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Quiz: What Kind of Atheist Are You? Saturday, May 26, 2007

Posted by Henry in agnosticism, atheism, Buddhism, Christianity, evolution, faith, funny, God, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, quiz, rationality, religion, science, secularism, Sikhism, spirituality.
6 comments

Courtesy of Evolving Thoughts and the ever-resourceful Pharygula, here is the result of what type of an atheist I am… below is the result – I am a 100% “scientific atheist” – and somewhat surprisingly, a 25% of a theist!

Of course, there are questions regarding evolution.

What kind of atheist are you?

You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I’m not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist
100%
Militant Atheist
75%
Spiritual Atheist
58%
Angry Atheist
42%
Apathetic Atheist
33%
Theist
25%
Agnostic
8%

What kind of atheist are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

The Animation of The Atheist Delusion 2: Decluded Mailbag Thursday, May 10, 2007

Posted by Henry in animation, anti-fundamentalism, atheism, Bible, Christianity, Ed Current, faith, fundamentalism, funny, God, humour, parody, rationality, religion, sarcasm, science.
48 comments

The creative Ed Current has done it again with a follow-up animation to his previous popular animation The Atheist Delusion. This time it is called “Atheist Delusion 2: Deluded Mailbag”, in which the faithful Christian guy answers some of the common (and deluded) atheist questions.

Take a look at the witty and hilarious animation!

“Atheist Delusion 2: Deluded Mailbag” Screenshot

The Animation of The Atheist Delusion Thursday, May 10, 2007

Posted by Henry in animation, anti-fundamentalism, atheism, Bible, Christianity, Ed Current, faith, fundamentalism, funny, God, humour, parody, rationality, religion, sarcasm, science.
1 comment so far

After a number of rather serious posts, I thought it is a good time to post something humorous. Just in case you haven’t seen it – because this is too good to miss – here is a marvellous piece of presentation titled “The Atheist Delusion“, created by Ed Current, that brings a little bit of humour and sarcasm to the age-old debate of atheism vs. theism.

No matter which side you are on, it is worth a look.

“The Atheist Delusion” Screenshot

An Incredibly Biased Straw-man Blog Post Against Atheism Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Posted by Henry in anti-creationism, anti-fundamentalism, anti-ID, atheism, creationism, DaveScot, evolution, faith, fundamentalism, God, intelligent design, rationality, religion, science, straw-man, Uncommon Descent.
12 comments

Warning! Creationist Ignorance Encountered!

The incredible ignorance of religious fundamentalists never ceases to amaze and offend. This time, the notorious blogger DaveScot at Uncommon Descent (an anti-evolution blog site) has done it again with a post that has to be one of the most childish and ignorant piece of writing I have come across.

Titled “Why Atheism Fails: The Four Big Bangs“, the essence of the blog can be summarised simply with the following extract:

Atheists respond to all these types of questions with essentially the same style answer. “We know God doesn’t exist. Therefore, since we’re here, though, it had to have happened this way. Thus, like the universe itself, life, mind, and morality all ‘just popped’ into existence out of nothingness.”

I call them the Four Big Bangs:

1’) the Cosmological (the universe “just popped” into existence out of nothingness).

2’) the Biological (life “just popped” into existence out of a dead thing).

3’) the Psychological (mind “just popped” into existence out of a brain).

4’) and the Moral (morality “just popped” into existence out of amorality).

For their many obfuscating words, the authors still don’t improve much beyond the “just popped” thesis, if at all.

It is recommended that you skip the rest of the blog – not only it offers nothing insightful and useful, worse, as the reader OhioJoe2 pointed out in his comment (comment number 5), it is full of utterly false, discriminating straw-man claims against scientists and atheists alike.

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Teenage Girl Stoned to Death for Loving the Wrong Boy Sunday, May 6, 2007

Posted by Henry in atheism, fundamentalism, honor killing, Iraq, Islam, Kurdish, love, religion.
12 comments

I am completely horrified and saddened by the barbaric, despicable act of the so-called honour-killing in the names of Islam.

I am also maddened.

This Daily Mail report, originally found at Richard Dawkins’ website, is something I cannot digest. A 17 year old Kurdish girl of a minority Islamic sect was stoned to her death by her family and tribesmen simply because she was in love with a Sunni boy, and failed to return home one night.

A video of it is floating around the internet. I have not had the courage to watch it.

This is tribalism and religious blindness at their worst. Utterly barbaric beyond words.

I can understand better now what Sam Harris means by saying that the Muslim world is comparable to the 14th century Christian Europe.

I am proud to be an atheist.

ps. Note that there are couple of video still images on the websites. I decided not to put them here. I don’t see the points. They are too gruesome.

May the girl rest in peace.

