Jumalaton kulttuurilehti

Maaliskuu 2015

Suomen ainoa kulttuurilehti

Sisällysluettelo


Kim Sjöström
Liberaalisen puolueen varapuheenjohtaja

Ehdokas eduskuntavaaleissa Helsingin vaalipiirissä, ehdokasnumero 269

http://sjostro.vuodatus.net
http://areena.yle.fi/tv/2704938
http://www.vaalikone.fi/eduskunta2015/is/helsinki/ehdokas/1753

Ex-muslimi haluaa lakkauttaa islamin

Lisätty 31.3.2013

Ayaan Hirsi Ali oli aiemmin kiihkeä muslimi. Hän uskoi kaikkiin islamin opetuksiin, kuten sharia-lain rikkojien kivityksiin ja ei-muslimien murhaamiseen.

Tänään hän on toisenlainen ihminen; tappouhkauksista ja rasistikorteista huolimatta hän vastustaa jyrkästi islamia ja haluaa lakkauttaa sen nykymuodossaan.

"Oletus on, että vaikka muslimien joukossa on muutama mätä omena, ei koko islam ole mätä,"

Ali sanoo New York Postille.

"Minä sanon, että koko islam on mätä."

Hirsi Ali sanoo kirjassaan 'Heretic', että islam on täydellisen reformaation tarpeessa.

"Suurin este muutokselle muslimimaailmassa", Ali kirjoittaa, "on juuri sellaisen kriittisen ajattelun tukahduttaminen jota minä yritän käydä."

http://nypost.com/2015/03/22/activist-argues-for-a-complete-reformation-of-islam/

Ateistit vähiten masentuneita

Tutkijalta kysyttiin, mitä hyötyä masentuneelle on evoluutiotietoisuudestaan. Tutkijan mukaan tietoisuus evoluutiosta voimaannuttaa ja antaa välineitä masennuksen kohtaamiseen.

Täällä palstalla kuin suurin osa uskoo evoluutioon, kysynkin että onko kuinka moni masentunut ateisti saanut apua evoluutiotietoisuudestaan?

Mielenkiintoinen näkökulma oli yhdistää evoluutio ja masennus. Ei tosin ollut yllätys, että ateistit hyötyvät eniten. Akateeminen maailma on ihmeellinen. Jumaluskoiset ilmeisesti ovat eniten masentuneita, koska torjuvat evoluution antaman edun kohdata masennusta.

Suomalainen naislääkäri jakoi seksivalistusta Ugandassa – syytettiin homouden levittämisestä

Lisätty 28.2.2015, YLE

Suomalainen terveyskeskuslääkäri Riitta Kujala teki 27 vuotta kehitysyhteistyötä Ugandassa. Viimeisenä työvuotenaan ajan hän joutui mustamaalauksen kohteeksi: Kujalan väitettiin levittävän valistusta joka johtaa homoseksuaalisuuteen. Suomalainen elokuvaryhmä taltioi tapahtumat sattumalta filmille ja teki lääkärin piinapenkistä dokumentin.

95 vuotias Mario Bunge pisti vielä 90 vuotiaana Suomen filosofit matalaksi

Erkki Hartikainen 27.3.2015

Olen saanut haltuuni Mario Bungen 90 vuotiaana kirjoittaman kirjan Matter and Mind, Springer, 2010. Korkea ikä on vain entisestään parantanut viimeisen tunnetun materialistifilosofin ajattelua. Jo kirjansa esipuheessa Bunge kertoo, ettei hän ole fysikalisti vaan materialismi. Hän kertoo olevansa materialisti siitä syystä, että hän on fyysikko.

Erityisesti kirja pistää matalaksi dualismin eri muodot sekä fenomenalismin.

Jos minä saisin määrätä, Bungen kirja olisi filosofian opintojen sisäänpääsykirja. Kun opiskelemaan päässeet tuntisivat tosiasiat, kiinnostus joutavaan virheajattelun historiaan (joksi edesmennyt filosofian dosentti Pertti Lindfors kutsui filosofiaa), vähenisi.

Kerron Bungen ajatuksista laajemmin 24.6.2015 Internetissä ilmestyvässä kirjassani Looginen empirismi. Edustan loogisen empirismin materialistista muotoa, en fenomenalistista tai epifenomenalistista.

Verkkotunnuksen ateisti.fi haltija

Lisätty 27.3.2015

Verkkotunnus ateisti
Tila Myönnetty
Voimassaoloaika (kk) 12
Verkkotunnus on myönnetty 26.11.2013 0:40
Voimassaoloaika päättyy 26.11.2015 0:40
Vapautuu haettavaksi 26.12.2015 0:40
DNSSEC käytössä Ei

Verkkotunnuksen haltijan tiedot
Sukunimi Paasonen
Etunimi Petri

Tekniset yhteystiedot
Nimi OVH SAS
Osasto/yhteyshenkilö Domain name's service
Postiosoite 2 rue Kellermann
Postinumero 59100
Postitoimipaikka Roubaix
Puhelinnumero +33-320827332
Nimipalvelintiedot
Nimipalvelin Tila IP4-osoite IP6-osoite
dns106.ovh.net Toimiva

Uusi sivusto ateisti.fi

Lisätty 26.3.2015

ateismi

Internetiin on ilmestynyt uusi sivusto http://ateisti.fi/

En tiedä, kuka sitä pitää, mutta sivuston logona on muotoiltu iso A-kirjain.

Aion seurata tätä sivustoa.

Väkijoukko hakkasi nuoren naisen kuoliaaksi Kabulissa

Lisätty 25.3.2015 21:08
Helsingin Sanomat

Väkijoukon kuoliaaksi pahoinpitelemä 27-vuotias nainen haudattiin sunnuntaina Kabulissa. Tapaus on herättänyt järkytystä niin maailmalla kuin Afganistanissa. Hautajaisiin osallistui satoja ihmisiä, ja protestieleenä naiset kantoivat tämän arkun hautaan.

Afganistania on viime päivinä kuohuttanut tapaus, jossa väkijoukko hakkasi 27-vuotiaan naisen kuoliaaksi, sytytti tämän tuleen ja heitti ruumiin jokeen, koska naisen epäiltiin polttaneen Koraanin.

Välikohtaus tapahtui Kabulin keskustassa. Farkhunda -nimisen naisen murhasta on todisteena sosiaalisessa mediassa levinnyt kännykkävideo. Se näyttää myös, ettei poliisi puuttunut tilanteeseen millään tavalla.

Farkhundan sunnuntaina pidettyihin hautajaisiin osallistui satoja ihmisiä, ja protestieleenä naiset kantoivat tämän arkun hautaan, kertoo uutistoimisto AFP. Se on Afganistanissa poikkeuksellista.

Hautajaisten yhteydessä viranomaiset kertoivat, etteivät he ole löytäneet mitään todisteita siitä, että Farkhunda olisi polttanut Koraaniin.

Rikossyyttäjät ovat luvanneet rangaista kaikkia tekoon osallistuneita. Uutistoimisto AFP:n mukaan maan sisäministeriö kertoo, että 13:ta poliisia epäillään osallisuudesta tekoon. Poliisin mukaan yhteensä 21 ihmistä, joista kahdeksan poliiseja, on pidätetty tapaukseen liittyen.

Afganistanin presidentti Ashraf Ghani ja muut maan viranomaiset ovat tuominneet teon ja vaatineet että se tutkiaan.

Ghani selitti poliisin välinpitämättömyyttä tapauksen yhteydessä sillä, ettei Afganistanin poliisia ole koulutettu toimimaan vastaavankaltaisissa tilanteissa, sillä poliisilla on niin merkittävä rooli Talebanin vastaisessa sodassa.

"Lähes 90 prosenttia poliisin tehtävistä liittyy tällä hetkellä taisteluihin. Se ei ole poliisin perustuslaillinen tehtävä",

hän sanoi toimittajille lauantaina.

Ghanin mukaan olisikin tärkeää, että poliisi voisi keskittyä aiempaa enemmän siviiliväestöön liittyvien tehtävien hoitamiseen.

Uskonnottomia ehdokkaita on normaali määrä

Lisätty 24.3.2014

YLE uutisoi "Kolmekymmentä prosenttia ehdokkaista ei kuulu kirkkoon tai uskonnolliseen yhteisöön."
http://yle.fi/uutiset/kay_muutakin
_kuin_elamankoulua_jos_haluat_
eduskuntaan/7882435

Kalifornia ihmeissään: homojen tappamista vaativa lakihanke vaikea pysäyttää alkuunsa

Lisätty 23.3.2014 ROBERT GALBRAITH / REUTERS

Kalifornian oikeusministerin Kamala Harrisin on määrä päättää kiistanalaisen kansanäänestyshankkeen kohtalosta toukokuussa.

Kalifornian osavaltiossa Yhdysvalloissa on käynnissä merkillinen oikeudellinen väittely, joka liittyy homojen ja lesbojen tappamista vaativaan kansanäänestyshankkeeseen.

Oikeusoppineiden mukaan näyttää siltä, ettei osavaltion oikeusministerillä ole valtuuksia pysäyttää selvästi perustuslain vastaista hanketta alkuunsa.

Kalifornialaislehtien The Sacramento Bee ja San Francisco Chronicle mukaan asianajaja Matt McLaughlin on jättänyt helmikuussa anomuksen ja suorittanut 200 dollarin maksun, jotta homojen ja lesbojen tappamista vaativa lakialoite tulisi kansanäänestykseen vuoden 2016 vaalien yhteydessä.

Taipumus ateismiin tai taikauskoon näkyvät aivokuvista

Lisätty 23.3.2015

Tuoreen tutkimuksen mukaan ihmisen kognitiiviset ominaisuudet vaikuttavat siihen, onko hän taipuvainen uskomaan yliluonnolliseen.
Tapani Riekki käytti aivotutkimusta selittämään syitä siihen, miksi jotkut uskovat yliluonnolliseen ja toiset eivät. – Olen ollut nuoresta saakka kiinnostunut tästä kysymyksestä. Ateistille toisen ihmisen usko voi olla suuri ihmetyksen aihe, ja päinvastoin, Riekki sanoo.

Helsingin yliopiston tutkija Tapani Riekki sai selville, että useat ihmisen kognitiiviset eli tiedonkäsittelyyn liittyvät ominaisuudet määrittävät uskoa yliluonnolliseen.

Psykologian alaan kuuluvassa tutkimuksessa tarkastelun kohteena olivat taikausko kuten usko yliluonnollisiin ilmiöihin. Tutkimuksessa selvitettiin muun muassa sitä, miten ihmisen intuitiivinen eli automaattinen, nopea ja ”vaistonvarainen” ajattelu, analyyttinen eli tietoiseen päättelyyn liittyvä hidas ajattelu sekä sosiaalisen tiedon käsittely liittyvät uskomiseen.

Riekin tutkimusryhmä käytti tutkimuksessa aivosähkökäyrämittausta.

– Tutkimme sitä, miten yksilölliset kognitiiviset ominaisuudet vaikuttavat siihen, kuka uskoo ja kuka ei. Lisäksi myös monet muut tekijät, kuten ympäristö, kasvatus ja kulttuuri vaikuttavat uskomuksiin, Riekki sanoo.

Riekki huomauttaa, että tutkimuksessa päästiin tarkastelemaan yliluonnolliseen uskovien ja skeptikkojen tai ateistien aivojen eroja toiminnallisella tasolla.

– Parhaillaan keräämme tietoa aivojen mahdollisista rakenteellisista eroista, hän kertoo.

Tutkimuksen mukaan ihmisten välisiä eroja selittää muun muassa taipumus intuitiiviseen tai analyyttiseen ajatteluun. Ihmisiltä itseltään kysyttäessä yliluonnolliseen uskovilla korostuu useimmiten luottamus intuitioon, kun taas skeptikot luottavat yleensä enemmän analyyttiseen ajatteluun. Samansuuntaisia tuloksia on saatu myös useista muista tutkimuksista.

Tapani Riekki korostaa, että intuitiivinen ja analyyttinen tiedonkäsittelyjärjestelmä ovat rinnakkaisia, eivät toistensa vastakohtia. Ihminen voi olla samaan aikaan voimakkaasti intuitiivinen ja analyyttinen.

– Koska uskomiseen vaikuttavat useat seikat, löytyy toki myös yliluonnolliseen uskovia, joilla korostuu analyyttisyys, ja skeptikkoja, joilla korostuu luottamus intuitioon, Riekki sanoo.

Tutkimuksessa selvisi, että voimakas kognitiivinen inhibitio eli tiedollinen estäminen on yhteydessä skeptisyyteen. Kognitiivisella inhibitiolla tarkoitetaan kykyä vaihtaa ajattelun kohteita ja tarvittaessa hylätä ja ehkäistä ajatuksia.

– Tutkimustulokset viittasivat siihen, että skeptikot ovat jonkin verran parempia korvaamaan intuitiivisia käsityksiä analyyttisillä päätelmillä, Riekki kertoo.

Yliluonnolliseen uskovien ja skeptikkojen ymmärrys psyykkisistä, biologisista ja fyysisistä ilmiöistä näyttävät tutkimuksen valossa eroavan toisistaan. Skeptikkojen käsitykset eri ilmiöiden ominaisuuksista ovat tarkemmin rajautuneita.

– Yliluonnolliseen uskovilla ilmiöiden ominaisuudet voivat sekoittua. Jos ihminen uskoo, että kiveä voi liikuttaa ajatuksen voimalla, psyykkiselle ilmiölle annetaan fyysisiä ominaisuuksia, Tapani Riekki selittää.

Ihmisen käsityksillä mielen ja ruumiin suhteesta on tutkimuksen mukaan erityisen voimakas yhteys siihen, uskooko ihminen yliluonnolliseen vai ei.

– Yliluonnolliseen uskovat ajattelivat useammin, että mieli voi olla itsessään elävä ilman ruumista. Skeptikoilla taas korostui ajatus siitä, että mieli ja ruumis ovat toisistaan erottamattomat, Riekki kertoo.

Kun yliluonnolliseen uskovat koehenkilöt tulkitsivat satunnaista liikettä, he käyttivät skeptikkoja enemmän aivoalueita, jotka liittyvät ihmisten ja muiden tietoisten olioiden tulkitsemiseen.

– Kun koehenkilöille näytettiin animaatiota elottomien kappaleiden satunnaisesta liikkeestä, yliluonnolliseen uskovat todennäköisesti etsivät siitä tarkoituksenmukaisuutta, mikä näkyi sosiaalisen tiedonkäsittelyyn liittyvien aivoalueiden aktivaatioina.

Useimmat ihmiset pystyvät näkemään kasvot pilvimuodostelmassa tai seinälaudan oksankohdassa. Jo pieni vauva tunnistaa hymynaamassa ihmisen.

Yliluonnolliseen uskovilla ihmisillä tämä ominaisuus on Tapani Riekin mukaan korostunut. He ovat muita herkempiä havaitsemaan kasvojen kaltaisia kuvioita luonnossa ja ympäristössä, myös siellä, missä niitä ei ole.

– Myös nähtyjen kuvioiden tulkinnassa on eroja. Uskova voi nähdä kasvoissa Jeesuksen, kun skeptikolle naama on hauska sattuma. Tosin kasvoja voi myös oppia näkemään – itse olen alkanut nähdä niitä tutkimuksen myötä kaikkialla, Riekki naurahtaa.

Riekin tutkimus on herättänyt huomiota myös kansainvälisesti. Hänen mukaansa aivotutkimuksen hyödyntäminen uskomusten tutkimisessa on viimeisen parinkymmenen vuoden aikana vähitellen lisääntynyt.

Uskomusten taustalla olevien syiden selittäminen ja ymmärtäminen on tärkeää.

Suomi on Pohjoismaista uskonnollisin. Uskontotutkimuksesta väännetään kättä erityisesti Yhdysvalloissa, missä uskonto vaikuttaa yhteiskunnassa voimakkaasti.

Raivostunut reaktio seurasi, kun amerikkalaisessa koulussa luettiin lippuvala arabiaksi

Lisätty 22.3.2014

Amerikkalaiskoulun idea lippuvalan lausumisesta vierailla kielillä tyrmättiin. Koulu joutui pyytämään anteeksi, kun oppilas oli lausunut valan arabiaksi. Tapaus on herättänyt keskustelua moniarvoisuudesta.
Ulkomaat

New Yorkin osavaltiossa Pine Bushissa sijaitseva koulu on joutunut pyytämään anteeksi pyrkimystään luetuttaa lippuvalaa eri kielillä.

Pine Bushin koulu sai lukuisia valituksia sen jälkeen, kun oppilas oli lukenut lippuvalan arabiaksi keskiviikon aamunavauksessa. Koulun mukaan valituksia tekivät perheet, joiden läheisiä oli kuollut Afganistanin sodassa sekä juutalaisten oppilaiden vanhemmat.

Mikä filosofiassa maksaa?

Erkki Hartikainen 21.3.2014

Taas tänään törmäsin maksulliseen filosofiaan. Kun itse kirjoitan maksutonta kirjaa loogisesta empirismistä, on nurinkurista, etä logiikkaa koskevista taustatiedoista pitäisi maksaa.

Tilanne on sitäkin kummallisempi, kun jotkut muut näyttävät keksineen samoja asioita, joita aion kirjassani esittää, enkä pysty vertaamaan näiden muiden keksijöiden ajatuksia omiini.

Taitaa edelleen päteä se perieete, jonka akateemikko Oiva Ketonen esitti luennoillaan 1960-luvulla. Hän sanoi, että jos aikoo filosofiksi, on oltava varallisuuta.

Uskonnot jyräävät Suomessa

Uskonnon ja elämänkatsomustiedon yhteisopetus lisääntyy

Lisätty 20.3.2014

YLE kirjoittaa:

Kokemuksia kerätään nyt uskonnon ja elämänkatsomustiedon yhteisopetuksesta. Yhteisopetusta annetaan esimerkiksi pääkaupunkiseudulla, Joensuussa ja Turussa.

Uskonnon ja elämänkatsomustiedon yhteisopetus on laitonta.

Vapaa-ajattelijain liiton vajaa-ajattelijat ajavat Suomeen Ruotsin mallin mukaista uskonnonopetusta, joka on kansainvälisten ihmisoikessopimusten vastaista. Siis edesmenneiden kommunistien testamenttirahat menevät ateistien ihmisoikeuksien vastustamiseen.

Suomessa ei ole edes yhtään puoluetta, jota ateisti voisi äänestää. Komministit eivät yleensä kuulu kirkkoon, mutta he eivät saa ketään eduskuntaan, ja heille annettu ääni menee hukkaan.

Paha filosofisen uushuulluden muoto on tulossa Suomeen

Erkki Hartikainen 20.3.2015

Se pilkistää jo esiin suomenkielisessä Internetissä. Ennustan, että se tuhoaa suomalaisen filosofisen ajattelun sadaksi vuodeksi. Eino Kailahan arveli, että jos Urpo Harva valitaan Helsingin Yliopiston käytännöllisen filosofian pŕofessoriksi, Suomen filosofinen kehitys menee sata vuotta taaksepäin, ja jos Jaakko Hintikka valitaan, se pysähtyy sadaksi vuodeksi. Jaakko Hintikka valittiin.

Hyvin paha virhe oli Ilkka Niiniluodon valitseminen Helsingin yliopiston teoreettisen filosofian professoriksi. Hänen levittämänsä popperilainen hulluus elää yhä.

