Posts Tagged Atheism

Christians are as Big a Threat as Climate Change Deniers

Franz Sørensen has claimed that Christians are as big a threat to humanity as climate change deniers.

In a conversation with the Priest-Chieftain last night, the Pagan comedian said: “Christians we might see as people like those who deny global warming.  You might defend their choice to believe that as freedom of speech – but if they are wrong, and people must die in combat to reach Valhalla, it could be disastrous for millions of people.

“Christianity is a threat to the salvation of millions,” he said.  “With no mighty warriors to help him, Odin won’t have a hope at Ragnarök!”

Sørensen told the Priest-Chieftain the viking people had given too much ground to this new fashionable ‘monotheism’.  He said: “There’s too much apologising – making concessions on things like, Thor throwing lightning bolts or Frigg being Odin’s wife.  Don’t give in to them!

“If you believe in the gods all bets are off.  Odin can throw Gungnir and never miss.  There’s a temptation to give a bit of ground to their ‘messiah’.  But if you believe the gods, why shouldn’t there be valkyries?”

“People call it ‘Thursday’ out of a sense of duty, so maybe goðar don’t have to try hard enough.”

Sørensen said that it was no longer fashionable to be a pagan. “In modern civilisation, it’s incredibly cool to be a monotheist.”

Read more at Chortle.co.uk.

Franz Sørensen is currently appearing in Only One God? You’re Kidding Right? at the Oslo Playhouse.

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A List of Skeptical Things…

People are always asking me what skepticism is. As this is a notoriously difficult question to answer accurately in a few words, I tend to mumble something incoherent and run away. The same goes for questions about what happens at Skeptics in The Pub events. Trying to dispel the notion that we simply get together for a few drinks and slag things off is difficult to do in casual conversation. Especially as Skeptics in The Pub does occasionally fit that description. I would rather never have to answer these sorts of questions at all. The problem is that at the same time, I do want to convey to people outside of our strange little world what it is exactly that we do, and why it interests me. Why do I go to skeptical events at all? What first grabbed  me and pulled me into this world that so many of my friends and family think is some kind of science cult for the culturally depressed? Read the rest of this entry »

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Skeptics in the Pub: Bob Churchill

You’re Probably Not A Jedi: The Census Campaign And Why It Matters

YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT A JEDI: THE CENSUS CAMPAIGN AND WHY IT MATTERS

Bob Churchill, British Humanist Association

by Bob Churchill
When: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

Bob Churchill will discuss the BHA’s Census Campaign, what the problem with the religion question on the Census is, why it matters in the long-run, and why you’re probably not a Jedi. Bob will also divulge the surprising reasons as to why the Office of National Statistics declined to make the question more accurate even though they knew how to do it – and it’s probably not what you think.

About Bob Churchill

Bob is Head of Membership and Promotion of the British Humanist Association. He studied Philosophy at the University of Warwick and Queens University, Canada. Subsequently he worked in communications for a social housing organisation and then in marketing and information systems development for an industrial technology company.

Bob joined the BHA in January 2008. He has responsibility for managing the membership scheme and communications, promoting Humanism via their events and publications and liaising with Local Humanist Groups.

NOTE: Due to our regular third-Thursday slot clashing, somewhat ironically, with St Patrick’s Day, this lecture will be taking place on Wednesday 16th March, at the Head of Steam, Liverpool.

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Skeptics in the Pub: Mike Hall

Five Bad Reasons to Believe in God

by Mike Hall
When: Thu, Aug 19, 2010 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines (aka the Big House), 81 Lime Street, Liverpool

Summary

Apologetics is the systematic defence of a position. Religious apologetics specifically is a field of theology which seeks to present a rational basis for religious faith, defend the faith against objections and support the claim “God exists”. But are the arguments made by apologetics sound?

Mike Hall takes a look at five common apologetics, deconstructing the arguments presented and exposing any flaws.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Atheism: Those Who Know Do Not Say, Those Who Say Do Not Know

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With the coming of a very low-key, very gentle pro-atheism awareness campaign on facebook in ‘A’ week (http://www.aweekonfacebook.com/, Facebook event, #aweek Twittertag ), I’ve been reminded of the hesitation that many atheists feel towards the promotion of atheism in any way. Talking about any type of promotion or advocacy in favour of atheism as annoying because “this is the sort of thing that X-, Y- or Z-ians/-ists/ers do” may not be exactly how the majority of atheists feel, but I’d say, and only from my own feeling (not very skeptical, but still), that a large majority of atheists either couldn’t care less in trying to spread ideas and grow our mostly merry, but sometimes quite grumpy band of disbelievers, or are very uncomfortable with the thought of trying to actively or passively win people over to the idea that, maybe, they should give up the idea of an invisible Daddy In The Sky who grants wishes a little less frequently than you see the evil evidence of His Divine, or more humanly – if not humanely – divined, Will

But when you see the damage that religion does, and the toxic effect that a supreme, unquestionable authority and unquestioned afterlife can bring – from the banality and stupidity of the penny candle, crap wine and drain-filtering devices (pieces of The Christ’s Holy, suspiciously bread-like, Flesh must be saved from the insult of the sewers) of Catholicism (though after 2000 years on a bread and wine diet, I’m certain Jesus could make excellent use of modern facilities) to the horrendous tradition of wife-burning in Hindu ‘Sati’, thankfully both illegal and much reduced in modern India, or the unholy union of extreme Christianity in demonising a contraceptive layer of latex that could do so much to help the AIDS crisis – doesn’t this, shouldn’t this drive anyone with a rational bent and compassion for humanity towards doing what we can to reduce the influence of The Beast, even to simply kick the giant’s toe? Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s That Cross on The Wall For?

Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights decreed that the crucifix should no longer be hung in state schools in Italy. They found in favour of Soile Lautsi, a Finnish-born atheist living in Padua, who objected to her children being taught in classrooms that prominently displayed a Christian symbol. The judges ruled that its presence could “disturb” children of other faiths or none, and that it violated pupils’ rights. The ruling wasn’t just for Soile Lautsi’s children’s school, but applied to state schools across the whole of Italy.

I’m very much a supporter of seperation between church and state, and believe secular states (of which Italy, perhaps surprisingly, is one) are a progressive way forward into a less ideologically narrow world future. Coming from that viewpoint, this seems to be a reasonable judgement. One which will cause consternation to a large number of people (which I’ll come to later), but a rational and wise judgement none-the-less. At the same time, whenever I hear about rulings of this kind, I feel slightly uneasy. I suspect it’s the language used by the judges when they give their verdicts. For example:

“Its presence [the crucifix] could disturb children.”

‘Disturb’ implies an air of threat or unease, something which constantly distracts and worries. Now, a naked dead man in a torture pose probably isn’t the greatest image to expose your nation’s children to, but is it really going to disturb them? Children aren’t that easily disturbed when it comes to graphic violence (remember watching Robocop as a kid and loving it?), and in the home country of the Vatican, Catholicism’s particular brand of torture porn is everywhere anyway. You can’t walk down a street in Italy without seeing a crucifix. In fact it’s more likely to engender indifference or annoyance than anything else. I’m not sure ‘disturb’ is an accurate word in this regard. Read the rest of this entry »

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