Aug 282011
 

I used the term “Militant enlightenment” in a recent post. (I view “enlightenment” as more comprehensive and hence more important than simply “atheism”). Needless to say, it turns out not to be original. Google for “Militant enlightenment”. Oh, well! At least it is an excuse to show this relevant video, one of my YouTube favourites: The … video was retrieved from the Richard Dawkins foundation after a government raid…. … “Militant Atheist” is no longer a figure of speech…. However, this spiritual war will be different. Numbers may be on the side of religion, but Richard Dawkins is using evil . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 262011
 

Richard Dawkins and Paula Kirby have struck again! They have independently launched attacks on the competence of Texas governor and Republican candidate Rick Perry. Richard Dawkins: Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact. Paula Kirby: Evolution threatens Christianity. Is this wise? Jamie L. Vernon thinks not, (via PZ Myers). He appears to be an “accommodationist”, like Chris Mooney. They are not arguing with the fact of evolution. (They are not that stupid). They simply don’t understand the nature of the discourse. See an earlier comment of mine at RichardDawkins.net: We are engaged in a war for enlightenment, being fought over . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 252011
 

I want to be able to blog in future about “enlightenment”, so first I’ll define what I mean by it. I don’t use the word in a vague way. I refer to specific themes from the “Age of Enlightenment“. This post is an extract from a much more comprehensive page I started about 3 years ago (helped by discussion at RichardDawkins.net). Preamble I am a scientifically-literate atheist. Guess who I would rather have as neighbours: On one side: a scientifically-illiterate arts-teacher who believes in pluralism and human rights and representative government, or an authoritarian scientist who favours restricting people’s rights . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 222011
 

This is a brief comparison of the lives of Jesus and Mohammad seen through the eyes of an atheist who believes gods and angels don’t exist. In summary, Mohammad was a much more interesting and influential person than Jesus during their respective lifetimes. Jesus was a relatively obscure apocalyptic Jewish preacher who was killed in a nasty way for silly reasons. Mohammad was a leader who transformed politics and society in Arabia, overall (but not entirely) for the better in 7th Century terms. Neither of them addressed the 21st Century. I’m expressing my opinion, not attempting to teach people things . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 172011
 
Holy books need expiry dates

Holy books talk about such things as: the issues of the day when they were written; the nature of the universe; and how people should think and behave. Each of these separately ceases to be relevant over centuries, even if they ever were relevant. I’m largely ignoring whether or not gods exist, and whether or not those texts were influenced by gods. Much of what I’m saying applies even if gods exist and influenced those texts! (I’m basing this article on the Bible and the Koran. What I say may not be true of some other holy books). “The issues . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 162011
 
Religions are incompetent at morality

 This is based, inter alia, on Ethics and moralities, especially Ethics and moralities: The 10 Commandments. Dunning and Kruger published some famous research in which they identified the cognitive problems that handicap incompetent people. Although they didn’t specifically investigate the incompetence of religious organisations, (or indeed investigate organisations rather than people), and there are cultural variations in the effect, their conclusions apply in this case. Here are the implications: Religions create poor moral codes and/or let their moral codes become out-of-date Religions believe they have good moral codes, and so promote them and often try to enforce them Religions under-estimate . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 152011
 

This is a summary of my article with the same title, which is more comprehensive and has lots of citations to support its assertions. This page proposes roles and rules for religions in society to allow us all to coexist without conflict. Hobbies can coexist. Religious practices are hobbies. A hobby is a spare-time recreational pursuit. Recreation is the expenditure of time in a manner designed for therapeutic refreshment of one’s body or mind. Believing that stamps exist isn’t a hobby. Hobbies involve activities, such as “stamp collecting”. Believing that a god exists isn’t a hobby. Religious practices are hobbies. . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 122011
 
How to convert an atheist

 This is a brief summary of my set of 6 articles with the same title, which are much more comprehensive and have lots of citations to support its assertions. I have long realised that I don’t believe in gods, and that I believe that the universe is controlled by unintelligent forces and processes. If I am wrong, I want to find out. But I feel that most conversion material insults my intelligence. Authors typically don’t try to understand how individual atheists think and so use irrelevant arguments, they often use fallacious logic, and they rarely provide suitable evidence. This is . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]