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Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Earlier, we had an article on buses in Britain advertising atheism

http://thecriticalthinker.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/atheists-campaign-using-british-buses/

Now, it seems that advertising using buses have now gained ground in several countries.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090119/lf_afp/lifestylebritainreligiontransportatheism;_ylt=AveBcS.Rr_mlnMEBafIQq00DW7oF

 

 

Around the world, atheists hit road to knock down GodAFP/File – An artists impression of a London bus with the slogan ‘There’s probably no God. Stop worrying …

LONDON (AFP) – An atheist drive to persuade people that God doesn’t exist is catching on in a surprising fashion — on the sides of buses in a growing number of countries around the world.

With the concise message “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life,” the campaign took to the road in Britain this month, while similar drives are underway or planned in SpainItaly,Canada and Australia.

Atheists in Italy and Spain, however, have had more success with their attempts.

Buses with a similar slogan to the Atheist Bus Campaign’s message, translated into Catalan, began appearing on two routes in Barcelona on Monday, with plans to extend the campaign to the rest of the country.

In Italy, meanwhile, buses with the slogan “The bad news is that God does not exist. The good news is that we do not need him” will begin traversing the northern Italian city of Genoa on February 4.

Here in Britain, apart from opposition from religious groups, some atheists are unhappy with the inclusion of the word “probably”, principally added so that it would adhere to British advertising rules.

Cave, though not in agreeance with the word’s inclusion, noted that the campaign is trying to make a broader point.

“I can see no evidence for God just as I can see no evidence for pineapples floating around the moon,” he said.

“I don’t say there probably aren’t any pineapples floating around the moon, I just say I know there aren’t any pineapples floating around the moon. But, it’s a piece of marketing, and I think it’s good because it makes people think.”

Now think about it really hard, which should be considered an offensive slogan (if one of them is even to be considered to be offensive at all):

1. “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”

2. “There is a God. Now start examining yourself”

Should the first one really be considered as offensive or non-offensive as the latter?

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The Bible Code claims that hidden in the first five books of the Bible in its original Hebrew text are hidden messages in code that made predictions thousands of years ago about current events, such as the assassination of JFK and the end of the world. In this episode Michael Shermer decodes the Bible Code and reveals it to be a form of numerology that serves as a supreme example of pattern-seeking (and finding) behavior of which we are so skilled.

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Why do people see the Virgin Mary on cheese sandwiches or hear demonic lyrics in “Stairway to Heaven”? Using video, images and music, professional skeptic Michael Shermer explores these and other phenomena, including UFOs and alien sightings. He offers cognitive context: In the absence of sound science, incomplete information can combine with the power of suggestion (helping us hear those Satanic lyrics in Led Zeppelin). In fact, he says, humans tend to convince ourselves to believe: We overvalue the “hits” that support our beliefs, and discount the more numerous “misses.”

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Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we’re left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.

Liberals and conservatives value certain things similarly and other things differently. His captivating talk on moral psychology sheds insights on the nature of morality of religion and the nature of belief systems.

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After seeing the stick, meet the carrot.

Here is another version from some experts:

I was viewing these with a kind of weary incredulity. As we are unable to define heaven except in terms of our own human experience, then why bother asking?

Although I like what the guy said about being able to paint with far greater skill in heaven, and have all sorts of abilities as well. If I ever want to learn Photoshop or nuclear physics, I know where to go.

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First, let us consider the website, antispore.com, which is a Christian Fundamentalist website critical of the new video game “Spore”, because it is based on evolution and is thus against the word of God.

Next, let us consider Poe’s Law, which states that, “Without a blatant indicator of humor, it is impossible to tell the difference between religious Fundamentalism and a parody thereof.”

Last, consider this Sept. 11 post on Antispore:

But in the Bible we are told in Genesis 6:7 “So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth–men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air–for I am grieved that I have made them.””

But the Bible teaches us that God was not done with man. For we were His creation and He then spoke to Noah in Genesis 8:21-27 after the flood.
“21. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never gonna give you up. 22. “Never gonna let you down.” 23.”Never gonna run around and desert you.” 24. “Never gonna make you cry.” 25. “Never gonna say goodbye.” 26. “Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.” 27.”Never truly believe anything you read on the Internet. There will always be cases of Poe’s Law.”