Ihmettelin aikoinaan sitä, miksi edesmennyt opetusneuvos Pekka Elo vaati innokkaasti sitä, että elämänkatsomustiedossa on painokkaasti opetettava elottoman ja elollisen välistä eroa. Vasta Pekan kuoleman jälkeen minulle selvisi vaatimuksen todellinen syy. Hän halusi valmistella ajattelua nyt tulossa olevalle folosofiselle uushulluudelle,

Vladimir Leninin filosofinen pääteos Materialismi ja empiriokritisismi vastusti ensisijaisesti fenomenalismiä, jota minä edelleen jyrkästi vastustan. Krohnin poliitikkosisarusten isoisä pääsi aikoinaan Turun yliopiston filosofian professoriksi tekemällä jyrkästi loogisen empirismin vastaisen väitöskirjan. Siitä huolimatta hän oli fenomenalismiä mainostava teosofi.

Leninin "dialektinen materialismi" tosin vastusti fenomenologiaa, mutta sekoittamalla Hegelin dialektiikkaan aikansa luonnontiedettä Lenin teki materialismista jonkinlaista epäsuoraa epifenomenalismia, jota edelleen vastustan jyrkästi kaikissa sen muodoissa.

Alempana olen jo kertomut, että John Searlen materialismin vastainen fysikalismi on tuottanut oppilaissa oikeita materialisteja, ja tämä antaa maailmalle hieman uutta toivoa. Suomella ei ole mitään toivoa näkyvissä.

Ihmeiden aika ei ole ohi

Erkki Hartikainen 19.3.2015

Löysin eilen amerikkalaisesta Internetistä John Searlen johdolla filosofiaa opiskelleen henkilön, joka oli kirjoittanut kaikkien aikojen parhaan kirjoituksen (omat kirjoitukseni mukaan lukien) materialismista. Kirjoitus oli sekä älyllisesti että tyylillisesti ylivoimainen tavallisten filosofien sepustuksiin verrattuna.

Muutama päivä sitten löysin amerikkalaisesta Internetistä toisen kirjoituksen, joka on kaikkien aikojen paras kirjoitus kaikenlaisia dualismeja vastaan.

Meitä on nyt tällä planeetalla peräti kolme, jotka ymmärrämme sen, mitä materialismi on.

Uusiseelantilainen baarinpitäjä vankilaan Buddhan halventamisesta

Myös heidät on tuomittu jumalanpilkasta

Lisätty 19.3.2014

http://www.hs.fi/ulkomaat/a1426566830661

Ruotsin kirkkoon kuuluu enää alle 65 % väestöstä

Lisätty 18.3.2015

Ruotsin kirkkoon kuului vuoden 2014 lopussa 64,6 prosenttia väestöstä.

Belgiassa luovutaan pakollisesta uskonnonopetuksesta

Lisätty 17.3.2015

Lapsen osallistumisesta uskonnonopetukseen pitää voida päättää ilmoittamalla, päätti Belgian perustuslakituomioistuin.

Filosofit olisi erotettava professorin viroistaan

Erkki Hartikainen 16.3.2015

Kun kirjoitan englannin kielistä kirjaa loogisesta empirismistä, olen vaikeuksissa filosofien Internetiin tuottaman hölynpölyn kanssa.

Tämä on lähinnä kristinuskon seurausta. Riippumatta siitä, mitä mieltä kristillisten maiden filosofit ovat jokapäiväisistä asioista, he ovat täysin kristinuskon ohjattavissa kaikissa peruskysymyksissä.

On vaikeaa kirjoittaa siitä, mikä on todellisuuden ja kielen suhde, kun kokonainen ammattikunta tekee töitä sotkeakseen asioita.

Olen loppujen lopuksi päätynyt siihen lopputulokseen, että melkein kaikki filosofit ovat koulutuksella ehdollistettuja idiootteja, joiden uskontoja mielistelevät mielipiteet puetaan verbaaliseksi hölynpölyksi.

Filosofit perupäivärahalle niin lakkaavat haittaamasta tavallisten ihmisten ajattelua.

Vapaa-ajattelijain liitto valehtelee päivähoidon uskontokasvatuksesta

Erkki Hartikainen 15.3.2015

Vapaa-ajattelijain liiton sivustolla kehutaan liiton saavutuksia ja puhutaan päivähoidon uskonnollisen kasvatuksen poistumisesta.

13.3.2015 tehdyssä lain muutoksessa sanotaan:

Tässä laissa tarkoitetun varhaiskasvatuksen tavoitteena on:
..........

6) antaa kaikille lapsille yhdenvertaiset mahdollisuudet varhaiskasvatukseen, edistää sukupuolten tasa-arvoa sekä antaa valmiuksia ymmärtää ja kunnioittaa yleistä kulttuuriperinnettä sekä kunkin kielellistä, kulttuurista, uskonnollista ja katsomuksellista taustaa;

Ymmärtämisvalmiuksien  antaminen tarkoittaa opettamista.

Kun samassa lauseeessa puhutaan uskonnollisesta ja katsomuksellisesta taustasta, kyseessä on Ruotsin mallin mukainen uskonnonopetus, josta ei voi ilmeisesti keiltäytyä!

Kaiken maailman idiootteja löytyy eniten Vapaa-ajattelijain liitosta, etenkin sen hallituksesta.

Valeissa käy huonosti

Erkki Hartikainen 15.3.2015

Eduskuntavaaleissa uskonnollinen oikeisto vahvistaa asemiaan Suomessa. Ateistien kannalta on kuitenkin hyvä, ettei kaikkein vanhoillisin ja uskonnollisin osa eduskuntaa hyväksy Ruotsin mallin mukaista uskonnon opetusta Suomen kouluihin.

Ruotsin mallin mukainen uskonnonopetus on voimakkaasti kaikkia uskontoja puolustavaa propagandaa, ja on parempi, että huonokin elämänkatsomustiedon opetus säilyy edes nykyisellään.

Vapaa-ajattelijain liitto on jo pitkään ollut puolikristillisten imagofasistien johdossa, mutta onneksi järjestöllä ei ole edesmenneiden kommunistien rahoista huolimatta mitään mahdollisuuksia vaikuttaa tämän maan asioihin.

Maan ja maailman ateistien asioista kertoo Suomessa kahdella kielellä tämä lehti.

Pienituloisena eläkeläisenä olen enemmän tai vähemmän masentunut siitä, että suureneva eläkeläisten joukko ei osaa äänestää vaaleissa edes oman henkilökohtaisen toimeentulonsa puolesta.

Nykyisen kaltainen hallintojärjestelmä on uskontojen ja rikkaiden kumileimasin, joten en kannata nykyisen kaltaista "demokratiaa".

Saunalahden yhteyshäiriöt

Erkki Hartikainen 14.3.2015

Saunalahti ilmoitti jonkin aikaa sitten, että verkkoyhteyksissä on häiriöitä, jotka korjataan vuosokauden kuluessa. Nyt tuli viimeinkin ilmoitus, että vika on viimeinkin korjattu.

Huomasin itsekin jo parannusta tulleen, sillä Ubuntun päivitykset alkoivat tänään toimia normaalisti.

Muista kuin itsestä johtuvien hankaluuksien huomaaminen on vaikeaa. Toivottavasti edes pääkaupungin yhteydet saadaan lähitulevaisuudessa toimimaan moitteettomasti.

VAPAA AJATTELIJA – JA HUMANISTI-LEHTI SAIVAT KULTTUURILEHTITUKEA (11.3.2015)

Lisätty 13.3.2015

http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti150311.html

Älä osta Lexibook -tablettia

Erkki Hartikainen 12.3.2015

Tyttärenpojalla on sellainen. Alkuperäinen muuntajan runkopistoke meni rikki. Onnistuttiin ostamaan sellainen muuntaja, jossa oli mukana mm. oikea pieni keltapäinen runkopistoke. Se katosi.

Yksi yritys Suomessa väitti myyvänsä kyseisiä runkopistokkeita. Maksoin 10 pistokkeesta ja tilasin. Pitkän ajan kuluttua tuli ilmoitus, että tilaus mahdollisesti lähetetään muutaman viikon kuluessa. Ei ole tullut.

Älä osta Lexibookia tai mitään muuta tablettia, jota et voi ladata mini-USB:llä.

Miten symbolien käsitttely tietokoneilla on ollut puoli vuosisataa vaikeaa?

Bluegriffonin puutteita

Erkki Hartikainen 11.3.2015

Kirjassani "Looginen empirismi" tarvitsen jonkin verran lähinnä logiikan merkkejä. Nyt ilmeni, että Bluegriffon osaa hävittää Lucida Sans Unicode -merkkejä. Asia on tarkistettu muilta käyttäjiltä.

Merkit häviävät vaikka ne olisi lyöty sisään numerokoodeina.

Unicodella joudutaan esittämään ainakin sellaisia merkkejä, joita ei ole perus-html:ssä.

Mielestäni kansainvälisiin merkistöihin ja niitä käyttäviin ohjelmistoihin on saatava pikaisesti parannuksia. Vaikeuksia ei ole pelkästään suomalaisilla vaan jopa englantilaisia merkkejä käyttävillä itsellään.

Kokeilen taas SeaMonkey:n Composeria ja apuna käytän Bluefishiä

Erkki Hartikainen 11.3.2015

Kerron kokeilun tuloksista myöhemmin tässä lehdessä.

Huijaus "elämän tarkoituksella"

Erkki Hartikainen 10.3.2015

Olen kirjoittanut suuren määrän artikkeleita "elämän tarkoituksesta" Internetiin. Ne eivät näy siellä, koska sivustojani yrittävät syrjiä sekä viranomaiset että imagofasistit.

Kysymystä elämän tarkoituksesta ei edes kukaan kysyisi, jos uskonnot ja erilaiset "humanistit" eivät pelaisi sillä likaista peliä.

Saa nähdä parantaako tuleva englannin kielinen loogisen empirismin oppikirjani asiaa.

Myös englantia puhuvat filosofit ovat teitämättömiä asiasta puhumattakaan suomalaisista, jotka kysyttäessä puhuvat täyttä pötyä. Miksi kukaan ei moiti filosofeja epäpätevyydestä?

Englanninkieliseen maailmaan Kurt Baier kirjoitti perusesityksen jo virkaanastujaisesitelmässään Canberran yliopistossa 1950 - luvulla yli puoli vuosisataa sitten. Esitelmä on julkaistu myöhemmin useissa englannin kielisissä tietokirjoissa. Ei ole mennyt perille.

Ei ole olemassa mitään "verisimilitude" -tiedettä, joka edistyisi.

Ensimmäinen kuva valosta hiukkasina ja aaltoina yhtä aikaa

Lisätty 9.3.2015

light

Lähde: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150302104731.htm

Apulaisoikeusasiamies: Vaatiiko sosiaalinen luotto kirkkoon kuulumista Kotkassa?

Uutinen

Lisätty 8.3.2015

Apulaisoikeusasiamies Maija Sakslin kysyy Kotkan kaupunginhallitukselta, miten kaupungin ja Kotkan seurakuntayhtymän yhteistyönä järjestämä sosiaalinen luototus hoidetaan.

Sakslin perää tietoa erityisesti siitä, miten uskonnonvapauslaki toteutuu, sillä Kotkassa sosiaalista luottoa hakevan on asioitava kirkon diakonityöntekijän kanssa. Lisäksi hän pyytää lausuntoa siitä, mikä rooli seurakunnalla on luoton myöntämisessä.

Kotkan kaupunki on yhteistyössä Kotka-Kymin seurakuntayhtymän kanssa myöntänyt vähävaraisille luottoja maaliskuusta 2010. Kaikkiaan luottoja on saanut 258 kotkalaista yhteensä 417 000 euron edestä.

Kaupunginhallitus käsittelee sosiaalijohtaja Heli Sahalan laatimaa lausuntoa ensi viikon maanantaina. Lausunnon ydin on, että niin hakeminen kuin hakemusten käsittely on järjestetty puolueettomasti. Muun muassa hakijan kirkkoon kuulumisesta ei kysytä.

Johanna Vehkaluoto

Otteita kommenteista

papin säkki
Pohjaton kuin papin säkki.

Kirkko auttaa taas muiden rahoilla, mm. ateistienkin maksamilla kunnallisveroilla, ja ottaa kunnian auttamisesta itselleen.

Se on kirkon suosima toimintatapa. Jakaa välikätenä muiden keräämää apua, ottaa kunnian itselleen, ja saa samalla positiivista spinniä tolkuttomille jumaluskomuksilleen.

Kirkko auttaa kunhan ei tarvitse omia kirkollisverotuloja siihen käyttää - niille on parempaakin, tähdellisempääkin käyttöä.

Piispojen ökypalkat ja pappien vähän pienemmät palkat, taivaisiin asti rakennetut energiasyöpöt, kalliisti ylläpidettävät mielikuvitusolennonpalvontarakennukset, kirkot, nuo hulluuden muistomerkit, joiden ylläpitokustannuksia kirkko vielä koko ajan pyrkii vyöryttämään valtion kontolle, tolkuttoman suuri ja kankea, tehoton byrokratia, joka sekin on kirkonmiesten mielestä eduskunnan syytä, kun kirkkolaki sen kautta kumileimasimella vahvistetaan.

Kuka näin on halunnut? Kirkko, koska se haluaa edelleen olla (käytännössä) valtiokirkko suosituimmuusasemineen ja etuoikeuksineen, julkisoikeudellisine asemineen, (papit virkamiehiä muka, ja pyh), mainintoineen perustuslaissa...

Luovutaan tästä, jos se kerran muka kirkkoa niin kahlitsee, että eduskunta hyväksyy sen säännöt lakitasolla sellaisenaan ilman että saa muuttaa pilkkuakaan ilman kirkon lupaa.

Ei eduskunta muidenkaan yhteisöjen sääntöjä hyväksy. Jokainen laatii omansa, kunhan ne vain noudattavat kaikkia koskevia lakeja.

Se kai kirkkoa kauhistuttaakin, että sen pitäisi alkaa noudattaa kaikkia kansalaisia ja heidän muodostamia yhteisöitään koskevia lakeja, eikä sillä olisi ihan omia lakeja, jotka sitä suosivat ja sallivat uskonvakaumuksen perusteella sellaista mitä muille ei sallita.  
.....

Eivät ateistit voi asioida kirkon kanssa, varsinkaan, jos eivät ole seurakunnan jäseniä.  Hienoa, että oikeusvalvojat tarkkailevat asiaa! 

Poliitikkojen pitää kääntää koko asia neutraalille kannalle.

KIRKOSTA EROAMINEN VAIMEATA ALKUVUODESTA (5.3.2015)

Lisätty 7.3.2015
http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti150305b.html

Turkkilainen tuomioistuin sulki Turkin ateistiyhdistyksen sivut

Lisätty 6.3.2015

Turkin ensimmäinen ja ainoa ateistiyhdistys on perustettu puolustamaan ateistien ihmisoikeuksia, joita Turkin pääministeri ja hänen puolueensa jyrkästi vastustavat.

Suomen ateistiyhdistyksen mielestä Turkkia ei pidä ainakaan nykyisen kaltaisen hallituksen aikana pidä hyväksyä EU:n jäseneksi.

Suomen ei pidä liittyä Naton jäseneksi ainakaan ennen kuin Turkki on erotettu.

Oikeuden päätöksestä kerrotaan tarkemmin tämän lehden englannin kielisillä sivuilla.

Ministeri Antti Rinne: ”Olen seurakunnan aktiivi”

Lisätty 5.2.2014

- Pikkusen pyöree heppu ja vähän rosoinen puhetapa. määrittelee

Sdp:n puheenjohtaja Antti Rinne kertoo Radio Dein Vaaliekstrassa olleensa luottamushenkilönä Mäntsälän seurakunnan kirkkovaltuustossa:
- Olen seurakunnan aktiivi, hän määrittelee. Rinteen mukaan hänelle ovat tärkeitä elämänkulkuun liittyvät kirkon riitit.

Kiivas väittely kirkon asemasta Ajankohtaisessa kakkosessa

Lisätty 5.3.2015

Uskontotieteilijä Hannele Lehto ja Kallion kirkkoherra Teemu Laajasalo ottivat mittaa toisistaan Ajankohtaisen lähetyksessä tiistai-iltana. Kaksikon näkemykset kirkon oikeudesta valtiolliseen eritysasemaan ja kirkollisveroon olivat täysin vastakkaisia.

Ajankohtainen kakkonen

Kallion seurakunnan jäsenmäärä putosi viime vuonna alle kriittisen 50%:n rajan.

–  Vois sanoo, että meillä on aika sisuuntuneet tunnelmat , kommentoi Kallion paimen, Yle Leaks -satiiristakin tuttu Teemu Laajasalo. –  Prosentti on 49,94 ja se vie siihen että jokaisella ihmisellä on väliä.  Ehkä kokemus on kuitenkin se, että ei ole mitään hallitsematonta. Meidän täytyy tehdä vain tiettyjä asioita vielä paremmin.

"Kirkon erityisasema loukkaa ihmisoikeuksia"

Ärhäkäksi uskontokriitikoksi osoittautunut uskontosemiotiikan dosentti Hannele Lehto totesi, että evankelis-luterilaisen ja ortodoksisen kirkon erityisasema loukkaa uskonnonvapautta ja ihmisoikeuksia.

– Jos  lähdetään siitä, että etiikan pohjana on ihmisoikeudet, niin silloin tällaiselle suosituimmuusasemalle ei ole perusteita, ja siinä loukataan näitä oikeuksia, tykitti Lehto.

– Haluaisin sellaisen maan, jossa toteutettaisiin uskonnonvapautta oikeasti kaikin tavoin, niin että lainsäädäntö harmonisoitaisiin ja kaikki käytännöt kouluissa, päiväkodeissa, jopa presidentin puheessa, jossa toivotetaan vain yhden jumalan siunausta, muutettaisiin, ja tulisi oikeasti uskonnonvapautta toteuttava valtio, jatkoi Lehto.

– Hannele edustaa negatiivista uskonnonvapautta, kuittasi Laajasalo.   – Ensisijaisesati lainsäätäjän intressissä on positiivisen uskonnonvapauden takaaminen, sen että ihmillä on mahdollisuus julkisesti tunnustaa omaa uskontoa. Siihen ei sovi sellainen ajatus, että me lähtökohtaisesti rydymme puhdistamaan jotain.

Lehto vastasi napakasti, että hän edustaa nimenomaan positiivista uskonnonvapautta, jota hän perusteli uskontojen tasa-arvolla.

– Kaikkien uskontojen pitäisi olla samanarvoisia ja samanvertaisia lain edessä ja valtiossa, sanoi Lehto – Silloin kaikki uskonnolliset yhydskunnat kuuluisivat yhdistyslain piiriin ja voisivat kerätä jäsenmaksuja. Se olisi se ratkaisu, ja jos ei halua kuulua mihinkään uskontoon, niin voi olla ulkopuolella.

Uusi ikoni ateisteille

Erkki Hartikainen 4.2.2014

On tullut palautetta siitä, että ateistiyhdistyksen ikonit eivät ole erityisen hyviä.

Olen tehnyt ateistiyhdistykselle uuden ikonin, joka näkyy aluksi vain jumalaton-lehden eli tämän lehden sivuilla.

Ikonissa on punaisen neliön sisällä valkoinen neliö ja sen sisällä sininen neliö.

Kyseessä ovat trikolorin värit.

Jos et näe uutta ikonia avatessasi tämän, napauta vaihtoehtoa Päivitä.

Eräitä suomalaisia selityksiä jumalauskolle

Lisätty 4.3.2014, ote YLEN:n sivuilta

Psykologi: Ajattelun vinouma

Kognitiivisen psykologian näkökulmasta magia, usko yliluonnolliseen tai taikausko tarkoittaa ihmisen ydintiedon sekaantumista. Ydintietoa on ihmisen eloonjäämisen kannalta välttämätön ymmärrys muun muassa siitä, mikä on elollista, mikä elotonta, mikä mentaalista eli ajatteluun perustuvaa ja mikä fysikaalista. Pienet lapset oppivat ydintiedon kulttuurista riippumatta lähes itsestään. Viisivuotias ymmärtää jo, että toive koirasta on eri asia kuin oikea koira.

lindeman

Marjaana Lindeman.

