Archive for the ‘atheism’ Category

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From The Gods and Politics conference in Copenhagen

29 June, 2010

Copenhagen Declaration on Religion in Public Life

By Atheist Ireland | Published: June 29, 2010

The recent Gods and Politics conference in Copenhagen adopted the following Declaration on Religion in Public Life. The conference was the first European event of Atheist Alliance International, and was co-hosted by AAI and the Danish Atheist Society.

We, at the World Atheist Conference: “Gods and Politics”, held in Copenhagen from 18 to 20 June 2010, hereby declare as follows:

  • We recognize the unlimited right to freedom of conscience, religion and belief, and that freedom to practice one’s religion should be limited only by the need to respect the rights of others.
  • We submit that public policy should be informed by evidence and reason, not by dogma.
  • We assert the need for a society based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. History has shown that the most successful societies are the most secular.
  • We assert that the only equitable system of government in a democratic society is based on secularism: state neutrality in matters of religion or belief, favoring none and discriminating against none.
  • We assert that private conduct, which respects the rights of others should not be the subject of legal sanction or government concern.
  • We affirm the right of believers and non-believers alike to participate in public life and their right to equality of treatment in the democratic process.
  • We affirm the right to freedom of expression for all, subject to limitations only as prescribed in international law – laws which all governments should respect and enforce. We reject all blasphemy laws and restrictions on the right to criticize religion or nonreligious life stances.
  • We assert the principle of one law for all, with no special treatment for minority communities, and no jurisdiction for religious courts for the settlement of civil matters or family disputes.
  • We reject all discrimination in employment (other than for religious leaders) and the provision of social services on the grounds of race, religion or belief, gender, class, caste or sexual orientation.
  • We reject any special consideration for religion in politics and public life, and oppose charitable, tax-free status and state grants for the promotion of any religion as inimical to the interests of non-believers and those of other faiths.  We oppose state funding for faith schools.
  • We support the right to secular education, and assert the need for education in critical thinking and the distinction between faith and reason as a guide to knowledge, and in the diversity of religious beliefs. We support the spirit of free inquiry and the teaching of science free from religious interference, and are opposed to indoctrination, religious or otherwise.

Adopted by the conference, Copenhagen, 20 June 2010.

Please circulate this as widely as you can among people and groups who advocate a secular society.

So how many American politicians would be willing to sign on to this?  Even part of it?  Atheists, nonreligious, freethinkers, rationalists and agnostics make up around 15% of America’s citizens.  I would hazard a guess that less than 1% of our elected representatives would agree with even a few of these rather common sense affirmations.

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The Dangers of Saying “Happy Holidays”

18 December, 2009

Today, while in uniform (National Park Service), I (not on the clock at the time (I was out to lunch (physically, not just mentally))) wished someone “Happy holidays.”  And got a rash of shit. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Oklahoma OK? No, Oklahoma In-Sane!

8 December, 2009

A few months ago, down in the great state of Kentucky, a high school football coach got into a little bit of trouble (I say a little bit as the school district decided this was just okey-dokey) when he loaded up members of his football team and took them to a Baptist revival.  As I pointed out at the time, the argument that ‘it was voluntary’ doesn’t cut it.  Playing time for athletes depends upon the perception of the head coach.  Being on the team depends upon the perception of the head coach.  If a player is, for whatever reason, perceived as ‘not a team player’, the player will spend lots of time sitting on the bench.

Why do I bring this up?  A court case has been filed in another less-than-progressive state:  Oklahoma (from American Atheists). Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Thursday Gourmet: Pennsylvanian Mexican Sandwich

3 September, 2009

Today at school, (((Boy))) had a run in with another person who doesn’t believe that atheists exist.  A student said, “Thank god.”

(((Boy)) answered, “You’re welcome.”  The other student chuckled.  (((Boy))) then continued, “Which is really funny, considering I’m an atheist.”

“I don’t believe atheists actually exist.”

“Why not?”

The other student smiled and said, “Because I had a near-death experience.”  He then proceeded to tell about seeing the light, hearing god’s voice, and the whole rigmarole.

(((Boy))), without missing a beat, asked, “So how does your psychotic episode, most likely caused by lack of oxygen to your brain, have anything to do with what I do, or do not, believe?”

The other student then launched into a gentle tirade about atheists believing in god(s), just denying the existence either through hatred, pain or a predilection for sinful behaviour.

Anyway, it is time for yet another edition of the ever-ignored Thursday Gourmet.  Today’s recipe:

Pennsylvanian Mexican Sandwich

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Atheists Really Do Exist.

7 August, 2009

As I was leaving work today, I noticed an older woman sitting alone.  She sat on one of those walker/stools which have become quite popular.  I thought it odd as the park was closed.  So I stopped to ask, “Are you waiting for a ride?”

She smiled at me and, in a beautiful North Carolina Piedmont accent, replied. “Oh, yes.  My husband and I parked at the mall and he just walked over to get the car.  So I hope he’s picking me up.”

I thought for a moment and realized that there may be a problem.  The walkway to the mall is usually locked right at 5:00pm.  So it may already be locked, in which case this could get  difficult.  I explained the situation and told her that I would check an make sure he made it all the way up the ramp, and would also make sure that the main gate was still open so he could get back in.

She beamed at me and said, “Oh, you are so wonderful.  You are a good Christian and one of God’s people.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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God Probably Does Not Exist

8 July, 2009

God probably does not exist.  And here is some very strong supporting evidence:    Click Here to see the evidence! Read the rest of this entry ?

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Six Arguments for the Existence of God

7 July, 2009

I jumped over to LoLGod for some religiously-based humour.  Oddly, advertisements are mixed in.  Included in that was a link to a web site which answers the question, “Does God exist?” via “six straight-forward reasons to believe that God is really there.”  Now I am not a logician, I am not a lawyer, I am not a philosopher;  I am a rank amateur when it comes to arguments.  I am also not a biologist, a potted plant, or a seminarian.  I am, however, a reasonably well-read historian with a fairly good understanding of the natural world.  So I clicked over and realized, very quickly, that the arguments are rather amateurish.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Carnival of the Godless #120

27 June, 2009

Carnival of the Godless

I volunteered to host an edition of Carnival of the Godless.  Should be fun, right?  Entertaining, right?  Bring lots of visitors to my blog, right?  Easy, right?

Well, after I waded through three condo sales websites, one Christian Bible Studies sitewith the ever popular Psalm 14:1:  “The fool says in his heart, ”There is no God,”” followed by lots of circular reasoning, and two adult male enhancement adverts, I started to wonder about the ‘fun’ part.  Though, I admit the godbot idiocy was mildly entertaining (much the same way a train wreck, a Dallas Cowboys victory, or a Vin Diesel movie is entertaining — disgusting, but you cannot look away).  The CotG should bring some visitors, but it sure as hell was not easy. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Trying to Belong

22 June, 2009

When I was 12 years old, we moved from Grand Canyon, Arizona (a small (less than 3,000 year round residents) and educated (more than half the families had at least one member with a college degree) one) and moved to a small town in western Maryland.  I moved from a school with 16 students per grade to one with about 200.  And I moved from an ecumenically open and diverse community to a northern lobe of the Bible Belt.  I felt a strong need to belong. Read the rest of this entry ?

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A Church Sign and Confirmational Bias

5 May, 2009

I spotted a church sign not too far from the street corner upon which (((Wife))) works:

Consider All Decisions. 
Consult With God.
God will whisper,
“This is the Path.  Walk in it.”

 And my first thought upon reading it?  Confirmation bias. Read the rest of this entry ?

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