Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Help Break The Spell Of Religious Reverence

2020/03/30

(Patheos::Camels with Hammers) – Daniel Fincke:

Religious people are often on a hair-trigger to be offended. And they will often want you to “respectfully” refrain from irreverently treating the objects of their reverence. But you shouldn’t treat what they treat as above reproach or ridicule because when you do that, you implicitly affirm, and behave as though, these things are out of bounds for criticism. In effect, you treat these things as holy. In this way you inadvertently share the religious values about what may or may not be criticized and how it may be tackled if at all. In this way, you submit to their religion’s rules. In this way you let a religious culture co-opt your own conscience and give religious rules control over your own feelings about what is holy, i.e. “set apart” and “sacred” and “worthy of respect”. …

camelswithhammers help-break-the-spell"Piss Christ" by Andres Serrano (1987)

A Pandemic of Delusional Thinking

2020/03/28

(Rational Doubt) – David Madison:

When did belief in God begin to lose its footing? Realities on Planet Earth can deliver devastating blows—perhaps none greater that the Black Plague that killed one-quarter to one-third of the population between India and England; each death was grotesque, horrific. Barbara Tuchman made this observation—one of her ringing classic statements—in her 1978 book, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. …

rationaldoubt delusional-thinkingBarbara W. Tuchman: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

Thomas Paine

2020/03/24

(Patheos::Daylight Atheism) – James A. Haught:

This is the sixth segment of a series on renowned skeptics throughout history. These profiles are drawn from 2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People With the Courage to Doubt, Prometheus Books, 1996.

In the early 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt wrote that Thomas Paine (1737-1809) – the fiery voice of the American Revolution – was a “filthy little atheist.” Many others throughout American history have shared this evaluation.

Actually, Paine was a Deist, who felt he could sense God in the immensity of nature, and who once wrote, “I hope for happiness beyond this life.”

However, he deemed Christianity and all other organized religions to be frauds sustained by priests and kings. This view, plus his crusading for people in need, kept Paine in trouble much of his life. …

daylightatheism thomas-paineJames A. Haught: 2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People With the Courage to Doubt

Jesus Is a Copycat Savior

2020/03/22

(Cross Examined) – Bob Seidensticker:

You can imagine the Christian story as true and reinterpret other religions as supernaturally anticipating Christianity, but the naturalistic explanation is much more plausible. It neatly explains the facts, by hypothesizing that nearby cultures—Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and others—invented supernatural properties for their gods, and then a Jewish sect incorporated them into its new religion. …

crossexamined copycat-saviorRichard Carrier: On the Historicity of Jesus - Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt

Bullying

2020/03/21

(Jesus and Mo) – Mo:

The barmaid can be very unkind sometimes.” …

jesusandmo vainJesus and Mo: vain

Biblical Literalists

2020/03/20

(SMBC) – Zach Weinersmith:

I mean, do you really believe that Obadiah rode a three-headed land-shark into battle against the Edomites?” …

smbc-comics literallyZach Weinersmith: SMBC 2020-03-19: Biblical Literalists

Witchery

2020/03/16

(Patheos::ATP) – Bert Bigelow:

I read an article about witches in the March issue of Atlantic magazine yesterday. Atlantic, or as they call it now, The Atlantic, is a hallowed name in journalism. It was founded in 1857 and is widely respected for its literary reviews, in-depth articles on many subjects and moderate worldview. Why would they print an article on witches? …

Belief in witchcraft seems fairly benign compared to religious belief. Witches are not trying to influence government to teach their beliefs in schools, or take rights away from women. If we are going to have faith-based belief in our society, I prefer witches to priests. …

tippling witchesWilliam Rimmer: Macbeth witches

Two Bible Chapters Collide Head-on

2020/03/15

(Debunking Christianity) – David Madison:

In Acts 9:26-30, we read:

‘’And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.”

This was written several decades after these supposed events.

And now we can watch the head-on collision, between Acts 9—author actually unknown—and Galatians 1, written by Paul himself (vv. 15-20):

“…when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!” …

Why this head-on collision with Acts 9? Attentive Bible readers should ask—of this account written several decades after the events depicted— “Where did the author of Acts get his information?” …

debunking bible-chapters-collideGalatians 1:2-10 on Papyrus 51

Theodicy

2020/03/12

(SMBC) – Zach Weinersmith:

God is like a table held on three legs. …

smbc 2011-06-30SMBC 2011-06-30: Theodicy

RationalWiki: Theodicy

The Devil’s Phone

2020/03/12

(Patheos::Excommunications) – W. Scott Parker III:

The exodus of evangelical youth is so swift that demographers now predict that evangelicals will likely cease being a major political force in presidential elections by 2024.” – Nina Burleigh, Newsweek.

We can certainly pray this happens. Working as a counselor at Recovering from Religion, I have noted something interesting and perhaps confirming.

I’ve handled a number of chats from Fundie Children, mid to late teens. They are sick of the bullshit and pretending. …

My suspicion is their progressive state is due a number of factors. The utter hypocrisy, hate, and support of Trump they see. Access to the internet via the Devil’s Phone. And, being able to communicate with other like-minded “prisoners.” …

excommunications devils-phoneDevil's Phone