Chill Out, Faith Heads Tuesday, August 28, 2007Posted by henry000 in Afghanistan, Allah, Christianity, faith, football, God, Hinduism, Islam, Jesus, Malaysia, politics, reason, religion, soccer, United States.
It seems almost too coincidental, but two latest stories show yet again how blind religious beliefs can blind your sense of judgement.
The first story relates to the “Allah football” incident in Afghanistan. Apparently the US military has been dropping football (i.e soccer) balls in the country with the intention of giving the children something to enjoy. Those balls are nicely decorated with flags of different countries, as well as the name of Allah written on the balls. This caused great offence to some Afghans, and a demonstration has been held, because the use of the revered word “Allah” is very sensitive in Islam. Says one Afghan MP:
Afghan MP Mirwais Yasini said: “To have a verse of the Koran on something you kick with your foot would be an insult in any Muslim country around the world.”
I suggest the brothers and sisters of Islam chill out. Respect and sensitivity run both ways, so take a step back and understand the fact that the US military comes from a different culture, so at least tolerate these sort of mistakes (in fact religious-related “mistakes” like this should not be offences at all – but that is another story). Of course, I’d imagine that the protesters are a minority and the Afghan politicians may be using this incident to their personal advantages, but the point is, only religion can blind people people’s rational thinking and commonsense.
The second story relates to the “Jesus cartoon” incident in Malaysia. A newspaper published a cartoon of Jesus holding a cigarette and what seems to be a beer can, and so some Christians and even some Hindus, both minorities in Malaysia, are not pleased, because if Muslims can get angry and therefore special treatment at a cartoon depicting Muhammad, then this case deserves the same treatment from the Islamic based Malaysian government. Consequently the offending newspaper outlet has apologised. Again, this issue involves complicated ethnic politics, but the point is the same: only religion, on its privileged pedestals, can cause such silly incident.
Needless to say, the second story reminds us of the horrible, silly and unfortunate case of the Danish prophet Muhammad cartoon case not so long ago – and the deaths and economical damages the whole drama unnecessarily caused.
Muslims, Christians, and even Hindus in this case – can you stop quarrelling amongst yourselves and behave in a civil way?
Quiz: What Kind of Atheist Are You? Saturday, May 26, 2007Posted by henry000 in agnosticism, atheism, Buddhism, Christianity, evolution, faith, funny, God, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, quiz, rationality, religion, science, secularism, Sikhism, spirituality.
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.
|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.
New Polls! Wednesday, May 23, 2007Posted 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:
Worldwide Atheism Trend and Pattern – A Summary Thursday, May 3, 2007Posted 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.
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|
|33||North Korea||15% (?)|
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.