Worldwide Atheism Trend and Pattern – A Summary Thursday, May 3, 2007

Posted by Henry in agnosticism, atheism, Buddhism, China, Christianity, Europe, faith, God, Hinduism, Islam, Italy, Japan, Middle East, North Korea, Portugal, rationality, religion, Scandinavian, science, secularism, South Korea, statistics, survey, Sweden, United States, Vietnam, world.
26 comments

This is the sort of article I have been long searching for – a comprehensive, analytical and scholarly summary – filled with hard data – of atheism trends in the world. This 2005 article is written by Phil Zuckerman and seems to have been part of a Cambridge University publication. Although slightly outdated, it nonetheless provides a reliable and useful source for anyone interested in the study of the atheist demographics.

It is not a short article, so I will take the liberty of summarising it further here. Firstly it outlines the difficulties in conducting a survey on the beliefs and disbeliefs of large populations. Then it provides a good statistics on the atheism population in many countries. Then, most importantly, the Top 50 list of non-believing countries is presented, which I will duplicate here (I have stripped out the population columns due to space limits):

  Country % Atheist/actual # Agnostic/Non-believer in God
1 Sweden 46-85%
2 Vietnam 81%
3 Denmark 43-80%
4 Norway 31-72%
5 Japan 64-65%
6 Czech Republic 54-61%
7 Finland 28-60%
8 France 43-54%
9 South Korea 30%-52%
10 Estonia 49%
11 Germany 41-49%
12 Russia 24-48%
13 Hungary 32-46%
14 Netherlands 39-44%
15 Britain 39-44%
16 Belgium 42-43%
17 Bulgaria 34-40%
18 Slovenia 35-38%
19 Israel 15-37%
20 Canada 19-30%
21 Latvia 20-29%
22 Slovakia 10-28%
23 Switzerland 17-27%
24 Austria 18-26%
25 Australia 24-25%
26 Taiwan 24%
27 Spain 15-24%
28 Iceland 16-23%
29 New Zealand 20-22%
30 Ukraine 20%
31 Belarus 17%
32 Greece 16%
33 North Korea 15% (?)
34 Italy 6-15%
35 Armenia 14%
36 China 8-14% (?)
37 Lithuania 13%
38 Singapore 13%
39 Uruguay 12%
40 Kazakhstan 11-12%
41 Estonia 11%
42 Mongolia 9%
43 Portugal 4-9%
44 United States 3-9%
45 Albania 8%
46 Argentina 4-8%
47 Kyrgyzstan 7%
48 Dominican Rep. 7%
49 Cuba 7% (?)
50 Croatia 7%

where (?) indicates the relatively low certainty/validity. Note that rather than defining the terms “atheism”, “agnosticism” and “non-belief”, which is a tricky issue in itself, the article lumps all three together to simply mean people who do not believe in God. The range of percentages (for example the top non-believing country Sweden is 46% – 85%) gives an indication of the difficulties in reaching such figures. Finally, the author gives his own analysis on atheism trend and pattern using the data.

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How To Think Like a Religious Fundamentalist Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Posted by Henry in anti-creationism, anti-fundamentalism, anti-ID, atheism, Christianity, creationism, education, evolution, faith, fundamentalism, funny, God, humour, intelligent design, parody, rationality, religion, sarcasm, science.
50 comments

I have just discovered this seemingly ancient, yet ageless article on how to think like a religious fundamentalist. Buried in a Web 1.0 style website, I decided to bring it to spotlight and submitted that page to Digg. Don’t you just love it when stumbling upon a germ like this?

The opening statement is great:

Planning a career in online Christian fundamentalist apologetics? How about the exciting world of Young-Earth Creationism? Witnessing to, and debating with, atheists and other hellbound unsaved sinners on the internet can be hard work, so you need to familiarise yourself with the tried and tested methods used by fundies all around the world. After completing this simple training course, the shadow of doubt will never again flicker across your mind whilst listening to the lies and deceptions of those ignorant infidels who disagree with your self-evident truths.

After all, that is what religious fundamentalism is about – being blinded by faith without any discourse to reason and rationality. This how-to “training course” then starts with what I call the Fundy Rule 1 on inerrancy:

First and foremost, the Bible is the absolute, literal word of God. Contrary to popular opinion, it contains none of the following: errors of any kind, contradictions or absurdities .

which I believe can be expanded to the Koran of Islam, as well as other holy scriptures, not just that of the Bible of Christianity.

Here comes Fundy Rule 2 which is on science:

There is but one measuring stick required to determine the truth of any claim – how it compares with Holy Scripture. More precisely, how it compares with your personal reading of Scripture. So, if some secular humanist scientists dare to dream up a theory (or “wild guess”, as it is more accurately known) that apparently conflicts with the teachings of the Bible, clearly these egg-head mad professors have made yet another idiotic mistake, possibly under demonic influence. How do we know they are mistaken? See “1 Inerrancy”.

