Friday 29th of August 2014

bloody atheists...

bloody atheists

Some twisted crap from the new Templeton Prize Winner:

Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists have one thing in common: they don't believe in gods. Indeed, as Cardinal Tomas Spidlik liked to say, "Christians were atheists for the first 400 years." What he meant was that, for the Roman and Greek pagans, the Jews and the Christians of the first centuries were pagans. They had no God whose name others recognized. They were "without" gods. Even now, we Christians may seem like atheists in the eyes of people of other religions.

It is very important to recognize that our God is not merely one exemplar of a group of beings called "gods." He is a great Mystery. Sometimes I find myself agreeing with atheists when they say there is no God, if by that they mean there is not a God who is "a thing among other things." In this they are correct.

That is why I like to begin my dialogues with atheists with the question, "What does this God, in whom you do not believe, look like?" and sometimes, after my partner in dialogue tells me about his image of God - as a heavenly policeman or a big daddy behind the scenes of our world - I say, "Thank God you do not believe in such a God! I don't believe in such a God either."

 

 

We really must examine this label atheism and discern that it is used to indicate many different things, including agnosticism and what I call "apatheism" in which people are simply apathetic and have no interest in religious questions. Then there are those who are merely critics of religion, or who have a critical approach to the Church and the traditional language of religion.

These are all phenomena that we sometimes call "atheism" - but, in fact, I do not believe that pure atheism can exist. What seems like utter unbelief is really just a limited period in a person's development.

 

 

The struggle between faith and atheism is not a struggle between two teams, like in football. The struggle between faith and atheism runs through the heart of every human being. Believers have an unbeliever inside, and the so-called unbelievers have also a believer inside of them.

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/03/18/3965697.htm

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Boy do I get annoyed when a religious nut tries to tell me what I think is not what I think... How presumptuous... The monsignor is framing the debate in order to shoot the black sheep to bring it back to the fold... Totally hypocritical..

Monotheists passing as atheists "in other religions"?... Idiotic statement. ATHEISM does not include Agnosticism. Capiche? Atheism DOES NOT include "apatheism'. Goooooooood for the Monsignorati professorus to believe that there is no such a thing as pure Atheism... Ridiculous. Get a life, Halik, most atheists DO NOT HAVE A BELIEVER inside them... Any "atheist" who has this sort of inkling is an AGNOSTIC... Any Atheist who has a spiritual inclination is a "spiritualist" or a GHOST-hunter or a WITCH-burner... And He (el godot) is not a male.

Where do these ordained dorks get their ideas? Contemplating a golden cross and some dried-up innards of martyred saints while imagining the He in the sky above, seeing the sun rays through the stained-glass window of place of pagan worship? Monotheism such as Christianity and Islam are as pagan as Pagans and Druids. They just are more numerous.

Monotheism (though the christians split their god into a "trinity") is just a different form of belief that is far removed from observed reality. Beliefs are all designed by self-appointed charlatans to find cunning ways for humans to cope with pain and death — pain and death being part of the weird DNA construct, not a mystery. 

Monsignor Halik, just because you may have some doubts about the existence of god yourself, does not mean I — and many of my fellow atheists — have doubt about His/Hers/Its non-existence... 

And please don't flatter yourself because you have won the "prestigious Templeton Prize"... I know you won't because being a catholic demands "humility"...

True... Atheists and believers are not in opposite "teams" of beliefs. It's just that atheists live on planet earth — but we don't know which planet you're living on...

 

Gus leonisky

Your local atheist

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Monsignor Professor Tomas Halik worked as a psychotherapist during the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. In 1978, he was clandestinely ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church and was instrumental in organizing the Czech underground church. Since the fall of Communism, he has served as General Secretary to the Czech Conference of Bishops and was an advisor to Vaclav Havel. He is currently Professor of the Philosophy and Sociology of Religion at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. On Thursday, 13 March 2014, he was announced as this year's winner of the prestigious Templeton Prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a reasonable secular school in gambia...

 

 

GAMBIAN SCHOOL FACING LOOMING REPAIRS DEADLINE

 

The Kerewan Escuela Moderna, sponsored by the Gambia Secular Assembly, an AAI affiliate, is facing a deadline of 31 March to complete all property repairs and upgrades to the school as agreed when they took over the school from the Ministry of Education last fall.

