Alex’s Heresies – embracing a physical reality

news, commentaries and articles dedicated to a non-dualistic view of the world

Archive for November, 2008

News: A Christian Embracing of Atheism

Here’s an interesting YouTube video of a person’s rejection of strong Christian belief and practice to become an atheist. The video is a simple plain text presentation of personal religious background and reasons for rejecting religious belief and Christianity in particular. The arguments are all well-known but it’s good to read through one person’s rationale.

Alex McCullie

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News: Christians Fight Back

A UK Christian organisation is placing God messages in 200 buses in London. This seems in response to a similar campaign by the British Humanists mentioned in an earlier post.

MEMO, a ministry dedicated to spreading the Good News on public transport networks for 125 years, has launched a new advertising campaign on London buses reassuring commuters of God’s comfort in the midst of the global credit crunch.

The campaign, launched on Monday, will see MEMO’s ads displayed inside 200 buses throughout central London for the next four weeks.

They ask commuters if they feel “Crunched?” before quoting Luke 2.10 – 11, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you … This very day in Bethlehem your Saviour was born – Christ the Lord.” (full article in Christian Today 25 Nov 2008)

Alex McCullie

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News: Atheists & Non-Believers by Country

Here’s an interesting graphical representation of atheist populations by country (website). US has the least percentage and Vietnam the most.

Alex McCullie

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News: 571 Proofs of God’s Existence

What can I say…

Hundreds of Proofs of God’s Existence (website)

Oh, it’s not serious!
Alex McCullie

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News: Bully Others for God at School

Christian Today, an on-line Christian newspaper, reports that one in four children in the UK are bullied for faith-based reasons.

A survey published today by a leading bullying prevention charity has found that one in four school students admits to being bullying – often violently – because of their religion.

Beatbullying, which runs interfaith bullying prevention programmes, said its research indicated that that there was little provision for young people to talk about their faith and that almost half of young people do not talk about religious or faith issues at all.

The survey of 819 young people also found a degree of religious segregation, with 20 per cent of the young people surveyed saying that their circle of friends consisted mainly of people from the same religious background. (full article 17 Nov 2008)

It amazes me that religious people continue to believe and promote that strong religious belief leads inexorably to good moral behaviour. There seems to be no evidence supporting this stand. We see so many cases of strong faith being destructive. People’s moral behaviour should be seen as a strictly human affair with strictly human solutions.

Alex McCullie

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News: Nasty Atheists To Spoil a Christian Christmas

According to Christian Today, on-line Christian newspaper, The American Humanist Association will run bus ads proclaiming a godless holiday with the great quotation:

“Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake”

This follows the lead from the British Humanist Association that ran with the quotation:

“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”

The newspaper article is quite reasonable from a Christian viewpoint even though some of the quotations just refrain from using the term blasphemy (full article 14 Nov 2008).

A group of humanists announced this week plans to plaster over 200 buses in Washington DC with ads bearing its “godless holiday” message.

Ads proclaiming, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake”, will appear on the outside and inside of DC Metro buses starting next Tuesday and will run throughout December. Newspaper versions of the ads ran in The New York Times and The Washington Post this week.

The advertising campaign is part of an effort by the American Humanist Association to reach out to like-minded individuals around the nation’s capital and elsewhere who might be interested in humanism. The atheist group espouses the belief that people can live a moral life apart from a belief in a god or the afterlife.

“It is the ultimate ‘grinch’ to suggest there is no God during a holiday where millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is insensitive and mean,” remarked Mathew D Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian legal group that has defended the rights of cities and schools to display nativity scenes and Christmas decorations.

“Christmas is a time of joy and hope, not a time for hate,” added Staver. “Why believe in God? – Because Santa is not the only one coming to town.”

Roberta Combs, who heads the Christian Coalition of America, said the campaign’s attempt to ban God and Christmas from the public square will not sit well with many Americans.

But Combs said her organisation plans to mobilise its 2.5 million supporters to contact city officials and Congress to stop the “un-Godly campaign.”

Alex McCullie

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Comment: The Messiah?

According to history and legend the following is true.

He was born in 4 BCE. A spirit appeared to his pregnant mother, preparing her for the birth of a divine figure. His divinity was signalled by an extraordinary sign in the sky at birth. Other supernatural events were also claimed to highlight his birth.

In childhood he showed an amazing precocity for religious understanding and debate.

As an adult he travelled widely and performed many miracles – healing the sick and raising the dead have been documented. He was also renowned for his sublime teachings.

Ultimately he was arrested and tried by the Roman authorities. Many supporters believed he went to heaven and others saw him after death.

His name was … Apollonius of Tyana.

Alex McCullie

 

Other links
http://www.livius.org/ap-ark/apollonius/apollonius01.html

http://atheismandhappiness.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/apollonius-of-tyana-the-great-healer/

http://www.blavatsky.net/magazine/theosophy/ww/setting/apollonius.html

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/a/apollonius_of_tyana.html

http://mountainman.com.au/apollonius_of_tyana.htm

Alex McCullie

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News: Sarah Palin – We’ll Miss You

The newspaper, The Age Online, has an amusing article about Sarah Palin’s future and the word from God.

Defeated Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin says she hopes God will “show her the way” before she decides on any future bid for the White House.

However the devoutly religious 44-year-old mother-of-five said that if God wanted her to run for the highest office, she hoped to be shown the way.

“You know, I have – faith is a very big part of my life. And putting my life in my creator’s hands – this is what I always do,” Palin said.

“I’m like, OK God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I’m like, don’t let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is,” she added.

“Even if it’s cracked up a little bit, maybe I’ll plough right on through that and maybe prematurely plough through it, but don’t let me miss an open door. (full article 11 Nov 2008)

If you understand this, I’d advise keeping it to yourself and not admitting to the fact.

Alex McCullie

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News: Expelled and Expelled Exposed

Christian bookshops are keen to sell the Expelled DVD that is supposed to highlight the unfair favouring of evolution over the overtly religious creationism, now neatly re badged as Intelligent Design avoiding US Constitutional problems. The smart ideas of design are being expelled from the classroom by scientists and educators. Here’s an introduction by Christian Cinema.

Intelligent Design (ID), the ultimate oxymoron, keeps raising its ugly head. Instead of pontification about unsupported religious origin-beliefs, let’s see some real evidential support from the design supporters who want to be treated seriously. Evolution is one of most supported scientific theories of all time with numerous academic papers yearly in the most world’s most-respected scientific journals. Let the supporters of the ID achieve something similar and earn the right to be treated as scientific instead of being simply shouting about thinly disguised religious beliefs.

Mainstream scientists would welcome an alternate theory to evolution if it has stronger evidential support. There is nothing religious in science’s backing of evolution – it’s simply the best supported by a considerable margin. However we are yet to see the supporters of the various design beliefs present any sort of broad-based evidential support

Here’s an Expelled debunking site – Expelled Exposed.

Alex McCullie

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News: Roman Catholic Church and Gays Don’t Mix

Ireland’s Roman Catholic Church wants to appeal against new legislation that provides legal recognition for homosexual partnerships. According to PinkNews.co.uk:

Cardinal Sean Brady said that as “marriage and the family are of public interest,” it was appropriate for the Church to intervene. (full article 5 Nov 2008)

To me public interest means that the church has every right to make its voice known like any other organisation or individual. Presumably by intervene the church leaders see that they are more equal that others to comment.

Alex McCullie

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