valkyrieza: (brown clock on top of a book)

Atheist adverts declaring "there's probably no God" could be placed on buses across the country after a fundraising drive made five times the target amount in just one day.

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:02PM BST 21 Oct 2008

Even religious groups donated money to the cause in the belief that the campaign, highlighted in The Daily Telegraph, would encourage people to think more about faith and could actually enhance support for Christianity.

Organisers needed to raise just £2,750 from supporters in order to pay for adverts doubting the existence of God to be plastered across 30 London bendy-buses for a month, after the prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins agreed to match all donations. Previous attempts to raise the money had failed.

Read more... )

Source: The Telegraph.

valkyrieza: (BTVS - Spike one of those days)
It is almost expected of Jacob Zuma will pronounce statements like these: "We shall build this organisation. Even God expects us to rule this country because we are the only organisation which was blessed by pastors when it was formed. It is even blessed in Heaven. That is why we will rule until Jesus comes back."   It is almost expected. a dirty tactic by a corrupt politician to gain the trust of those that are badly-educated and very religious. It is almost expected I would say in order to gain popular votes.

What did disturb me was the reaction of some Church officials and other politicians. Outright criticisms such as these left me somewhat bewildered: " ACDP president Kenneth Meshoe said Zuma's remarks were "blasphemous", and called on him to apologise. "The unity he is calling for in the ANC will not materialise. It's a sign of God's displeasure (because) of their rebellion and the immorality they are promoting in the country." Referring to the legalisation of abortion and same-sex marriages, Meshoe said Zuma was effectively saying that God "blesses" the killing of innocent babies and homosexual relations.""   Zuma was even compared to the Beatles, when they made the statement along the lines that they are more popular then Jesus Christ. DA accused Zuma of demonising other politicians to influence the populace.

Noone has really addressed the issue of the legality of mixing religion and secular life. Some implied it, but in reality, everyone was simply worried about people believing in the wrong kind of message from God about them. This is instead of allowing people to choose their political affiliation for themselves, without the threat of divine retribution for the 'wrong answer'.
valkyrieza: (armchair review)
I thought it was quite interesting, more about the way the Vatican is running their archives really and the history behind them, rather then the more irrevent attitude to the Catholic Church.

Secret Archives of the Vatican


You would think that the Vatican's Secret Archives would be some dumb conspiracy theory. I mean, it sounds ridiculous. The Vatican's Secret Archives. Let it roll off your tongue. Surely, we're into serious conspiracy weirdness here.

Except, of course, that there really is such a thing. And it's pretty much exactly what you think it is.

There are a lot of reasons for an organization like the Catholic Church to have Secret Archives. After all, they've been in the conspiracy business for millennia longer than Majestic-12. They've been in the disinformation business for about 18 times as long as Donald Rumsfeld has been alive. They were taking secret vows when the Masons were just a bunch of architects. And they have more to hide that Richard M. Nixon on his worst day.


So if you were hoping poke around the archives looking for evidence that Jesus was an extraterrestrial, just forget it. You have a better chance of getting a guided tour of Area 51 than getting a glimpse of the Sacred Alien Rectal Probing Device.

From the Religionqq.blogspot.com. The article can be found here.
valkyrieza: (Default)
I really should not be visiting Take2 website. It is one of the South African equivalents of the Amazon.com. One of the nicest things about the site is their huge collection of inexpensive reprints and relatively cheap non-fiction, well, ion comparison to other providers anyway.

I accidently stumbled upon this title and was quite intrigued. It is called "The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics." I headed over to the amazon site to see a review and was pleasantly surprised to find that it is a collection of essays by economists and sociologists.

One of the editors is Peter  L. Berger, who once argued that in the modern world there is no need for religions, but now states that the increasing secularization of the world is what is responsible for the resurgence and indeed increasing strength of fundamental religion. Perhaps, as one of the reviewers, Brett Williams had said: "
modernity has removed all the old certainties and most people find it impossible to live with uncertainty."

Seems like an excellent book to ponder upon, so I once again, click the inevitable "Add to wishlist" button. The link to the book on the South African site is here.
valkyrieza: (Back Off)
I really really hate cults like these, double because they are allowed to continue and encourage bigotry and ignorance at a university.

