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Tag: atheism

Recent study suggests that children of religious families are less altruistic, more punitive

The controversial claim from a new study is that children from religious backgrounds are less willing to share with others and are more judgmental when confronted with people demonstrating anti-social behavior.

The study was conducted among children from seven different countries and many backgrounds, although statistically only Christian, Muslim, and non-religious were considered large enough samples to derive results from; interestingly, the study methods don’t seem to have been adapted to different cultural contexts or conditions, with the same test being applied […]

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Analysis and round-up of recent coverage on church decline

The Christian Science Monitor has written a thorough piece on church decline, highlighting phenomena that may not surprise long-time readers of the Café; a partial list of those highlights follows: studies show that church attendance is cyclical and current numbers resemble the ’40s, that the faithful are more actively devout than they were in the ’50s & ’60s, the false binary between science and religion, and that the pathways to and expressions of faith remain diverse and plentiful.

As part of the piece, they interviewed […]

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John Gray on the fear behind missionary atheism

Writing in the Guardian, author and atheist John Gray criticizes the myopia of modern atheism, and traces the history of evangelical atheism from eugenics, scientism, and cultural imperialism.

He notes that most atheists distance themselves from Nietzsche, Huxley, and the eugenics movement, but that they continue the tradition of framing their biases as scientific fact. Earlier generations of missionary atheists promoted the biological superiority of ‘white’ people as scientifically demonstrable, and modern atheists promote the secular liberalism of the West as […]

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Are we all responsible for the killings in Chapel Hill?

Last week, an angry man killed three of his neighbors over what he claims was a long-running parking dispute.

The three victims were all Muslim. Yusor Abu-Salha was a 21 year old planning to attend UNC Chapel Hill dental school that fall. She had recently been interviewed for NPR’s StoryCorps, by her 3rd grade teacher. Her little sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, was also killed, as was her husband, Deah Barakata, 23, who was enrolled as a dental student at UNC.

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Secularism: Not as easy as it seems

Columnist David Brooks explores the rise of secularism in a February 3 New York Times op-ed piece, “Building Better Secularists,” challenging the idea that secularism (encompassing atheism, agnosticism and being “without religious affiliation”) is a simple absence of faith, focusing specifically on points made by sociologist Phil Zuckerman in his book, “Living the Secular Life”:

Zuckerman argues that secular morality is built around individual reason, individual choice and individual responsibility. Instead of relying on some eye in […]

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Screenshot of video appearance of Stephen Fry, seated by a window, prepared to answer a question on The Meaning of Life broadcast

Stephen Fry describes God as monstrous in interview clip

Noted actor Stephen Fry appears in an episode of The Meaning of Life where he is asked a hypothetical question by presenter Gay Byrne. “Suppose it’s all true, and you walk up to the pearly gates, and you are confronted by God. What will Stephen Fry say to him, her, it?”

Fry responds with indignation, stating that he’d criticize God for the natural evils within the world. Fry explains that his atheism is founded not merely on the idea that there is […]

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Browsing in the comments section…

The Religious News Service explores the ministry of online atheists in “Online troll or therapist? Atheist evangelists see their work as a calling” by Kimberly Winston.

Atheists using the comments sections of religious or secular websites to counter religious claims may be following an evangelical call to convert others. The article interviews a couple of these missionaries for atheism:

Matt Davis, a 33-year-old British atheist who engages in religious debate on multiple American religion and atheist sites, says he often feels frustrated […]

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