pw201 + religion   413

Conversion via Twitter - The New Yorker
Megan Phelps - Roper on leaving Westboro Baptist Church, the church notorious for picketing funerals.
religion  culture  Twitter  homosexuality  Christianity  de-conversion 
march 2017 by pw201
CAN GOD’S GOODNESS SAVE THE DIVINE COMMAND THEORY FROM EUTHYPHRO?
Koon's paper in response to Alston's response to the Euthyphro dilemma. tl;dr: if God is the exemplar of goodness, his goodness is not explained by his virtues (rather, vice versa). But, bracketing the virtues, why would we then say he was good?
Euthyphro  euthypro-dilemma  philosophy  good  religion 
february 2017 by pw201
Responding to Tim Keller's "Making Sense of God" Talk
A shorter and better version than my own rebuttal of the book the talk was based on.
tim-keller  Religion  philosophy  Atheism 
november 2016 by pw201
Infographic: Taking Easter Seriously – Jericho Brisance
"Many Christians read the Easter stories year upon year, as I did for several decades, yet we never compare them in detail. As a consequence, we often do not realize that they are not telling the same story. There are indeed contradictions in the texts, but it is very important to move beyond “mere contradiction” – the issues with our gospels are far more extensive than that. Comparison against the historical record and assessing the gospels for trends of legend development are probably far more crucial. As with many non-believers, I left Christianity specifically because of the Bible, and because I considered and examined its content very seriously indeed."
bible  easter  crucifixion  contradictions  history  Christianity  Religion 
march 2016 by pw201
Just why can’t we atheists see that religious belief is reasonable? Some religious answers
"Why do we atheists reject religious belief, and consider it irrational? Here is a survey of some of the explanations that have been offered by the religious. They're not good. "
atheism  religion  philosophy  stephen-law  belief  rationality 
december 2015 by pw201
ISIS Is Just One of a Full-Blown Global Jihadist Insurgency - The Daily Beast
"By failing to name the ideology and isolate it from everyday Islam, we deprive these reforming voices of a lexicon, a language to deploy against those who are attempting to silence their progressive efforts within their own communities. We prevent a conversation around ending Islamism’s appeal while also reforming traditional Islam. If it has “nothing to do with Islam,” there is nothing to discuss within Islamic communities. In this way, we surrender the debate to the extremists, who meanwhile are discussing Islam with impunity."
islam  islamism  religion  terrorism  jihad  isis  isil 
november 2015 by pw201
ladysisyphus: So You Want To Read The Bible
ladysisyphus on Bible translations, and why you probably shouldn't just try to read it cover to cover.
bible  religion  literature  history 
july 2015 by pw201
ISIS and the Lonely Young American - The New York Times
The NYT has a story about radical Muslims attempting to convert an American Christian and convince her to travel to join them in Syria, all done via the Internet, mainly Twitter and Skype.
isis  islam  internet  twitter  religion  radicalisation 
july 2015 by pw201
Stephen Law: 'Skeptical Theism and the Pandora's Box Question' - YouTube
Stephen Law did a half hour talk on the sceptical theist response to the Problem of Evil ("you can't know that God doesn't have good reasons for allowing some apparently gratuitous evils merely because you can't think of such reasons"), and how adopting such a response leads to more general scepticism about just about everything (the Pandora's Box objection, as he calls it).
theodicy  theology  religion  philosophy  problem-of-evil  stephen-law  epistemology 
july 2015 by pw201
God Doesn't; We Do: The apologist two-step--McGrew and Marshall on Boghossian
Argues that Norman Geisler and Frank Turek's "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" use "faith" in a very similar way to the way Boghossian does, namely "We mean that the less evidence you have for your position, the more faith you need to believe it (and vice versa). Faith covers a gap in knowledge."
faith  peter-boghossian  apologetics  religion 
april 2015 by pw201
Britain Uncovered survey results: the attitudes and beliefs of Britons in 2015 | Society | The Guardian
The Graun surveyed about 1000 people and weighted the results according to the UK's demographics. Among other things, the bit about religion was interesting to me: their survey said "A majority of Britons (82%) do not actively practise a religion and a clear majority of the population (61%) agree with that “These days religion is a negative influence in the world rather than a force for good.” Unsurprisingly, those who associate with a religion are less likely to hold this view."
