The UN welcomes President Obamas' amendments to the International Religious Act which protects our rights not to have to wear silly hats.

Most atheists like to work through the bewilderment of life for themselves.

A study has been conducted into what happens to our brain when faced with counterevidence that contradicts our strongly held beliefs. Do read the comments too.

Religious privilege leads to intolerance whatever shape it takes.

President Teddy Roosevelt called Thomas Paine a “Filthy little Atheist”.

A conversation with Michael Wear on the Democrats religion problem.

Somehow I don’t think this happened on a small planet near an average star.

This weeks’ Woo: A review of fake treatments for real diseases and some bad myths to leave in 2016.

Climate Change: A look back in time at our sensitive planet.

Will scientists and philosophers wake up to consciousness not being so mysterious? Should we let the machines decode brain activity for us if it is too complicated?

The year 2016 in religion and politics and a PRRI study on the shape of politics in 2017. You thought 2016 was a bad year? There were plenty worse.

The Tremendous One picks the right pastor to pray at his inauguration (Trumps’ inauguration, not Gods’).

Eleven scientific milestones from 2016.

What if we haven’t seen any aliens because they are all dead?

Absolute morality from God doesn’t exist.

The Pros and Cons of Empathy. (Watch the video below first).

One Hundred things we did not know last year. Some photographs taken last year.

Pictures of Aleppo from before the war.

While you are waiting for the kettle to boil.…..

Coffee Break Video: Paul Bloom and the Dangers of Empathy. Lawrence Krauss gets serious.

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Replies to This Discussion

Happy New Year everyone!! Keep Thinking Atheist!

Remember we live in a world where some primates often have trouble imagining a universe not run by an angry alpha male and that faith is to the human what sand is to the ostrich.

 

Happy new year, Reg, and thank you for all the Sunday Schools!
Thank you Reg!!!!

Thanks Reg.  Interesting article about absolute morality, James Kirk Wall seems to know what he's talking about. 

I completely agree with Denise and Paul Cummins that the main problem with empathy is that it is largely restricted to the familiar and similar: to in-groups and inclusive fitness.  So the answer to that is to widen our "circle of concern", the circle of those whom we are prepared to see as human beings like us. 

I had an interesting conversation with a few Christians last week. After discussing “Empathy” for a while, the topic of refugees from Syria came up. They did not want to give asylum to any because “we have enough homeless already” or because they “could be terrorists”.

I told them I see it differently. They are not “They”. They are “Us”, the same as me and you.

It is amazing to me how many Christians are so hypocritical. It is so sad. So much for "love your neighbor as yourself!" I think most Christians do not know what they believe or why. They follow along with what they are taught and never really think about what they are saying and how self-righteous and stupid it sounds. And how prejudice they really are.

It is amazing to me how many Christians are so hypocritical.

They are hundreds of different Christian denominations and within each of those there are usually several splinter groups or sects. This means that numerous differences have developed between them over time. Even the core tenets of the Christian faith are held differently amongst them rather than just some minor theological quibbles over a prophecy (as they all ignore 2 Peter 1:20). This is why they are often seen as hypocrites.

The reason it does not surprise me that they can be so hypocritical is that they never see themselves as being such. They only see other sects as being the hypocrites because the other sect is wrong. They have the “one true faith” and see themselves are “real” Christians. The problem is that all the other sects also see themselves as having the “one true faith” and as being the only “real” Christians.

This even describes religions that see other religions as being false because they don’t follow the true word or believe in the same god. I love it when Christians then say that Christianity is not a religion, it is a philosophy.

RE: They have the “one true faith” and see themselves are “real” Christians.

True, but it's no different than atheists believing they are somehow better than believers or an (ahem) "evolved species." Lol

Humans always view their groups in terms of "us" vs "them," regardless of whether they use religion as their excuse or something else.

Happy New Year, everybody and thanks Reg for the schooling! :)

                                           From a Filthy Little Athiest fan! :)

Thanks Gary. Like the article says, Paine was not an atheist. You could say he was a deist or even a rationalist who saw god in world of nature. This is totally different to Christianity which is a revealed religion. Christians presuppose the existence of their personal God because they claim “He” is self-evident to anyone that studies the Bible because its’ words are “God breathed”. They then point to the centuries of theological interpretations and studies done on it without any intellectual concern as to whether or not their God actually exists in the first place.

That is why I often quote Paine when theists raise the point that the Bible is an authoritative book that is somehow evidence for their God being the known creator of the universe.

The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.

Thanks Belle Rose and Strega. As ever, it is a pleasure.

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