Jan 182013

I’ve just read a super article by Valerie Tarico about the challenges that the Internet (and especially the Web) poses for religion: Religion may not survive the Internet. It reminded me of an article (that Valerie Tarico won’t have seen or known about) that I wrote on my website some time ago: Religions in future. One of my themes was similar. Global communication undermines a number of the methods that religions rely on to sustain the ignorance and delusions of their existing and (more importantly) their future followers. Here are some quotes from my article (there is a lot more . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 202012

See this report published on December 18, 2012: The Global Religious Landscape A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Major Religious Groups as of 2010 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Summary Every religion is a minority religion. Whatever a person’s religious beliefs, most religious people in the world have beliefs that contradict that person’s beliefs. Christianity in its entirety is a minority religion, with about 32% of the world’s whole population, and about 38% of the world’s religious population. (And, of course, there are many incompatible beliefs within Christian denominations, with Roman Catholics about 50% . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 222012

It is good to have wider acceptance that “atheism” isn’t an end-point, and that much more is needed. Here are some of the recent posts about “Atheism+”: Jen McCreight: Atheism+ Jen McCreight: Atheism+: It’s time to walk the walk Jen McCreight: Why Atheism+ and not Humanism? Greta Christina: Atheism Plus: The New Wave of Atheism Greta Christina: Is “Atheism Plus” Just Secular Humanism? Greta Christina: Why Atheism Plus Is Good for Atheism Ashley Miller: The difference between “atheism+” and humanism But why isn’t the discussion under one of the following names? Secular Democracy + Humanism + Social Justice + Human . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 302012

If there really are people whose mission is to see religion eliminated across the world, I am not one of them. My vision is much more limited. I want everyone to realise that religions are hobbies and to treat them as such. If this is achieved, most of the conflict caused by the existence of religions will disappear, and atheists and followers of all religions should be able to coexist reasonably peacefully. After all, other hobbies can coexist reasonably peacefully (unless they have double-booked the meeting room!) By any plausible definition of “hobby”, religions (more specifically “religious practices”) really are . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 082011
When people make their god obscure, simplify things

This is prompted by Julian Baggini’s article “‘You just don’t understand my religion’ is not good enough” in the Guardian. That article was about typical objections that religious people have towards criticisms of their religion, and also their typical leaps of illogic. Whether or not their intention is to obscure their god to protect their concept of him from scrutiny, arguing with obscure statements about a god is pretty futile. The goal-posts will keep shifting. Their god may start as “whatever was needed to cause the universe to exist”, and end up (without any logic whatsoever) as the God who . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 172011

Before I started this blog, PZ Myers had been critical of “dictionary atheism”, for example: Why are you an atheist? (2011-02-01) You don’t really want to be like Ray Comfort, do you? (2011-02-06) Oh, no, not that annoying dictionary atheist argument again! (2011-04-14) Although I have sometimes commented at (old) Pharyngula, I kept out of that discussion. Things sometimes got heated. Could it be that PZ Myers, outspoken advocate for clarity of thought, speech, and writing, communicator par excellence, has finally flipped, and forgotten how important it is to speak in a language that the audience can be expected to . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 152011

Here are a couple of good pages (via Pharyngula) about what some/many religious people get wrong about atheists: “I Am An Atheist: 16 Things Atheists Need Christians to Know” (Deborah Markus) “10 Myths Many Religious People Hold About Atheists, Debunked” (Amanda Marcotte) These are not simply differences of opinion. These are denials and attacks. Why do these attitudes keep arising? There isn’t a single reason: The speaker may genuinely believe the various statements. This must surely be based on ignorance and a very narrow world view. There is too much evidence in the world that atheists can’t all, or even . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 132011

I started this blog exactly 7 weeks ago. I wasn’t sure then what I would want to say, so initial choices of Categories and so on were guesses. I’ve gradually adapted the blog to align better with experience so far. I have a sort of wistful desire for a fancy name, perhaps a bit esoteric. Examples include: “Pharyngula“; “Butterflies and wheels“; “Lacrimae Rerum“. But I don’t have that sort of imagination. So I started with “Barry Pearson’s blog”, then because that was too formal, settled on “Barry’s blog” until I can find a better name. (I don’t appear to be . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 112011
We are winning some battles in the "war for enlightenment"

I follow Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, for good reason. He recently posted Shocking: Young Americans Have a More Favorable View of Atheists Than Senior Citizens Do, drawing attention to an important survey (What It Means to Be American: Attitudes in an Increasingly Diverse America Ten Years After 9/11) which showed increased acceptance of atheists in the USA. His post concentrated on the attitude towards atheists. But the diagram he used shows much more: This isn’t merely about attitude towards atheists. This is about Enlightenment. The younger generation is more Enlightened that the older one. We are engaged in a . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 012011
Atheists - stand up and be counted!

After reading Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”, and becoming aware of the OUT Campaign, I decided to do my bit, and began writing and publishing pages on the topic of “gods and religions”. There are now about 30 pages. Recently, I started to blog here on this topic. I live in England; this was easy to do, with little risk of adverse consequences. The non-believing position in England, indeed most of the UK, isn’t really controversial, except in some unenlightened communities. But vast numbers of people across the world run various sorts of risk, from alienating families, losing jobs, violence, . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]