survey  britain  secularism  religion  belief  attitudes  politics  guardian 
april 2015 by pw201
Faith vs. Facts - NYTimes.com
"a broad group of scholars is beginning to demonstrate that religious belief and factual belief are indeed different kinds of mental creatures. People process evidence differently when they think with a factual mind-set rather than with a religious mind-set. Even what they count as evidence is different. And they are motivated differently, based on what they conclude. On what grounds do scholars make such claims?"
faith  facts  psychology  religion  anthropology  scott-atran 
april 2015 by pw201
60 Years On: Academic Atheist Philosophers Then & Now : The Critique
Graham Oppy reviews 60 years of atheist thought in philosophy. Interesting stuff. Is it true to say that people think sceptical theism means that a theist should not be convinced by the evidential problem of evil? I thought that sceptical theism had problems of its own, but I rely on people like John Danaher to digest the literature for me rather than reading journals or anything...
graham-oppy  atheism  philosophy  theodicy  religion 
april 2015 by pw201
List of testimonies from people who just know their religion is true
amymea, writing in the ex-Mormon Reddit, takes to task someone who argues that the "testimony of the spirit" is good evidence that Mormonism is true, by listing a bunch of other people who had strong feelings upon reading their own religious texts.
mormonism  reddit  feelings  faith  religion  evidence 
april 2015 by pw201
Brown Pundits: Unreal Islam
"As someone in love with the cultural traditions of Islam and as a diligent student of its history, I agree that the acts of the jihadis do not represent the vast majority of Muslims today or in history. Humans are a violent species and Muslims have contributed their share, but it is completely asinine to think that Muslims have been, historically, any more violent than other groups. However, it is equally absurd to deny that the ideology underlying jihadism draws upon mainstream Islamic beliefs and is, therefore, undeniably a form of “real Islam” – albeit of a very extreme form. It is more accurate to say that this extremism is “not the only Islam”, and, by historical standards, it is a version very different from what the vast majority of Muslims have practiced."
islam  religion  islamism  history  pakistan 
january 2015 by pw201
Charlie Hebdo: the danger of polarised debate | Gary Younge | Comment is free | The Guardian
"Those who claim that Islam is “inherently”violent are more hateful, but no less nonsensical, than those who claim it is “inherently” peaceful. The insistence that these hateful acts are refuted by ancient texts makes as much sense as insisting they are supported by them. Islam, like any religion, isn’t “inherently” anything but what people make of it. A small but significant minority have decided to make it violent."
islam  religion  violence  charlie-hebdo 
january 2015 by pw201
The Blame for the Charlie Hebdo Murders - The New Yorker
"Because the ideology is the product of a major world religion, a lot of painstaking pretzel logic goes into trying to explain what the violence does, or doesn’t, have to do with Islam. Some well-meaning people tiptoe around the Islamic connection, claiming that the carnage has nothing to do with faith, or that Islam is a religion of peace, or that, at most, the violence represents a “distortion” of a great religion. (After suicide bombings in Baghdad, I grew used to hearing Iraqis say, “No Muslim would do this.”) Others want to lay the blame entirely on the theological content of Islam, as if other religions are more inherently peaceful—a notion belied by history as well as scripture. A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents."
charliehebdo  journalism  terror  religion  politics  islam 
january 2015 by pw201
The case for mocking religion.
Hitchens! thou shouldst be living at this hour: France has need of thee.
cartoons  christopher-hitchens  satire  religion  islam  terrorism  murder 
january 2015 by pw201
Why IS liberal Protestantism dying, anyway?
Religions/denominations which are stricter in their requirements for adherents actually do better.
religion  anthropology  psychology 
december 2014 by pw201
Ex-Communications – Recovering From Religion - You Are Not Alone
A new blog written by de-converts from various religions. Looks quite interesting so far.
ex-christian  religion  deconversion  christianity 
december 2014 by pw201
A Parable On Obsolete Ideologies - Less Wrong
Yvain/Scott Alexander on why it might be a bad idea to continue to espouse a belief in God, the Devil and whatnot while having a sort of private understanding of what that means, even if that understanding is more palatable than the original theology.
