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The Clash of Faith and Science

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Get Outraged And Get Active About Internet Censorship [Aug. 5th, 2008|05:18 pm]
The Clash of Faith and Science

cybertraveler
  Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Tuesday, August 5, 2008

In response to increasing flagrant attempts to censor political websites, including Infowars and Prison Planet, not in Communist China, but in the U.S. and the UK, we are running a special contest with a top prize of $5,000 in order to encourage people to get active and educate others about the growing threats to Internet freedom.

As we reported yesterday, major transportation hubs like St. Pancras International, as well as libraries, big businesses, hospitals and other public outlets that offer wi-fi Internet, are blacklisting alternative news websites and making them completely inaccessible to their users.

On weekly basis we receive e mails from across the US and the UK from people who have attempted to visit our websites yet found them to be blocked by filtration software that lists them as “hate” or “violence”.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/get-outraged-and-get-active-about-internet-censorship.html

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Get Outraged And Get Active About Internet Censorship [Aug. 5th, 2008|05:15 pm]
The Clash of Faith and Science

citizen
 Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Tuesday, August 5, 2008

In response to increasing flagrant attempts to censor political websites, including Infowars and Prison Planet, not in Communist China, but in the U.S. and the UK, we are running a special contest with a top prize of $5,000 in order to encourage people to get active and educate others about the growing threats to Internet freedom.

As we reported yesterday, major transportation hubs like St. Pancras International, as well as libraries, big businesses, hospitals and other public outlets that offer wi-fi Internet, are blacklisting alternative news websites and making them completely inaccessible to their users.

On weekly basis we receive e mails from across the US and the UK from people who have attempted to visit our websites yet found them to be blocked by filtration software that lists them as “hate” or “violence”.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/get-outraged-and-get-active-about-internet-censorship.html

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Morality from Science? [Jul. 22nd, 2008|01:17 pm]
The Clash of Faith and Science

hambydammit
The “Should Trap” and How we Ought to Behave

I've frequently mentioned the trap hidden in the word, “should.” It's time now for us to look at exactly what the word means, what it doesn't mean, and how a good understanding of these things will allow us to understand how humans form concepts of morality. We'll soon see that everything from what we should eat for dinner to who we should vote for in the upcoming election to whether or not we should have children or adopt – all of these questions become much easier to answer when we realize exactly what we're asking.
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On Religious Moderation [Jul. 12th, 2008|07:49 pm]
The Clash of Faith and Science

hambydammit
One of the most controversial questions among atheists involves moderate theists. Many who identify themselves as simply non-religious would prefer that us outspoken atheists leave moderates alone. After all, they will say, moderates don't hurt anybody, and most of them are really nice people. Their religion is mostly just cultural. They don't really believe the nasty parts of the Bible. They should be left alone even though they do happen to practice a potentially nasty religion. I take an opposing view, and I believe there is a very good reason for doing so.
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Why Are Atheists So Angry? [Jul. 1st, 2008|08:43 pm]
The Clash of Faith and Science

hambydammit
"Why are all atheists so angry?"

I hear this question all the time. In fact, my Rambo-Kitty avatar is partially inspired by the question. Anyway, today I was reading an article about the debate between Sam Harris and Rick Warren, and was struck by Warren's statement, "I've never met an atheist who wasn't angry."

My first reaction was denial. Many atheists, myself included, are happy most of the time. My atheist friends are great fun to hang out with. We laugh and joke and drink beer, and hardly ever mention religion.

My second reaction, I confess, was anger. How dishonest of him to try to discount atheism by labeling us all as angry malcontents! This is exactly why people like him make me angry!

That's when it hit me, square in the forehead. He's not being dishonest. I don't doubt that every atheist he's met has been angry. If I met him, he'd almost certainly make me angry, too. That's just it! HE makes atheists angry, so they're all angry around him. So, I forgive him for thinking that all atheists are angry. I understand how he made the mistake.

Anyway, I'd like to reflect on "Atheist Anger" for a few minutes, and ask a couple of questions.

First, why is it a bad thing to be angry? The suffragists were quite angry, and for good reason. New Zealand had granted women equal voting rights in 1893, and America, supposedly the land of equality, was violently opposed to the idea twenty years later. There are still plenty of women who are angry because women make less money doing the same jobs as men in many industries, and women are often not even considered for promotions when they're equally (or better) qualified for the position. Are they wrong for being angry? Should they just sit quietly and wait for men to realize the error of their ways? Some people think so. I've noticed that the majority of them are men.