– Taikauskossa on kyse ihmiselle tyypillisistä ajattelun vinoumista. Yliluonnollisiin ilmiöihin uskovat sekoittavat elottomien ja elollisten sekä psyykkisten ja fyysisten asioiden ydinominaisuudet: vedellä voi olla tietoa tai mieli voi esiintyä ilman aivoja. Uskomukset ovat identtisiä sen kanssa, miten pienet lapset hahmottavat asioiden olemuksen ennen kuin ydintieto on vakiintunut, toteaa yliopistonlehtori, ajattelun tutkija Marjaana Lindeman Helsingin yliopistosta.

Ihmisaivot käsittelevät tietoa kahdella eri tavalla: intuitiivisesti eli tiedostamattomasti ja analyyttisesti eli tietoisesti. Yliluonnolliseen uskovalla voi olla paljon koulutuksella hankittua tietoa vaikkapa energian luonteesta tai kuoleman lopullisuudesta, mutta Lindemanin mukaan intuitiivinen ajattelu jyrää sen: hän etsii todisteita esimerikiksi unista.

– Taikauskoisilla on tieteellisen tiedon rinnalla, tiedostamattomaan muistiin tallennettuna myös lapsenomainen käsitys samasta asiasta. Tämä muistikuva aktivoituu, kun ihminen nojautuu intuitiiviseen ajatteluun, hän kuvailee.

Lindemanin mukaan ajatus enkeleistä tai kuolemanjälkeisestä elämästä ilmentää perustavanlaatuista väärinkäsitystä elottomasta ja elollisesta. Siten ydintiedon sekaannus näkyy taikauskoisen koehenkilön aivosähkökäyrässä.

– EEG:ssä vaikeus ydintietoon liittyvien asioiden tiedonkäsittelyssä näkyy hyvin.

Voimakas stressi tai huumeet altistavat yliluonnollisille uskomuksille. Ne heikentävät alitajunnan ja tietoisuuden välisiä filttereitä, jolloin intuitiivinen ja automaattisen tiedonkäsittelyn tieto pääsee helpommin tietoisuuteen. Kokemus voi olla hämmentävä. 

– Seurauksena ihmiset yrittävät rationalisoida yliluonnollisia uskomuksiaan, mistä seuraa usein verbaalista sekasotkua, Lindeman kuvailee.

Lääketiede: Usko näkyy aivoissa

Toronton yliopiston tutkimuksessa ilmeni 2009, että uskovaiset ihmiset ahdistuivat testitilanteessa tekemistä virheistään vähemmän kuin ei-uskovaiset. EEG-käyrien perusteella muun muassa limbinen järjestelmä (ACC) ei reagoinut omiin virheisiin yhtä selkeästi kuin ei-uskovaisten.

Emerituspsykiatri Johannes Lehtosen mukaan uskonnollinen herkistyminen voi aktivoida mielihyvähormoneja, kuten serotoniinintuotantoa.

– Serotoniini ei kuitenkaan selitä uskonnollisuutta kokonaan, kuten dopamiini tai oksitosiini eivät selitä rakkautta tai kiintymyssuhteita kokonaan, Lehtonen tarkentaa.

Yhden tai kahden uskontogeenin metsästäjät ovat Lehtosen mukaan hakoteillä. Uskonnollisuus voi vaikuttaa evoluutioon, jos se on onnistunut parantamaan epävarmuuden sietokykyä tai sopeutumiskykyä muutoksiin.

– Tämän selittäminen muutamalla uskonnollisuutta tuottavalla geenillä edustaa pikemmikin naiivia geeniuskovaisuutta kuin tieteellistä ajattelua.

Neurotieteilijä, psykiatri Stephan Saleniuksen mukaan uskonnollisuus näkyy aivoissa yhtä varmasti kuin kaikki mielen ilmiöt.

– Tämä ei kuitenkaan tarkoita, että voisimme mitata ja tunnistaa uskonnollisuutta, joka on terminäkin epäselvä, Salenius lisää.

Uskonnon ja epilepsian yhteys on kiehtonut antiikista lähtien. Saleniuksen mukaan niillä on korrelaatio, muttei syy-seuraussuhdetta. Epilepsia näkyy aivojen ohimolohkossa. Epilepsiakohtaus voi aiheuttaa hallusinatorisia aistimuksia, jotka henkilö voi tulkita uskonnollisiksi.

– Epileptiset kokemukset voivat aiheuttaa hallusinatorisia uskonnollisia näkyjä, tai musiikin kuulemista niin, että potilas uskoo naapurin soittavan musiikkia kovalla. Tämä ei tarkoita, että kaikki uskonnolliset kokemukset olisivat hallusinatorisia.

Epilepsiateoriasta innostunut aivotutkija Michael Persinger rakensi 1980-luvulla jumalakypärän, joka aktivoi ohimolohkoja sähkön avulla. Vaikka Persingerin koehenkilöt raportoivat kokeneensa uskonnolisia ilmestyksiä, muut tutkijat eivät saaneet kypärää toimimaan. Pennsylvanian yliopisto taas selvitti 90-luvulla, että aivojen tarkkaavaisuutta säätelevien alueiden toiminta hidastuu buddhalaisen meditaation aikana.

– Esimerkki hyvästä huonosta tutkimuksesta, kommentoi aivojen aktiviisuutta tutkinut Kimmo Alho Helsingin yliopistosta huvittuneena.

Tarkkaavaisuusalueet vaimenevat Alhon mukaan luonnostaan aina, kun huomio siirtyy ulkoisesta ympäristöstä omaan mieleen. Meditaation vaikutus perustuu osittain tähän.

Uskontotieteilijä: Hyperaktiivista agentintunnistusta

Ihmiset laittavat työpaikan kahvikassaan tunnollisemmin rahaa, jos kassan yläpuolelle on piirretty silmät ikään kuin valvomaan, kertoo Ilkka Pyysiäinen, uskontotieteen dosentti Helsingin yliopistosta.

jumalaa-ei-ole

– Tämä on tutkitusti totta. Silmät voivat ihmisten ajatuksissa kuulua vaihtelevasti joko jumalalle tai toiselle ihmiselle, mutta joka tapauksessa ne vaikuttavat käyttäytymiseen, Pyysiäinen kertoo.

Hyperaktiivinen agentintunnistus on psykologian teoria, josta on 2010-luvulla tullut merkittävä uskonnollisuuden selittäjä kognitiivisessa uskontotieteesessä. Kyse on sananmukaisesti siitä, että ihmisellä on voimakas taipumus nähdä hahmoja ja symboleita sekä tulkita ne näkymättömän olion käsikassaroiksi eli agenteiksi. Tätä kutsutaan myös maagiseksi ajatteluksi.

– Ihmisillä on luonnollinen taipumus uskoa näkymättömiin toimijoihin. Kaksi pistettä ja viiva alla yhdistyvät kasvoiksi, Pyysiäinen selittää tuttua ilmiötä yksinkertaisimmillaan. 

Toimintamalli on ihmiselle lajityypillinen, ja Pyysiäisen mukaan evoluutio on vahvistanut sitä entisestään. Perimäänsä ovat pystyneet jatkamaan ne, joilla on ollut kyky liittää esineisiin tai tapahtumiin niitä itseään suurempia merkityksiä ja toiveita. Tämä on yhdistänyt ihmisiä ja suojellut vaaralta. Sivutuotteina on syntynyt uskomuksia ja uskontoja.

– Ihmisen kyky luulla keppiä käärmeeksi ja pelätä sitä on evoluution kannalta suosiollisempi vaihtoehto kuin luulla käärmettä kepiksi, Pyysiäinen muotoilee.

Hyperaktiivinen agentintunnistaja lukee jumaluuden merkkejä kaikkialta. Tämä näkyy myös käänteisesti esimerkiksi autistisilla ihmisillä, joilla on alentunut kyky tunnistaa viestejä ja merkityksiä. Uskominen edellyttää kykyä eläytyä ja samastua ihmisenkaltaiseen jumalaan.

– Tästä löytyykin dataa, autistit ovat muita ihmisiä vähemmän uskonnollisia, Pyysiäinen toteaa.

Uskonnon yhdistäminen politikkaan ällötti persujen kansanedustaja Juho Eerolaa homokeskustelussa

Lisätty 3.3.2015

Eerola vastakkaisella linjalla persupuolueen Johtajaan Soiniin nähden

Helsingin Sanomien vaalikoneessa, perussuomalaisten puolueen varapuheenjohtaja ja istuva kansanedustaja Juho Eerola kirjoittaa:

"Juho Eerola: Uskontoa ja politiikkaa en soisi yhdisteltävän. Se ällötti esimerkiksi homokeskustelun yhteydessä taannoin."

Eduskunnan homokeskustelussa, persupuolueen puheenjohtaja Timo Soini, joka on roomalaiskatolinen uskonnollisen oikeiston nokkahenkilö, julisti kristillissosiaalisessa, teokraattisessa hengessä, isoon ääneen kristillisiä uskonnollisia arvojaan sen pohjaksi miten hän ja hänen johtamansa puolue äänestää homojen avioliitoista.

Ilmeisesti tämä Soinin uskonnollinen hihhulointi ällötti varapuheenjohtaja Juho Eerolaa. Tosin Eerola ei suoraan mainitse Soini-ällötyksen nimeä vaalikonekirjoituksessaan, ilmoittaa vain yleisesti että uskonnollisuuden sotkeminen poliittiseen päätöksentekoon ällötti häntä silloin.

Tiedotusvälineiden pitäisi kysyä Eerolalta suoraan, ällöttikö Timo Soinin uskonnolliset teesit silloin - ja ällöttikö silloin puoluetoverin, hihhuli Mika Niikon (ps.) toistuvat uskonnolliset puheenvuorot aviolittolain eduskuntakeskustelussa. Tiedotusvälineiden pitäisi vaatia Eerolalta tähän suora vastaus. Hymistelyn aika on ohitse, nyt on vaalit.

Miksi persupuolue ja varapuheenjohtaja Eerola sietävät uskonnollisia hihhuleita, kuten Timo Soinia johdossaan, ja Mika Niikkoa kansanedustajanaan?

Persujohtaja Soini käski avioliittolakiäänestyksessä että jokaisen persukansanedustajan on toteltava Soinin vastustavaa kantaa homojen avioliittoihin, siis sitä kantaa jonka kaikki tietävät tulevan Soinin vatikaanilaisesta uskonnollisuudesta.
Tämä soini-uskonnollisuus on varmaankin ällöttänyt Juho Eerolaa.

Muslimi vannoi oikeudessa valan käsi Raamatulla Liverpoolissa

Lisätty 2.3.2015

Oikeuskäsittely keskeytettiin.

Kuinkahan moni ateisti on eri maissa vannonut valan käsi Raamatulla?

"Solvasi Erdogania" - Miss Turkkia uhkaa vankeus

Lisätty 01.02.2015

merve

Vuoden 2006 Miss Turkki Merve Büyüksaracia uhkaa pahimmillaan kahden vuoden vankeustuomio. Rikostutkinta häntä vastaan aloitettiin, kun hän jakoi Instagramissa satiirisen runon, jonka aiheena oli lahjonta. Presidentti Recep Tayyip Erdogania ja hänen poikaansa tutkittiin joulukuussa 2013 korruptioepäilyjen vuoksi.

Büyüksarac on kiistänyt syytteen ja pitää jakamaansa tekstiä harmittomana. Hän on sanonut, ettei tarkoituksena ollut solvata Erdogania. Büyüksarac pidätettiin ja otettiin poliisikuulusteluihin tammikuussa Instagram-päivityksensä vuoksi.

Ex-missin tapaus on yksi monien lakijuttujen sarjassa, jolla Turkin nykyjohto on viime vuosina horjuttanut sananvapautta ja mediavapauksia. Syyttäjät harkitsevat paraikaa syytteiden nostamista nykyisin mallina ja kirjailijana toimivaa Büyüksaracia vastaan.

Lähteet: The Daily Star, Der Spiegel

Laskuharjoitin lapsille löytyy osoitteesta

Laskuharjoitin

Gravitation

This is a link. Updated 5/7/2013.

Ateismin määritelmä

George H. Smithin ontologinen ateismin määritelmä:

Ateismi on väite: jumalaa tai jumalia ei ole olemassa

Tässä määritelmässä on määritelty olemassaoloa koskeva eli ontologinen käsitys. Jumala joko on olemassa tai ei ole olemassa. Mitään olemassaolon ja olemattomuuden välimuotoa ei ole.

Teismi on väite: jumala tai jumalia on olemassa

Deismi (jumala on olemassa, mutta ei puutu maailmanmenoon) ja panteismi (jumala on sama kuin maailmankaikkeus) ovat tämän mukaan teismiä

Inhimillinen tieto siitä, mitä on olemassa, on vajavaista. Joku saattaa pitää varmana, että jumalaa tai jumalia ei ole olemassa. Joku toinen saattaa pitää varmana, että jumala tai jumalia on olemassa. Joku kolmas voi olla epävarma siitä, onko jumalaa tai jumalia olemassa vai ei.

Ateistin määrittelemä

Ateisti on henkilö, jonka mielestä ateismi on tosi.

Agnostikon eli jumalaongelmaisen määritelmä

Agnostikko eli jumalaongelmainen on henkilö, joka ei mielestään tiedä, onko ateismi tosi vai onko teismi tosi.

Uskonnon määritelmä

Uskonto on järjestäytynyttä teismiä.

Ne käsitykset joissa ei ole jumalia, eivät ole tämän määritelmän mukaan uskontoja.

Raamatun ristiriidat

Lukeaksesi napauta tästä

Godless Culture Magazine

March 2015

Contents

Julkaisija Suomen ateistiyhdistys ry
Sähköposti: info@ateismi.fi

Publisher: Atheist Association of Finland
E-mail: info@ateismi.fi


Last uppdate 03/31/2015.
Tämä on viimeksi päivitetty 31.03.2015.

Member of

http://www.atheistalliance.org/secular-world/current-issue

Editor of the net magazine: Erkki Hartikainen
Verkkojulkaisun vastaava toimittaja Erkki Hartikainen

Sisällysluettelo
  1. Jumalaton kulttuurilehti
  2. Maaliskuu 2015
  3. Suomen ainoa kulttuurilehti
  4. Sisällysluettelo
  5. Ex-muslimi haluaa lakkauttaa islamin
  6. Ateistit vähiten masentuneita
  7. Suomalainen naislääkäri jakoi seksivalistusta Ugandassa – syytettiin homouden levittämisestä
  8. 95 vuotias Mario Bunge pisti vielä 90 vuotiaana Suomen filosofit matalaksi
  9. Verkkotunnuksen ateisti.fi haltija
  10. Uusi sivusto ateisti.fi
  11. Väkijoukko hakkasi nuoren naisen kuoliaaksi Kabulissa
  12. Uskonnottomia ehdokkaita on normaali määrä
  13. Kalifornia ihmeissään: homojen tappamista vaativa lakihanke vaikea pysäyttää alkuunsa
  14. Taipumus ateismiin tai taikauskoon näkyvät aivokuvista
  15. Raivostunut reaktio seurasi, kun amerikkalaisessa koulussa luettiin lippuvala arabiaksi
  16. Mikä filosofiassa maksaa?
  17. Uskonnot jyräävät Suomessa
    1. Uskonnon ja elämänkatsomustiedon yhteisopetus lisääntyy
  18. Paha filosofisen uushuulluden muoto on tulossa Suomeen
  19. Ihmeiden aika ei ole ohi
  20. Uusiseelantilainen baarinpitäjä vankilaan Buddhan halventamisesta
    1. Myös heidät on tuomittu jumalanpilkasta
  21. Ruotsin kirkkoon kuuluu enää alle 65 % väestöstä
  22. Belgiassa luovutaan pakollisesta uskonnonopetuksesta
  23. Filosofit olisi erotettava professorin viroistaan
  24. Vapaa-ajattelijain liitto valehtelee päivähoidon uskontokasvatuksesta
  25. Valeissa käy huonosti
  26. Saunalahden yhteyshäiriöt
  27. VAPAA AJATTELIJA – JA HUMANISTI-LEHTI SAIVAT KULTTUURILEHTITUKEA (11.3.2015)
  28. Älä osta Lexibook -tablettia
  29. Miten symbolien käsitttely tietokoneilla on ollut puoli vuosisataa vaikeaa?
    1. Bluegriffonin puutteita
    2. Kokeilen taas SeaMonkey:n Composeria ja apuna käytän Bluefishiä
  30. Huijaus "elämän tarkoituksella"
  31. Ensimmäinen kuva valosta hiukkasina ja aaltoina yhtä aikaa
  32. Apulaisoikeusasiamies: Vaatiiko sosiaalinen luotto kirkkoon kuulumista Kotkassa?
    1. Uutinen
    2. Otteita kommenteista
  33. KIRKOSTA EROAMINEN VAIMEATA ALKUVUODESTA (5.3.2015)
  34. Turkkilainen tuomioistuin sulki Turkin ateistiyhdistyksen sivut
  35. Ministeri Antti Rinne: ”Olen seurakunnan aktiivi”
  36. Kiivas väittely kirkon asemasta Ajankohtaisessa kakkosessa
    1. Ajankohtainen kakkonen
    2. "Kirkon erityisasema loukkaa ihmisoikeuksia"
  37. Uusi ikoni ateisteille
  38. Eräitä suomalaisia selityksiä jumalauskolle
    1. Psykologi: Ajattelun vinouma
      1. Lääketiede: Usko näkyy aivoissa
      2. Uskontotieteilijä: Hyperaktiivista agentintunnistusta
  39. Uskonnon yhdistäminen politikkaan ällötti persujen kansanedustaja Juho Eerolaa homokeskustelussa
    1. Eerola vastakkaisella linjalla persupuolueen Johtajaan Soiniin nähden
  40. Muslimi vannoi oikeudessa valan käsi Raamatulla Liverpoolissa
  41. "Solvasi Erdogania" - Miss Turkkia uhkaa vankeus
  42. Laskuharjoitin lapsille löytyy osoitteesta
  43. Gravitation
  44. Geometria
  45. Ateismin määritelmä
  46. Ateistin määrittelemä
  47. Agnostikon eli jumalaongelmaisen määritelmä
  48. Uskonnon määritelmä
  49. Raamatun ristiriidat
  50. Godless Culture Magazine
  51. March 2015
  52. How the Atheist Community Can Reach Out to More Ex-Muslims
    1. The Loneliness, The Isolation And The Need For A Community
    2. Why Does It Matter?
    3. I See Your Point, But This Is Not For Us
    4. What Can We Do?
    5. Real People, Real Stories
    6. Through Stories, We Can Bring People Together
    7. Add Your Voice
  53. Charlie Hebdo staff win top NSS award
  54. Russia looks to lift first barrier to Islamic finance and Sharia laws as crisis grows
  55. Pence’s law could cost Indiana billions
    1. One Response to “Pence’s law could cost Indiana billions”
  56. Paedophile priest jailed for three years
  57. Law proposed to force folk into church
  58. Young Americans less religious
  59. Exclusive Brethren Christian Schools Under Investigation In Britain After Former Teachers Speak Out
  60. American Atheists Will Air Its First National TV Commercial on CNN
  61. Young Americans less religious
  62. A mob in Afghanistan killed a 27-year-old woman for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran
  63. A lawyer in California is pushing a ballot measure to legalize killing gay people
  64. Don’t call me Muslim, I am an atheist’
    1. Writer-in-exile Taslima Nasreen calls for reining in religious fundamentalism, saying that criticism of religion is not the domain of non-Muslim intellectuals alone
  65. Christians Have Destroyed Almost All the Mosques In the Central African Republic
    1. An American Fan Cheers Them On
  66. Mynanmar jails three men for blasphemy
  67. A NEW government-pioneered high school religion course has baffled scientists in Spain
  68. Eight charged for killing atheist blogger in Bangladesh
  69. Wellington man jailed in Myanmar for insulting religion
  70. The corrugated galaxy: Milky Way may be much larger than previously estimated
  71. Finnish Band Nightwish Releases Latest Single, Featuring Narration by Richard Dawkins
  72. Atheist Ireland supports a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum
  73. Student in hiding after prison sentence for atheism
  74. 7.5 million people left religion in U.S. since 2012
    1. Three graphs from latest General Social Survey
  75. A new proposal for the empirical geometry
  76. Dalai Lama: ‘I might not be reincarnated’
  77. Atheist co-creator of The Simpsons is dead
  78. Plight of minorities in India
  79. Mark Twain, Who Mocked the Words “In God We Trust,”
    1. Will Soon Be on a Commemorative Coin Alongside That Phrase
  80. Prof Peter Higgs: Atheist scientist admits he doesn't believe in 'god particle'
  81. Muslim abused his ‘bride’, aged 12
  82. Put this Randi- movie on you ‘much watch’ list
  83. Faith Groups Are Trying To Block Emergency Contraception For Raped Migrant Children
  84. Thinking of God Makes People Bigger Risk-Takers
  85. Turkish court blocks atheist group’s website
  86. Slovenian lawmakers approve same-sex marriage, adoption amid protests from conservative groups
  87. Christian proposes firing squads for gays
  88. Does Religious Make People Good? Of Course Not, Says Author of New Book
  89. Puerto Rican Atheists Are Receiving Threats Online After Their Activism Becomes More Public
  90. Education and Religious Devotion must be Separated in Ghana
  91. Bangladeshi Cops Arrest Three Islamists in Hacking Death of U.S. Atheist Avijit Roy
  92. The prisoners dilemma Erkki Hartikainen March 3, 2015
  93. Raif Badawi, Possibly Spared from Additional Lashes, Could Now Be Sentenced to Death
  94. Mathematics without quantors is possible
  95. Prominent atheist blogger butchered
  96. More Than Half of Republican Primary Voters Want to Establish Christianity as the National Religion
  97. Filosofia ja elämänkatsomustieto
    1. Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelma 2016
  98. Filosofi och livsåskådning
  99. Philosophy and Life View
    1. Constructed language misil
  100. Katsomusaineiden didaktiikkaa
    1. Yleistä didaktiikkaa
    2. Kristillinen dogmatiikka
    3. Filosofian, elämänkatsomustiedon ja uskonnon didaktiikkaa
  101. Lukion filosofia, Filosofi i gymnasiet
    1. Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa
    2. Ilmaiset filosofian oppikirjat
    3. Filosofian ylioppilastehtävät
  102. Elämänkatsomustieto, livsåskådning
    1. Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa
    2. Peruskoulu Grundskola
      1. Ilmaiset oppikirjat
      2. Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa
    3. Lukio Gymnasium
      1. Ilmaiset oppikirjat
      2. Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa
    4. Elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät
  103. Syksyn 2014 ylioppilaskirjoituksiin valmistautuminen
  104. Elämänkatsomustieto ainereaalissa
  105. Muuta tietoa
  106. Ehdotus lukion opetuksen järkiperäistämiseksi
lasarus