psychology  religion  rationality  hitler 
october 2014 by pw201
The Left must reject the relativism at the heart of the Rotherham scandal | Left Foot Forward
This, from Al Razi of Ex-Muslim Forum, seems a sensible response, although as the worlds only impartial observer, I'd say that both the class of the victims and the race of both victims and perpetrators contributed to the horrors being ignored for so long. The Guardian will only talk about the former and the Telegraph about the latter, I suspect.
rotherham  abuse  religion  islam  news  multiculturalism 
august 2014 by pw201
In Heaven We’ll All Be Sociopaths
"One question I see tossed around sometimes is how people could be happy in heaven knowing that their loved ones are suffering in hell. It may seem odd, but I never even thought of this problem as an evangelical. It wasn’t until later that I came upon it, already an atheist myself. Curious, I decided to look up how Christian apologists respond to this problem. I have to admit to being kind of horrified by the answers I’ve found."
heaven  hell  religion  sociopath  christianity 
march 2014 by pw201
What Can We Learn About Human Psychology from Christian Apologetics? - Less Wrong
Chris Hallquist tries to work out what's going on with apologetics. It's Less Wrong, so *do* read the comments.
religion  christianity  less-wrong  psychology  apologetics  chris-hallquist 
october 2013 by pw201
Why You Shouldn't Support Operation Christmas Child | Mymumdom
...unless you want to contribute towards evangelical Christian evangelising, of course. But apparently some schools in the UK are collecting shoeboxes of gifts for the Samaritan's Purse organisation without fully realising what they're about.
religion  samaritans-purse  christianity  christmas-child  christmas  evangelism 
october 2013 by pw201
Making Light: Victory to the People
A history of the development of the Biblical canon, recounted as if it were fan fiction.
canon  religion  bible  nicea 
september 2013 by pw201
The Biggest Challenges to Staying Christian
Peter Enns asks his Christian readers for the biggest challenges to staying Christian, and then tells them to be "trans-rational". Adam Lee comments.
religion  de-conversion  christianity  atheism  peter-enns  rationality 
june 2013 by pw201
Against the seriousness of theology : Gene Expression
"Theology and texts have far less power over shaping a religion’s lived experience than intellectuals would like to credit. This is a difficult issue to approach, because even believers who are vague on peculiarities of the details of theology (i.e., nearly all of them!) nevertheless espouse that theology as true. Very few Christians that I have spoken to actually understand the substance of the elements of the Athanasian Creed, though they accept it on faith. Similarly, very few Sunni Muslims could explain with any level of coherency why al-Ghazali‘s refutation of the Hellenistic tendency within early Islam shaped their own theology (if they are Sunni it by definition does!). Conversely, very few Shia could explain why their own tradition retains within its intellectual toolkit the esoteric Hellenistic philosophy which the Sunni have rejected. That’s because almost no believers actually make recourse to their own religion’s intellectual toolkit."
religion  theology  culture 
may 2013 by pw201
BBC News - How religions change their mind
How do doctrinal shifts occur in various world religions?
religion  christianity  mormonism  islam  change  doctrine  judaism 
may 2013 by pw201
Hume 10 —Atheists Nil
Simon Blackburn on Hume's Dialogues: "So is Hume himself an atheist? The word does not fit, and he never so described himself. He is much too subtle. Philo the sceptic says that we cannot understand or know anything about a transcendent reality that explains or sustains the ongoing order of nature, while the theists like Demea say that we cannot understand or know anything about the transcendent reality, which is God, that explains or sustains the ongoing order of nature. Since the inserted clause does not help us in the least, the difference between them is merely verbal. And this is Hume’s conclusion."
religion  hume  atheism  philosophy  david-hume  simon-blackburn 
may 2013 by pw201
What Martial Arts Have to Do With Atheism - Graeme Wood - The Atlantic
Sam Harris on martial arts, meditation and atheism: "No one's ever accused me of being an optimist, but I think reason and intellectual honesty will win. They're just too useful."
religion  atheism  martial-arts  meditation  sam-harris 
april 2013 by pw201
The Euthyphro Dilemma - Greatplay.net
Nice survey of the arguments and counterarguments, in relation to William Lane Craig's Moral Argument for the existence of God.
