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August 25 2014

surveyork
14:21
It seems to me now that the public face of social liberalism has ceased to seem positive, joyful, human, and freeing. I now mostly associate that public face with danger, with an endless list of things that you can’t do or say or think, and with the constant threat of being called an existentially bad person if you say the wrong thing, or if someone decides to misrepresent what you said as saying the wrong thing. There are so many ways to step on a landmine now, so many terms that have become forbidden, so many attitudes that will get you cast out if you even appear to hold them. I’m far from alone in feeling that it’s typically not worth it to engage, given the risks.
Where Online Social Liberalism Lost The Script « The Dish

August 29 2013

surveyork
09:20

If you were to travel back in time 4,000 years and speak with a devoutly religious Egyptian, what would you tell him about the future? How would you explain that his immortal and all-powerful gods would be murdered by the mortal and simply human Romans? How would you communicate that this Egyptian’s lost loved ones would never be resurrected? Would you tell him that there are people in your time who actually believe that his ancestors are in eternal torment for not believing in a religion that didn’t exist yet?

No matter how soft spoken, logical or respectful your message is, how can it not be offensive? Would any evidence you bring to the discussion matter? What would the response be? An acceptance? A disagreement? A stone against your head? Quite possibly the latter, especially if this Egyptian was supported, financed and held a high position of authority within the religious hierarchy. Not only would you be denying his dreams of immortality, stating that his devotion and the devotion of his ancestors were all for naught, you’d be taking away his livelihood if he were to accept it.

July 21 2013

surveyork
22:03
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Wednesday, "The insolent and impudent act by the young couple who insulted Islam showed that freedom of expression and irresponsible opinion can jeopardise the community," according to The Star.

June 07 2013

surveyork
21:10

On Patheos’ evangelical Christian channel, Peter Enns has been soliciting comments from his readers about what the greatest challenges are to remaining Christian. He got hundreds of responses, and he’s compiled a list of five common themes in the answers:

1. The Bible, namely inerrancy. This was the most commonly cited challenge, whether implicitly or explicitly, and it lay behind most of the others mentioned. The pressure many of you expressed was the expectation of holding specifically to an inerrant Bible in the face of such things as biblical criticism, contradictions, implausibilities in the biblical story, irrelevance for life (its ancient context), and the fact that the Bible is just plain confusing.

2. The conflict between the biblical view of the world and scientific models. In addition to biological evolution, mentioned were psychology, social psychology, evolutionary psychology, and anthropology. What seems to fuel this concern is not simply the notion that Scripture and science offer incompatible models for cosmic, geological, and human origins, but that scientific models are verifiable, widely accepted, and likely correct, thus consigning the Bible to something other than a reliable description of reality.

3. Where is God? A number of you, largely in emails, wrote of personal experiences that would tax to the breaking point anyone’s faith in a living God who is just, attentive, and loving. Mentioned were many forms of random/senseless suffering and God’s absence or “random” presence (can’t count on God being there).

4. How Christians behave. Tribalism, insider-outsider thinking; hypocrisy, power; feeling misled, sheltered, lied to by leaders; a history of immoral and unChristian behavior towards others (e.g., Crusades, Jewish pogroms). In short, practically speaking, commenters experienced that Christians too often exhibit the same behaviors as everyone else, which is more than simply an unfortunate situation but is interpreted as evidence that Christianity is not true-more a crutch or a lingering relic of antiquity than a present spiritual reality.

5. The exclusivism of Christianity. Given 1-4 above, and in our ever shrinking world, can Christians claim that their way is the only way?

One thing we can take away from this list is that Christian leaders who seek to shelter their flock from doubt clearly haven’t succeeded. These are all very good arguments!

May 25 2013

surveyork
15:16

One of the suspected killers who attempted to behead and disembowel a young soldier in the horrific Woolwich attack had listened to the preachings of a radical Muslim cleric banned from Britain over extremist activities, including alleged links to al-Qa’ida, The Independent has learnt.

The cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed has been secretly filmed stating that decapitation of the enemies of Islam was permitted. Today, in comments met with outrage, he told The Independent that he could understand the feeling of rage that had motivated the attackers and that what they had done could be justified under certain interpretations of Islam.

surveyork
15:06
Although defenders of religion like to portray faith as a source of peace and fellowship, and condemn those who commit atrocities in its name as untrue believers, the daily news media show how far this is from being invariably true. In fact, the relentless drip of bad news about religion-prompted violence in the world shows that the more zealous people are in their religious beliefs, the more likely they are to behave in non-rational, antisocial or violent ways.
Woolwich: Dogma will always lead to murder. In the end, scepticism is the only answer - Comment - Voices - The Independent
surveyork
13:30
  • An Orthodox Jewish plane passenger was seen wrapped in a plastic bag during a flight
  • It was believed the man is a Kohein, a religious descendant of the priests of ancient Israel, who are banned from flying over cemeteries
  • May 18 2013

    surveyork
    07:54

    May 15 2013

    surveyork
    06:40

    May 13 2013

    surveyork
    18:49
    Dubai is being promoted as a luxury high-class paradise in the desert, but the reality is brutally different, as Australian Alicia Gali discovered. Gali took a job in the UAE with one of the world’s biggest hotel chains, Starwood. What happened next makes this story a must-watch for every Australian planning on travelling through the region.

    Gali was using her laptop in the hotel’s staff bar when her drink was spiked. She awoke to a nightmare beyond belief: she had been savagely raped by three of her colleagues. Alone and frightened, she took herself to hospital. What Alicia didn’t know is that under the UAE’s strict sharia laws, if the perpetrator does not confess, a rape cannot be convicted without four adult Muslim male witnesses. She was charged with having illicit sex outside marriage, and thrown in a filthy jail cell for eight months.

    May 08 2013

    surveyork
    00:04
    By opposing Plan B, conservatives show they are willing to sacrifice women, teens and pre-teens on the altar of patriarchy and religion.

    April 28 2013

    surveyork
    12:10

    April 23 2013

    surveyork
    17:08
    Autism associations around Turkey have reacted angrily after the head of Adana’s Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children reportedly said autistic children were “atheists due to a lack of a section for faith in their brains.”

    “Autistic children do not know how to believe in God because they do not have a section for faith in their brains,” sociologist Fehmi Kaya reportedly said. “That is why they don’t know how to pray, how to believe in God. It is necessary to create awareness [or religion] in these children through methods of therapy.”

    He also reportedly said atheism was a form of autism.

    April 18 2013

    surveyork
    03:14

    Scientific Errors in the Qur'an

    <!-- /firstHeading --> <!-- bodyContent -->
    <!-- tagline -->
    From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
    <!-- /tagline --> <!-- subtitle --> <!-- /subtitle --> <!-- jumpto -->
    Jump to: navigation, search
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    This page lists various types of scientific errors in the Qur'an.

    Scientific Errors in the Qur'an - WikiIslam

    April 15 2013

    surveyork
    23:08
    The vast majority of Biblical historians believe there is evidence sufficient to place Jesus’ existence beyond reasonable doubt. Many believe the New Testament documents alone suffice firmly to establish Jesus as an actual, historical figure. I question these views. In particular, I argue (i) that the three most popular criteria by which various non-miraculous New Testament claims made about Jesus are supposedly corroborated are not sufficient, either singly or jointly, to place his existence beyond reasonable doubt, and (ii) that a prima facie plausible principle concerning how evidence should be assessed – a principle I call the contamination principle – entails that, given the large proportion of uncorroborated miracle claims made about Jesus in the New Testament documents, we should, in the absence of independent evidence for an historical Jesus, remain sceptical about his existence.
    Stephen Law: EVIDENCE, MIRACLES AND THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS
    surveyork
    21:26
    Literary Traditions

    Ten Reasons the Gospels are Works of Fiction

    The NT documents, especially the Gospels, are precisely the sort of literature we would expect to emerge from a time when the dividing line between the natural and “supernature,” indeed, the divine and the human, was not clearly drawn: the true miracle would have been for the NT to stand completely outside the limits of Hellenistic storytelling and the rudimentary historiographical interests of a religious community.
    –R. Joseph Hoffmann
    SC3PTICS: Literary Traditions: Ten Reasons the Gospels are Works of Fiction

    February 12 2013

    surveyork
    21:09

    Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (Arabic أبو العلاء المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī, full name أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري Abū al-ʿAlāʾ Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sulaimān al-Tanūẖī al-Maʿarrī, born AD 973 / AH 363, died AD 1058 / AH 449) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer.[1][2]

    He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion rejecting the claim that Islam or any other religion possessed the truths they claim and considered the speech of prophets as a lie (literally, "forge") and (some of it) "impossible" to be true. He was equally sarcastic towards the religions of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. He was also a vegan who argued for animal rights.

    February 09 2013

    surveyork
    16:24

    February 08 2013

    surveyork
    10:03
    A prominent Danish critic of Islam, Lars Hedegaard, has been targeted in a gun attack in the capital Copenhagen, police say.

    January 18 2013

    surveyork
    23:00
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