discuss the popular world religions.
I believe in none of them.
Please read the atheism page introduction
for background to this.
List of Religions
(Have you ever studied a religion other than the one you were brought up in?)
points out that everyone is an atheist about other gods and other religions.
"The faithful do resist the bogus certainties of religion
- when they come from any religion but their own.
Every Christian knows what it is like to find the claims of Muslims to be deeply suspect.
Everyone who is not a Mormon knows at a glance that
Mormonism is an obscenely stupid system of beliefs.
Everyone has rejected an infinite number of spurious claims about God.
The atheist simply rejects one more."
provides an alternative "Star Wars" commentary for the
inauguration of the
"Now begins the 6th of the 28 stages of meta-generation for
Jessel, the Trifelge Putenard,
Ruler of Kosock and the Outerlands,
destroyer of the Nonsphere ..."
If you don't believe in a religion, then pretty much all its solemn ceremonies
look as mad as this.
If you follow a religion, this is roughly how mad your religion looks to atheists and sceptics
(and also to many people from different religions).
A common logical error is to claim that God X is "really" the same being as God Y.
an "atheist" called "petermal67"
attacks my atheist arguments page.
This guy claims that the Christian "God",
a fictional being, is really the same fictional being
as the Muslim "God".
And this is a "fact",
part of the world of "facts".
These fictional beings do not exist,
and yet it is a "fact" that these multiple imaginary beings are the same imaginary being.
What an appalling logic fail.
make the same logical error as "petermal67".
3 of their 4 beings are fictional.
How can we state as "fact" whether 2 of these beings are "really" the same being or not?
unlike every "-ology" in science,
is splintered into
a thousand incompatible camps,
with no findings at all
that are agreed upon by all practitioners.
Clearly the problem is that
unlike every "-ology" in science,
there is no mechanism for proving
something true or false.
One strange consequence of the existence of "theology"
is the idea that scientists are speaking
"outside of their field of expertise"
when they discuss the existence of God.
But who is
discuss the existence of God?
Scientists, who study reality
(and philosophers to some extent),
it seems to me.
I see no reason why "theologians" are so qualified.
The Emptiness of Theology
by Richard Dawkins
- "When has theology ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious?
I have listened to theologians, read them, debated against them. I have never heard any of them
ever say anything of the smallest use, anything that was not either platitudinously obvious
or downright false."
Ophelia Benson on theology:
"theology .. seems to aspire to the condition of a strange combination of story-telling and scholarship. It makes stuff up but uses scholarly-looking language to talk about the stuff it makes up."
Hey, Christians, you know how you feel about
What a strange subject, you think.
All those books, and all that learning, but all useless
because the base assumptions are wrong.
Well this is how atheists feel about the "theology" of all religions,
including Christian theology.
This sums up the strange subject of "theology".
Oh no! Deadly prayers!
inspired by news item
Despite there being not a shred of evidence that "Hinduism" is actually true,
there are people who believe so strongly in it
that they are willing to commit the most evil acts a human being can commit.
campaigns for the rights of victims of
forced marriages among
traditional Sikhs in Britain.
- charity that supports victims of forced marriage and honour based abuse.
I'm not much of a respecter of "traditional culture".
"Traditional culture" just means
"the stuff your ancestors believed",
back when people knew far less about the world than they do now.
As I have said many times,
the best thing most people in the non-western world can do is
abandon the culture and beliefs of your ancestors, as I have,
and adopt something better.
is eloquent on how PC westerners fail to stand up for the victims
of traditional cultures:
"We're in denial about this even being an issue.
But we have to start seeing this as a UK problem.
This PC culture we have created here is a nightmare.
Forced marriage isn't an issue of cultural understanding.
It's about people abusing other people. So why not face facts?
We know forced marriage happens across a number of communities,
but the figures tell us they are predominantly south Asian, so let's not get all PC about things.
It doesn't help."
None has been able to persuade the whole world of its truth (or even a majority of the world).
We often focus on the large number of believers in a religion,
and forget about the much larger number of people who don't believe it.
4 billion people don't believe in Christianity.
5 billion people don't believe in Islam.
Science is not like this.
Science has prestige with everybody.
Religion only has prestige with those who believe that religion.
Tribal creation myths and polytheism have little prestige
Christians rarely realise that their myths look like that to atheists.
The power of science's prestige is illustrated by the fact that
a number of irrational, unscientific religions
have tried to add "science" to their name:
Doesn't the sheer number of elaborate and contradictory belief systems
on this page
tell you something?
Even just within Christianity alone,
what would Christ make of this mess?
Surely it is obvious that all these religions are human inventions,
floating along without any standards of evidence that might knit them together.
Worldwide percentage of Adherents by Religion.
Stats from here.
Pie chart generated with
Who I block:
I will debate almost anyone.
I love ideas.
I will not debate (and will block) people who do the following:
(a) Make threats.
(b) Accuse me of crimes.
(c) Comment on my appearance.
(d) Drag in stuff about me not related to the topic. (My professional career, my personal life.)
(e) Complain to my employer.
Yes, people do all these things.