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An Atheist Reads The Bible: None Of This Makes Any Sense

stacygturner:

Props to Robert Nielson

Originally posted on Robert Nielsen:

The one thing about reading the Bible that has really taken me by surprise is how odd it is. Growing up Catholic, I was told that the Bible (like religion generally) was a perfect example of love, mercy and justice. Even after I lost my faith, I still presumed that the Bible a collection of stories that were created to teach lessons and that there was always a moral to the story (like children’s TV). But reading the Book of Genesis, I can’t make any sense of the stories. They seem to be a random collection of murder, rape, incest and senseless cruelty. Neither God nor humans seem to act with any logic or reasoning, the most bizarre things happen without explanation.

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Is Atheism a Religion? 

Originally posted on Secular Okie:

If you’re an out atheist chances are you’ve probably had someone try totell you that atheism is “a religion itself”. I know I’ve found myself on the receiving end of such claims, and my normal response is to point out that religions are almost always centered around the veneration and worship of a supernatural entity of some sort and therefore atheism is not a religion. I’ve generally been happy with that argument, but it turns out it’s not how the law sees it. Supernatural beliefs are not required to exist in a belief system for the courts to view said belief system as “religious”. My guess is the courts have probably avoided such a ruling because “supernatural” seems kinda judgy and nobody wants to tell their family and neighbors they worship something magical, so they’ve worked around it. Besides, how could you “prove” the supernatural in a court of law…

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Indoctrination as a wedge strategy: faith schools and foot-in-the-door techniques

Indoctrination as a wedge strategy: faith schools and foot-in-the-door techniques.

Why free-will compatibilists are like creationists

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

I’m rereading Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality for purposes that will become clear later. I do like the book, but oy, does it take naturalism to its most extreme! Alex wears the label of “scientism” proudly, and in many ways I agree with him, though he does take evolutionary psychology to unsubstantiated lengths. But he’s right on the mark in his views about determinism, free will, and consciousness. All of you should read the book, though many will disagree.

But while thinking about the book at the dentist’s yesterday (you have to think of something when they’re stuffing tubes of rubber into your bored-out nerve canals and then melting the rubber with red-hot probes as acrid smoke pours from your mouth), I had this thought about compatibilists—those philosophers and intellectuals who agree that while our thoughts and actions are controlled by the laws of physics (and so we can’t really choose differently from how we…

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What are the best examples of people gaming the system?

stacygturner:

China has Trolls too. Fine work.

Originally posted on The Random Blog:

Answer by Mukta Anand:

Genius man used one first class airplane ticket to eat free for a year

It’s an absolutely brilliant ploy. You see, when a person has a first class ticket in China, they can stroll into the fanciest VIP airport lounge and grab whatever they want because once you’re inside that VIP lounge, anything you want—yes, including food—is free.

Kwong Wah Yit Poh is a genius of man in China, who took advantage of the free perks of those airport lounges. He booked a first class ticket on China Eastern Airlines and went to the VIP airport lounge at the Xi’an airport in Shaanxi, China and ate a delicious meal before his flight. Just like any first class traveler would. Except he never takes the flight. After he finished eating, the man changed his flight’s departure for another day and went back home. Until tomorrow. Armed with…

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NYPD Edits Wikipedia Entries On Eric Garner, Other Police Brutality Victims: When is Police Intelligence an oxymoron it seems always.

Originally posted on olddogthoughts:

NYPD Edits Wikipedia Entries On Eric Garner, Other Police Brutality Victims

Someone should let the NYPD know that rewriting a Wikipedia entry doesn’t mean they’re rewriting history.

ThinkProgress:

The New York Police Department has anonymously edited and tried to delete Wikipedia pages about police brutality victims, Capital New York has discovered. Edits coming from 1 Police Plaza headquarters targeted pages for Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo.

NYPD IP addresses were used to edit the Wikipedia page on the “Death of Eric Garner,” who was killed by police chokehold and inspired massive nationwide protests in the fall. Capital New York found that the department changed “Garner raised both his arms in the air” to “Garner flailed his arms about as he spoke,” and added the sentence “Garner, who was considerably larger than any of the officers, continued to struggle with them,” among other changes.

Someone at the NYPD also tried to delete the article on Sean Bell

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Why are high IQ people more liberal?

stacygturner:

Great post.

Originally posted on Brain Size:

One of the psychometric mysteries is why high IQ people tend to be liberal, even though a lot of liberal ideas are clearly nonsense. Eminent scientist and intelligence blogger Bruce Charlton has proposed that many high IQ people are clever sillies, meaning they use abstract novel problem solving to solve problems that are better solved with common sense, and as a consequence, come up with ideas like liberalism that seem silly to many people.

I think there are four main reasons why intelligent people tend to be liberal (or tend not to be conservative):

1) High IQ people are less criminal. It’s long been accepted that criminals score about 10 points lower than non-criminals, even when reared in the same home. I think the negative correlation between IQ and conservatism (and thus positive correlation between IQ and liberalism) is largely just an extension of the negative correlation between IQ and…

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Political Paranoia’s Fatal Attraction

Originally posted on disorderedworld:

‘Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.’    Eric Hoffer

Paranoid personality disorder is one of a range of personality disorders classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association. It is characterised by pathological suspicion and an obsessive need to eliminate enemies, both real and imaginary.

Pathological paranoia played a dominant role in the mindsets of those responsible for the worst atrocities of the twentieth century.

In our contemporary world, reeling from global financial crisis, turmoil in the Middle East, and Russian aggression in Ukraine, the world is reacquainting itself once again with this deadliest of mental disorders.    

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Mandatory Vaccinations in NY Upheld by 2nd Cir.

Originally posted on 2012: What's the 'real' truth?:

Thursday, January 08, 2015
Last Update: 8:27 AM PT
Thanks to A. 

By LORRAINE BAILEY

(CN) – Requiring the vaccination of all children attending New York public schools does not violate the constitutional rights of their parents, the 2nd Circuit ruled.

     “Plaintiffs argue that a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that vaccines cause more harm to society than good, but as Jacobson [v. Massachusetts] made clear, that is a determination for the legislature, not the individual objectors,” the unsigned opinion published Wednesday in Manhattan states.

     Jacobson, a U.S. Supreme Court from 1905, holds that compulsory vaccination does not violate an individual’s due-process rights, given the state’s interest in protecting the population as a whole.

     Dina Check, the plaintiff who challenged the New York law at issue on the basis of her Catholic beliefs, testified that medical treatment should be “strictly by the word of God,” and…

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Judaism: 12 Painful Truths

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Originally posted on Michael Sherlock Author:

  1. The Torah (First Five Books of Moses), the very pillar of Judaism, was not written by Moses, but by numerous anonymous authors, who contradicted each other’s theology and historical testimony. [1]
  1. The bulk of the Book of Genesis wasn’t written in the 2nd Millennium BCE, as tradition states, but in the post-Exilic Period (6th Century ~ after the Jewish exile in Babylon). [2]
  1. The Book of Genesis contains numerous plagiarized (adopted) myths, all of which find their origins in the more ancient and established empire of Mesopotamia – The Creation, The Garden of Eden, The Fall of Man, The 12 Patriarchs prior to the flood, who all lived extremely long lives, The Flood, the shortening of lifespans after the flood, The Tower of Babel and even Abraham and Sarah’s descent into Egypt (See Descent of Ishtar and Tammuz). This relates to Truth 2, as the Jews were in…

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