It is a shame there is no unit judicially that specifically investigates cults like this Shofar church, or if there is it is not known to the public so they can report these people.
valkyrieza: (eyes guild wars)
This entry is from a former religious reporter William Lobdell. The article describes how he had lost his faith in the church. To be honest, I can only offer Compassion to someone who has lost something that was so integral to his life. It did not matter on whether he was right or wrong, the loss of your faith, especially in someone as devout  William Lobdell  is very sad.
valkyrieza: (Default)
I have been fascinated with Digg recently, not just with the new stories, but with the comments as well.

Take this story for instance, perhaps for some it is a bit too dry and boring and they may wonder why it made top story. However it is not the story, but the comments for it.  Surprisingly, one learns more about the economic repercussions of the weakening dollar, not to mention some of the funny but, mostly idiotic commentary. Suppose it is nice to know that not only some celebrity gossip can inspire such popularity on the Net.

This story though, just reflects how our perceptions changed over the last 30 odd years since John Lennon's unfortunate comments about Jesus and Beatles. Seriously though, Google searches as a criteria for popularity? In that case the adult industry wins - every year, maybe excepting the time when it was just the researches and programmers who were working on the TCP/IP protocol, and even then, those guys just might have covered their tracks.
valkyrieza: (alien)
Atheists give free hugs to fellow students

Turlington Plaza, the University of Florida's hot spot for preachers of ominous messages, was the backdrop for an ideological clash Thursday afternoon.

Frank Zaccaro, toting a Bible, was screaming warnings of hell to passersby when a group of atheists tried to hug him.

"No, I don't want that!" he yelled, and jumped back beyond their reach.

One of the rejected huggers, Robert Stark, said, "It would have been a good juxtaposition to the whole, him yelling about hell."

Stark and about 10 other members of the Atheist, Agnostic and Freethinking Student Association were tabled nearby, advertising "Free Hugs" and publicizing the upcoming speech "Why There Really Is No God."

On Sunday, the group hosts Eddie Tabash, author, lawyer and noted atheist, who will examine the question: "Who made whom: God or man?"

The event will begin at 2 p.m. in Norman Hall, Room 137, and is free and open to the public. A Q&A session will follow.

"We're working on the image of atheists," AAFSA President Daniel Morgan said. "We're trying to show people that there are young, happy atheists who want to give hugs."

Morgan, a 25-year-old University of Florida chemistry graduate student, said atheism faces a "gray problem;" people often picture atheists as "older, grumpy professors."

Vice President Brandon Smock said tabling was an attempt to dispel some common misconceptions and to "provide an alternative to the inflammatory speech that usually dominates Turlington Plaza."

"Atheists are some of the most moral, friendliest, most intelligent people I know," he said.

Tabash's appearance is sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, an international nonprofit group advocating scientific naturalism.

From Gainsville.com

valkyrieza: (Lawyer Lindsey)
PARIS (AFP) - Tens of thousands of French schools and universities have received copies of a Turkish book refuting Darwin's theory of evolution and describing it as "the true source of terrorism."

The education ministry said Friday that it had warned school and university directors that the textbook is not in line with the recognized curriculum and that they should disregard it.
Entitled "The Atlas of Creation," the 770-page book by Turkish author Harun Yahya quotes several passages from the Koran and asserts that "human beings did not evolve (from another species) but were indeed created."
"We believe that there are lots of resources behind this campaign and the mass distribution, but were are not alarmed as the book has not reached the classrooms or documentation centers," said the education ministry.
The book features a photograph of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center with the caption: "Those who perpetuate terror in the world are in fact Darwinists. Darwinism is the only philosophy that values and incites conflict."
The theories of Charles Darwin are "the true source of terrorism," it said.
The books sent by post from Germany and Turkey began arriving in French schools and universities about 10 days ago.
The Figaro newspaper quotes an education official from Lyon as saying that this is not the first time that schools are swamped with controversial material.
The official said that the Church of Scientology had also embarked on a mass distribution of literature to schools a few years ago.
Stupidity is constantly reaching for a new level, I swear. There is irony here, all the creationists in the  American bible belt must be cheering there and they are the staunchest supporters of the war in Iraq.
valkyrieza: (Cranky RDA)
THIS IS WHAT I RECEIVED THIS MORNING

Hello Everyone,
If the Muslims do what they do, where do we stand as Christians? At the
risk of a bit of inconvenience, I'm forwarding this to all I think would
appreciate it too. Please help us prevent such offences against our
Lord. It will take you 4 minutes! If you are not interested, and do not
have the 4 Minutes it will take to do this, please don't complain when
God does not have time for you, because He is far busier than we are. A
disgusting film set to appear in America later this year depicts Jesus
and his disciples as homosexuals! As a play, this has already been in
theatres
for a while. It's called "Corpus Christi" which means "The Christ
Body."