How the Atheist Community Can Reach Out to More Ex-Muslims

It should come as no surprise that atheists in many Muslim countries face persecution. In 2011, 20 countries across the globe still prohibit their citizens from apostasy -- making it a criminal offense to abandon Islam1. Saudi Arabian schoolbooks include chapters justifying the social exclusion and even execution of apostates2. And a Pew Research Center poll from 2010 indicates that an appalling 84% of Egyptian Muslims believe that those who abandon their faiths should be put to death3.

And yet, despite the immense pressures to adhere to their faiths, more and more Muslims are turning away from Islam. They risk physical safety and ostracization from family, friends and neighbors. But they do it for the same reason that atheists around the world have abandoned their faiths: Because they have questions religion cannot answer, because they have discovered the inherent fallacies in religion, and because their religion advocates violence and oppression.

As atheists in the west, I feel that we owe it to our fellow atheists in Islamic countries to do what we can to lend our voices to their cause. Ex-Muslims can find their voices strengthened by the support of secular organizations and atheist individuals in non-Muslim countries.

We can lend our freedom and resources to make significant changes in communities with very limited freedom of expression. Atheists have been at the forefront of social causes, like women's rights, gay rights and freedom from religious discrimination. We can help to bring about these same changes in Islamic countries -- but only if we do our part to seek out the ex-Muslims in those communities.

The Loneliness, The Isolation And The Need For A Community

The issue of Muslim apostasy is one very close to my heart. After a long period of questioning, I finally left Islam around the age of 18. For me, this was an emotional time. I had lost connection with what I thought was both my creator and my best -- sometimes only -- friend. Losing my god left me feeling alone and empty. I also felt painfully out of place.

I assumed that I must be one of a very few atheists in my country, that I would never meet another atheist.

Of course, I was wrong.

On a whim I opened an online community for fellow atheist Iranians. Within weeks, hundreds of people had joined. This came as a shock to me and also to most of the other Iranian atheists that found the online community. We all felt a feeling of belonging -- as if we had found a family.

This led to the foundation of Atheist Republic, where we talk every day with people who have gone through a similar experience. And I can't help but think of all of those other people there, the atheists who are still struggling with isolation, who suffer in fear of religious tyranny, who truly feel alone.

Muhammad Syed, the president of Ex-Muslims of North America told me, "The most persistent line we get when interviewing ex-Muslims 'I thought I was the only one'... and that's in the west." Just imagine how it must be for those living in Islamic countries.

Why Does It Matter?

Reaching out to ex-Muslims and showing them that they have a place in a greater world community of atheists is a noble deed, but it's not the only reason that western atheists should be concerned with their fellow atheists in Islamic nations. There are strategic benefits to making these connections as well:

-- We can have a real impact on social causes in Muslim countries. We've seen time and again that secular organizations are at the forefront of human rights campaigns in the west. People are fighting for these same causes, like gay rights, women's rights and religious discrimination, in other parts of the globe. Thanks to the power of social media, we can reach out to these movements and organizations and lend our support, having a similar impact in other countries as we're accustomed to having locally.

-- We can speak from a position of safety. While there are many people in Muslim nations who are interested in combating dogma and oppression, they are often silenced by fear. As atheists and ex-Muslims who live in countries with free speech, we can raise these issues with relative immunity to threats on our well-being. This can become a true asset to our ex-Muslim allies who need help speaking out about their situations.

-- We are reminded that there is still so much to fight for. It can be easy to fall into a position of complacency, convinced that religion is now less of threat to our well-being, when you are isolated from the dominating influence of religious oppression in other places. It's valuable for us to remember that there are people living today feeling isolated, demonized and vilified. Just because we have won many battles at home doesn't mean the fight isn't still raging elsewhere, and it's within our power to lend aid -- or at least a listening ear -- to our fellow atheists.

-- Given that many ex-Muslims have the same cultural and ethnic background as many Muslims, they are in a unique position to separate religion from culture and ethnicity. Many people are hesitant to speak out against Islam for fear of backlash against their so-called "Islamophobia". It's become an accepted view among many Muslims that all critics of Islam are bigots. By reaching out to ex-Muslims, we can focus the issue on the dogma rather than the people, recognizing that Islam is, at its heart, a flawed and ultimately false ideology, and taking steps to reduce the influence of the ideology's effect on the rights and well-being of a country's inhabitants.

Right now, a lot of the world's attention is on Islamic countries. It's more important than ever to be careful about how we raise criticism of Islam. We must take care to explore the issues in a way that is neither bigoted toward the people nor apologetic toward the ideology. Reaching out to ex-Muslims living and fighting in these communities will help us to develop that insight. Taking advantage of the worldwide secular community's diversity and critical thought will help us refine the message and boost its reach to a worldwide audience.

Another important reason to reach out to ex-Muslims is that it provides a channel through which secularism and skepticism can be introduced to others who are on the fence or beginning to question their religion.

Due to cultural influences, it's all too easy to dismiss the criticism of an outsider as just another western ideology trying hijack reform movements. But when that criticism is raised by people from your own country, someone who has lived in the same culture and knows the history and nuances of the religion and its associated lifestyle, it can have a more powerful influence. Empowering ex-Muslims to speak up when they can in turn allows them to reach out to people in the community who might otherwise have had no idea where to turn or what to do about their doubts.

I See Your Point, But This Is Not For Us

In my experience, these are some of the concerns secular groups when it comes to reaching out to ex-Muslims:

#1 - "We can have the highest impact locally."

With the Internet and social media on our side, this is less relevant.  In the Information Age, we are no longer merely residents of a single place on the map -- we are citizens of the world. We can communicate and collaborate with others from around the globe, reaching more people than ever and spreading information at an astonishing rate. With the efficiency of the Internet on our side, there is no reason to keep a myopic focus on local issues alone.

#2 - "Our members are more concerned with local issues."

This may be true only because many members of the group have not yet considered the alternative. If reaching out to ex-Muslims has never been an option, why should members be interested in it? With time, this view can be changed. We can make people care about the lives of people living halfway across the world. In fact, given the opportunity, you may be surprised at how interested many people truly are to understand the impact that they can have. Given the news and current events, many people are curious about what's happening in the Middle East and are hungry for a more nuanced side to the story being shown on the television -- and reaching out to ex-Muslims in these countries provides precisely that opportunity.

#3 - "We don't want to get involved in something we don't understand."

I think this response often comes from a fear of being labeled as a bigot. Having ex-Muslims in your communities can actually assuage this problem by providing first-hand experiences rather than generalized accusations. You don't need 100% understanding or familiarity with a situation to be compassionate toward the people who live it, and allowing them to share their experiences with a wider audience.

Just reaching out to someone from one of these communities can be incredibly beneficial. It opens channels of communication where none had previously existed and opens the forum for valuable discussions that you otherwise could never have had.

What Can We Do?

If you are convinced of the need and value of inviting more former Muslims into your community, here are some suggestions for ways to accomplish this goal and maximize the effectiveness of the messages you share:

-- Get in touch with organizations like Ex-Muslims of North America and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Plan joint events with them or just reach out for guidance. If you're not sure where to start, these organizations are a fountain of knowledge and experience.

-- Share personal stories from ex-Muslims both inside and outside of Islamic countries. This can provide a forum for the ex-Muslim to speak out about his or her experiences and also helps to create personal connections with the audience. These personal stories and anecdotes can often have a more powerful impact than bald statistics and reports.

-- Understand and discuss atheist movements and challenges for each Islamic country on an individual basis, rather than grouping them all together. Diverse countries have differing priorities, cultures, values and challenges. Recognizing this helps to make the ex-Muslims in your community feel more understood, and it also helps to show that we are not viewing them all in the same way. Bringing attention to the unique struggles of a specific atheist group within a country is something that many of these groups really need and would greatly appreciate.

Real People, Real Stories

To reach out to more people, we need people to care and to get their attention. And the best way to do so is through the simple act of storytelling. Sharing a story elicits a personal connection that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. We want to empower them to take action. A request for action could be as simple as asking for personal experiences. Even small, seemingly inconsequential actions -- like taking a photograph -- can ripple out into significant and powerful effects.

Atheist Republic received this message from an atheist girl living in Saudi Arabia, showing her solidarity with a global atheist community from Kaaba:

When we shared the image, our Facebook and Twitter feeds lit up with some hate messages from offended Muslims and also with an outpouring of admiration and respect for the girl. These messages of support came from fellow atheists from around the world, living in free countries and under oppressive regimes:

- Mostafa Elsayed: “Hugs from Alexandria, Egypt.”
- Sam Haines: “So much respect...”
- Becks Hamd: “She not alone ...keep going sis.”
- Shabbir Shah:  “yes ! u not alone , me from paksitan !”
- Austa Hansen: “Pictures like this really speak to me! Everyone says that religion is not oppressive, and that it is a personal choice, especially when they defend islam's practices, and yet they neglect to mention the fact that the people posting these pictures are at risk of being put to death if they're caught! If that's not an oppressive religion, I don't know what is!”

You can send us your own photo here:

Send in your Fan Sign!

The responses to these have been similar. As people send us these messages, the support becomes more vocal and unified. Then, bolstered by these kind words, others become brave enough to speak out as well. It’s a small step, admittedly, but it is a step – and for many people living in Islamic nations, it’s a step that takes a tremendous amount of courage which can only be justified by the rewarding sense of belonging to a larger community and the warm responses from other atheists around the world.

Telling a story or sharing a photograph, on its own, is not going to change the world. But together, they can be significant steps toward attracting more attention to a cause.

Through Stories, We Can Bring People Together

It's easy to think that Islamic countries are too religious to do anything about. But it’s harder to dismiss these countries when we start caring about more people who live there. Atheism and secular activism isn't new in Islamic countries. It's just been forced underground and could use some help gaining attention -- and boosting their signal is precisely what we can accomplish when we share their stories.

It's easy sometimes for apostates to feel forgotten or ignored, especially if they are not in a position where they can feel comfortable vocalizing their views. Seeing fellow ex-Muslims receive positive feedback and support can bolster their confidence, empowering them and helping them see that there's a group of people in the world who truly care about them. A few comments might not seem like much, but to a struggling atheist in an oppressive environment, it can mean the world.

Add Your Voice

If you want to share your story or add your message of support, click here:

Start Recording

You don't have to provide a name or any identifying information. Your comments, experiences and stories can be completely anonymous. But whatever you send to us, wherever you are, we can broadcast it to our audience around the world -- sharing your story with our community.

It's important to us that your voice be heard. When you speak up, you're not just speaking for yourself -- you're raising a call to action to others in your same community or situation who may themselves be searching for the courage to speak up. You are announcing to ex-Muslims and those questioning their faith: You are not alone. You are not evil. Your experiences matter.

Contact Armin

For consulting or speaking inquiries, feel free to contact me directly.

References:

1. "Laws Penalizing Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion are Widespread". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2015.

2. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, International Religious Freedom Report for 2012: Saudi Arabia (May 20, 2013), page 1-2

3. "Global Attitudes Project : Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah". Pewglobal.org. Retrieved 2013-11-29.

Charlie Hebdo staff win top NSS award

Added March 31, 2015

The National Secular Society yesterday awarded the staff of Charlie Hebdo the annual Secularist of the Year prize for their courageous response to the terror attack on their Paris office.

Just one week after the attack on January 7, 2015, in which 12 people were killed, the remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo published an edition of the magazine featuring a depiction of Mohammed and an editorial making a passionate defence of secularism and the right to free expression.

NSS president Terry Sanderson said:

Since the events of January 7 in Paris, Charlie Hebdo has become more than a magazine – it has become an ideal, a symbol of democracy, a rallying cry to those who value freedom and openness in public debate.

The Charlie Hebdo horror has now joined the endless stream of other outrages committed in the name of Islam. The difference is that it prompted a commitment to free speech and secularism on the part of millions of people.

Looked at objectively, blasphemy is a ridiculous concept, transparently invented to protect eminently arguable ideas from challenge.

Ridiculous it may be, but it is also lethal.

He added:

From the forty or so nominations that we received, there was one that could not be ignored, that was the obvious and only possible winner.

The award was presented at the annual Secularist of the Year event, hosted by the NSS at a lunch event in central London. The lunch was attended by members, supporters and honorary associates of the National Secular Society, including Professors Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling.

Also present were a number of progressive Muslim campaigners and representatives of organisations working to combat Islamic extremism.

Martin Rowson, the Guardian cartoonist, pictured top, accepted the award on behalf of the staff of Charlie Hebdo.

Charlie Hebdo said it would donate the £5000 prize money for the award to the fund supporting the families of the murdered cartoonists.

In addition to the main Secularist of the Year award, the NSS also acknowledged a number of others for their work in the past year.

Lord Avebury was recognised with a special award for his invaluable support of the NSS, and for being a tireless advocate for secularism. Lord Avebury recently tabled a Bill to abolish chancel repair liability and has spoken out in Parliament against collective worship in schools and new legislation allowing prayers to be held as part of council meetings.

Maajid Nawaz, who couldn’t attend the event, was recognised for his work at Quilliam, countering Islamic extremism and promoting secularism.

Helen Bailey and Elaine Hession were acknowledged for their efforts in helping the National Secular Society campaign to abolish chancel repair liability.

A number of previous Secularist of the Year winners attended the event, including Peter Tatchell, who was awarded the prize in 2012, and Safak Pavey, the Turkish opposition MP who was named Secularist of the Year in 2014.

Russia looks to lift first barrier to Islamic finance and Sharia laws as crisis grows

Added on 30 March, 2015 

 According to Reuters, Russian lawmakers have introduced to parliament a draft bill to support Islamic finance, aiming to attract capital inflows at a time when an economic slowdown is intensifying and Western sanctions show no sign of being lifted.

The draft law, sent to parliament's lower house, the State Duma, this week, proposes allowing banks to engage in trade activities, a concept central to many of the structures used in sharia-compliant financial products.

While many other obstacles remain, the bill is seen a first step to spur development of a sector which has posted double-digit growth in several Arab states and Southeast Asian countries, but which has struggled to get off the ground in Russia.

Instead of interest, which is prohibited on religious grounds, Islamic finance relies on banks charging service fees and depositors sharing in bank profits.

For more, please check Reuters

Pence’s law could cost Indiana billions

Added March 30, 2015

Indiana is experiencing a harsh blowback after its Governor, Mike Pence, above,  this week signed into law an anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ Bill to ‘help protect churches, Christian businesses and individuals from those who want to punish them because of their Biblical beliefs’.

The moment he did so, big names in entertainment and commerce rallied to urge a boycott of the state, which, at the same time, had to enact emergency measures against an epidemic of HIV among drug users.

Pence insists the law is not discriminatory, but others strongly disagree.

According to the BBC in reports here and here, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said it was “especially concerned” about how the law would affect its employees and student athletes. Mark Emmert, NCAA President, said in a statement:

The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events.  We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. 

We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.

Salesforce, a California company with ties to Indiana, cancelled all employee travel to the state and said it was considering decreasing its investment in Indiana, and the large gamer convention, GenCon, has threatened to hold its events elsewhere because of the law. If GenCon pulls out of Indiana, it could cost the state millions in lost income.

Corporate executives such as Jeremy Stoppelman of Yelp and Tim Cook of Apple have urged other states not to follow Indiana’s example.

Stoppelman wrote in an open letter:

These laws set a terrible precedent that will likely harm the broader economic health of the states where they have been adopted, the businesses currently operating in those states and, most importantly, the consumers who could be victimised under these law.

Cook, who recently came out as gay, took to Twitter yesterday to criticise the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, saying:

Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana’s new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar .

Many businesses in Indiana are putting up stickers that condemn the Religious Freedom Act

Hillary Clinton, a prospective presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter on Thursday:

Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against people because of who they love.

Gay Star Trek star George Takei, who has a large following on social media, also pushed for a boycott of the state.

Even Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, said the law sends a “wrong signal” to visitors and could make the state seem unwelcoming.

The term #BoycottIndiana had been a top trending topic on Twitter. One Twitter user, Dan Savage, savaged Pence and Indiana, saying:

Shitty governor makes shitty state even shittier by signing shitty legislation. 

One Response to “Pence’s law could cost Indiana billions”

Trevor Blake says:

A legal right available to theists and denied to atheists. Perhaps no atheist wants this legal right – that is a separate issue. This law discriminates against atheists

Paedophile priest jailed for three years

Added March 29, 2015

Anthony McSweeney, 68, a ‘voyeuristic’ Catholic priest who sexually assaulted a teenage boy at a children’s home in west London, was today jailed for three years.

