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

Posted by henry000 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

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New Polls! Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Posted by henry000 in Buddhism, Christianity, evolution, faith, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, polls, religion, Sikhism, survey.
1 comment so far

I thought it was a good and fun idea to have some polls! So after some quick research I decided to use PollDaddy to host my polls (well, their logo looks rather, er, disturbing…).

You can find the polls on the Features section on the right hand side of the page, or click on the Polls tab above… but I will include the questions here anyway:

1. What is your religion?

2. You feel that the theory of evolution is…

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

Posted by henry000 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 Although slightly outdated, it nonetheless provides a reliable and useful source for anyone interested in the study of the atheist demographics.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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Buddha Answers Christian Questions in Kindness Friday, April 27, 2007

Posted by henry000 in Buddha, Buddhism, Christianity, faith, funny, God, humour, parody, religion, sarcasm.
5 comments

A Christian website has published 10 questions that they would love to ask Buddha if they could – and someone has cleverly responded with love:

“Buddha, in his typical spirit of compassion and kindness, decided to answer their questions. He allowed an appearance-body to emanate into our world, and took a walking/bus tour of America, giving representatives from this Christian website a chance to find him, and finally get the answers to their concerns.”

As an atheist, this little exchange makes it an entertaining read. If I could ask Buddha 10 questions – not that I have given it much thought – I’d ask more constructive, non-Christian related questions such as solutions to today’s humanity problems, or would Buddha modify any of its tenets after thousands of years have gone by, and so on – rather than focusing narrow-mindedly on Christian ideology such as a personal God.

I thought this little dialogue is so good that I will duplicate it here in its entirety. Mine own commentary is not in quotes.

Fat Buddha

Here is question 1:

A group of brave Christians, intent on following the example of ancient Brahmins and interviewing the Buddha, found him walking in a forest near the small town of Jaredville, Indiana, and asked him:

“If there is no personal God, and if one can attain nirvana only as a result of the destruction of thirst (tanha) / desire, therefore the destruction of attachment, therefore the destruction of existence–from whence, do you suppose, did personality (or even the sense of personality) ever come? Exactly what is it, and where does it go when one ceases to exist?”

The World-Honored One smiled and responded:

“Christian friend, “Nirvana” is not the name given by me to something lacking, nor to something attained; Nor do I teach of the “end of existence”, nor of its beginning. Those things only lead to ceaseless speculation, and to inevitable suffering. I suggest that your question has been misframed. There is suffering, and there is a way to the end of suffering, and this is all the Buddha teaches. What you call “personality” arises when the conditions necessary for the formation of “personality” are present, and it vanishes when those conditions are no longer present. To ask “where the personality goes” is also a mis-framed question; where does a fire go, when its fuel is exhausted? You have twice stated that I teach of the “destruction of existence” or the idea of “ceasing to exist”, but I teach none of those things. I teach only of the arising of unsatisfactory states, and of the ceasing of unsatisfactory states.”

Here is question 2, another one related to the concept of personal god.

Intent on outsmarting the Buddha, those Christians found him again at a Bus stop out on Route 8. They asked him:

“Without a personal God, on what basis can there ever exist any human moral standard or ethic–and therefore, in what sense do you mean for us to understand the terms noble and truth, i.e. The Four Noble Truths, or the term right in the eight-fold path of right views, resolve, speech, conduct, occupation, efforts, awareness, and meditation?”

The World-Honored One said:

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