religion  william-lane-craig  euthypro-dilemma  Euthyphro  philosophy  morality 
february 2013 by pw201
Web of Beliefs 2012: Complete Edition - Greatplay.net
Peter Hurford's summary of his beliefs, which links to a lot of his interesting essays. I should do myself one of these, I reckon.
religion  belief  philosophy  epistemology  science 
february 2013 by pw201
Top 10 Reasons our Kids Leave Church « Marc5Solas
An American Christian on why they're losing their youth. Obviously, they're not going to say "because it's all lies", but I don't think an atheist has to support the idea that all de-converts thought very hard about it and left on rational grounds.
religion  christianity  de-conversion  atheism 
february 2013 by pw201
Bringing your religious beliefs to work – what are the limits? | Opinion | The Lawyer
Cherie Booth looks at the recent European court decisions on religious expression at work (decisions which seemed pretty sensible to me).
law  religion  discrimination  europe  homosexuality 
january 2013 by pw201
God & Sandy Hook | Talking Philosophy
Mike LaBossiere wrote my blog post for me: he talks about Mike Huckabee's response and the two ways to take it (either as an assertion that God judged America or as a statement about moral education) and notes that in either case, God doesn't really come out well.
huckabee  mike-huckabee  violence  shooting  sandy-hook  philosophy  christian  religion  theodicy 
december 2012 by pw201
Is Irish Law to blame for the death of Savita?
"In December 2010, the Irish government was told by the European Court of Human Rights to deal with exactly this kind of situation, either by making legislative changes or by issuing clear guidelines which acted to remove any and all ambiguities surround the question of when doctors are required to carry out terminations in order to save women’s lives.

To date, it has done nothing, largely, it seems, because Ireland’s anti-abortion lobby, and the Roman Catholic Church (naturally) have spent the last two years or so trying to shout down any notion that an abortion may be necessary to save a woman’s life in any circumstances.

What this sad case proves, definitively, is that they are lying and the real tragedy here is not just that a woman has died because they were lying but that woman has had to die, unnecessarily and in excruciating pain, to prove them wrong."
medicine  religion  catholicism  ireland  law  abortion 
november 2012 by pw201
Interview: Russell Blackford on Atheism, Philosophy and Morality – Rational Hub Blogs
Longish (written) interview with the philosopher Russell Blackford. I enjoyed the bits about the supposed incompatibility between science and religion, and the stuff about moral error theory.
scientism  science  scie  error-theory  religion  morality  ethics  philosophy  russell-blackford 
october 2012 by pw201
Let the Universe Be the Universe | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine
Sean Caroll got mentioned in Craig's podcast, and responds: "The moment of the Big Bang is, if anything is, a place where quantum gravity is supremely important. The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin results are simply not about quantum gravity." "But when we’re not experts, it’s not intellectually honest to distort the words of experts to make them sound like they fit our pre-conceived narrative. That’s why engagement with people like Craig is fundamentally less interesting than engagement with open-minded people who are willing to take what the universe has to offer, rather than forcing it into their favorite boxes."
inflation  william-lane-craig  big-bang  cosmology  religion  god  physics  sean-carroll 
september 2012 by pw201
Sam Harris on the Innocence of Muslims affair | Talking Philosophy
Russel Blackford examines Harris's essay. He gets a couple of commenters telling him that he's a cultural imperialist or doesn't understand the sacred or something, so I waded in.
religion  blasphemy  islam  russell-blackford  sam-harris 
september 2012 by pw201
On the Freedom to Offend an Imaginary God : Sam Harris
"Here is where the line must be drawn and defended without apology: We are free to burn the Qur’an or any other book, and to criticize Muhammad or any other human being. Let no one forget it." "The freedom to think out loud on certain topics, without fear of being hounded into hiding or killed, has already been lost. And the only forces on earth that can recover it are strong, secular governments that will face down charges of blasphemy with scorn. "
sam-harris  islam  mohammed  koran  politics  free  speech  religion 
september 2012 by pw201
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader - NYTimes.com
Small town pastor turns atheist, gets ostracised by Christians, turns to the Clergy Project and now helps run the Recovering from Religion organisation.
ex-christian  de-conversion  clergy  atheism  religion 
august 2012 by pw201
God and the Ivory Tower- By Scott Atran | Foreign Policy
Scott Atran argues that scientific study of religion is needed. Hard to disagree there, though I'm not sure scientists have refrained from studying it because they think it's silly. Is there evidence for that?