Law proposed to force folk into church

Added March 29 2015

Arizona state Senator Sylvia Allen, Republican representative  for the town of Snowflake – was the object of much pointing and laughing this week after she suggested that Arizona should consider passing a law to make church attendance mandatory.

During a discussion on gun legislation at a Senate subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, Allen suggested:

Probably we should be debating a Bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth.

Young Americans less religious

Added March 28, 2015

To read click here.

Exclusive Brethren Christian Schools Under Investigation In Britain After Former Teachers Speak Out

Added March 27, 2015

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Schools run by a conservative Christian sect called the Exclusive Brethren are under investigation following claims by former teachers that they were required to use science textbooks with pages ripped out, prevent boys and girls from talking to one another outside classrooms, and tolerate bullying, racism and homophobia.

Life at Britain’s 34 Brethren schools is under the microscope following a decision last year to grant them charity status, which allows the group to avoid taxes estimated to be worth millions of pounds every year.

The Exclusive Brethren includes about 17,000 members across England.

After their first bid for charitable status was rejected, the sect fought back with supporters writing thousands of letters to the Charity Commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales.

The sect’s leader is an Australian named Bruce Hales (followers call him “the Prophet”).

Over 200 members of Parliament supported the Brethren’s charity status. But new disclosures have changed the public image of the group.

Eight former teachers have spoken to the media and described school buses segregated by gender, classroom racism and textbooks with pages on evolution, fossil fuels and sexual reproduction ripped out.

One teacher told The Times:

“Anything that showed the earth as being 4 billion years old was removed or glued together.”

The same thing happened with pages about contraception, while

“anything that showed gay relationships as being normal was defaced in that way as well.”

Another former staff member told The Times:

”They don’t see anything wrong in saying that black people are going to hell.”

Brethren spokesman Rod Buckley said racism and homophobia were

“a blight that exists to some extent in every society.”

He added that numerous inspection reports had recorded

“no suggestion that this was a problem.”

Brethren schools are not overseen by the British government’s Office for Standards in Education but by a private company monitored by the Department of Education.

The Brethren receives no state funding to run its schools.

The Plymouth Brethren is the forerunner of the Exclusive Brethren. In the 19th century, the Plymouth Brethren formed branches all over the world, including America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and different parts of Africa

American Atheists Will Air Its First National TV Commercial on CNN

Added March 26
by Hemant Mehta

Before and after CNN special (March 24), “Atheists: Inside the World of Non-believers,” American Atheists will air its first national TV commercial:

You know, given the nature of AA’s billboards, this is relatively tame…

It’s not the first time an atheist group has aired a commercial on mainstream television. FFRF aired a controversial ad featuring Ron Reagan (the late President’s son) on Comedy Central and Fox.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/03/24/american-atheists-will-air-its-first-national-tv-commercial-tonight-on-cnn/#ixzz3VK9zBYOP

Young Americans less religious

Added March 28, 2015

american values

A mob in Afghanistan killed a 27-year-old woman for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran

Afdded March 25, 2015

Last week a mob in Afghanistan attacked and killed a 27-year-old woman, named only as Farkhunda, for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran. In protest against this horrific killing, Reza Mohebbii, above, burned a Koran and posted a video of the book going up in flames on YouTube, saying that ‘humanity is beyond an ordinary book’.

Shortly after Reza posted his video, Afghanistan’s top criminal investigator – Gen Mohammad Zahir  – said that Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul on Thursday, had been wrongly accused.

Said Zahir:

Last night I went through all documents and evidence once again, but I couldn’t find any evidence to say Farkhunda burnt the holy Qur’an. Farkhunda was totally innocent.

Mobile phone footage circulating on social media shows police at the scene did nothing save the woman.

Zahir promised to punish all those involved and said 13 people, including eight police officers, had already been arrested.

The killing was condemned by the Afghan president and other officials, but also drew praise from some quarters, including from a prominent cleric who asserted the men had a right to defend their Muslim beliefs at all costs.

Farkhunda was a teacher of Islamic studies, according to her brother, who denied media reports that she had been mentally ill. He said this was a made-up defence by their father, who wanted to protect the family after police told them to leave the city for their own safety.

Said Najibullah, who is changing his second name to Farkhunda in memory of his sister.

My father was frightened and made the false statement to calm people down.

Hundreds of people attended her funeral, chanting “we want justice”. Her coffin was carried by women’s rights campaigners.

What do we know about the young man who posted the video below?

Only that he lives in Sweden and believes that Islam is responsible for all the problems in the country of his birth.

It’s no surprise that his protest has not gone down well with Muslim commenters. One of the less hysterical reactions came from Habib Abdolhossein, who said:

I as a Muslim, am really shocked and ashamed of what an ignorant mob did in Kabul. But I think you could have expressed solidarity with Farkhondeh in a much better and decent way, without desecrating a book seen as sacred by over one billion people.

She has fallen victim to the ignorance of a group of people who have no understanding of Islam. I’m sorry to say that there is no difference between what you did and the crime those uncivilized people committed. You can burn the ‘ordinary’ book but not the absolute truth of the Quran which has been speaking for more than 1400 years.

A lawyer in California is pushing a ballot measure to legalize killing gay people

Added March 24, 2015

A California lawyer proposed a ballot initiative to legalize the execution of gay and lesbian people in the state.

The measure isn't expected to end up on the ballot, since it's clearly unconstitutional, but it's drawing attention to California's bizarre ballot initiative process.

California's attorney general is likely required by law to clear the initiative. But the state's Supreme Court is likely to step in and stop the measure, particularly if the proposal gets enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The measure would authorize the killing of gay and lesbian Californians

Orange County attorney Matt McLaughlin paid the $200 filing fee on February 26 to submit the "Sodomite Suppression Act" to voters on November 2016.

The proposal has no chance of becoming law, since it's unconstitutional and would most likely never get approval from California voters, but it's drawn national attention because its provisions are so abhorrent and extreme.

As the San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee reported, the proposal would require the execution of anyone who touches a person of the same sex for sexual gratification by

"bullets to the head or by any other convenient method."

It declares that it's

"better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God's just wrath."

Private citizens would be allowed to step in to act as executioners if the state didn't within a year, meaning that the murder of gay and lesbian people would effectively be legalized.

The measure would also make it illegal, with the threat of a $1 million fine, up to 10 years in prison, and permanent expulsion from the state, to advocate for gay rights to an audience that includes minors. And it would require posting the measure's language prominently in public school classrooms.

The initiative specifies that its constitutionality could only be decided by a California Supreme Court that doesn't include LGBT justices and their supporters, but that portion would only be true if the measure passed.

In California, ballot initiative sponsors pay a $200 filing fee for their measure, the attorney general gives it a title and summary, supporters collect more than 365,000 signatures, and, if all that's successful, California votes on it.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who's considering a Senate run in 2016, appears to have no options for blocking the measure. Legal experts told the San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee that the attorney general is required by law to provide a title and summary for proposed ballot measures once someone pays the $200 filing fee.

This set-up, legal experts said, prevents elected attorneys general from interfering with citizen-proposed ballot initiatives that they politically disagree with. Instead, more politically impartial judges are able to decide the constitutionality of proposed measures.

The California Supreme Court could and is expected to step in to block the proposal if it gets too far in the process. The measure violates constitutional due process protections for people who commit private, consensual sexual activity, and it tries to unconstitutionally limit people's free speech rights with multiple provisions that would try to stop certain forms of LGBT advocacy.

In the meantime, the measure has drawn criticism from advocates who say the filing fee for ballot initiatives, which hasn't been increased since 1943, is too low.

"Increasing the fee, even to $500 or $1,000, would help ensure that those who put initiatives into circulation are sincere in their efforts,"

Kim Alexander, president and founder of the California Voter Foundation, told the Sacramento Bee.

The newspaper reported a sharp rise in proposed ballot initiatives in recent years: from 47 in the 1960s to nearly 650 in the 2000s.
The measure could get its sponsor disbarred

State legislators are trying to get the California Bar to look into McLaughlin's involvement with the initiative and consider disbarring him.

Lawyers in the state are supposed to demonstrate

"good moral character,"

including respect for the rights of others, California State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens, Los Angeles County) told the San Francisco Chronicle.

This isn't the first time McLaughlin proposed a ballot initiative. The Chronicle reported that he suggested adding the King James Bible as a literature textbook in California public schools in 2004 because of its

"rich use of the English language."

His latest proposal, needless to say, ventures into far uglier territory.

Don’t call me Muslim, I am an atheist’

taslima
Writer Taslima Nasreen.

Writer-in-exile Taslima Nasreen calls for reining in religious fundamentalism, saying that criticism of religion is not the domain of non-Muslim intellectuals alone

Added March 23, 2015

Writer Taslima Nasreen fled Bangladesh in 1994 when extremists threatened to kill her for criticising Islam, and has been living in exile since. Her country has, in recent times, seen many intellectuals expelled or killed. Ahmed Rajib Haider, an atheist blogger who wrote under the name Thaba Baba, was hacked to death after the Shahbag protests in 2013. In February this year, atheist blogger Avijit Roy was killed in Dhaka by extremist groups for his writings on the Bangla blog Mukto-Mona (Free Thinker) that he founded. Feminist and secular humanist Ms Nasreen now lives in New Delhi. In an interview with Suvojit Bagchi, she spoke about the shrinking space for free thinkers in Bangladesh and says that Islam cannot be exempt from the critical scrutiny that other religions go through.

Tell us a little bit about Avijit Roy.

I knew Avijit for a long time. He started Mukto-Mona to accommodate writings of atheists and humanists, as newspapers do not publish their work. Avijit was a science blogger and a free thinker, an atheist and a rationalist, who wanted to secure a space to dissect and debate issues. Later, he turned his blogs into books. Mukto-Mona became a window through which people could look at each other and raise questions about all religions, including Islam. In Bangladesh, over a period, the space for free thinkers has been disappearing. Avijit brought it back using a new platform… precisely why his contribution is outstanding.

When and how exactly did this space for free thinkers start shrinking?

The change was noticed at the time of General Hussain Ershad in the mid-1980s. A secular Constitution was given away to make Islam the state religion. I have witnessed the mass movement of 1969, the newly independent country of the 70s… the situations then were different. People could voice their opinion and women hardly wore the hijab or the burqa. But society slowly changed. For instance, whatever I wrote in the 1980s, early 90s — criticising Islam and women’s condition in Islamic societies — was published in newspapers with a wide circulation. But that cannot be imagined now. Freedom of expression is an alien term now.

Why has this change taken place?

The progressive community is partly responsible. When I was expelled in 1994, the whole of society went silent. If this community had objected then, Bangladesh would not have had a society in which an Avijit is hacked to death, a Humayun Azad targeted or an Ahmed Rajib Haider killed for criticising Islam. Perhaps the conflict in Bangladesh is whether to have a country on the basis of language or on the basis of religion.

How can this be resolved?

We must stop stoning women to death in the name of religion. Laws should be based on equality, not on religion

Bangladesh was born on the idea of a secular Bengali nation. Since 1952, Bengali Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians have wanted their state language to be Bengali, not Urdu. The people who opposed our independence, along with the Pakistani army, killed three million Bengalis in 1971 and are now involved in the Islamisation of Bangladesh. They are killing free thinkers and intellectuals. Pakistan is a country which is based on religion. But the Bangladesh constitution must remain secular, and separate state from religion. We must have secular education rather than education through madrassas. The government must not let the country become a safe haven for religious extremists.

People say your criticism of religion is rather excessive and provocative.

I said religion oppresses women. Laws should be based on equality, not on religion; women should have equal rights in marriage, divorce, child custody and inheritance. I said we must stop stoning women to death in the name of religion. Is that provocation? Every civilised state has questioned the relationship of the state with religion, eventually disentangling and distancing the two. Islam should not be exempt from the critical scrutiny that other religions have gone through. My opinion is based on my belief in secular humanism. If that is provocative, then it is absolutely necessary to provoke.

But it's often said that your writings strengthen fundamentalism.

Governments are strengthening fundamentalism, not me. When religious fanatics set a price on my head, instead of taking action against them, the government targeted me. The Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party joined hands with these forces and so did the caretaker government. Even in West Bengal, the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government expelled me; the Imam Barkati of the Tipu Sultan Mosque, who set a price on my head, was adored by the Marxists. Interestingly, Mamata Banerjee befriended the Imam as soon as she came to power.

Another allegation is that by making statements against Islam, you strengthen the right wing in India.

Absolute nonsense. I criticise all religions, including Hinduism. I opposed Hindu godmen, rituals such as karva chauth and shivaratri, and condemned the oppression of Muslims in Gujarat. I donated Rs.10,000 to poet Shankha Ghosh, who was collecting funds for rehabilitating Gujarat riot victims.I objected to the oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh, Jews in Nazi Germany, Muslims in Bosnia, Palestine and Christians in Pakistan. I also wrote in favour of films such as PK, Water and The Last Temptation of Christ. Please don’t call me a Muslim, I am an atheist.

When Indian rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and CPI leader Govind Pansare were killed, you were silent.

Who told you? You need to check my Twitter account to find out about my reactions and how the Hindu right-wing elements abused me for that. However, it is true that I consider Islamic fundamentalism a bigger threat.

As do many western countries…

Only the western world thinks that Islamic fundamentalism is dangerous? Rather, it’s the opposite — the West is keen to side with Islamists.

As a Muslim writer, your work often reflects the West’s paranoia about Islam. Is the West forcing you to say what it wants?

Are you saying Muslims cannot have a mind of their own to criticise their religion? Is criticism of religion the domain of non-Muslim intellectuals? That is an anti-Muslim remark, seriously.

What could be Bangladesh’s future?

The country will be heading for a complete disaster if Islamic terrorists are not brought to justice. However, given the past record, nothing will happen and such incidents will increase in the coming months, as they are intrinsically connected with politics.

suvojit.bagchi@thehindu.co.in

Christians Have Destroyed Almost All the Mosques In the Central African Republic

An American Fan Cheers Them On

Added March 22, 2015
by 31 Comments

Christian and Muslim militias have been battling each other in the Central African Republic since 2012. First, a group of Muslim combatants called the Seleka started an aggressive trek into Christian areas, and the Christians in turn organized their own armed rebel force, the Antibalaka, which quickly morphed from a defensive civilian army into a genocidal horde that wants to eliminate Muslims from the country of 4.5 million people.

The Christian fighters have been especially successful, if you define success by the scope of the destruction.

Via the Associated Press:

Almost all of the 436 mosques in the Central African Republic have been destroyed by months of vicious fighting between Christians and Muslims, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said.

Samantha Power spoke to reporters on Tuesday after a Security Council visit last week to the country, calling the devastation “kind of crazy, chilling”. …

Power said 417 of the country’s mosques have been destroyed. She visited the one remaining Muslim neighbourhood in the capital, Bangui, and described the residents as “a terrified population.”

Theodore Shoebat, the Christian author of In Satan’s Footsteps: The Source and Interconnections of All Evil, is not the least bit disturbed (a chip off the old block, he’s the son of the notorious fibbing Christianist Walid Shoebat). Theodore, in fact, is excited, and lauds the murdering zealots, because zealotry in the name of Christ is… a great blessing.

This is not just some mere scrimmages here and there, but fierce and bloody battles, that will eventually grow into a major struggle. This is the division that Christ has brought, the sword that compels man to split like the red sea, and fight either for the forces of evil or for the foundations of Heaven.

When Christ spoke of the sword, He was foretelling of the coming of crusades caused by the persecuting hatred of evil heretics, wherein men take up their crosses to war against those who hate that holy image. They charge passed the bastions of darkness, and like reapers to the harvest, bring much bread. The Spirit of Crusade never died, it has only been ignored, and it will continue on gloriously until the Final Crusade, when Baal shall bow and Nebo shall stoop. … The victor of this cultural war which we are in, will be the ones who will bring about the strongest, most zealous, and effective crusade. Therefore, in order for Christianity to prevail, zealots must rise.

Of course, secularists come in for a drubbing (pro tip: when discussing faith-fueled genocide in Africa, don’t forget to implicate Western agnostics!):

It is told to us over and over again, “Do not impose your religion on me!” But everywhere we look and turn we are being called to the altar of conformity, and urged to never speak of Christianity. … Christian supremacy has been dismantled, zealotry trampled, and the soft despotism of secular and tolerance supremacy has been put on the altar and praised as the nation’s new god.

But mostly, Shoebat decries “weak” Christians who simply lack the will to knock some heads together – and not just proverbially.

Many current Christians ask why God demands His people to be so aggressive toward heathenism in the Old Testament, and the answer to their question is right in front of us. … The rise of Islam is determined by the conviction of the Church. If the Church is weak, Islam is strong, and if the Church is supreme, Islam goes dormant and Muslims care no more on the teachings of Muhammad. When Christ is exalted then Allah is disdained; and when God is elevated above all things, that is when the Cross shall overpower the Crescent, and the wicked prevented from ever establishing tyranny. Christus Vincit!

It’s so easy! Just kiss your crucifix and slaughter harder, and all will be well.

Meanwhile, in the Central African Republic, nearly one million people are displaced, at least 5,000 people have been killed, more than 400 mosques (and no doubt many churches) lay in ruins, and there is still no end in sight.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/03/20/christians-have-destroyed-almost-all-the-mosques-in-the-central-african-republic-an-american-fan-cheers-them-on/#ixzz3UzjYMpxB

Mynanmar jails three men for blasphemy

Added March 21, 2015

Philip Blackwood, the Mynamar bar manager who outraged Buddhists last year by posting a picture online of The Fat Guy wearing a pair of headphones, has been jailed for two years.

A  court in Yangon said the image, used to promote New Zealander Blackwood’s VGastro bar and restaurant, denigrated Buddhism and was a violation of Myanmar’s religion act, which prohibits insulting, damaging or destroying religion. Said judge, U Ye Lwin:

It is clear the act of the bar offended the majority religion in the country.

The image was posted in December on the Facebook page of the VGastro in Yangon. After an outcry from hard-line Buddhist groups, the police arrested Blackwood, 32, along with the bar owner, U Tun Thurein, 40, and a second employee, U Htut Ko Ko Lwin, 26. The three have been held in Insein prison in Yangon.

In addition to the two-year prison term imposed on each of the men, the three were also sentenced to six months for illegally operating a bar after 10 pm.

Blackwood said after the verdict that the men had expected they would be convicted.

Phil Robertson, the deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, who is based in Bangkok, called the verdict “outrageous”

This is a clear instance of criminalizing free expression. This will resonate in a very significant, negative way internationally when people decide how to engage with Burma.

The three convicted men faced possible prison terms of as long as four years in connection with the image. The image was quickly removed, and the bar issued an apology, saying it had not intended to cause offense.

Our ignorance is embarrassing for us, and we will attempt to correct it by learning more about Myanmar’s religions, culture and history, characteristics that make this such a rich and unique society.

In 2010, a Buddha Bar in Jakarta, Indonesia – part of a franchise – was forced to close after protests from Buddhists there.

Myanmar will hold a general election this fall, and rights groups say the blasphemy conviction is an indicator that the government is pandering to hard-line Buddhist groups to win votes.

Said Robertson:

Not only is this a rights violation, but this is very ill advised from a political and social perspective. Burma is heading into dangerous territory.

A NEW government-pioneered high school religion course has baffled scientists in Spain

Added March 21, 2015

Spanish high school students will be examined on their ability to ‘recognise the divine origin of the cosmos with amazement, make effort to understand it and be aware that it does not originate from chaos and chance.’

The PP-approved curriculum has been published in the Official Gazette.

This fits in with the education law, the LOMCE, passed in 2013 in spite of opposition party disapproval.

The 2007 curriculum was adapted in that issues including abortion, euthanasia and references to religions outside Christianity were eliminated.