The Gambia Secular Assembly wanted to establish a school where it could educate the next generation in science and reason without religious indoctrination. When the Gambia Secular Assembly (GSA) applied to run a private secular school in the Gambia, the Ministry of Education asked them to take over an existing primary school, previously owned and managed by a local Christian ministry.  But it had been run down for many years and out of compliance with zoning laws.  So the Ministry made repairs and upgrades a condition for the GSA to use the school.

The school opened in Fall 2013 with 3 classes and is already looking to open their 4th class in Fall 2014. However, to open in the fall, the Ministry is requiring all repairs and upgrades to be completed by the end of March.  The cost of those repairs has been estimated at $6,000, and AAI and the GSA have already raised $2,400 towards those repairs.  But the deadline is looming, and we still need to raise another $3,600. 

We can keep the school open to educate Gambian children in science and reason with your support.

You can read more about the Classroom Expansion project here.

You can contribute to this project by making a contribution here.

With your support, we can create a permanent secular school in the Gambia!

 

Meanwhile In Aussieland:

Many public schools still recite Christian prayers at assemblies, despite the concerns of parents who say the education system should be secular.


NSW public schools are allowed to write or use Christian or multi-faith prayers in consultation with their community, according to Education Department policy.


President of the NSW Primary Principals' Association Geoff Scott says school prayers are ''more common than not'' but they do not have the same prominence they once did.


''It is certainly not something that is a feature in public schools because that's not what the public education system is about,'' he said.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/child-removed-from-nsw-public-school-after-prayer-vote-20140322-35a2j.html#ixzz2ws1XfyZV

 

 

And:

Teachers say cuts to specialist support for English language training in New South Wales public schools threaten to marginalise a whole generation of students from migrant backgrounds.

The NSW Teachers Federation says 32 multicultural, refugee, and English as a second language (ESL) support officer positions were slashed last year.

The federation's multicultural officer Amber Flohm says their phones are ringing off the hook because teachers and schools were not told the positions would be gone this year.

"It is biting now, particularly in the regional areas where they are more isolated in their communities," she said.

"They rely on the Department of Education [and Communities] and those support positions to provide them with the specialist expertise that they need to set up a new program and to assist in the engagement of these families and their students in the education system."

Cheryl McBride, the principal of Smithfield Public School in Sydney's west and the head of the NSW Public Schools Principals Forum, says giving principals more control over their school's budgets is not helping because there are no experts to go to.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-23/english-language-cuts-at-nsw-schools-hurting-students/5337760

trick-dicky questionnaire on morality...

 

 

The dunghill origins of morality


By ABC's Michael Collett

Posted 2 hours 53 minutes ago



While vast numbers of people across the world (and Australia) continue to equate godlessness with a lack of morality, unbelievers can feel confident in their virtues, writes Michael Collett.

Is it necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values?

The answer seems obvious, at least to this nonbeliever: of course not. After all, this isn't a question about where morality ultimately derives - whether it is innately "God given" or borrowed from religious tradition. This isn't even a question about who is more moral - Muslims or agnostics, Hindus or atheists. No, this is about whether nonbelievers even have the capacity to be moral or have good values.

As someone who is on the organ donation register and abstains as best he can from war crimes, I'm rather convinced we do. To suggest otherwise would seem to demonstrate a profound lack of empathy towards a significant proportion of mankind.

Nevertheless, the idea that morality is the exclusive preserve of the religious is quite pervasive, and dates back to at least the Old Testament:

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

In case you thought religious people had moved on from this view, a report released this month by the Pew Research Centre suggests otherwise. Indeed, it remains the majority opinion in poorer countries (with the exception of China) and is also shared by large numbers of people in richer countries (53 per cent in America and 23 per cent in Australia).

It's worth considering exactly what the participants in the survey were asked:

Which one of these comes closest to your opinion?

1) It is not necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values; or

2) It is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values

Note that respondents were asked to identify which of these diametrically opposed propositions came closest to their opinion. It's possible then that at least some of the people who responded "it is" actually have slightly more nuanced views - for instance, maybe they believe it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral as a general rule, or that nonbelievers can be moral in their own way, but not in the correct way prescribed by their religion.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-25/collett-the-dunghill-origins-of-morality/5343810

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Meanwhile I have no idea but I believe there is a FAKE market research going on at the moment under the name of "Aussie Choice  (Market Research)" I have tried to trace the name of this company on the net and it apparently does not exist under a recognisable format. The questions start with the obvious doozy : "Do you think you pay too much tax?"  Well I suppose everyone is going to say "yes" and move on to the next doozy... Don't answer anything. It is most likely that they ring from Melbourne-Mumbai, this town lodge in India. I could be wrong but I don't smell a genuine questionnaires. They did not get anything from me or my neighbours (because apparently they are doing a specific research "IN OUR AREA". Ringing MOBILE phones does not sound locally good)...