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24598856/?GT1=43001

LONDON – Albert Einstein: arch rationalist or scientist with a spiritual core?

A letter being auctioned in London this week adds more fuel to the long-simmering debate about the Nobel Prize-winning physicist’s religious views. In the note, written the year before his death, Einstein dismissed the idea of God as the product of human weakness and the Bible as “pretty childish.”

The letter, handwritten in German, is being sold by Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday and is expected to fetch between $12,000 and $16,000.

Einstein, who helped unravel the mysteries of the universe with his theory of relativity, expressed complex and arguably contradictory views on faith, perceiving a universe suffused with spirituality while rejecting organized religion.

(more…)

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http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/south/09/04/mother.theresa.exorcism/

The exorcism took place in a hospital where she had gone for cardiac problems, said Archbishop of Calcutta Henry D’Souza. The archbishop himself had been hospitalized at the same facility and shared the same doctor as Mother Teresa.

He said he noticed that while Mother Teresa was calm during the day, at night she appeared “extremely agitated.” D’Souza said Mother Teresa would pull off wires and other monitoring equipment stuck to her body.

He said that is when he believed Mother Teresa “might be under the attack of the evil one.” He offered to arrange for an exorcism for the elderly nun. She agreed.

“So I said let’s do the prayer of exorcism over her. So I called one of the priests who was a holy man in Calcutta,” D’Souza said. “I told him, ‘Please say the prayer of exorcism over Mother Teresa.’ And he got a shock and said, ‘Shall I pray and should I drive out the devil if it’s there?’”

“I said, ‘Yes, you do.’ But he says, ‘What will the devil do to me?’ I said to him, ‘You command the devil to go if he’s there. In the name of the church, as archbishop, I command you to go and do it.’”

After the exorcism was over, the archbishop said Mother Teresa “slept like a baby.”

Let’s get straight to the point. If you heard of this story and you did not know that the person was Mother Teresa, would you consider the victim as being tested by God, or as being punished by God.

Let’s be frank about it. Some conservative religious groups will cherry pick. If the victim practices witchcraft, it is her fault for inviting the devil, but if it is a religious woman from the same religion, they will say that her faith is being tested. How is that conclusion derived at? These people who are so loyal to their religion may be impressing their peers in the same religion for their views and steadfast loyalty, but doing themselves a disservice by letting their rational mind go to waste. You say, God shall reward them from their loyalty? You wish. Please, if you don’t use your brain, you will lose it. The brain is like a muscle of the body. It actually gets better with use.

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Earlier, Doc had written about intuition being a source of knowledge. Now how about mysticism, isn’t it a source of knowledge, and is it related or the same as intuition?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism

Mysticism (from the Greek μυστικός, an initiate of a mystery religion, μυστήρια meaning “initiation[1]) is the pursuit of achieving communion, identity with, or conscious awareness of ultimate reality, the Other, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight.”

I would say that mysticism is a form of intuition in the pursuit of achieving awareness of ultimate reality. For theists, this ultimate reality would probably be god. For non-theists, this would probably be some ultimate reality which is answerable by science. For non-theists which believe in spirituality, this would be the knowledge of universal laws such as karma.

Intuition is like this gut feel or knowing which one may experience even without any process of rational thinking. Although it is known that there is no rational process involved in garnering information, some people assume that intuition is always correct. This usually happens in cases where religion is involved and when intuitive experience is re-labled as a mystical experience. Combine this ‘mystical’ experience with ‘authority’ and you have information which is supposed to be infallible. This information is sometimes stated to be a ‘message from God’. If all these mystical experiences were true, then why are the different religions saying different things. Religions can’t make up their mind if god is monotheistic or polytheistic. They can’t even make up their mind if God is personal or impersonal.

I myself have been intuitive for quite a time and a mentor of mine used to tell me that one should always validate information one derives from intuition. Not all information taken from intuition is true, just like not all information which comes from authority(another source of knowledge) is true.

Let us pit males versus females. Which gives you better information, the rationality of men or female intuition of women. As you see not all information from women’s intuition is true due to possible biases and moods. Until one has a very good track record of having good intuition, one had better rely on their rational mind first.

Whether the mystical experience came from God or not is out of the question, simply because one can not possibly know if the information also came from God. The idea it came from God is also based on the persons intuition.

The big question is, then why do some people claim that the mystical experience came from God, and why do so many believe it.

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