The course also raised eyebrows by measuring the individual’s ability ‘to achieve happiness all by him or herself.’

The curriculum, drafted entirely by bishops since 1979, is an elective module but the marks now count towards final

Eight charged for killing atheist blogger in Bangladesh

Added March 20, 2015

Dhaka: Seven university students and chief of a banned Islamist group were on Wednesday charged by a Bangladeshi court for the murder of an atheist blogger here in 2013.

Ahmed Rajib Haider, 35, was hacked to death near his home in Dhaka in 2013, days after he helped in launching a campaign against Islamist leaders accused of committing crimes against humanity by siding with Pakistani troops during the country’s 1971 liberation war.

On January 28 last year, police pressed charges against seven students from North South University and extremist group Ansarullah Bangla Team chief Mufti Jashim Uddin Rahmani, the Daily Star reported.

Wellington man jailed in Myanmar for insulting religion

Added Mar 19, 2015

New Zealand citizen Philip Blackwood, left, is escorted by a Myanmar police officer following a court appearance in December.

Philip Blackwood, 32, and two locals were charged in December over an online ad for the V Gastro tapas bar which featured a picture of Buddha wearing DJ headphones.

At court in Myanmar's former capital Yangon today, they were each sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

The sentences included two years of hard labour for insulting religion and six months for disobeying an order from a public servant, AP reported.

After the verdict, as he was led to a police van, Blackwood told reporters he would appeal.
Outside court, a handful of monks and hardline Buddhists reportedly gathered to hear the verdict.

Bar worker Blackwood, from Wellington, has been detained for months in Myanmar's notorious Insein Prison.

He and bar owner Tun Thurein, 40, and manager Htut Ko Ko Lwin, 26, were arrested on December 10 after the Buddha image resulted in a backlash on social media.

A complaint was then made by an official from the country's religious department.

The bar managers immediately cancelled the advertised event and apologised.

According to Myanmar law, anyone who attempts to insult, destroy or damage any religion can be punished by a maximum of two years in jail, with another two-year penalty for those who try to insult religion through the written word.

Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country, has had a number of recent outbreaks of religious violence, with minority Muslims among the targets.

Blackwood, originally from Wellington, had lived in Yangon previously but returned to New Zealand for a year in 2013.

His first child, a daughter named Sasha, was born in Wellington last August. He and his partner Noemi Almo returned to Yangon to live in October.

Blackwood's partner, who also works in Myanmar, and their 6-month-old daughter remain in the country.

Speaking from Wellington, Blackwood's father Brian said his son should have been found not guilty because it was not an intentional act.

"We were advised not to go over - just to let the justice system take its course, which we have done. Now we're absolutely gutted by the ridiculous decision that's been made by the judge over there.

"There's no way that Philip would do anything like that maliciously - it was just a stupid mistake that he made posting that image."

Brian Blackwood said under Myanmar's laws, the act had to be proved to be malicious for his son to be found guilty.

He said his son was not aware of Myanmar's strict rules, and had consulted co-workers to see if it was alright to post the image.

Brian Blackwood said he hadn't been able to make any phone calls to his son since his arrest.

"We have managed to get one letter from him."

He said his son was in isolation at prison, and the Red Cross was only able to check in on him a month into his detention.

His lawyer also had very limited access, with Blackwood's first visit coming more than two weeks into his detention. The next lawyer's visit came a month after that, and there had been only three visits since.

The family has been advised the appeal process could take one month.

- NZ Herald / Daily Mail / Newstalk ZB

The corrugated galaxy: Milky Way may be much larger than previously estimated

Added March 18, 2015
Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

milky-way
   
The Milky Way galaxy is at least 50 percent larger than is commonly estimated, according to new findings that reveal that the galactic disk is contoured into several concentric ripples.

The Milky Way galaxy is at least 50 percent larger than is commonly estimated, according to new findings that reveal that the galactic disk is contoured into several concentric ripples. The research, conducted by an international team led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor Heidi Jo Newberg, revisits astronomical data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey which, in 2002, established the presence of a bulging ring of stars beyond the known plane of the Milky Way.

"In essence, what we found is that the disk of the Milky Way isn't just a disk of stars in a flat plane -- it's corrugated," said Heidi Newberg, professor of physics, applied physics, and astronomy in the Rensselaer School of Science. "As it radiates outward from the sun, we see at least four ripples in the disk of the Milky Way. While we can only look at part of the galaxy with this data, we assume that this pattern is going to be found throughout the disk."

Importantly, the findings show that the features previously identified as rings are actually part of the galactic disk, extending the known width of the Milky Way from 100,000 light years across to 150,000 light years, said Yan Xu, a scientist at the National Astronomical Observatories of China (which is part of the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing), former visiting scientist at Rensselaer, and lead author of the paper.

"Going into the research, astronomers had observed that the number of Milky Way stars diminishes rapidly about 50,000 light years from the center of the galaxy, and then a ring of stars appears at about 60,000 light years from the center," said Xu. "What we see now is that this apparent ring is actually a ripple in the disk. And it may well be that there are more ripples further out which we have not yet seen."

The research, funded in part by the National Science Foundation and titled "Rings and Radial Waves in the Disk of the Milky Way," was published today in the Astrophysical Journal. Newberg, Xu, and their collaborators used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to show an oscillating asymmetry in the main sequence star counts on either side of the galactic plane, starting from the sun and looking outward from the galactic center. In other words, when we look outward from the sun, the mid-plane of the disk is perturbed up, then down, then up, and then down again.

"Extending our knowledge of our galaxy's structure is fundamentally important," said Glen Langston, NSF program manager. "The NSF is proud to support their effort to map the shape of our galaxy beyond previously unknown limits."

The new research builds upon a 2002 finding in which Newberg established the existence of the "Monoceros Ring," an "over-density" of stars at the outer edges of the galaxy that bulges above the galactic plane. At the time, Newberg noticed evidence of another over-density of stars, between the Monoceros Ring and the sun, but was unable to investigate further. With more data available from the SDSS, researchers recently returned to the mystery.

"I wanted to figure out what that other over-density was," Newberg said. "These stars had previously been considered disk stars, but the stars don't match the density distribution you would expect for disk stars, so I thought 'well, maybe this could be another ring, or a highly disrupted dwarf galaxy."

When they revisited the data, they found four anomalies: one north of the galactic plane at 2 kilo-parsecs (kpc) from the sun, one south of the plane at 4-6 kpc, a third to the north at 8-10 kpc, and evidence of a fourth to the south 12-16 kpc from the sun. The Monoceros Ring is associated with the third ripple. The researchers further found that the oscillations appear to line up with the locations of the galaxy's spiral arms. Newberg said the findings support other recent research, including a theoretical finding that a dwarf galaxy or dark matter lump passing through the Milky Way would produce a similar rippling effect. In fact, the ripples might ultimately be used to measure the lumpiness of dark matter in our galaxy.

"It's very similar to what would happen if you throw a pebble into still water -- the waves will radiate out from the point of impact," said Newberg. "If a dwarf galaxy goes through the disk, it would gravitationally pull the disk up as it comes in, and pull the disk down as it goes through, and this will set up a wave pattern that propagates outward. If you view this in the context of other research that's emerged in the past two to three years, you start to see a picture is forming."

The research was funded by the NSF, as well as the Chinese National Science Foundation and the National Basic Research Program of China.

Newberg currently researches the structure and evolution of our own galaxy, using stars as tracers of the galactic halo and disks. These stars in turn are used to trace the density distribution of dark matter in the Milky Way. She has been a participant of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and is currently head of participants in LAMOST U.S., a partnership allowing U.S. astronomers to take part in a survey of more than 7 million stars by the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope in China (LAMOST).

Finnish Band Nightwish Releases Latest Single, Featuring Narration by Richard Dawkins

Added March 17, 2015
by Hemant Mehtat

The Finland-based symphonic metal band Nightwish is about to release their new album, drawing inspiration from the natural world and the work of Richard Dawkins. (In fact, Dawkins appears on the album as a narrator for two of the songs.)

Endless Forms Most Beautiful comes out in North America on March 31.

Atheist Ireland supports a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum

Added March 16, 2015
by Michael Nugent

Atheist Ireland unequivocally supports a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality referendum on 22nd May. We support the equal right of all citizens to choose to marry the person they love.

Atheist Ireland believes that public policy and the civil law should be informed by ethical secularism, rationality and the reasoned consideration of evidence. The Irish State should not legislate based on faith, revelation, superstition or prejudice. The Irish Constitution should not reflect the views of any particular religion.

Atheist Ireland supports the equal rights of all minorities before the law; be they atheists or members of minority religions, people of different age, race, gender or family status, members of the Travelling Community, people with disabilities, or LGBTQ people. We support the rights of all members of our society not to be discriminated against or to have their human rights infringed upon.

The question before us in the referendum is: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”. This refers to civil marriage, which is what will be changed should the referendum pass. It does not refer to religious marriage, which will remain unchanged unless religious groups themselves choose to recognise marriage equality.

What will a Yes vote mean?

The outcome of the Marriage Equality referendum will not only affect LGBTQ citizens, but all the citizens of Ireland.

What can you do to help?

There is strong support for a No vote, particularly among the older age group. Traditionally this is also the age group that has, by far, the highest voter turnout. Unless we all take action there is a very real possibility that this referendum can be lost.

What can you do to help?

Student in hiding after prison sentence for atheism

Added March 15, 2015
Emir Nader

Karim Al-Banna faces three-year prison term for Facebook posts in “highly politicised” case, lawyer says.

An Egyptian student is evading authorities after a court confirmed a three-year prison sentence on charges of contempt of religion and insulting the divine.

Engineering student Karim Al-Banna was arrested in November and in January, after 55 days in detention in the Idku District, the Misdemeanour Court handed out the stiff sentence. The Court allowed for a bail of EGP 3,000 to suspend the prison term.

However, Ahmed Abdel Naby, Al-Banna’s defence lawyer, told Daily News Egypt that on Monday the prosecution successfully appealed the initial suspended prison sentence given to Al-Banna in January.

Al-Banna, 23, was accused of using his Facebook account to publish articles about atheism and which “belittle the divine”.

Lawyer Abdel Naby, who works with the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), said that “the lawyer working with the prosecution is known for extremely Islamist affiliations. He even called for there to be no hearing and for Karim to be sent to jail without trial.” In the initial hearing Abdel Naby said that they were not given opportunity to present their defence case.

Ishaq Ibrahim, a researcher on freedom of religion and belief at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), previously told Daily News Egypt that Al-Banna declared his atheism online. He was subsequently attacked in public by local residents, but upon seeking to file a report of the assault at a police department in Idku, Al-Banna himself was arrested.

Ibrahim also reported the case against Al-Banna was supported by his father, who identified “suspect” books in possession of his son, and later testified in the case.

Prior to the retrial on 9 March, Abdel Naby said he believed that the case had lost its fairness and impartiality, saying: “It is highly politicised…the prosecution has tried to prove him guilty by whatever means possible.”

Abdel Naby added that his client took the decision not to attend the retrial after he told Al-Banna that the prosecution were to present transcripts of alleged telephone conversations of his in the case against him.

The lawyer told Daily News Egypt that Al-Banna is now in hiding from the authorities, and if he is caught he will be made to face his jail term.

Abdel Naby also said they intend to appeal the verdict, a process which is possible through the Court of Cassation.

Another Egyptian man, who was previously sentenced on charges of contempt of religion but was given political asylum abroad, told Daily News Egypt that through his contact with Al-Banna he was told the student’s family had encouraged him to face the judicial process and break off ties with any journalists and human rights lawyers.

Following Al-Banna’s initial verdict in January, Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Human Rights Watch’s MENA programme, said:

“Atheists are one of Egypt’s least-protected minorities, although the constitution ostensibly guarantees freedom of belief and expression… [the] Egyptian authorities need to be guided by the constitution and stop persecuting people for atheism.”

The rights watchdog said that the sentence, one of several handed down on blasphemy charges in recent years, and “is part of a wider government push to combat atheism and other forms of dissent”.

Article 2 of the current Egyptian constitution, passed after the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president Mohammed Morsi, states:

“Islam is the religion of the State…the principles of Islamic Shari’a are the main source of legislation.”

However, despite atheism not being explicitly illegal by the constitution, authorities have targeted many atheists using the charges of contempt of religion.

Insults against Egypt’s three recognised monotheist religions  – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – are illegal. According to the EIPR, between 2011 and 2013, 42 defendants faced were found guilty of the charge.

In February, a student from Ismailia was given a one year prison sentence by a court for contempt of religion relating to activities on campus and atheist statements online.

Sherif Gaber, 22, was studying at Suez Canal University in 2013, when teaching staff and fellow students reported him via a petition to the institution’s President. They said he had made posts supporting atheism on Facebook, and suspected him of being behind a page called ‘The Atheists’.

In August, the ministries of Religious Endowment and Culture signed a joint protocol to confront the two “extremisms”; both religious extremism and atheism, and to “spread true Islam”.

In the light of recent cases against atheists and alleged homosexuals, many have commented that the environment is more Islamist now than under Morsi, as the government tries to lay claim to religious authority.

7.5 million people left religion in U.S. since 2012

Three graphs from latest General Social Survey

Added March 14, 2015

http://tobingrant.religionnews.com/2015/03/12/7-5-million-people-left-religion-since-2012-three-graphs-latest-general-social-survey/#sthash.ZjVjUzT9.dpuf

A new proposal for the empirical geometry

Erkki Hartikainen March 13, 2015

There is no false axiomatic geometry. All axiomatic geometries are formally (as calculus) true.

Most used empirical geometries are the Newtonian geometry and the Einsteinian geometries.

I propose a more concrete empirical geometry: the neutrino geometry.
  1. The line is the path of the single neutrino.
  2. The point is the single neutrino.
  3. The unit of the mass is the smallest neutrino.
  4. The unit of the time is the smallest time between the two changes of the flavour of the single neutrino.
  5. The unit of the distance is the distance between two smallest changing of the flavor of the single neutrino.

Dalai Lama: ‘I might not be reincarnated’

Added March 13, 2015The Freethinker

The Dalai Lama has been accused of offending Tibetan Buddhism by suggesting that he might not be reincarnated after he dies.

According to this report, the head of Tibet’s regional congress, Padma Choling, said that the Dalai Lama has to return, just as he has done for generations.

Whether [the Dalai Lama] wants to cease reincarnation or not … this decision is not up to him. When he became the 14th Dalai Lama, it was not his decision.

He was chosen following a strict system dictated by religious rules and historical tradition and also with the approval of the central government.

He added:

Can he decide when to stop reincarnating? That is impossible. What he wants is to distort reality. It’s impossible in my view. Tibetan Buddhism follows tradition. If he goes ahead with this there will be division.

Tibetan Buddhists believe the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death.

The Dalai Lama was chosen as the head of his religion as a boy. He fled his homeland in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

The second most powerful figure in Tibetan Buddhism is the Panchen Lama.

In 1995, the Dalai Lama named a boy in Tibet as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen.

But Chinese officials took the boy away and chose their own Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu, above.

He was named by Beijing as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama when he was six, but he is not recognised by followers of the Dalai Lama. The consider him to be a fake.

The Dalai Lama has said his title could end when he dies, signalling to Tibetans that whoever the Chinese government chooses to replace him after his death would be an imposter.

Padma Choling said:

I think [the Dalai Lama] is actually profaning religion and Tibetan Buddhism. He says ‘no reincarnation’, so it’s no reincarnation? The crux of this issue, where the problem really lies, is that he wants to try and take away the central government’s rights on reincarnation.

Atheist co-creator of The Simpsons is dead

Added March 12, 2015

A passionate advocate for atheism, Sam Simon, who died aged 59 on Sunday after a long battle with colon cancer, was known for his compassion for animals, his philanthropy, and for being the co-creator of one of the most popular animated televisions shows of all time, The Simpsons.

But, alongside his television success and charity work, Simon ardently promoted atheism, and was a life member of the atheism action group American Atheists.

The writer-director, producer and philanthropist was first diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in 2012, and informed by doctors that he had a maximum of six months left to live. After surviving the diagnosis, Simon announced that he was planning to donate $100 million of his fortune to charity, focusing primarily on animal organisations, and on charities dedicated to helping the homeless.

He said in a 2013 interview:

I’m supporting the charities that I supported during my lifetime, and I want to continue to do that.

The Sam Simon Foundation, dedicated to rescuing and rehoming stray dogs, was founded in 2002.

Using the “tens of millions” he made each year from The Simpsons, he helped fund American Atheist billboards campaigns in which prominent signs urging people to dare to question their beliefs and ditch religion pop up in cities across the US.

The boards – which offer an alternative to the aggressive religious “marketing” often seen in the US – famously included a sign reading: “You KNOW it’s a Myth … This Season Celebrate REASON”, which appeared in New York over Christmas 2010.


A similar 2009 campaign in the UK, spearheaded by the writer Ariane Sherine, saw signs reading “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” placed on buses across Britain.

The adverts were backed by the biologist and well-known atheist Richard Dawkins, and by the British Humanist Association.

In an interview last year, Simon referenced his lack of religious when asked about the motivation behind his generosity, telling Vanity Fair:

People say I’m trying to buy my way into heaven, which I don’t believe in. So that can’t be true.

In a statement on its Facebook page, American Atheists said:

Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons, was a strong advocate of atheist activism. He was a life member of American Atheists and an ardent supporter of our billboard campaigns, as well as the 2012 Reason Rally. We were honored to call him our friend and we will remember him warmly.

Plight of minorities in India

Added March 11, 2015

Theoretically, the Indian Constitution safeguards the rights of minorities but the Hindu majority, led by the BJP, is oblivious to the rights of the minorities. and has indulged in excesses against
other groups.

India has been a vocal promoter of secularism but, unfortunately, the plight of minorities there tells a different tale. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, one of the strongest advocates of Hindu Muslim unity, once said, “I firmly hold that communal frenzy will disappear when India assumes the responsibility of her own destiny.” Regrettably, Azad’s hope was not only dashed on the altar of Hindu fanaticism but the predicament of minorities in India has worsened.

In 2005, the then Prime Minister (PM), Manmohan Singh, appointed the Rajinder Sachar Committee to prepare a report on the social, economic and educational conditions of minorities in India. Headed by the former Chief Justice (CJ) of the Delhi High Court (DHC), Rajinder Sachar, and six other members, the committee prepared a 403-page report and presented it in the lower house (Lok Sabha) of Indian parliament on November 30, 2006.

The advent of the BJP government in mid-2014 has caused further concern since the BJP’s election manifesto was directed towards extremist Hindus, dropping the idea of secularism.

Theoretically, the Indian Constitution safeguards the rights of minorities but the Hindu majority, led by the BJP, is oblivious to the rights of the minorities. In recent weeks, a number of religious ceremonies have been organised in different parts of India by Hindu hardliner groups close to Mr Modi’s governing BJP and there have been allegations that they involved force, fraud or inducement.

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Testimony by Human Rights Watch presented before the US Senate Committee the atrocious attitude of the Hindu majority and has highlighted the plight of minorities in India.

The central government’s ministry of home affairs reported 823 incidents of communal violence in 2013, in which 133 people died and over 2,000 were injured. Although the report was presented before the Indian general elections of 2014, it not only fell on deaf ears but, ironically, the US government, which had previously denied a visa to Mr Modi on the basis of his involvement in the Gujarat pogrom, is now bending over backwards to woo him after his election as the Indian PM because they find India a lucrative market for their goods and services.

Some fanatic Hindus do not support a distinct culture for Indian minorities. They are led by the Skardu-born Professor Balraj Madhok, the one time president of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, who unified Hindus to stand against the Pakistani forces and local separatists in 1948. He has been propagating that Indian minorities must adopt Hindu names.

