"Face it. Religion is simply upset
because, finally, somebody's holding up a hand of skepticism about its
wild claims and requiring the pastors, preachers and pundits to
substantiate those claims. This does not make religion a victim. It
makes religion accountable." #JeSuisCharlie#freespeech#CharlieHebdo
To Whomever It May Concern:
When you ask me to respect religion because people believe in it, I
want you to remember something. I want you to remember that long ago
your ancestors were not Christian or Muslim. They had their own culture
and customs native to their heritage. Through military conquest
religion spread itself through the Old World, and those distant
relatives were faced with a choice: either accept Christianity/Islam or
die a painful death. This was how most major religions today achieved
their position of respect.
After Europe had been fully indoctrinated, the papal Doctrine of
Discovery gave the authority to all good Christians to conquer the
native peoples of the New World and claim that land for God and the
Church. Millions died mercilessly and were even tortured by Christian
heroes like Christopher Columbus.
Now, thousands of years later, when we no longer have to respect these
beliefs upon pain of death, we are told that we should respect
religion. We are told by those within even the non religious community
that we should show respect to these ideas that have gained a place of
vaunted privilege in our societies which are built upon the graves of
any who dared question or challenge the authority of divine providence.
You think you are being rational. You think you are being reasonable.
What you are really doing is propping up the last leg of human slavery
to bad ideas and providing intellectual cover for religion to keep a
place of honor and respect it never earned.
Please, stop protecting religion in the guise of false humility. Be
honest and firm with your beliefs and never expect anyone to respect
your ideas unless they earn it, and always be willing to be wrong. That
is what it means to be a free thinker.
Humanism is a secular philosophy that espouses reason,
ethics, and justice. Secular
specifically rejects supernatural and religious dogma
( eg: http://www.truthforlife.org/about/what-we-believe/) as the basis of morality
and decision-making. Secular Humanism is a life stance
that focuses on the way human beings can lead good, happy and
The United States has failed to take action to mitigate climate change
due to religious Americans who believe the world has a set expiration
date. 76% of
Republicans believe in a "Second Coming of Jesus" decreasing the
support of government action on climate change. Climate
change inertia in USA
can't prove that God doesn't exist, but science makes God unnecessary
"The danger of religious faith is that
it allows otherwise normal human beings
to reap the fruits of madness
and consider them holy." - Sam
" The danger with faith schools
is that religion can so often become a big part of the educational
Many faith schools make a point of ensuring that the 'religious ethos'
permeates through all lessons
– including science. "
there is a god it seems to me so obvious and so absolutely clear that
– if he does exist – he is
capricious, mean and wilful.
To say that he’s loving, that
he’s benevolent, that he cares for us,
we should spend our time on our knees in front of him – it’s outrageous.
” - Stephen Fry
" Religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness. "Kathleen
" A discussion of the points of
agreement and disagreement between science and religion "
" God did not create
the Universe. Theology
is unnecessary " Stephen Hawking
" Blair acknowledged that horrific acts
had been committed in the name of religion.
Christianity, Judaism and Islam as the real axis of evil.
The debate was won by Hitchens with a margin of two to one.
- Blair Hitchens debate
The original atheists were christians - they did not believe in the
gods of the Romans.
Present day atheists / humanists do not believe in the god of the
state visit criticised:-
for: Opposing the distribution of condoms
and so increasing large families in poor countries and the
spread of Aids;
promoting segregated education;
denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women;
opposing equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and
failing to address the many cases of abuse of children. "
The Trouble with the Pope:
opposition to contraception, embryonic stem cell research and condom
use to prevent HIV; his collusion
in the sex abuse cover-up, his distortions of Cardinal Newman's
theology ( liberal ) and his
readmission to the catholic church of Bishop Williamson ( a Holocaust
denier ). " Guardian
Calls for the arrest of
Pope Benedict XVI for crimes against humanity. " Times
The theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth that has
stood rigorous scrutiny and on which much human knowledge and
achievement rest. To reject this truth or to treat it as one theory
among others is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and to
transmit such ignorance to children. " Making of the Fittest
Weak people say I know
it because I was told so in childhood,
belief in many strange religions " Charles Darwin (on
mindless obedience to religion )
" Faith disempowers
humans, snatching from their hands the responsibility for their fate " Kenan
" Our species is the
evolutionary processes - not divine or extraterrestrial intervention " Tooby
" Primitive people see
the world as driven by spirits or divine forces " Comte
kinds of infectious memes thrive in religions, in spite of being false,
such as the idea of a creator god, virgin births, the subservience of
women, transubstantiation, and many more. In the major religions, they
are backed up by admonitions to have faith not doubt, and by untestable
but ferocious rewards and punishments." Susan
is the explanation of those features of the universe that science finds
difficult to explain ( eg values of certain physical constants
favouring life ). God does not need an explanation
is beyond the universe." Francis
Discovered in a
monastery in the Sinai desert in Egypt more than 160 years ago, the
handwritten Codex Sinaiticus includes two books that are not part of
the official New Testament and at least seven books that are not in the
priests and a former priest are vindicated
after former Cardinal Keith O'Brien admits
O'Brien previously used strong language to condemn homosexuality.
cardinal was named "Bigot of the Year" by gay rights group
failings of the former cardinal will result in a further fall in the
moral authority of the Catholic Church.
" Christians discrimination cases rejected by human rights court
The Dalai Lama
urges respect for non-religious and calls for
the teaching of secular values in education. RDFRS
" Human feelings such
as depression, pessimism and anxiety are handicaps to health and
so religious beliefs that
alleviate these symptoms would have evolved.
