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Irrational America

A Gallup poll suggests that:

(i) 47% of Americans hold the creationist view that God created humans in their present form during the last 10,000 years. Nothing new about this mass delusion either -since 44% held this belief 30 years ago. America has grown only slightly more irrational.

(ii) Only 15% of americans believe in [...]

Clearing the air/creating a smoke-screen

Cardinal Pell states that the proposed Royal Commission into child abuse will provide the Catholic Church with the opportunity to “clear the air” over the issue. He agrees that numerous Church clergy have raped and abused young children – big deal how could he not acknowledge this? – but he argues that this Commission will [...]

Catholic Church & Child Abuse

As an atheist I do focus on the religious views of the Catholic Church – they don’t make sense and it is interesting to understand how and why silly beliefs gain a foothold. The people who believe them do so because, by-in-large, their parents taught them to believe them. In that sense there is little [...]

Xmas in Beijing

Christmas – although a Saturday – is a normal working day for most Beijingers. Classes are held at Peking University although I am not teaching that day. There are Christmas decorations in most of the stores in Beijing and in many restaurants. I think most people enjoy the chance for a celebration even if the [...]

Religious belief & prosperity

This US gallop poll makes the interesting point that the high levels of religious belief in the US are inconsistent with global trends that show the most intense religious beliefs in poor countries. The US is a religious outlier. The graph at this link illustrates this proposition clearly. Quote:

“65% of Americans say that religion [...]

Fry on Catholicism

Stephen Fry on Catholicism. Yes, you would bring that up! (257)

Religious promotion of irrationalism

I guess that if you believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, was raised from the dead – and could both walk on the water and raise the dead – that it is not completely incomprehensible that you might not believe the science of climate change or the Darwinian theory of evolution. The more [...]

Compartmentalized thinking – god & universities

I didn’t get far yesterday with my claim to a postgraduate student that climate change delusionism is analogous to irrational belief in biblical creationism – both involved a rejection of mainstream science and reliance on emotional instincts. The student responded that he believed in the latter – that Adam’s dalliance with Eve created the human [...]

Last Jew in Afghanistan

I found this NYT video moving. After this less so.

After this story I found it even less so. (246)

Papal bull

The Pope has reiterated his opposition to the use of condoms in AIDs ravaged Africa. The inhumanity of the Pope’s position is self-evident. My basic comment – how can anyone take anything this man says seriously?

22 million people in Africa have HIV. In three Southern African countries the prevalence of AIDs exceeds 20% of [...]

Sunday night & medical cannibalism

Western civilised countries routinely used human body parts in pharmaceutical preparations up to the end of the 18th century.  The practise was widespread. Blood, meat the lot was tried with varying success. The potions didn’t always work: “In 1492, when Pope Innocent VIII was on his deathbed, his doctors bled three boys and had the [...]

Pope’s Xmas Message

Homosexuality is a bigger threat than climate change.  My question: Why do people listen to this sanctimonious old shit? I’d say ratbag religions and the bigots who promote them are a bigger threat to the planet than people who prefer to have sexual relations with their own gender because that is the orientation established in them [...]

Sense & stupidity in America

Most academics believe that US universities are among the best in the world – of the top 20 fully 17 are supposed to be in the US. Yet in many respects American society is ignorant. It is a paradox that presumably reflects a divide.

In late 2006 fully 55% of Americans believed in Creationism. Of [...]

What does Xmas mean?

Xmas is a celebration of what is guessed to be the approximate birth date of Jesus Christ. It is an important occasion in almost all civilised societies for both Christians and Non-Christians alike.

In Australia the number of people who describe themselves as Christians has fallen from 71% of the population to only 64% in [...]

Polygamy & the unwanted males

I got a fair bit of adverse comment for a post I made on how gender-balanced Muslim societies could deal with the sexual frustration that must affect those males that miss out on a partner where polygamy is practiced.

I suggested this frustration might spill over into aberrant social attitudes, a preference for religious stupidity [...]

China to be a world centre for Christianity?

With 10,000 converting to (mainly pentacostal) Christianity each day and a predicted 200 million strong Christians by 2050 China will become a leading Christian nation. The ultimate Western export!

‘China may be for the 21st century what Europe was during the 8th-11th centuries, and America has been during the past 200 years: the natural ground [...]

God

This is an interesting New York Times blog containing an interesting argument by Stanley Fish. The atheist’s claim that God does not exist – because actual religions are a bundle of contradictions that could not possibly be constructed by an omniscient God – does not undermine the case for the existence of God. Nor, of [...]

Buddhism in Thailand

As an ex resident and as someone with profound respect for the institutions and people of the distinctive country of Thailand let me say blankly that the current proposal there to change the constitution to make Buddhism the national state religion is stupid.

The current government of Thailand is an unelected military junta and [...]

Keep your expectations low

The emotional issues I went through as an adolescent often took the form of a sense of disappointment with the behavior of others and of me. A mathematician I knew at the time told me my problem stemmed from undue optimism. Hence I tried, for a time, to be more pessimistic-realistic about possible achievements in [...]

Benefits of a solid religious upbringing

Children of Palestinian Suicide Bomber Rim Al-Riyashi on Hamas TV: Mama Killed Five Jews and She Is in Paradise.

Film clip here. (297)