There has been a deliberate endeavour to ‘Hinduise’ the syllabus of schools and other educational institutions by inserting references to Hindu gods and goddesses in the textbooks.

One would like to have faith in the Indian judicial system being impartial and fair but the truth is to the contrary.

In the alleged attack on the Indian parliament building in December 2001, one of the accused, Afzal Guru, was falsely implicated and hanged although the evidence against him was flimsy.

Perversely, despite eyewitness testimony implicating the highest elected political officials, justice continues to evade the victims in the Gujarat massacre of 2002 where over 70 accused persons of the Gujarat pogrom, including then Chief Minister (CM) Narendra Modi, were acquitted by the court.

If India wants to be recognised as a champion of democracy and supporter of secularism, it will have to improve its track record of treatment of its minorities. Instead of persecuting or harassing them, it must treat them with dignity and grant them the human rights assured to them by the Indian Constitution.

Mark Twain, Who Mocked the Words “In God We Trust,”

Will Soon Be on a Commemorative Coin Alongside That Phrase

Added March 10, 2015
by 10 Comments

In 2016, Mark Twain will be featured on a U.S. commemorative coin.

That’s ironic, says Coin World senior editor Bill Gibbs, because Twain wasn’t a fan of the phrase “In God We Trust,” which will appear on his coin:

Twain said this about the motto’s use on coinage, in a speech he gave May 14, 1908:

“Some years ago on the gold coins we used to trust in God. It think it was in 1863 that some genius suggested that it be put on the gold and silver coins which circulated among the rich. They didn’t put it on the nickels and coppers because they didn’t think the poor folks had any trust in God. … If I remember rightly, the President required or ordered the removal of that sentence from the coins. Well, I didn’t see that the statement ought to remain there. It wasn’t true. But I think it would better read, ‘Within certain judicious limitations we trust in God,’ and if there isn’t enough room on the coin for this… enlarge the coin.

(The New York Times says Twain made a slightly reworded version of that same statement.)

The point was as clear then as it is now: The phrase just doesn’t belong on our currency.

Maybe someone with a sense of humor will create a design with Twain’s profile laughing in the direction of where the phrase is located.

Now that would be funny.


Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/03/08/mark-twain-who-mocked-the-words-in-god-we-trust-will-soon-be-on-a-commemorative-coin-alongside-that-phrase/#ixzz3To8ZFyWm

Prof Peter Higgs: Atheist scientist admits he doesn't believe in 'god particle'

Added March 10, 2015

The scientist behind the Higgs boson, Prof Peter Higgs, has urged people to stop calling it the God particle because he's an atheist.        
   
The 83-year-old scientist, who lives in Edinburgh, insisted the reference was not funny and was actually misleading.

He came up with the theory of a subatomic particle, since dubbed the Higgs boson, which would explain the mystery of how things have mass.

But the professor wants people to stop referring to it as the "God particle" because he does not believe the particle holding the physical fabric of the universe together is the work of one almighty creator.

According to Prof Higgs, the nickname actually started as a joke, adding that it was "not a very good one".

Lederman wrote in the book "God particle": "This boson is so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive, that I have given it a nickname: the God particle.

"Why God particle? The publisher wouldn't let us call it the Goddamn particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing."

But Prof Higgs, explained his distaste for the term in a BBC Scotland interview. He said: "First of all, I'm an atheist.

"The second thing is I know that name was a kind of joke and not a very good one. I think he shouldn't have done that as it's so misleading."

Prof Higgs has become a global celebrity over the past year since the discovery of an elementary particle consistent with the Higgs boson, which

Muslim abused his ‘bride’, aged 12

Added March 10, 2015

A 27-year-old Lebanese man in Australia has been sentenced to a maximum 10 years’ jail for sexually abusing a girl, aged 12, whom he had married at a private ceremony.

Judge Deborah Sweeney said the man, who arrived in Australia on a student visa in June 2013, asked two religious leaders at a Hunter Valley mosque to arrange the marriage. They declined, clearly telling him it was illegal.

However, Sheikh Muhammad Tasawar, an Iranian cleric based at a different mosque, agreed to marry the couple.

After the ceremony the couple had sexual relations and continued to do so while staying in a series of motels before moving into a rented house in western Sydney.

The paedophile, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to the persistent sexual abuse of a child.

Despite being told that such a marriage wasn’t legal, the man embarked on a “determined and deliberate pursuit of the girl” and with the help of one of her relatives, organised for a ceremony to take place at a private home on January 12, 2014.

In setting a non-parole period of seven-and-a-half years, Judge Sweeney said:

Neither his cultural or religious beliefs excuse his offence.

The court heard he believed a Muslim girl could marry once she reached puberty.

The girl’s attitude towards the marriage was not a mitigating factor, Judge Sweeney said. Similarly, the fact that she fell pregnant but miscarried, although serious, did not aggravate the offence.

Outside court, the man’s lawyer, Alex Radojev, said the “harsh” sentence – which was “beyond my expectation” – would be appealed.

The man was originally charged with 25 counts of sexual intercourse with an underage child. In October last year he pleaded guilty to one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years’ jail.

His student visa has been cancelled and he has been detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre since March last year.

The court was told the man first saw the girl at a Hunter Valley mosque in November 2013. He made inquiries about marrying her but after a supervised meeting he was told she was not interested as he was “too old”.

However, he began contacting her by text message, sometimes sending dozens of messages a day. About a month later the girl began communicating with him.

In early February 2014, the man attempted to become her guardian so he could enroll her in high school. They were referred to Centrelink and Family and Community Services. Police were alerted.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was examined at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead after she complained of sharp right abdominal pain. Doctors found she had an ectopic pregnancy – where the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus – and miscarried.

In March 2014, Sheikh Tasawar, 35, pleaded guilty to the offence of solemnisation of a marriage by an unauthorised person. He was fined $500 and his religious leader visa was cancelled.

The girl’s “husband” will be eligible for parole in August 2021 although he is likely to be deported on release.

• Qatar-based Dr Bilal Philips, pictured above, can be seen defending child brides in this video. He has also said that there is no such thing as rape in marriage.

he predicted in 1964. Last year he was recognised in the New Year Honours.

In the 1960s, Prof Higgs and other physicists proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass.

The mechanism predicts the existence of a Higgs particle, the discovery of which was claimed last year at the Large Hadron Collider.

According to one popular version of the story, Prof Higgs came up with the concept during a walk in the Cairngorms.

Edited by Andrew Hough


Put this Randi- movie on you ‘much watch’ list

Added March 9, 2015

At 86, James Randi, fraudbuster extraordinaire, is still as sharp as a razor – and he’s the star of a new documentary, An Honest Liar.

Writing for Variety, Dennis Harvey said:

An Honest Liar is a highly entertaining portrait of James ‘the Amazing’ Randi, a magician-cum-escape artist who, like his role model, Houdini, eventually turned his primary attention to debunking professional mystics, telepathists and other ‘supernatural’ charlatans.

Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom’s documentary bounces along enjoyably on a sea of archival clips from Randi’s high-profile career, with latter-day input from numerous celebrity pals (and at least one famous foe). It gains added dimension from the subject’s late-in-life coming out as a gay man [at the age of 81].


randi

James Randi.

James Randi and producer/co-director Justin Weinstein at the special screening of An Honest Liar at the Magic Castle

According to this report in Variety, Randi proved a big draw at a special screening this week in Hollywood.

In the documenantary, everyone from Alice Cooper to Penn and Teller weigh in on his influence, and the movie contains rarely seen archival footage of Randi appearing in shows ranging from The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson to Happy Days.

A Q&A followed the screening with filmmaker Weinstein, Randi and his husband Jose Alvarez. Weinstein discussed the process of obtaining and utilising the thousands of hours of archival footage he used in the film.

Said Weinstein:

We had the curse and the blessing that Randi lived a great part of his life in the public eye.

He added that one of the film’s biggest expenses was converting tapes and even 16mm film.

One of the film’s major coups was getting an interview with Uri Geller, who achieved fame in the 1970s by claiming to be a psychic and making countless TV appearances where he would bend spoons and keys.

For years, Randi would imitate his tricks to show there was no psychic ability involved, and the two were engaged in a heated rivalry. Weinstein described the pair as a superhero and his nemesis.

Said Weinstein:

They both come from the same place. They’re both doing tricks. And one of them goes to the light and one to the dark side. It’s a classic superhero narrative.

When asked about why he feels the need to reveal fakes, he said, “These people do positive damage to believers.” He talked about one faith healer who collected so much money, he threw out cheques worth $20 or less.

He was cashing the $500 and $1,000 ones – and there were a lot of them.

When asked whom he would like to expose today, he named televangelist Toufik Benedictus (aka “Benny The Hair”) Hinn, above.

He also revealed that he is working on his 11th book, A Magician in the Laboratory, which will include a take-down of anti-vaccination believers.

Faith Groups Are Trying To Block Emergency Contraception For Raped Migrant Children

Added March 8, 2015

Estimates suggest that anywhere between 60 and 80 percent of migrant women and girls are raped on their journey as they travel across the southern United States border.

But many of the organizations that provide medical care to these migrants are refusing to provide emergency contraception or make pregnancy-related referrals to girls who have been raped.

What’s more, the religious organizations that operate these groups are opposing a move by the Obama administration to address epidemic rape of young unaccompanied migrants by requiring contraceptive care.

Thinking of God Makes People Bigger Risk-Takers

 

Added March 7, 2015

Reminders of God can make people more likely to seek out and take risks, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings suggest that people are willing to take these risks because they view God as providing security against potential negative outcomes.

“References to God pervade daily life — on any given day you might see the word ‘God’ printed on U.S. currency, drive behind a car with a bumper sticker that references God, or use one of the many colloquial expressions that use the word ‘God.’ In fact, the word ‘God’ is one of the most common nouns in the English language,” says lead researcher Daniella Kupor of Stanford University Graduate School of Business.  “The fact that reminders of God are so ubiquitous suggests that this effect may impact a large number of people.”

Many previous studies had indicated that religiosity and participation in religious activities are associated with decreases in people’s engagement in risky behaviors like substance abuse and gambling, but Kupor and her colleagues noticed that the risks examined in these studies tended to share a negative moral component.

The researchers hypothesized that thinking about God may have a different effect in relation to risks that have no moral connotation, since people tend to view God as a source of protection and security. They decided to test this hypothesis in a series of experiments.

In a group of online survey studies with nearly 900 participants, the researchers found that people who were reminded of God — either by working on word scrambles that included God-related words or by reading a paragraph about God — were more willing to engage in various risky behaviors than those participants who weren’t prompted to think about God.

In one study, for example, participants were asked to choose which version of the study they wanted to complete: one version would give them a small bonus payment, but involved looking at an “extremely bright color” that they were told could potentially damage their eyes, while the other version involved looking at a harmless darker color. The researchers found that participants who had been reminded of God prior to making their choice were more likely to opt for the dangerous version of the experiment (95.5%) than the participants who hadn’t been reminded of God (84.3%).

In another study, the researchers posted variations of three ads online and recorded the click-through rates for each. There were ads that promoted an immoral risk (“Learn how to bribe”), ads that promoted a nonmoral risk (“Find skydiving near you”), and ads that promoted no risk (“Find amazing video games”). In some cases, the ads included a mention of God (e.g., “God knows what you’re missing! Find skydiving near you.”)

The findings were clear: When the ad included a reference to God, people clicked on the skydiving (nonmoral risk) ad more often, but they clicked on the bribing (moral risk) less often. People clicked about the same number of times on the computer games ad, with or without a mention of God.

“We were surprised to find that even a simple colloquial expression — ‘God knows what you’re missing’ — influences whether people click on a real online ad that is promoting a risky behavior,” says Kupor.

Additional findings indicated that people who were reminded of God perceived less danger in various risky behaviors than participants who were not reminded of God. And they reported more negative feelings toward God when they lost their potential winnings in a risk-related game, suggesting that they had expected God to protect them from losing the money and were disappointed in the outcome.

The researchers point out that this effect may not hold for people from cultures in which God is not seen as a protective force; nonetheless, the findings have broad relevance for millions of people around the world. Together, the series of studies, using various measures of risk and different types of reminders, show that reminders of God can shape how people perceive and engage with nonmoral risks.

Study co-authors include Kristin Laurin and Jonathan Levav of Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Turkish court blocks atheist group’s website

Added 6, March 2015

A Turkish court has blocked access to a website for the country’s first atheist association, ruling it was an “insult to religious values” in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation, the group said on Wednesday.

The court in an Ankara suburb said the website for Ateizm Dernegi (Atheist Society), founded last year in Istanbul, was engaged in “activities likely to disturb public order.”

The association denounced the ruling in a statement, calling it “undemocratic and illegal” and saying it would harm Turkey`s reputation abroad.

In an interview with Turkish media in 2014, the association’s founders said they had created the group to “legally support those threatened due to their atheism” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested a link between atheists and terrorists.

Critics accuse Erdogan, prime minister from 2003 until he became president in August, of increasing authoritarianism, particularly following anti-government protests that rocked the country in 2013.

Turkish pianist Fazil Say, known for his atheism, was given a 10-month suspended sentence in 2013 for harming religious values after a series of tweets judged as insulting to Islam.

Turkish courts regularly block sites seen as offensive to Islam.

In January, Turkey banned the online publication of Prophet Mohammed cartoons by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the jihadist attack on the paper’s Paris office that killed 12 people.

Slovenian lawmakers approve same-sex marriage, adoption amid protests from conservative groups

Added March 5, 2015

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Slovenian lawmakers have approved same-sex marriage and child adoption by gay couples amid opposition from conservative groups and the Catholic Church.

Parliament voted 51:28 Tuesday to pass changes to the family law allowing homosexual couples to marry and adopt children. Slovenia in the past allowed same-sex partnership union, but without the right to child adoption.

Earlier Tuesday, a few thousand people protested at a rally dubbed "Children Are At Stake" to voice their opposition to the changes. Opponents have announced plans to force a referendum on the issue after a similar bid was rejected in a vote three years ago.

Leftist lawmaker Matej Vatovec said the parliamentary support ensured Slovenia will become a "truly tolerant and inclusive community." He said "today Slovenia is entering the 21st century."

Christian proposes firing squads for gays

Added March 2015, 2015

Devout Christian activist Matthew McLaughlin wants all gay people in California to be executed by firing squad to prevent a repeat of  the ‘Sodom and Gomorrha’ (sic) incident.

McLaughlin last week paid $200 to file a ballot initiative – “The Sodomite Suppression Act” – with the Attorney General in Sacramento.

McLaughlin calls homosexual sex “buggery,” and “sodomy,” and labels it:

A monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.

He says that it’s “better” that non-gay Californians kill the gays rather than have to suffer God’s punishment.

Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.

The Sodomite Suppression Act also calls for a one million dollar fine for each act of transmitting, distributing, or performing “sodomistic propaganda” to minors.

And McLaughlin’s bill would make it illegal for any gay person to hold public office, be employed by the state, or be granted any benefits, such as welfare, social security, or use any public assets, such as roads.

McLaughlin will have to get 365,000 legitimate California residents to sign up to support the Sodomite Suppression Act in order for it to move forward.

According to this report, McLaughlin is likely the same person who in 2004 submitted a citizen ballot initiative to give Bibles to all public school kids in California, grades 1-12.

Does Religious Make People Good? Of Course Not, Says Author of New Book

Added March 4, 2015
by

Barbara G. Walker, an author and past recipient of the American Humanist Association’s “Humanist Heroine Award,” has written quite a bit about the intersection of feminism and religion. And her latest collection of essays, Beliefs & Unbelief (Humanist Press, 2015), holds little back, dismantling many of the defenses we frequently hear about religion.

unbeliehf

In the excerpt below (published without footnotes for ease of reading), Walker explains how religious belief doesn’t actually make you good:

But is it really true that religion makes people more kindly, generous or loving? History tends to disprove this. The worst wars, the most vicious Inquisitions, the cruelest pogroms and persecutions were both fomented and supported by religion. Soldiers and crusaders have always been taught that the enemy consists of people who lack the true faith, and so deserve to be massacred. The biblical God who supposedly said “Thou shalt not kill” ordered hundreds of genocidal slaughters and summary executions (including the blood sacrifice of his allegedly beloved son). Wars are seldom perpetrated without the support of religious authorities. Chaplains are even made handy to the battlefield, to assure soldiers that God says they shalt kill as many of the enemy as possible.

As a means of motivating people to be cruel or inhumane, there is no more potent force than religion. Men of patriarchal cultures have been committing heinous acts in the name of their God ever since they created a god for themselves. It seems that the earlier, Goddess-oriented, nature-centered religions were far less cruel.

From the slaughters recorded in the Bible, early Christians’ butchery of European pagans, the “holy” Crusades, and later European Christians’ genocide of New World natives, to the twentieth-century holocaust in Nazi Germany, religion has been a major rationale for every kind of inhumanity. It has been the cause of the monstrous two-millennium abuse of women on the specious ground of a mythic original sin committed by Eve, and of preposterous witch hunts of the Inquisition. Though estimates of the death toll vary widely, there is no denying that much killing can be done by an organization that lasted over 500 years and covered much of Europe, with legal confiscation of the victims’ property as its primary encouragement.

Since St. Augustine announced that Eve — and hence collective woman — was responsible for original sin, rabid sexism has been a major pillar of patriarchal religious tradition. Clement of Alexandria said every woman should be ashamed of being female. According to the Gospel of Thomas, Saint Peter said that women are not worthy of life. St. Thomas Aquinas said every woman is born defective, lower than a slave, only meant by God to be “in subjection” to her husband. A nineteenth-century Anglican churchman wrote that a woman is “intrinsically inferior in excellence, imbecile by sex and nature, weak in body, inconstant in mind, and imperfect and infirm in character.” In the 1890s the president of a leading theological seminary noted that the Bible commands “the subjection of women forever.” Orestes Brownson said a woman must be under male control, otherwise she is “out of her element and a social anomaly, sometimes a hideous monster, which men seldom are, excepting through a woman’s influence.” The holy father John Scotus Erigena wrote that when the heavens finally open in glory, women will be eliminated, because God embodied the sinless part of humanity in men and the sinful part in women. According to the official handbook of the Inquisition, the Malleus Maleficarum (A Hammer for Witches), “all wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman.” Even the twentieth-century Catholic Encyclopedia asserts that the female sex is inferior to the male sex in both body and soul.

Marriage to a woman was not recommended by early Christian fathers. St. Ambrose called marriage a crime against God. Tatian called marriage “a polluted and foul way of life.” According to Origen, matrimony is impure and unholy; and according to St. Jerome, the purpose of every godly man should be “to cut down with the ax of Virginity the wood of Marriage.” Tertullian called marriage a moral crime, “more dreadful than any punishment or any death.” St. Bernard opined that it is easier to bring the dead back to life than for a man to live with a woman without endangering his own soul. For the first half of the Christian era, marriage was a civil ceremony only, having nothing to do with religion. It was not until the Council of Trent in 1538 that a Christian ceremony was considered essential to a valid marriage. “Nothing is further from the truth than the contention of modern divines that the Church from the first patronized and sanctified an institution which was in reality only imposed on her… Nothing is more remarkable than the tardiness with which liturgical forms for the marriage ceremony were evolved in the Church.” Eventually, it seems, the church realized that there was an additional source of income to be exploited.

