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7 Philosophers You Should Know (And Probably Don’t)

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There’s a Monty Python sketch where German philosophers face off against Greek philosophers in a soccer match. When the whistle blows, they all wander around the field scratching their chins. The announcers excitedly speculate if anyone will ever kick the ball. [Read more]

10 Most Absurd Right-Wing Christian Billboards

screen_shot_2014-05-01_at_11.02.48_am[1]Apparently, when some conservative Christians ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?” the answer they come up with is, “Put up absurd, offensive billboards, preferably reminding passersby they’re going to hell.” We’ve rounded up some of the more controversial billboards that have grabbed headlines lately. 1. Jesus hates tolerance almost as much as he hates you! billboard in the small town of Clyde, North Carolina doesn’t seem to get the difference between verbs and nouns. It asks Coexist (verb)? Tolerate (verb)? Sexual perversion (adjective and noun). [Read more]

Early Image of Jesus Found in Egyptian Tomb

dnews-files-2014-04-early-image-jesus-jpg[1]Spanish archaeologists have discovered what may be one of the earliest depictions of Jesus in an ancient Egyptian tomb. Painted on the walls of a mysterious underground stone structure in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, about 100 miles south of Cairo, the image shows a young man with curly hair and dressed in a short tunic. “He raises his hand as if making a blessing,” said Egyptologist Josep Padró, who has spent over 20 years excavating sites in the area. [Read more]

Hot Docs: James Randi, the Original Mythbuster

james_randi.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox[1]A white-bearded man in a black cloak glides across the lawn. It’s a warm morning at the University of Toronto, and the dark figure moves past the castle-like buildings, measuring each step with a cane. A green feather peeks from his hat. If you didn’t know better, you might mistake him for a wizard. But that’s the furthest from the truth. For decades, James Randi, now 85, has been the world’s foremost debunker of anyone who claims supernatural powers — psychics, mystics, faith healers. [Read more]

Conservative Christian Group Calls a Mississippi Anti-Discrimination Sticker a Form of Anti-Christian Bullying

Buying[1]This Mississippi door sticker for retail businesses and restaurants sure looks innocuous, doesn’t it? It’s a way for owners to signal that all customers will be treated with basic respect. If you have money, well, your green is as good as anyone else’s. But beware. While the American Family Association stops short of calling the no-discrimination message the mark of the beast, executive vice president Buddy Smith is warning consumers and shopkeepers that not discriminating is a just another way to bully Christians. [Read more]

Kenya’s New Polygamy Law Will Tear Families Apart, Christian Leaders Say

Kenya Mourns Victims Of Westgate Shopping Mall SiegeChristian clergy fear that a new marriage law signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday (April 29) will tear families apart and weaken the church and the nation. The law legalizes polygamy, allowing men to marry multiple wives in a country where they previously were permitted to have one. Parliament passed the measure in March, after an amendment was added that allows a man to take another wife without informing his existing wife. [Read more]

Militant Buddhist Fundamentalists

Buddhist-statue[1]Whenever I write about Buddhism in Sri Lanka and how militant Buddhists, including monks, have been leading the charge against minorities and even resorting to violence against them, western readers are often surprised. The image they have of Buddhism is that of a peaceful and contemplative religion. And they are right when it comes to the underlying philosophy of the religion. [Read more]

Ken Ham, Bill Nye Continue Sparring on Creationism; Ham Accuses Nye of ‘Mocking Tone’

ken-ham-bill-nye-debate[1]Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham and “The Science Guy” Bill Nye continued butting heads on the topic of creationism nearly three months after their debate in February, with Ham criticizing Nye for speaking with a “mocking tone” about him in a recent talk show interview. “Bill Nye ‘the Science Guy’ speaks in a mocking tone about me on the NBC TV’s ‘Late Night with Seth Myers,'” Ham wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday, referring to Nye’s appearance on the show earlier this week. [Read more]

Forty-Somethings Are Losing Their Religion, Finds New Study

350x[1]New figures have been released from the UK Data Service’s “British Cohort Study”, which has been following the lives of babies born in Britain during one week in 1970. There are 9,841 members of the cohort still participating and they are now aged 42. They were questioned about a range of issues, including religion. The results give an indication of what is happening to religious adherence in Britain, and will come as a setback to those in the Government who insist that Britain is a Christian country. [Read more]

‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Documentary Affirms Artifact ‘Is Not Historical Proof’ Christ Was Married But Imagines Titillating Possibilities Anyway

karen-king-from-the-harvard-divinity-school-holds-the-gospel-of-jesus-wife-in-a-smithsonian-channel-documentary[1]A new documentary set to premiere on “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” repeatedly reminds viewers that while testing shows the papyrus fragment indeed is an authentic ancient document, its contents do not actually prove that Christ was married. Yet, that does not keep the hour-long TV program from exploring, with titillating dramatizations, the possibility that Jesus was more than Mary of Magdala’s savior. [Read more]

7 Vilest Right Wingers This Week: “Waterboarding is How We Baptise Terrorists” Edition

sarah_palin[1]2. Sarah Palin: Baptize terrorists by waterboarding! Sarah Palin is such a fun gal, with her bubbly personality, invented words like refudiateand her tenuous grasp of American history. (Remember children, Paul Revere warned the British.) She’s also an enthusiastic gunnie—she likes hunting moose and liberals—and a good Christian soldier, who thinks life begins at conception and ends whenever the hell she says it does. [Read more]

Saudi Arabia Calls for Criticism of Religion to be Outlawed in Norway

350x[1]Saudi Arabia has called for all criticism of religion and of the prophet Mohammed to be made illegal in Norway. The call came during the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Norway this week. The UPR is a process by which the UN reviews a selection of member states on their human rights performance. Saudi also charged the Norwegian government with doing too little to counter criticism of the prophet Mohammed in the country, and failing to protect its Muslim citizens amidst a continuation of hate crimes against Muslims in the country. [Read more]

A Short History of Evolution: The Modern Era

geothermal-300x200[1]When you graph global energy consumption over the last thousand years you see what some economists call a hockey stick. That is, the line stays fairly flat, close to zero, for the first three quarters of your graph and then begins to rise. Starting during the eighteenth century the angle increases, and the line continues to rise ever more steeply as we approach the present. The breakthrough on the energy front came with the switch to fossil fuels as the main source of energy. [Read more]

Oklahoma Megachurch Pastor Resigns After Admitting Infidelity

mark-crow[1]Mark Crow, founder of the multi-site congregation Victory Church, stepped down from his role as senior pastor earlier this week after confessing marital infidelity. “Mark will be focusing his full attention on his personal relationship with God, and beginning the process of bringing healing to the fractured relationships in his life and family,” said the Rev. Dale Swanson, executive pastor of the church, in a statement according to NewsOK.com. “Victory Church is fully committed to providing the counselors and ministers who will guide him through the process of reconciliation with God, and ensuring the best possible outcome for this next season in his life.” [Read more]

For God So Loved the World, that He Was Completely Indifferent to It & Us

Christians like to link their god with love — indeed, they will go so far as to insist that their god is love, making the link as absolute as possible. It’s one thing to claim that a god is loving or even that it is love, but quite another to have good reasons for doing so. [Read more]

Butchering Science in Order to Butcher the Bible

I’m really worried that Dana Hunter is going to explode. Or at least her liver might. Dana, you may recall, is an earth science specialist, and she’s going through the ACE Earth Science PACEs one at a time and dissecting their lessons. Well, she was. Then she hit Science 1086 and sent me this email. [Read more]

There is No Racism in Atheism

https://twitter.com/pogsurf/status/462150133485174784 / And we wonder why there are so few atheists from minority groups who are visible when one of the major anti-FTB twitter accounts posts things like this. So when are we going to ship out the RIRA? [Read more]

THROWBACK ESSAY: Did Zeus Exist?

I asked the kids if they had thought that Zeus was real.  “Well,” one said, “I knew he didn’t exist anymore, but figured that he did back in ancient Greece.” This set me thinking about why we are so certain that Zeus never existed. [Read more]

Retrospective Design? Retrospective Reasoning Undermines Intelligent Design

Many arguments offered by religious apologists and Intelligent Design defenders runs along the lines of “some feature of the world appears to be perfectly suited to us or some other inhabitant of the world, therefore it must have been designed specifically for those using it.” [Read more]

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