See story at top.

 

religion and politics don't mix...

In recent years, Americans have grown increasingly skeptical of the role of religion in politics. According to the Pew Research Center, the share of Americans saying there is "too much" expression of faith and prayer by politicians crept up from 12 percent in 2001 to 38 percent in 2012, enough for a plurality. Most now say that churches should keep out of political matters, and a majority agree that "religious conservatives have too much control over the GOP."

Against this backdrop the Secular Coalition for America, a nonprofit group with a mission to "raise the profile of secular Americans" nationwide, released its rankings of how much — or little — legislators have supported the notion of church/state separation in the 113th Congress. Representatives were scored according to their votes and sponsorship of 14 bills related to church-state issues, including a measure in support of prayer in schools, a bill to amend the Constitution to prevent gay marriage, and a bill to eliminate funding for abstinence-only sex-ed. You can see the full list of bills at the Coalition's Web site.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/04/these-congressmen-want-to-tear-down-the-wall-between-church-and-state/?tid=hpModule_ba0d4c2a-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394&hpid=z11

the old religious accident trick...

A 21-year old man has died after being crushed by a crucifix erected in honour of Pope John Paul II in northern Italy.

Marco Gusmini was killed instantly and one other man taken to hospital, Italian media reported.

Part of the 30m-high (100ft) sculpture collapsed at a ceremony ahead of the Pope's canonisation. John Paul II and his predecessor, Pope John XXIII, are due to be declared saints on Sunday.

The crucifix commemorates the Pope's visit to the area in 1998.

The installation, near the town of Cevo, was designed as a large curved cross with a statue of Jesus Christ, weighing 600kg (1,320lb), fixed to the top.

A group of children were reported to be in attendance at the time.

The cross was designed by sculptor Enrico Job and was created for John Paul II's visit to nearby Brescia.

The two popes will be declared saints at the Vatican on Sunday.

It is not the first death caused by a falling crucifix in Italy.

In 2004, the Associated Press reported that a 72-year old woman had been crushed to death by a 7ft-tall metal crucifix in the town of Sant'Onofrio in the south of the country.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27145931

atheism — a DARK secret?... a secret may be, but dark????...

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Growing up in a conservative Muslim household in rural West Sumatra, Alexander Aan hid a dark secret beginning at age 9: He did not believe in God. His feelings only hardened as he got older and he faked his way through daily prayers, Islamic holidays and the fasting month of Ramadan.

He stopped praying in 2008, when he was 26, and he finally told his parents and three younger siblings that he was an atheist — a rare revelation in a country like Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. They responded with disappointment and expressions of hope that he would return to Islam.

But Mr. Aan neither returned to Islam nor confined his secret to his family, and he ended up in prison after running afoul of a 2008 law restricting electronic communications. He had joined an atheist Facebook group started by Indonesians living in the Netherlands, and in 2011 he began posting commentaries outlining why he did not think God existed.

“When I saw, with my own eyes, poor people, people on television caught up in war, people who were hungry or ill, it made me uncomfortable,” Mr. Aan, now 32, said in an interview. “What is the meaning of this? As a Muslim, I had questioned God — what is the meaning of God?” He was released on parole on Jan. 27 after serving more than 19 months on a charge of inciting religious hatred.

Indonesia’s state ideology, Pancasila, enshrines monotheism, and blasphemy is illegal. However, the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and speech, and the country is 16 years into a transition from authoritarianism to democracy.

But Mr. Aan’s case is one of an increasing number of instances of persecution connected to freedom of religion in Indonesia in recent years. Although Indonesia has influential Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities, every year there have been hundreds of episodes, including violent attacks, targeting religious minorities like Christians and Shiite and Ahmadiyah Muslims, as well as dozens of arrests over blasphemy against Islam. Numerous churches have been closed for lacking proper permits.

read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/world/asia/indonesian-who-embraced-atheism-landed-in-prison.html?hp&_r=0

 

Alexander Aan deserves praise for having his own views on the world. To become enlightened to atheism from the age of nine demands some mighty questioning in a country that swims in religious dogma. Rather than "freedom of religion" the concept should be "freedom of thought" which of course all religions hate, outside their narrow frame of fancy references.