 December 2010

A Christmas List

Robert Ingersoll produced the following Christmas list over one hundred years ago.

If I had the power to produce exactly what I want for next Christmas, I would have all the kings and emperors resign and allow the people to govern themselves.

I would have all the nobility crop their titles and give their lands back to the people. I would have the Pope throw away his tiara, take off his sacred vestments, and admit that he is not acting for God—is not infallible—but is just an ordinary Italian. I would have all the cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests and clergymen admit that they know nothing about theology, nothing about hell or heaven, nothing about the destiny of the human race, nothing about devils or ghosts, gods or angels. I would have them tell all their "flocks" to think for themselves, to be manly men and womanly women, and to do all in their power to increase the sum of human happiness.

I would have all the professors in colleges, all the teachers in schools of every kind, including those in Sunday schools, agree that they would teach only what they know, that they would not palm off guesses as demonstrated truths.

I would like to see all the politicians changed to statesmen,—to men who long to make their country great and free,—to men who care more for public good than private gain—men who long to be of use.
I would like to see all the editors of papers and magazines agree to print the truth and nothing but the truth, to avoid all slander and misrepresentation, and to let the private affairs of the people alone.

I would like to see drunkenness and prohibition both abolished.

I would like to see corporal punishment done away with in every home, in every school, in every asylum, reformatory, and prison. Cruelty hardens and degrades, kindness reforms and ennobles.

I would like to see the millionaires unite and form a trust for the public good.

I would like to see a fair division of profits between capital and labor, so that the toiler could save enough to mingle a little June with the December of his life.

I would like to see an international court established in which to settle disputes between nations, so that armies could be disbanded and the great navies allowed to rust and rot in perfect peace.

I would like to see the whole world free—free from injustice—free from superstition.

This will do for next Christmas. The following Christmas, I may want more.

The Arena, Boston, December 1897. 

The Origins & Symbolism of Christian Holy Days

A really excellent video.

Britain now a majority non-religious nation

"In the latest 2010 BSA report, published earlier this month, only 42% said they were Christians while 51% now say they have no religion. Admittedly, some other surveys – including the last census – have produced different findings on these issues, usually to the advantage of the religious option. There is also a margin of error in all such exercises. All the same, and particularly since the trends in opinion over time seem well set, it is hard not to feel that this latest finding marks a cultural watershed.
This Christmas, for perhaps the first time ever, Britain is a majority non-religious nation. Most of us have probably seen this moment coming, but it is a substantial event nonetheless. It is undoubtedly a development that would have astonished our ancestors who built a Britain on the basis that we were and would remain a predominantly Protestant people. The victory of secularism would have flabbergasted them almost as much as the pope appearing on the BBC with his Thought for the Day.
The change ought certainly to inspire some national reflection, though there is no need for national breast-beating. After all, in most eyes, the BSA survey finding simply underscores things that have already become obvious. Today, our three political parties are led by two open atheists, and a prime minister who admits his faith comes and goes, a development impossible to imagine in other parts of a world, in which the loss of religion is not a uniform trend. The Britain of 50 years ago, in which religion was a far larger part of the social fabric and the national way of life, is a country we have lost."

Sunday 19 December 2010

Jesus and me

The Islamisation of Europe

Speech given by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff  on 18th December at the 'Rally against Islamisation of Europe' in Paris. She has discovered, like Geert Wilders before her, that the authorities would like to make it a hate-crime to quote from the Koran in public.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Is Jesus a Harry Potter figure?

This is the real question posed by a new book to be published in January next year. Not whether Harry Potter is a ‘Christ Figure’ (similar to a historical religious savior), but rather whether Jesus Christ is a ‘Potter Figure’ (a composition of redemptive mythological symbols and philosophies).

"At first glance it may seem that J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard and the crucified Jesus prophet who became the Christian savior have absolutely nothing to do with each other – and yet the unease and sometimes outright animosity between the followers of these two figures suggests otherwise. Harry has been banned, burned, and abused by religious fundamentalists for over a decade. Just what is it about Harry Potter that Christians find so threatening?

On the surface, the conflict appears simple. The Bible prohibits witchcraft absolutely, on pain of death. Consequently, some Christians argue that the popularity of Harry Potter can lead children to accept that magic is OK – if used for the right reasons – and thus lure them into evil practices that lead to damnation. At the release of Rowling’s final book, however, many readers were surprised to discover parallels between Jesus and Harry that, in such apparently diverse world-views, had no right to be there. As a result, recent years have witnessed a revolution in Christian responses to Harry, with many groups, writers and religious leaders praising Rowling’s young sorcerer as ultimately Christian and a clear metaphor for Jesus Christ."

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Why atheists have higher IQ's

Atheists are probably more intelligent than religious people because they benefit from many social conditions that happen to be correlated with loss of religious belief. When one looks at this phenomenon from the point of view of comparisons between countries, it is not hard to figure out possible reasons that more intelligent countries have more atheists as Richard Lynn (2009) reported.

From an article in Psychology Today by Evolutionary psychologist Nigel Barber, the author of Why Parents Matter and The Science of Romance, among other books.

Read more.

Monday 13 December 2010

Voltaire's take on Islam

"But that a camel-merchant should stir up insurrection in his village; that in league with some miserable followers he persuades them that he talks with the angel Gabriel; that he boasts of having been carried to heaven, where he received in part this unintelligible book, each page of which makes common sense shudder; that, to pay homage to this book, he delivers his country to iron and flame; that he cuts the throats of fathers and kidnaps daughters; that he gives to the defeated the choice of his religion or death: this is assuredly nothing any man can excuse, at least if he was not born a Turk, or if superstition has not extinguished all natural light in him."  

(Referring to Muhammad, in a letter to Frederick II of Prussia (December 1740), published in Oeuvres compl├Ętes de Voltaire, Vol. 7 (1869))

Wednesday 8 December 2010

A Quick Guide to Christian Theology

Jesus Christ was crucified as a sacrifice to the Invisible Magic Friend who is composed of three parts and one of these parts is Jesus. So Jesus sacrificed himself to himself. Eh??? . . This sacrifice was to atone for all our sins which the Invisible Magic Friend knew we were going to commit before he created us. Oh! My head is beginning to  hurt . . 

Thursday 2 December 2010

Religion & Santa Claus

It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities. - H. L. Mencken

Wednesday 1 December 2010

The Census Campaign update

It is claimed that, because of the way the question was worded, the 2001 census underestimated the number of non-religious people in the UK by approximately half. Yet the question remains substantially the same in next year's census.  This has all kinds of ramifications in the way our society is organised and our taxes are disbursed. 

The Census Campaign simply wants want people to know why the question on religion is flawed and why so many non-religious people didn't tick "None" in the 2001 Census. It wants people who are genuinely non-religious to have no hesitation in ticking the "No religion" box in the 2011 Census.

It is appealing for £12,000 to support an advertising campaign in the run-up to next year's census and has already reached nearly 80% of target.