atheism  new-atheism  religion  anthropology  scott-atran  atran 
august 2012 by pw201
Philosophy Bro
Excellent summaries of philosophical works in bro-speak, plus readers' questions answered. Fist-bump!
aristotle  descartes  religion  morality  kant  david  hume  bro  funny  philosophy 
august 2012 by pw201
Why yes, I have spent the past few days exploring the Catholic blogosphere
"Atheists say that it's not necessary to wear green clothing on Saturdays. And I see where they're coming from. Wouldn't it be really convenient to wake up on Saturday and not have to worry about digging through your dresser, looking for your one pair of good green pants? Wouldn't it make life easier? ... But here's the secret that modern society has forgotten: there's more to life than just being comfortable. True, it would be easy not to wear green clothing on Saturday." A nice satire of a certain type of religious blogger.
yvain  satire  funny  religion  catholic 
july 2012 by pw201
Beyond Mitt's Underwear: Part 1: Apostasy and Restoration
tongodeon did an excellent series on Mormon beliefs. This is the first part, which links to all the others. The conclusion is worth reading even if you skim the rest.
lds  joseph-smith  underwear  mitt-romney  religion  mormonism  mormon 
may 2012 by pw201
Banned from the buses
mattghg is the source of my bus farrago links, so here's a link to his post, where he argues that ex-gay therapy might work and that there are free speech concerns with Boris banning the ads.
mattghg  ex-gay  adverts  advertising  bus  religion  homosexuality 
april 2012 by pw201
Ex-Gay Adverts on London Buses | An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy
Peter Ould, who identifies as "post-gay", has some interesting comments on the bus advertisement farrago.
ex-gay  adverts  bus  christianity  peter-ould  religion  homosexuality 
april 2012 by pw201
If Atheists Talked Like Christians… (A Contest)
Reversing some popular Christian sayings. Kind of fun.
parody  funny  atheism  christianity  religion 
april 2012 by pw201
‘A Universe From Nothing,’ by Lawrence M. Krauss - NYTimes.com
David Albert, a professor of philosophy at Columbia who also has a physics PhD, points out that Krauss hasn't really explained why there's something rather than nothing by . Via Jerry Coyne.
theology  philosophy  religion  krauss  science  quantum  universe 
april 2012 by pw201
The Fireplace Delusion : Sam Harris
"I recently stumbled upon an example of secular intransigence that may give readers a sense of how religious people feel when their beliefs are criticized. It’s not a perfect analogy, as you will see, but the rigorous research I’ve conducted at dinner parties suggests that it is worth thinking about. We can call the phenomenon “the fireplace delusion.”"
sam-harris  wood  health  psychology  fireplace  samharris  religion 
march 2012 by pw201
Without a pack of lies to back them up, Christian claims of persecution fall flat on their face
"So these two women, again with the help of the evangelical activists who are seeking special privilege for Christians, have gone to the European Court of Human Rights claiming that the equality law is wrong and should be changed. The Government has argued that the court's decisions were right and that the law has been correctly applied in both cases. The National Secular Society has made the same argument in an intervention in the case, the only intervener to do so.

This could hardly be more different from arguing that the Christian cross must never be seen in the workplace again, as the newspaper headlines imply."
politics  uk  religion  christianity 
march 2012 by pw201
What Nonbelievers Believe | Psychology Today
"Common sense, not complex philosophy, often drives religious skepticism."
belief  psychology  atheism  science  humanism  religion 
march 2012 by pw201
Open letter to violent Muslim protestors | The Chronicle
"I really don’t understand how my fellow Muslims do not see that, with their reactions, they actually prove what has been said about them by their enemies. You call my religion evil or terrorism and, in order to “disprove” this insult, I will go kill people, burn embassies, act like a bloodthirsty crazy person…. Don’t you fellow Muslims see the ridiculousness of this logic and actions! The uncivilized images of these violent protests by these irresponsible and violent Muslims shape the image of 1.6 billion Muslims all around the world. "
violence  religion  terrorism  quran  islam 
march 2012 by pw201
Why Richard Dawkins is still an atheist - Guest Voices - The Washington Post
Paula Kirby on the recent "Dawkins admits he's an agnostic!" stories following his debate with Cuddly Rowan Bear. "Religious commentators have become so excited at the thought of his conversion that I almost don’t have the heart to break it to them that he said nothing in Thursday’s discussion that he hadn’t already said six years ago in "The God Delusion""
the  god  delusion  religion  agnosticism  paula-kirby  richard-dawkins  dawkins  atheism 
march 2012 by pw201
deconversion | Black, White and Gray
Some Christian sociologists did some research into why people leave, by looking at 50 de-conversion "testimonies". Results: intellectual problems (hell, suffering, reliability of the Bible); God's failure to answer prayer; other Christians responding to doubt in trite or unhelpful ways. Contact with unbelievers wasn't often cited as a cause of de-conversion.
