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]

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 082011
 
My website articles about Christianity

This summarises about 5 articles on Christianity that I published before I created this blog. (However, many other sections of about 30 pages on the topic “gods and religions” are also about Christianity). Summary and index Christianity – summary and index Jesus was not a Christian. He was born a Jew, lived as a Jew, had Jewish disciples, taught as a Jew, was executed by the Romans for claims about his being the ‘king of the Jews’, and he died a Jew. Christianity is not a religion preached by Jesus; it is a religion about Jesus, and especially about his . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]