Search results for "Superstition"

Is religion “hard wired” in our brains?

It occurs to me we have a strange interpretation of what the word "natural" means. We tend to think anything natural must inherently be good or desirable. How many consumer products try to play that annoying angle? I also find it fairly telling that behaviors or lifestyles are deemed "unnatural" are also considered undesirable and evil. Of course, just because something is natural certainly doesn't mean it' ...

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I gets mail!

I received this email, and I wanted to share "B"'s story with everyone (he asked that I not include his name, since he works with the boy Scouts and would like to keep his job). This past summer I staffed a Boy Scout summer camp. I just wanted to share some of my experiences.Before every meal shift, since a scout is "reverent," we had a volunteer say a "non-denominational" grace. They usually were just spee ...

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Derren Brown is awesome

With the recent news that my hero James Randi is sick with cancer, it's nice to know guys like Derren are around to pick up the slack. He's charismatic, fun, and his experiments are simply "magical". Here he is demonstrating how superstitions are formed, and how human beings often mistake coincidence for meaningful events. This video is required watching for all fans of skepticism! ...

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Online survey identifies Bible’s worst passages

If you've never read Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark", do yourself a favor and pick it up. One of his chapters deals specifically with the Inquisition, and the slaughter of an estimated 100,000 women at the hand of the Church. Although the West has generally stopped prosecuting women for the crime of "witchcraft" (the last person convicted was in 1944), in Africa, the ...

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Nigeria is still messed up

Continuing our coverage of the messed up situation in Nigeria, here is a video care of Unreasonable Faith showing a mob of Christians faithful to Helen Ukpabio disrupting a humanist conference. The main issue they were going to discuss was the huge problem of abused children suspected of "witchcraft". The humanists (dressed in white) try in vain to calm everyone down, but in the end they can just sit and wa ...

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Young women in India plow fields naked to bring rain

Most of the time, religious superstitions are just silly, stupid, or dangerous. There are plenty of apartment buildings in my city that don't have a 13th floor for no other reason then people are annoyingly superstitious. Obviously, irrational thinking will make you do irrational things. I'm not telling you anything you don't know. Once in a blue moon, however, you come across a particular superstition that ...

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Bonus Post: Intro part 1

When I was originally writing my book, I had a substantial chunk of it done before I realized that it was not the direction I wanted to go. Apparently, this is quite common when writing books. Still, it would be stupid not to at least share some of it with you guys, especially the patrons, who have been generous enough to fund this crazy project we call The Good Atheist. Every week, I hope to be able to sho ...

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Helen Ukpabio is a monster

I've written many times on the issue of child witches in Africa. Every year, thousands of kids are abandoned, beaten or killed because their parents or family members suspect them of being witches. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that in Nigeria alone, over 930,000 children are orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and often their remaining family members believe these children were responsible for their parents' d ...

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Ireland is messed up

With the country still feeling the impact of the Ryan report, which chronicled decades of mental and sexual abuse by the Catholic Church, the government has acted swiftly in light of these events and passed a new "blasphemy law", which would make disparaging religion a criminal offence. The law seeks to punish offenders with a fine of up to €25,000. The law is surely going to blow up in their faces. By tryi ...

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Girl’s parents starve her to death, thought she was “possessed”

Khyra Ishaq was, by all accounts, your typical happy-go-lucky 12 year old living in Birmingham. Her mother, a recent convert to Islam, pulled her from school and began to isolate all of her children away from the outside world. Her excuse was they had been bullied in school over their attire, but no official complaint was filed with the school, and many of the house's windows were boarded up. One neighbor, ...

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