psychology  de-conversion  christianity  religion  sociology 
february 2012 by pw201
What is the proper place for religion in Britain's public life? | World news | The Observer
An exchange between Dawkins and Will Hutton. D: "That doesn't mean religious people shouldn't advocate their religion. So long as they are not granted privileged power to do so (which at present they are) of course they should. And the rest of us should be free to argue against them. But of all arguments out there, arguments against religion are almost uniquely branded "intolerant". When you put a cogent and trenchant argument against the government's economic policy, nobody would call you "intolerant" of the Tories. But when an atheist does the same against a religion, that's intolerance. Why the double standard? Do you really want to privilege religious ideas by granting them unique immunity against reasoned argument?"
uk  secularism  politics  religion  dawkins  richard-dawkins  will-hutton 
february 2012 by pw201
Stephen Law vs. William Lane Craig Debate: Argument map » » The Polemical MedicThe Polemical Medic
"there’s lots of debate over who won the Law/Craig debate. Instead of joining that, I though I’d do something niftier: I’ve mapped the whole of the debate in argument form, to give a more intuitive way of seeing how all the arguments and objections interact". This is excellent stuff.
religion  theodicy  philosophy  christianity  atheism  debate  william-lane-craig  stephen-law 
february 2012 by pw201
Evangelism, disbelief, and being 'without excuse' » » The Polemical MedicThe Polemical Medic
"Christians who indulge in evangelism and apologetics often hold to a thesis of disbelief as epistemic pathology – that disbelief is the result of some culpable error of judgment. Such an attitude is a poor fit for the facts and counter productive to the cause of evangelism. Ironically, the urge of these people to pathologize disagreement is diagnostic of their own epistemic pathology." I've mentioned this attitude (inspired by Romans 1) before: Thrasymachus neatly dissects it.
philosophy  epistemology  christianity  religion  apologetics  evangelicalism  evangelism 
february 2012 by pw201
How not to attack Intelligent Design Creationism: Philosophical misconceptions about Methodological Naturalism - Maarten Boudry
"In recent controversies about Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC), the principle of methodological naturalism (MN) has played an important role. In this paper, an often neglected distinction is made between two different conceptions of MN, each with its respective rationale and with a different view on the proper role of MN in science. According to one popular conception, MN is a self-imposed or intrinsic limitation of science, which means that science is simply not equipped to deal with claims of the supernatural (Intrinsic MN or IMN). Alternatively, we will defend MN as a provisory and empirically grounded attitude of scientists, which is justified in virtue of the consistent success of naturalistic explanations and the lack of success of supernatural explanations in the history of science. (Provisory MN or PMN). Science does have a bearing on supernatural hypotheses, and its verdict is uniformly negative."
creationism  intelligent-design  religion  science  naturalism  philosophy 
february 2012 by pw201
The Apologist's Turnstile
"the idea that no particular level of knowledge is needed to assent to a religion, but an impossibly, unattainably high level of knowledge and expertise is needed to deny it. In the minds of many believers, the entrance to their religion is like a subway turnstile: a barrier that only allows people to pass through in one direction."
apologist  epistemology  religion  atheism 
february 2012 by pw201
Angra Mainyu's blog: The Moral Argument: Why Craig's metaethical case for theism fails
A pretty comprehensive attempt to refute William Lane Craig's Moral Argument for the existence of God.