Some humans seem to be
susceptible to religious beliefs however irrational."Chris Stringer
Islamic civilization went into decline when moslem scholars interpreted
knowledge acquisition to mean only knowledge of religion -
knowledge was un-Islamic. " Mahathir Mohamad
" Islamic fundamentalists would prefer to live in a theocracy
with science, politics and personal relationships subject to
religious edicts " Michio
" All philosophies and social systems are ultimately based on scarcity
and poverty " Physics
of the Future
is a democratic and ethical life stance,
which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to
give meaning and shape to their own lives.
for the building
of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other
natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human
It is not theistic, and it does not
views of reality." IHEU
"Imagine there's no
hell below us...
And no religion too... And the
world will live as one " John
Avidya ( ignorance )
is the source of our unhappiness
and Vidya ( wisdom ) and
enlightenment ) are our salvation " Hinduism
" Faith schools undermine
community relations and should be abolished " NUT
complexity of intellectual bastions constructed to withstand tides of
" Men never do evil so
and cheerfully as when they do so from religious conviction
" The difference
and religion is the evidence " Jill Tarter, US Astronomer
" I consider
new religion .. - its a psychological / sociolological phenomenon
it's in the mind of the believer " Paul Kurtz, Professor of
Philosophy ( UFO = Unidentified Flying Object )
more we learn about the Universe
the more it seems it is not
by any principle in which morality,
human life, love
or justice play
any special role " Steven Weinberg,
US Physicist, Nobel Prize Winner
schools 'breed terror'
schools that encourage religious segregation are sowing the seeds of
David Canter came to the conclusion after speaking to
convicted Islamic terrorists about their lives and beliefs.
" Religious beliefs are like a pathology - a mass delusion
- akin to a virus
that perpetuates itself via
information imprinted by adults on impressionable young minds "Chris Stringer
Faith Schools Menace
" Religious prejudice
may be the only form of discrimination now funded by government. Through the agency of
faith schools, the belief that one form of religious conviction is
superior to others ( and that pretty much any form of religion is
superior to atheism ) is actively encouraged by the state.
in faith schools warning
more faith schools runs the risk of children being "indoctrinated".
Tim Hastie-Smith, chairman of the Headmasters' and
said he felt more single faith schools may
He said faith schools could "make people become
object of suspicion as they are withdrawing"
youngsters "from doing good".
" Intelligent design
/ creationism is unscientific " Father
George Coyne, Vatican chief astronomer
conclusion that God created the world is not a scientific position, but
a philosophical one.
There's a controversy in the United
there is a lack of
awareness of philosophy.
creationists lack it and Catholics have it.” Father
civilization wracked with
sectarianism / fundamentalism / racism will self-destruct
to these tribal / religious passions. " Michio
theologians, at a loss
to explain the location of heaven,
speculate that God lives
in a higher dimension. "
can all look forward to the time when these three
theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the
country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent
Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third
time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."
was recently voted one of the world's top three intellectuals
(alongside Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky) by "Prospect" magazine. As the
author of many, now famous, classic works on science and philosophy, he
has always asserted the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous
harm it has inflicted on society. He now turns his fierce intellect
exclusively on this subject, denouncing its faulty logic and the
suffering it causes. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized,
the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or
Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around
the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between
'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and
restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma
from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as
women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence
lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms, from
the sex-obsessed, cruel tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign,
but still illogical, Celestial Watchmaker favoured by some
Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion
and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows
how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. In "The
God Delusion" Dawkins presents a hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of
religion of all types and does so in the lucid, witty and powerful
language for which he is renowned. It is a brilliantly argued,
fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested
in this most emotional and important subject.
The end of God? ( BBC
Horizon 21/9/2011 )
by historian Dr
of Horizon programs that have considered the issues
science for religion / theology. The program ranged
from the challenge
posed by Aristotle to
the geocentric view of the church, through the
by evolution and the rearguard attempts by fundamentalists to resist
particularly in the US with their insistence on Biblical creation and
the Behe case for "Intelligent Design" regarding the supposed
irreducible complexity of the flagellum and its subsequent
dismissal as an utter
nonsense by a US court.
Towards the end of the program Dr Dixon presented the
grander view of
God which religions have adopted to avoid the pitfalls of the "god of
the gaps" approach. This is the "God as grand designer of the Universe"
approach. The need for such a "grand designer god" in
creation of the Universe has however been refuted by Stephen Hawking.
In the final part of the program Dr Dixon looked at issues
relating to the biological / neurological basis for religious belief and
showed excerpts from a previous Horizon
program looking at research using a "God Helmet".
helmet generates a magnetic field across specific portions of
brain. These portions of the brain have been found to shut
during Buddhist meditation and when nuns chant devout prayers.
The explanation was that this area of the brain is linked to
our sense of time and place - our rootedness - and that the religious
experience in many different cultures has the common feature that it
tends to result in less activity in this area. The result is a sense of
otherness, religious aura and frequently a sense of the "presence" of
something outside oneself. The "God
Helmet" was able to reproduce this experience in
some 80% of volunteers.
In concluding Dr Dixon suggested that - because
history, desire for grand explanations and
meaning / purpose, biological / neurological factors -
belief will be difficult if not impossible to eradicate. The
program showed the rational / logical non-necessity for a
in a god and how
science is increasingly squeezing the gaps in knowledge requiring the
invocation of a god as an explanation.
However the program left some comfort for believers in that science is
about to answer all remaining uncertainties viz:- the existence of the Higgs Boson
( the " God Particle ", the identity of dark matter
and dark energy,
the existence of multiple
universes, how the human brain