Am I making a valid comparison? Is it reasonable to compare life as an atheist in America in 2007 to life as a woman in the early 20th century? Clearly there are significant differences. Atheists can vote. They can, in theory, hold public office. They can get married, sign contracts, work wherever they're qualified. So, do we atheists have a right to be angry in the same way suffragists had?

To answer that question, I'll recall some more history. In Mosaic law, as we all know, women were slightly better than slaves. They had no property rights. In Roman law, women were completely dependent on male relations for all legal matters, and when they were married, it was a matter of purchase between two families.

Here, we can ask a pointed question. Do women have the right to be angry that they're not making as much as men in the workplace? After all, they can vote, own property, divorce their husband, sue him for child support and alimony, and live quite happily on their own. This country is one of the best places in the world to be a woman! What right do women have to be angry?

If your skin prickled a little bit when you read the previous paragraph, good for you. You're halfway to understanding why atheists have a right to be mad. The reason women still have a right to be mad is that things are still not equal. They have no obligation to remain silent simply because they have it better than someone who lived a hundred, or a thousand years ago. The reason women have it better now is that people were angry all through history, and made small gains here and there over many generations. Without the fuel of anger, women would still be property, and wouldn't even have the opportunity to be mad about making less money in the workplace.

So, what about us atheists? Do we have a right to be mad? Actually, yes. Did you know we've had atheist presidents? We have. I'll let you do your own homework on this, but it might surprise you to learn that many of the leaders of the U.S. throughout history have been openly atheist. Is this possible today? One congressman in California recently admitted to being atheist, and it caused a nationwide stir! It remains to be seen whether he'll be reelected. To be sure, he'll be attacked for being godless and amoral when election time comes around.

Until the McCarthy Era, the pledge of allegiance didn't have the word "God." Money didn't have "In God We Trust." Until the 70s, Christians were not actively involved in politics for the purpose of legislating religious values. Clearly, America is more theist than it used to be, at least politically. So, are things getting better for atheists? I dare say they're not. Unlike women, our situation is not improving. We are not being afforded more respect. Rather, we are being legislatively pushed farther into the margins where we have been quietly lurking for sixty years since the Red Scare.

To bring things back around, recall my comment about my atheist friends and I sitting around having beers and laughs. This is a good picture for you to hold in your mind's eye when you think of me, or any other atheist. This is what we want. We don't like being angry any more than women who'd like to be paid more. I'm sure all the angry feminists would rather things were better for women so they wouldn't have to be angry anymore. It's the same with atheists. If we were a bit less hated, vilified, and marginalized, it would be a lot easier for us to be in the presence of theists and not get angry.

Why are atheists so angry? Because things could be better, and we don't like being marginalized.
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"Holy" fire (fraud?) [Apr. 29th, 2008|03:20 pm]
The Clash of Faith and Science

abomvubuso
Hi! Can someone help me out here? I'm searching for links and evidence that the so-called Holy Fire in Jerusalem is a fraud. I'd be very grateful if you could support my research! I hope I can bring some common sense to a few friends of mine...

Its really strange how some fairly reasonable and intelligent people can get really deluded when it comes to religion...
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Dangerous Cult [Apr. 18th, 2008|08:28 pm]
The Clash of Faith and Science

owl_clan



Okay, this is just begging for a post from me, so I thought I'd toss one together. Most people in the US and abroad- wherever our media's reach is strong- already know about the freakish "Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", or the FLDS- the Mormon sect that still practices polygamy. Their 16,000 acre compound has been raided and 400+ children removed from it, because it appears that hundreds of young girls were forced into plural marriages and sexual activity with much older men (ages 50+) as early as age 13.

These FLDS men have 30-70 children with various women. They are all hopelessly inbred and ignorant (but then, this goes without saying). There is real abuse here- the culture (not unlike that of the mainstream LDS) is authoritarian, devoted to the rather bizarre teachings of the founder Joseph Smith, and well, I have no doubts that abuse occurred across the spectrum. Warren Jeffs- their leader- is now rightfully sitting his arse in jail for the rest of his life on other charges stemming from his arrangement of marriages for 14 year old girls, in which he coerced them into marrying older men- which amounted to rape. Jeffs also thinks he's Jesus.