moral  argument  philosophy  religion  morality  theism  william-lane-craig 
january 2012 by pw201
Alex Gabriel // LSE's student union copy UCL's
More on the LSE nonsense: "Essentially, a large of group of Muslim students felt offended that there were pictures of Mohammed on the facebook group. As a result, they felt that our facebook group was no longer a ‘safe space’ for Muslims." Alex Gabriel points out that the Facebook group in question is a closed one, and certainly not what you'd expect to be a "safe space" for Muslims. It would certainly be crass for a student atheist group to put that cartoon on posters, say, but complaining about a closed Facebook group is just whining for the sake of it.
lse  university  freedom  religion  politics  islam 
january 2012 by pw201
Unexpurgated atheist FAQ
At last, it can be told! Via andrewducker.
faq  funny  religion  atheism  parody 
january 2012 by pw201
Atheism isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship … with reality | Unreasonable Faith
A summary of blogged responses to that "I hate religion but love Jesus" video that's been doing the rounds. I made a comment at the bottom. Also good for the comment thread on Atheismo, the diety for atheists.
relationship  with  god  video  atheism  religion 
january 2012 by pw201
Driscoll & Brierley on Women in Leadership « Cognitive Discopants
Well known complementarian and fan of big strong manly men, Mark Driscoll, recently did an interview with Justin Brierley of Premier Christian Radio. Driscoll came out with a few choice quotes about Christians in the UK (“guys in dresses preaching to grandmas”).

He then had a go at Brierley for going to a church run by a woman (Brierley's wife!) and not believing in penal substitutionary atonement and eternal conscious torment in Hell (Brierley is an annihilationist: we unsaved will be told off and then vapourised rather then being tortured forever). Fun times.
homosexuality  premier  christian  radio  complementarianism  mark-driscoll  religion  church  mark  driscoll  christianity  women  sexism  markdriscoll 
january 2012 by pw201
The undeniable fact and its inescapable consequence | Alethian Worldview
"The undeniable fact is this: God does not show up in the real world, not visibly, not audibly, not tangibly, not for you, not for me, not for saint or for sinner or for seeker. ... the inescapable consequence is that we have no alternative but to put our faith in men rather than in God. ... When men say things on God’s behalf, and make promises that God is supposed to keep, the word they tell you is the word of men, not the word of God. That’s true even if what men say is, “This is the word of God.” They’re not giving you God’s word, they’re giving you man’s word about God’s word (or at least what they claim is God’s word). Sure, you can believe what men tell you about God if you like, but if you do, you are putting your faith in men. Before you can have faith in God, God has to show up, in person, to tell you directly the things He wants you to have faith in. Otherwise it’s just faith in men."
deacon-duncan  religion  atheism 
january 2012 by pw201
I Am An Atheist: 16 Things Atheists Need Christians to Know
Some only relevant to Americans, but there are some good general points.
lists  religion  christianity  atheism 
january 2012 by pw201
Atheists face Muslim-led censorship from UCL Union
The atheist society at UCL posted a Jesus and Mo cartoon as the image accompanying their Facebook event. One Muslim objected as the cartoon depicts Mohammed (what the Muslim was doing looking at the Facebook page for an atheist event isn't clear). The UCL student union got a complaint from someone and asked them to take it down. They refused. The story got picked up by atheist blogs and Dawkins Our Leader and hence the newspapers. The union backed down though there's still the vague threat in the air that the atheist soc might be guilty of bullying or harassment.

Hopefully the media attention has put the fear of God into the Union and they won't be so silly in future. Muslims do not have the right not to be offended.
richard-dawkins  dawkins  ucl  university  censorship  religion  islam 
january 2012 by pw201
The return to religion - Telegraph
"Church attendances, in freefall for so long, have started to rise again, particularly in Britain’s capital city. Numbers on the electoral rolls are increasing by well over two per cent every year, while some churches have seen truly dramatic rises in numbers." (The electoral roll of a church is the only way the C of E has of recording membership: they don't really go in for the formal process of the free churches, as it's an established church).

This is interesting, though not sure how good the evidence of a revival is: you've got a couple of anecdotes plus evidence of a positive second derivative (decline is slowing). It's interesting that this is always presented as being about an alternative to shopping and a search for meaning rather than being about the evidence. I suspect that's the way it actually works though, depressingly.
christianity  church-of-england  anglican  c-of-e  telegraph  uk  religion 
january 2012 by pw201
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