It's a revolting mockery of our Lord. But we can make a difference.
That's why I am sending this e-mail to you. Will you please add your
name to the bottom of the list at the end of this e-mail? If you do, we
will be able to prevent this film from showing in America and South
Africa.
Apparently, some regions in Europe have already banned the film. All we
need is a lot of signatures! Remember, Jesus said "Deny me on earth and
I'll deny you Before my Father".

Hit forward, scroll down to the last name and add yours to the list.
IF WE WORK TOGETHER WE CAN DO THIS.
Thank You!
Ban the movie!




Now, I am aware that this is spam of the worst kind, however, the list at the bottom of this email included close to 300 names.  We can talk about religious tolerance and lack of discrmination, but the fact is, something as inconsequential as this encourages violence of the worst kind. The petition is not signed by raging lunatics who live in a hovel and wear homespun cloth, it is signed by mostly-educated professionals. Islam is likened to a savage religion full of bloodthirthy violence and Christianity is encouraged to copy this false image. Yet, so many people have happily signed this. I suppose this proves that history is doomed to be repeated, even if it only happened last year or last month.

And then people ask me why I am not very religious, despite the fact that I am neither Muslim nor Christian. Religion for me is traditions that are nice from time to time, not a dictate to run my life.
Sorry, left my axe in my other laptop bag this morning.


valkyrieza: (Weir atlantis)
Richard Dawkins' letter to his then 10 year old daughter, the last paragraph.

"What can we do about all of this? It's not easy for you to do anything because you are only 10. But you could try this. Next time somebody tells you something that sounds important, think to yourself, 'Is this the kind of thing that people probably know because of evidence or is it the kind of thing that people only believe because of tradition, authority or revelation?' And next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them, 'What kind of evidence is there for that?' And if they can't give you a good answer, I hope you'll think very carefully before you believe a word they say. Your loving Daddy."

source: http://richarddawkins.net/search,ALL,page5,n,Video,n,n

Intresting

Nov. 6th, 2006 01:52 pm
valkyrieza: (Dark Phoenix)
Physicist and Nobel prizewinner Stephen Weinberg describes religion as an insult to human dignity. 'Without it,' he says, 'you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.

Courtesy of: http://richarddawkins.net/search,ALL,page4,n,Video,n,n
valkyrieza: (Default)
Jesus walked on water, according to the Bible, but an expert says he may have actually walked on a hard-to-see patch of ice.

Doron Nof, a Florida State University professor of oceanography, has sparked controversy by saying a rare combination of water and atmospheric conditions in the Sea of Galilee 2 000 years ago might offer a scientific explanation for one of the miracles recounted in the Bible.

Nof, an Israeli, said a patch of ice floating in the Sea of Galilee - which is actually a freshwater lake - would have been difficult to distinguish from liquid water surrounding it.

"I'm not trying to provide any information that has to do with theology here," Nof said on Wednesday.

"All we've thought is about the natural process. What theologians or anybody else does with that, it's their business, so to speak."

Reaction has been sharp. "I get hate e-mail on the average every three minutes," Nof said.

Nof and co-researchers Ian McKeague of Columbia University and Nathan Paldor of Hebrew University of Jerusalem based the theory on records of water temperatures in the Mediterranean indicating two periods 2 500 to 1 500 years ago were chilly enough for ice patches to form during cold spells on the Sea of Galilee. - Sapa-AP

Are we as humans really do not handle change to preconceived notions that well? What happened to human species surviving by adaptation and thus our culture adapting along with it?

Can you then imagine the troop of Stone Age humans protesting to bronze just because stone was the accepted standard?
"Well, I always killed my mammoth very well with stone knives, so no shiny weird-looking heavy knife for me thank you so very much! Imagine what would the Joneses in the nearest cave would think?" Sometimes I wonder if human race's survival was more luck then anything else like the ability to learn and adapt to their enviroment.

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