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June 05 2014

surveyork
00:31
An Indian man who made his name exposing the "miraculous" feats of holy men as tricks has fled the country after being accused of blasphemy. Now in self-imposed exile in Finland, he fears jail - or even assassination - if he returns.

February 04 2014

surveyork
16:53

November 16 2013

surveyork
04:06
Skepticism is the solution and it’s there waiting for all. Thinking like a scientist in everyday life is a choice. One only has to decide to think before believing. Ask questions, expect the evidence to balance the size of the claim, and be willing to change your mind when new evidence demands it. Doing these things activates a powerful forcefield that will protect you wherever you go on this fantasy prone and scam-infested world of ours. Being a good skeptic is not dependent on extraordinary intelligence or formal educational accomplishments. There is no application to fill out, no club dues to pay. This is a basic approach to life that is freely available to all of us.

November 14 2013

surveyork
23:55

September 16 2013

surveyork
04:43
But now, after the murder of a high profile sceptic, there are growing calls for the introduction of comprehensive anti-black magic legislation
Killing prompts calls for crackdown on Indian black magic | Asia Pacific | ABC Radio Australia

July 22 2013

surveyork
00:02

Around the world and in the United States, where the faith was founded, the Mormon Church is grappling with a wave of doubt and disillusionment among members who encountered information on the Internet that sabotaged what they were taught about their faith, according to interviews with dozens of Mormons and those who study the church.

“I felt like I had an earthquake under my feet,” said Mr. Mattsson, now an emeritus area authority. “Everything I’d been taught, everything I’d been proud to preach about and witness about just crumbled under my feet. It was such a terrible psychological and nearly physical disturbance.”

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!

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

March 13 2013

surveyork
22:18

Countless individuals accused of apostasy and blasphemy face threats, imprisonment, and execution. Blasphemy laws in over 30 countries and apostasy laws in over 20 aim primarily to restrict thought, expression and the rights of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

On 14 March 2013, we, the undersigned, call for an international day of action to defend apostates and blasphemers worldwide by highlighting ten cases though there are countless more.

Reposted byfillandiaelcommendanterazielini

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.

January 13 2013

surveyork
18:35

July 28 2012

surveyork
16:49
new research to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science has found a link between the endorsement of conspiracy theories and the rejection of established facts about climate science.

July 08 2012

surveyork
20:56
Sanal Edamaruku faces a Catholic backlash after insisting that the "holy" water dripping from a statue of Christ in Mumbai, India, came from a leaky drain. Edamaruku is the founder and president of Rationalist International, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, and honorary associate of the U.K. Rationalist Association.

July 06 2012

surveyork
20:42
Please join the Rationalist Association (UK) in condemning the misuse of Indian law by several Catholic organisations to silence a campaigner against superstition. In March 2012, following his exposure of a supposed miracle at a Catholic Church in Mumbai as nothing more than the result of a leak, a complaint was lodged against Sanal Edamaruku by local Catholic organisations with the Mumbai police, who are now able to arrest him. He has been denied 'anticipatory' bail which means if arrested he faces a long term in prison merely for explaining the science behind an apparent mystery. 

June 13 2012

surveyork
11:24

June 07 2012

surveyork
19:54
Please join the Rationalist Association (UK) in condemning the misuse of Indian law by the Catholic Church to silence a campaigner against superstition. In March 2012, following his exposure of a supposed miracle at a Catholic Church in Mumbai as nothing more than the result of a leak, a complaint was lodged against Sanal Edamaruku by the local Catholic Archdiocese with the Mumbai police, who are now able to arrest him. He has been denied 'anticipatory' bail which means if arrested he faces a long term in prison merely for explaining the science behind an apparent mystery. 
Reposted byskuxy skuxy

May 04 2012

surveyork
15:10

Mr Stephens says David Nicholls' comparison of religious belief to believing in fairies is "outright stupid".

He says religion is bound in the history of philosophy and the history of "ideas themselves".

"What we're talking about here - whether it be Christianity, Judaism or Islam - are ancient traditions that have been in relentless rigorous dialogue with every philosophical tradition, every moral movement, every literary tradition. These are traditions that exercise rigorous forms of self-criticism, of development," he said.

May 03 2012

surveyork
20:01
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