Personally, I'm glad the children are removed, and I hope they get socialized into mainstream society and never have to live in that nightmarish situation again. I hope every one of the bastard men there end up in dark, damp prison cells, and I hope the women that went along with this get tied to posts and horsewhipped. But that's just me; it's opinion. It's important to realize that these people belong to a cult that's 100 years old, and that these mothers and their mothers and their mothers were born into this backwards-assed, xenophobic and ignorant splinter culture, which lives fully apart from the rest of the world, dressed like 18th century pioneers.

But my issue in this post is with this story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_re_us/polygamist_retreat


In which "cult experts" testified as to why the FLDS church is a "cult" and a danger. Among other things, they've said:

"Girls in the west Texas polygamous sect enter into underage marriages without resistance because they are ruthlessly indoctrinated from birth to believe disobedience will lead to their damnation, experts for the state testified Friday at a custody hearing for 416 youngsters."

And

"The renegade Mormon sect's belief system "is abusive. The culture is very authoritarian," said Dr. Bruce Perry, a psychiatrist and an authority on children in cults."

And

"Obedience is a very important element of their belief system," he said. "Compliance is being godly; it's part of their honoring God."


Okay. So they're a dangerous cult because they tell their children that disobedience to their society and religion will lead to their damnation. Their culture is "authoritarian". And Obedience is an important element of their belief system.

So... how is this AT ALL different from any other form of Christianity? If this is part of a criteria for a "dangerous cult", then we're all in deep shit, because all versions of Christianity- with full Biblical authority- teach these exact same ideas.

No, mainstream Christian families who believe these things don't let their daughters to marry at age 13; the only difference is, they let them wait another 5 years. Is that such a big difference, when the psychology is precisely the same?

This isn't necessarily meant to be an attack on any particular Christian denomination; this is meant to illustrate the hypocrisy at work- the FLDS Cult's real crime is the crime of being a non-mainstream form of Christianity. Yeah, their members did other things that I consider heinous, but when one cuts back to the original layers of conditioning that are being called "evidence for cult danger", you arrive at the exact same impulses that underlie the Catholic Church's entire philosophy: total obedience to the hierarchy; breaking the laws of God and Church can lead to damnation; and a completely authoritarian view of parent and clerical structure.

Every other form of Christianity falls into step with this model, even Protestants who have given up the Clerical and Liturgical structure of the Catholic church- because they've replaced it with their own structure of elders/preachers/ministers/whatever, and their own traditions of worship. They all see themselves (usually) in adversarial terms with non-Christians and outsiders, and they all conform to these "cult danger symptoms" in many other ways.

Well, praise the Gods and pass the ammo! It's high time that people realized that revealed religions all contain these harmful elements. Obedience is what it comes down to- this cannot be avoided. Is this enough court-worthy evidence that children need to be removed from Catholic and Baptist homes? Ask yourself this.

What I see is that most modern mainstream Christian parents, while overtly or covertly indoctrinating children with fear and authoritarian ideals, aren't really conscious of what they are doing. This is the only difference- most parents teach what they teach because it was taught to them, and because social life today is easier on children who have basically mainstream views on religion. The difference between nobody Baptists or nobody Catholics and these FLDS people is simple: the nobodies say a lot to their kids and teach them things, but they don't go overboard (usually) in enforcing these ideals. It's just a faded rote part of life. For these FLDS jackasses, religion overpoweringly, iron-fistedly, and consciously dominates everything.

But then, that's precisely how the Catholic Church was just a few hundred years ago...

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Applied Christian Philosophy Video [Apr. 5th, 2008|07:44 pm]
The Clash of Faith and Science

melchecicada
[Current Mood |content]
[Current Music |beirut]

Heres a video which applies Christian philosophy to the psyche. Thought some of you would get a kick out of it. http://youtube.com/watch?v=X4FN-vQ7Ovc
peace and grace,
sad
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Two simple theological questions. [Mar. 22nd, 2008|01:09 am]
The Clash of Faith and Science

starryeyedlion

Do you believe in gods as actual beings (or being)?

 
Do you love your gods? (or other strong emotion)

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Have you checked out this atheist podcast yet? [Dec. 9th, 2007|10:14 am]
The Clash of Faith and Science

freedomainradio
Have you had a chance to listen to Freedomain Radio yet? It's a wildly stimulating and entertaining podcast on philosophy, the most popular on the web...

http://www.freedomainradio.com

The feed is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/FreedomainRadio

Enjoy!

Stefan Molyneux, MA
Host
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