Marriage finally became acceptable to the churches when laws were established that could make it a means of depriving women of incomes and property, and making wives the equivalent of slaves. Some of the eastern churches made it a wedding custom for a bride to kneel and place her bridegroom’s foot on her head, and accept a stroke from a fancy ceremonial whip. Wife-beating was so routine in Christian countries that the Alsatian decorative symbol for “marriage” was a toy man beating a toy wife. Martin Luther thought himself a very lenient husband because he didn’t beat his wife with a stick, but only punched her in the head to prevent her from “getting saucy.” In Victorian times, Blackstone’s legal “rule of thumb” decreed that a man could beat his wife with a stick as long as it was no thicker than his thumb, “in order to enforce the salutary restraints of domestic discipline.” Up to the nineteenth century, British law allowed acts of assault to be legally innocent if committed by a husband against a wife. Apparently, however, beatings with clubs thicker than the thumb had been shown to result in broken bones that tended to interfere with wives’ get- ting their work done. Only in the last century did most Christian countries finally get around to declaring wife-beating a crime, though it is still acceptable under Islam.

A slave may be defined as a person who is forced to work, but receives no payment other than food, shelter and clothing; who is expected to be obedient, and may be beaten or otherwise abused at the discretion of the master; who is legally immobilized and considered to be property. Under patriarchal religion, this definition applied equally to a wife. In addition, female slaves were freely used as sexual objects by their masters and forced to bear the master’s offspring. This equally applies to wives under a religious system that denies them access to birth control or abortion.

Religion not only taught men that they may enslave women with God’s blessing; it also taught many people to believe that they are God’s chosen ones, greatly superior to those of other colors or other beliefs; therefore the latter may be enslaved or slaughtered, also with God’s blessing. Again and again the biblical God recom- mends huge slaughters of such people; and “thine eye shall have no pity on them” (Deut. 7:16). Prejudicial traces of such ideas are still common today. Religion does not necessarily promote love for humanity in general.

If we’ve gotten any better about women’s rights and minority rights, it’s despite what the Bible says, not because of it.

Beliefs & Unbelief is available on Amazon beginning today.

Puerto Rican Atheists Are Receiving Threats Online After Their Activism Becomes More Public

Added March 4, 2015
by

A few days ago the American Atheists convention in Puerto Rico was announced with billboards around the island. (The convention will take place on August 21-23 at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino in Old San Juan.)

Just hours after this announcement was made in the local newspapers of the island, one of the organizing groups, Humanistas Seculares de Puerto Rico (Secular Humanists of Puerto Rico) started receiving death threats over social media.

Education and Religious Devotion must be Separated in Ghana

Added March 4, 2015

Leo Igwe responds to the recent controversy where the Ghana Education Service has stated that all students must attend Christian devotion in government/state schools, including Muslim students, or face disciplinary action. He writes:

what should be the issue in Ghana today is not religious devotion in schools but how to improve the quality of education and learning. It is not whether students start the day with christian or muslim prayers, but whether they are acquiring cutting edge knowledge, skills and ideas needed for the 21st century.

It’s dishonest to pretend that coercing students into a religion is about ‘national unity’ and not about evangelising and winning converts.

The solution Leo proposes is:

To be just and fair to students of all religious and non religious backgrounds in Ghana, the compulsory religious- christian or muslim- devotion in schools should cease and be replaced by an inclusive moral instruction program based on human values and decencies like love, kindness, honesty, tolerance for one another, respect for human rights, justice and fairness, etc.

Read more

Bangladeshi Cops Arrest Three Islamists in Hacking Death of U.S. Atheist Avijit Roy

Added March 4, 2015
by

Last Thursday, American author and activist Avijit Roy, an atheist, was slaughtered, in front of his wife, by assailants wielding cleavers or machetes. The Roys were visiting Dhaka, the capital of his native Bangladesh, for a book fair. Now, Bangladeshi police have three suspects in custody.

Three suspected Islamists were on Saturday arrested in Bangladesh in a pre-dawn raid, as authorities intensified a crackdown on extremists following the brutal killing of American blogger Avijit Roy in the capital. … “We have seized 30 grenades…it appears they (the militants) could have made some 300-400 bombs with the explosives we found at the den,” [said a] commanding officer.

The raid came two days after Roy, known for his critique of religious extremism, was hacked to death in the Dhaka University area by machete-wielding assailants who attacked the Bangladeshi-origin writer. Roy was returning from a book fair with his wife on Thursday evening when the attack occurred. His wife and fellow blogger Rafida Ahmed Banna was seriously injured as she tried to defend him.

The killing that apparently took place right in front of a police barricade … sparked countrywide protests and international condemnation.

Well, that’s good. The protests over godlessness have often gone the other way in Bangladesh. Many Bangladeshi writers and bloggers have, with good reason, feared for their lives.

Roy’s family and friends said Islamist radicals had been threatening him in recent weeks because he maintained a blog ‘Mukto-mona’ or ‘Freemind’ that highlighted humanist and rationalist ideas and condemned religious extremism. …

Police said they were investigating the involvement of Ansarullah Bangla Team, an Islamist extremist group based in Bangladesh, that claimed responsibility for the murder. In an internet posting months ago, they had said: “It is not possible to kill Avijit at the moment since he lives in the US. But he will be killed when he will come to Dhaka.”

A Twitter account in the name of ‘Ansar Bangla 7′ described Roy’s murder as an ‘achievement’, saying “A great success today here in #Bangladesh. Target is down,” while a series of subsequent tweets called the murder a punishment for his “crime against Islam.”

We see this topsy-turvy perversity time and again from Muslim radicals: Arguing against religious beliefs is literally the worst possible crime, but they easily defend hacking and slicing a person to death as an act of true virtue.

The prisoners dilemma Erkki Hartikainen March 3, 2015


two-cells

Two prisoners are arrested and charged with a crime. The police lacks sufficient evidence to convict the suspects, unless at leas one confesses. The police hold the suspects in separate cells and explain the consequences that will follow from the the actions they could take.

If neither confesses then both will be convicted  of the minor offence  and sentenced to life sentence in jail. If both confess then both will be sentenced to purgatory. Finally, if one confesses but the other does not, the the confessor will be sentenced to the heaven but the other will be sentenced to the hell.

Raif Badawi, Possibly Spared from Additional Lashes, Could Now Be Sentenced to Death

Added March 3, 2015
by

While the fate of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (below) is still up in the air — he received 50 lashes of a 1,000-lashes punishment for “insulting Islam,” though the flogging has been indefinitely delayed — it looks like things may be getting worse for him

Mr Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told The Independent in a series of messages that judges in Saudi Arabia’s criminal court want him to undergo a re-trial for apostasy. If found guilty, he would face a death sentence.

She said the “dangerous information” had come from “official sources” inside the conservative kingdom…

Furthermore, Badawi may appear in front of the same judge who sentenced him to 1,000 lashes to begin with:

This judge is biased against raif. He has twice requested that Raif be charged with ‘apostasy’. His request was declined at the time on the ground that the penal court has no jurisdiction on cases that lead to death penalty. However, due to a new regulation issued by the Supreme Judicial Council on 19.09.2014, the Penal court has now jurisdiction over major cases, which are punishable by the death penalty, amputation and stoning.

The options are limited. But if there’s anything we can do other than keep this issue in the limelight in the hopes that some government officials might take action, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Mathematics without quantors is possible

Erkki Hartikainen March 2, 2015

I am writing a book on the logical empiricism. In the philosophy there are no problems for me. My special problem is using the symbols in html. I know that it is possible but if I must put every symbol to the source code it will take too much of the time.

I discovered that I do not need the existential generalization. As the logicians know we need only one quantor.

But I was very amazed when I discovered that the abstract mathematics does not need any quantors.

As a computer scientist (programming) I found that it is possible to write programs which are doing the proofs of the calculus without any information of the quantors.

But I am old man (72) and I hope that I can write a book on the logical empiricism. The development of the quantor-free calculus belongs to the people who are younger than me.

I have never been a good mathematician. My invention is too complicated for me. I think that the computer scientists will make a new theory when they hear that such is possible.

If not, the theory will die when I die.

Prominent atheist blogger butchered

Added March 1, 2015

Unidentified assailants with machetes  hacked to death Avijit Roy.

According to this report, Roy’s writings showed him to be a fierce critic of Islamic fundamentalism and was frequently threatened. On Twitter, Roy called himself a “prominent defender of the free-thought movement” in Bangladesh.

In December, Bangladesh News 24 reported that a man named Shafiur Rhaman Farabi had written a Facebook post that read:

Avijit Roy lives in American and so, it is not possible to kill him right now. He will be murdered when he comes back.

Farabi and other men who made similar threats against Roy were arrested, but it’s unclear if they were freed at the time of the stabbing of the famed writer.

Bangladesh News 24 reported that the killing had been done by two young men, that no arrests have been made, and that:

There is considerable traffic on the Net supporting the murder, with Islamist radicals posting laudatory messages and tweeting extensively.

Local police chief Sirajul Islam said:

He died as he was brought to the hospital. His wife was also seriously wounded. She has lost a finger.

Roy, founder of the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site, which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim-majority nation, was in Bangladesh to  attend a book fair.

The couple were returning from the fair on a bicycle rickshaw when two assailants dragged them onto a sidewalk before hacking them with machetes.

Roy, said to be around 40, is the second Bangladeshi blogger murdered in two years and the fourth writer to be attacked since 2004.

Hard-line Islamist groups have long demanded the public execution of atheist bloggers and have sought new laws to combat writing critical of Islam.

Police have launched a probe and recovered the machetes used in the attack but could not confirm whether Islamists were behind the incident.

Roy’s father, Ajoy, said the writer was:

A secular humanist and has written about ten books including his most famous Biswasher Virus (Virus of Faith).

The Center for Inquiry, a US-based charity promoting free thought, said it was “shocked and heartbroken” by the brutal murder. It said in a statement:

Dr Roy was a true ally, a courageous and eloquent defender of reason, science, and free expression, in a country where those values have been under heavy attack.

Roy’s killing also triggered strong condemnation from publishers and fellow writers, who lamented the growing religious conservatism and intolerance in Bangladesh.

Bob Churchill, Director of Communications for the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), said:

This loss is keenly felt by freethinkers and humanists in South Asia and around the world. He was a colleague in humanism and a friend to all who respect human rights, freedom, and the light of reason. Our thoughts are with his family, and his many friends, supporters, and admirers who will be deeply hurt by this senseless crime.

We cannot know the assailants who carried out tonight’s vicious murder. But we do know this: Those who have openly made the most serious and credible threats on Roy’s life have been allowed to do so with impunity and now he is dead. As Roy himself warned, Bangladesh is appeasing the most insidious and violent strains of Islamism, and he new his own life was under threat. That appeasement of theocratic demands and naked threats must end, now.

And Imran H Sarker, head of an association for bloggers in Bangladesh, said:

The attack on Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed is outrageous. We strongly protest this attack and are deeply concerned about the safety of writers.

Pinaki Bhattacharya, a fellow blogger and a friend of Roy’s, said one of the country’s largest online book retailers was being openly threatened for selling Roy’s books. He wrote on Facebook:

In Bangladesh the easiest target is an atheist. An atheist can be attacked and murdered.

Atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider hacked to death in 2013 by members of a little-known Islamist militant group, triggering nationwide protests by tens of thousands of secular activists.

Seven students were charged with the murder, as well as an imam from a Dhaka mosque, who was accused of instigating the murder by allegedly preaching that it was legal to kill atheist bloggers who campaigned against Islam.

After Haider’s death, Bangladesh’s hard-line Islamist groups started to protest against other campaigning bloggers, calling a series of nationwide strikes to demand their execution, accusing them of blasphemy.

The secular government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reacted by arresting some atheist bloggers.

The government also blocked about a dozen websites and blogs to silence the furore over blasphemy, as well as stepping up security for the bloggers.

Bangladesh is the world’s fourth-largest Muslim majority nation, with Muslims making up some 90 percent of the country’s 160 million people.

More Than Half of Republican Primary Voters Want to Establish Christianity as the National Religion

Added March 1, 2015
by Rachel Ford

Public Policy Polling released a poll on Tuesday identifying Scott Walker as the leading presidential favorite among primary-voting Republicans. Which isn’t even the worst thing the poll tells us (and I say that as a Wisconsinite…).

While many of PPP’s questions focused on potential Republican primary candidates, some were the sort of simple queries like “Do you believe in evolution or not?” that trip up politicians like Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal.

And if you’re wondering how the potential primary voters fared, well… their responses weren’t any more heartening than Walker’s “punt.”


Filosofia ja elämänkatsomustieto

Last update 1.3.2015

Yleistietoa, opetussuunnitelmia, oppikirjoja ja linkkejä.


Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelma 2016

Tutustuaksesi opetushallituksenversioon elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelmasta napauta tästä (pdf) tai tästä (doc).

Html muodossa opetussuunnitelman löydät napauttamalla tästä.


Kevään 2015 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä

Kevään 2015 filosofian ylioppilastehtävät html-muodossa saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.


Syksyn 2014 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Kevään 2014 filosofian ylioppilastehtävät html-muodossa saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Kevään 2014 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Syksyn 2013 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Syksyn 2013 filosofian ylioppilastehtävät html-muodossa saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä. ja pdf -muodossa napauttamalla

tästä.

Kevään 2013 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Kevään 2013 filosofian ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Filosofi och livsåskådning

20 läroböcker och vokabulär

Philosophy and Life View

20 books and dictionary in Finnish

Constructed language misil

misil

Katsomusaineiden didaktiikkaa

Yleistä didaktiikkaa

Ilmaista didaktiikkaa

Kristillinen dogmatiikka

http://etkirja.pp.fi/dogmatiikka.html

Filosofian, elämänkatsomustiedon ja uskonnon didaktiikkaa

Motivaatio, kv sopimukset, totuus jne...

Lukion filosofia, Filosofi i gymnasiet

Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa

Mitä filosofia on?
Vad är filosofi?
Opetussuunnitelma
Läroplan
Yliopistofilosofian sivustot
Filosofi.fi på svenska
Svenska material
Philosophy links in Internet
Logiikan alkeet Internetissä
Palautelomake

Ilmaiset filosofian oppikirjat

FI1 , FI2 , FI3 , FI4

Normatiivinen etiikka
Sukupuolietiikka
Metaetiikka
Deskriptiivinen etiikka

Filosofian ylioppilastehtävät

S 2012 K 2012 S 2011 K 2011
Vanhoja ylioppilastehtäviä
Vanhojen tehtävien sanaluettelo lukumäärineen
Ylioppilaskirjoitusten filosofit
Ylioppilaskirjoitusten sivistyssanat
Palautelomake

Elämänkatsomustieto, livsåskådning

Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa

Elämänkatsomustieto vai uskonto?
Mitä elämänkatsomustieto on?
Miksi evankelis-luterilaiset eivät pääse et:n opetukseen
Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelmat
Grunderna för läroplanen för den grundläggande utbildningen
Koululait ja muut säädökset
Kysymyksiä ja vastauksia
Keskeiset ongelmat opetuksessa
Elämänkatsomustiedon opetusaineistoa ja linkkejä
Ohjeita kouluille
Dosentti Jouni Luukkaisen kantelut
Elämänkatsomustiedon stipendit
Kilpailut
Uskonnottomien uutisia
Religionskunskap i Sverige
Svenska material
Palautelomake

Peruskoulu Grundskola

Ilmaiset oppikirjat

et1 et2 et3 et4 et5 et6 et7 et8 et9

Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa

Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelmat
Grunderna för läroplanen för den grundläggande utbildningen
Opetusvihjeitä: 1-5, 5-9
Verkkomateriaalia
Vähemmistöuskontojen oppikirjat
Palautelomake

Lukio Gymnasium

Ilmaiset oppikirjat

et10 et11 et12 et13 et14

Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa

Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelmat
Grunderna för läroplanen
Sanasto
Opinnot Helsingin yliopistossa
Uskontojen vertailutaulukko
Palautelomake

Elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät

S 2012 K 2012 S 2011 K 2011
Vanhoja tehtävä
Vanhojen tehtävien sanaluettelo lukumäärineen
Ylioppilaskirjoitusten sivistyssanat

Syksyn 2014 ylioppilaskirjoituksiin valmistautuminen

Sekä elämänkatsomustiedon että filosofian ylioppilaskirjoituksiin kannattaa valmentautua lukemalla tämän oppiaineiston sanastoa sanasto.

Elämänkatsomustiedon kokeeseen lue myös ainakin kerran viikossa Elämänkatsomustiedon (opetushallituksen) opetussuunnitelmaohjeen sanat aakkosjärjestyksessä.

Filosofian kokeeseen lue ainakin kerran viikossa Filosofian(opetushallituksen) opetussuunnitelmaohjeen sanat aakkosjärjestyksessä.

Elämänkatsomustieto ainereaalissa

Elämänkatsomustieto on eräs lukion reaaliaineista. Elämänkatsomustiedon ainereaalissa kokelas valitsee vastattavakseen kuusi kysymystä kymmenestä vaihtoehdosta.

Reaaliaineiden sijoittuminen koepäivien kesken: Samana koepäivänä järjestetään evankelis-luterilaisen uskonnon, ortodoksisen isen uskonnon, elämänkatsomustiedon, yhteiskuntaopin, kemian, maantieteen ja terveystiedon kokeet.

Muuta tietoa

Esitelmä ateismista 9.2.2012 (pdf)
Maailmanuskonnot
Wienin piiri
Valtion ja kirkon ero
Java kielen perusteet versio 0.7
Palautelomake
Jäsenlomakkeet ja palautelomakkeet tekstinä ohjelmoijille

Ehdotus lukion opetuksen järkiperäistämiseksi

Suomen Ateistiyhdistys ry. kannattaa kaikkien mielipideaineiden poistamista kouluista. Erityisesti oman uskonnon opetus on mielipideopetusta.

Suomen ateistiyhdistys vastustaa kuitenkin jyrkästi kaikille yhteiseen "elämänkatsomustiedon" opetukseen siirtymistä lukioissa. Se merkitsisi Ruotsin mallin mukaista uskonnon opetusta eli sitä, mitä Kulosaaren yhteiskoulussa nyt opetetaan.

Kulosaaren yhteiskoulun kaikille pakollisen opetussuunnitelman löydät napauttamalla tästä.

Koska peruskoulun järkeistäminen on Suomen äärivanhoillisessa mielipideilmastossa mahdotonta, ehdotamme että järkeistäminen aloitetaan lukiosta.

Kun oman uskonnon tai elämänkatsomustiedon opetusta on peruskoulussa 9 vuotta, on kohtuutonta, että sitä on lukiossa.

Koska lukion elämänkatsomustiedon opetus oli aikoinaan filosofian opetusta ja nykyään huuhaata, ehdotamme, että oma uskonto ja elämänkatsomustieto poistetaan lukiosta ja muutetaan filosofian opetusta niin, että lukioissa filosofian nykyiset kurssit 2, 3 ja 4 ovat pakollisia. Samalla on päätettävä, että näiden kurssien sisältöjä ei muuteta lisäämällä niihin uskontotietoa.

Koska lukioissa on paljon evankelis-luterilaisia uskonnonopettajia, ehdotan, että heitä varten luodaan lakkautuspalkkajärjestelmä siirtymisajaksi. Vastaavasti teologikoulutusta vähennetään niin, että lukioiden evankelis-luterilaisen uskonnon opettajat voivat siirtyä joustavasti evankelisluterilaisen kirkon tehtäviin.

Nykyisin pätevät elämänkatsomustiedon opettajat katsottakoon päteviksi lukion filosofian opettajiksi.

Siirtymäajaksi myös opettajakoulutusta vailla olevat, joilla on yliopistossa suorittettu vähintään keskimmäinen oppimäärä filosofiassa, katsottakoon päteviksi lukion filosofian opettajiksi.

Lakkautuspalkka lisää menoja, mutta teologikoulutuksen keskeyttäminen pienentää menoja.

Kun joukko teologian professoreja joutuu lomautetuiksi, tämä on vain osoitus siitä, että kansalaisia lomautetaan tasapuolisesti kaikissa yhteiskuntaluokista.

Todellisiä hyötyjiä ovat lukiolaiset.

Mainittakoon, että alempaa löytyvät täysin ilmaiset lukion filosofian oppikirjat.