Here comes my favourite – how to debate and reason against attacks on fundamentalist thinking. While I don’t claim myself as being particularly analytical and intelligent, and definitely not a fan on belittling people’s mistakes and intelligence – but, time and time again, we come across totally ignorant and utterly bewildering stupid arguments put forward by religious fundies. So this training course has it, with Fundy Rule 3 on how to debate like a fundy:

  • Self Contradiction – the Bible stands correct at all time;
  • Logic and Reason – just the playthings of the unbeliever – faith in the Lord is all that is needed;
  • Burden of Proof on the Skeptic – the unbeliever claim God does not exist – ask them to disprove that;
  • Repeating Yourself;
  • Reply with Huge Answers;
  • Grammar and Spellings – not important, as long as the Holy Spirit guides us;
  • Knowledge – there is no need to know anything science offers us – all the evidence in the world is no match for a single grain of the True Faith;
  • Definition of Words – the Spirit will guide us through if unbelievers say we are mistaken with words;

Furthermore, the training course provides the last of priceless rules, Fundy Rule 4 – performing mental gymnastics. Here is :

  • Lying for Jesus – being economical with the truth, making up data on the spot and ignoring conflicting evidence are all handy weapons to save souls;
  • Compartmentalisation – keep scriptural knowledge away from the secular knowledge that allows you to function in worldly matters;
  • Wilful ignorance – Ignorance is bliss, and what is more blissful than reading the Word Of God?

Feel free to click on the Digg button below to Digg that fantastic article.

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Not Only In America – Evolution Science Endangered Worldwide Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Posted by Henry in anti-creationism, anti-ID, atheism, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Europe, evolution, intelligent design, Japan, rationality, religion, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, science, Turkey, United States, world.
7 comments

The scientific theory of evolution is under attack – and not just in the United States alone – but on a global scale.

Firstly, the result of a study published last year shows conclusively that the adult populations of US and Turkey are the least likely to believe in theory of evolution. The study was conducted over 34 countries which include Japan, US and 32 European nations. A question “Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals.” was asked, in which correspondents could respond with true, false or unsure.

A graphical depiction of the study is re-posted here. Click on it to enlarge it. Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries

Remarkably, but unsurprisingly, only a paltry 14% of the adult US population actually believes in evolution, completely outnumbered by the one-third who firmly rejects the idea.

Turkey, where 99% of its population is Muslim, represents another worrying trend. Using the result of this study, we can probably safe to conclude that the Muslim population, in general, reject the theory of evolution strongly. In fact, looking at the graph, one could also say that the ratio of rejection is quite high in comparison to US and the rest of surveyed countries.

A second article written recently also adds worry that the anti-evolution movement is gathering pace worldwide. It lists a couple of examples of how evolution is being attacked. One case is that in Kenya, a bitter dispute is taken place as the plan of exhibiting a prehistoric human skeleton is being opposed by local religious forces. Another example involves a well-funded Turkish publishing house mass-distributing anti-evolution books to French speaking schools and universities across Europe. The article also shows an example from Russia, and of course, there is the well-known Intelligent Design movement that is currently taking place in the US.

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D’Souza Beautifully Refuted Sunday, April 22, 2007

Posted by Henry in atheism, Dinesh D'Souza, faith, rationality, religion, Virginia Tech Massacre.
3 comments

As pointed out in my earlier post, Dinesh D’Souza has taken advantage of the Virginia Tech Shooting to advance his personal hatred for atheists. He started with a shameful post titled “Where is atheism when bad things happen?”, which has caused a stir on the Internet, and has been refuted by an atheist professor at Virginia Tech – please take time to read his heartening, moving and sincere piece of writing.

D’Souza has since came up with one more misguided and juvenile post, in which he continues to dig his own hole. The readers, both atheists and theists, have refuted him much better than I could possibly do, so there is no need for me to add anything more. The only comment I would like to make is that we should waste no more time on D’Souza after this. It is not worth your time.

“Where Is Atheism When (Virginia Tech shootings) Happened?” Friday, April 20, 2007

Posted by Henry in atheism, Dinesh D'Souza, faith, rationality, religion, Virginia Tech Massacre.
5 comments

This is the re-worded title of an offensive blog entry of Dinesh D’Souza. The original title is “Where Is Atheism When Bad Things Happen?” – referring to the seemingly lack of presence of atheism in the tragic event of Virginia Tech Shooting. I wish not to link to this entry, so Google it and read it yourself.

In this short blog entry, D’Souza attacks Richard Dawkins and his perceived materialist view of the world – then he finishes the entry with an insulting attack on science itself.

D’Souza says:

“Notice something interesting about the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings? Atheists are nowhere to be found.”

“To no one’s surprise, Dawkins has not been invited to speak to the grieving Virginia Tech community.”

“For scientific atheists like Dawkins, Cho’s shooting of all those people can be understood in this way–molecules acting upon molecules.”

“If this is the best that modern science has to offer us, I think we need something more than modern science.”

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