Christian sect the Jehovah's Witnesses - with 64,000 active 'disciples' in Australia - are a cruel religion with no soul, according to Melbourne cultbuster Raphael Aron.
"I am still waiting for a justification for someone to be able to rip away a five or six year old child from their extended family because Mum or Dad have decided to leave the Jehovah's Witnesses," he said.
To date, there is no evidence that prayer works. Yet, the tyranny of religions and superstition doom many of our young to suffer and die at the mercy of their parent's stupidity.
Taslima Nasreen, an award-winning writer, physician, Secular Humanist and human rights activist, writes about how Islamists in Bangladesh, where she was born, are killing atheists.
"Four people were killed and more than 200 injured in Bangladesh yesterday as hundreds of Islamists clashed with police in Dhaka and other major cities demanding execution of “atheist bloggers” they accused of blasphemy." (Read article)
Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking discuss funding science in the current environment of budget cuts in Britain.
Here is the transcript:
Brian Cox: What would be the consequences for the UK if we are forced to pull out of a major project such as CERN because of budget cuts?
Stephen Hawking: It would damage the academic community whose task is to raise the next generation of scientists.
Brian Cox: How can we make the case to government for an increase in funding in areas such as Physics and Cosmology.
Stephen Hawking: Maintaining standards in Physics and Mathematics is important for British Industry. We don't have large natural resources. Our success depends on technical ability.
Savita Halappanavar dies because she was in a hospital in a Catholic country with a Catholic Team that refused to abort her pregnancy even if it meant it would save her life. According to husband Praveen Halappanavar, Savita told her consultant that she is not Catholic. She is Hindu. The consultant replied, "I'm sorry, unfortunately it's a Catholic country... they can't abort when the foetus is alive".
The right to life? What about Savita's life? Where was this god of theirs when Savita's life was to be wasted for the sake of others' religious beliefs? Was this god happy for how these people have insisted on protecting the foetus by allowing the mother to die?
We often wonder, if there is intelligent life on another planet somewhere in the universe. To date, we have no evidence that this is the case.
We may soon discover that intelligent life, indeed, may be in it's ‘very young’ stage in the observable Universe. Its 200 billion galaxies show a clear potential to continue on as we see them today for hundreds of billions of years, if not much longer. Because planets and life are so young in our Universe, says Harvard's Dimitar Sasselov, perhaps "the human species are not late comers to the party. We may be among the early ones."
Julia Sweeney (God Said, "Ha!") performs the first 15 minutes of her 2006 solo show Letting Go of God. When two young Mormon missionaries knock on her door one day, it touches off a quest to completely rethink her own beliefs.
CERN has just issued one of the biggest announcements in Science in the last 40 years. They have discovered what seems to be the Higgs boson particle: a particle predicted by the Standard Model in Physics. More spectacularly, the Higgs Boson is what makes matter possible. Without it, no matter can exist. We, humans, cannot exist.
In trying to get a better appreciation for the significance of this event, I wanted to understand what all this was about and I found an animation put together by Jorge Cham of PhD Comics. In it, Daniel Whiteson condenses this complex subject in what I found to be a good starting point for everyday people like me.
We probably would need to do more reading about the whole thing but there is enough here to astound us and pique our interest. For example, to make everyday matter, we only need 3 particles:
With Up Quarks and the Down Quarks, you can make Protons and Neutrons, the other components of atoms. So, we only need three to make up everything we know of that has mass. However -- here is the kicker -- Physicists have already discovered 12 other particles! How many more are there? What do they all do? What may we now know?
We received a message from Thom Landon. He said: "Your words, ideas and philosophy confirm what I have begun to understand. Thanks for putting up this site and I hope this note lets you know that in this difficult process of unlearning, your perspective is welcome and appreciated. When I found the words your write and speak, it was like my thoughts spoken aloud. It's good to know that the logical framework of reason can be seen and understood outside of the self." Here's the full message...
I read your works and listened to the youtube presentation and realized that I had gone through a process almost identical. I reject athiesm as a response to theism.
Your words, ideas and philosophy confirm what I have begun to understand. Reason is enough. All the rest is a game to be played or entertainment. The really great stuff that's happening now, the amazing discoveries aren't made with dogma, they are made through the tool of reason.
I am also not a scientist, but I know enough about science to realize that it offers the best and most reasoned explanation for all of the really important questions. Recently, I've started reading Sam Harris and Dan Ariely and the picture of the mind and why we act irrationally suddenly begins to make sense. The future philosophy of thought integrates the new ideas on how and why we process new information and why we act irrationally (individually) and how we can eliminate harm (collectively).
Thanks for putting up this site and I hope this note lets you know that in this difficult process of unlearning, your perspective is welcome and appreciated. When I found the words your write and speak, it was like my thoughts spoken aloud. It's good to know that the logical framework of reason can be seen and understood outside of the self.
I appreciate your time sending your thoughts through. It helps me when I know that there are people out there who are hearing me and who are sharing the same thoughts, feelings and experiences with me. It spurs me to do more.
In 2010, I wrote an article about Australia's National School Chaplaincy Program, a Government program that funds $55M a year for Christian Chaplains to hang about in public schools. They are not qualified to counsel nor are they qualified t o provide psychological help. The only thing they can do really is to drive pupils to churches when they are 'lost'. Does this really help? Isn't there a much better way to help students with $55M a year?
Voyager 1 and 2 are at the edge of our solar system, about to free themselves from the gravitational pull of our sun. These 'things' that we sent out in 1977 are finally about to embark on an interstellar journey. What a long ride it had been... and yet it is only the beginning of humanity's exploration of the universe.
The Global Atheist Convention was held in Melbourne last month. I'm glad to see that the Convention has grown a lot bigger since the last one in 2010. During the three-day event, I met one of the organisers of the Philippine Atheist and Agnostics Society ( PATAS), Marissa Torres Langseth. She is based in New York and she was organising an Atheist conference in Manila the week after. She told me the conference was going to be the very first Atheist Convention in South East Asia.
I am having a fantastic time travelling the universe with a new iPad app by Collins (HarperCollins), the BBC, Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen.
As we commit to more and more projects, it gets harder to work on other things and occassionally, it pays to pause and assess the results and the effectiveness of each alternative. In my case, I have been involved in a non-profit organisation in the last few years since The Tyranny of God was released, initially as a Secretary and later on, to be its President. These activities do take time - perhaps a little too much time. You might have noticed that I have not blogged as frequently...
An American Soldier - Spc. Jose Ramirez was murdered by another soldier - Justin Green. Green's siter believes he killed Ramirez "because Ramirez did not believe in God". "Green, his sister Brittany and friend Stephanie Heaston-Corral worked together to hide the body and clean up".