Tag Archives | Religion

What Scares The New Atheists

“The vocal fervour of today’s missionary atheism conceals a panic that religion is not only refusing to decline – but in fact flourishing,” writes John Gray in a very #longread at the Guardian:

In 1929, the Thinker’s Library, a series established by the Rationalist Press Association to advance secular thinking and counter the influence of religion in Britain, published an English translation of the German biologist Ernst Haeckel’s 1899 book The Riddle of the Universe. Celebrated as “the German Darwin”, Haeckel was one of the most influential public intellectuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; The Riddle of the Universe sold half a million copies in Germany alone, and was translated into dozens of other languages. Hostile to Jewish and Christian traditions, Haeckel devised his own “religion of science” called Monism, which incorporated an anthropology that divided the human species into a hierarchy of racial groups. Though he died in 1919, before the Nazi Party had been founded, his ideas, and widespread influence in Germany, unquestionably helped to create an intellectual climate in which policies of racial slavery and genocide were able to claim a basis in science.

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What We Know About the Mysterious Suicide of Missouri Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Schweich

Jenna McLaughlin and Pema Levy write at Mother Jones:

On Thursday morning, Thomas Schweich, Missouri’s auditor and a Republican candidate for governor, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death—coming moments after he had invited two reporters to his home later that day—shocked Missouri political observers, who point out that in addition to his beloved family and distinguished career in public service, Schweich, 54, had just won re-election to a second term as state auditor and was leading in early polls of the 2016 governor’s race. Why he would have taken his own life is a mystery to those who knew him. Just as strange is the predominant theory of what may have provoked his apparent suicide: rumors that he was Jewish.

In the days before his death, Schweich had been worried that the head of the Missouri Republican Party was conducting a “whisper campaign” against him by telling people that he was Jewish.

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#PORNCULT’s Terms of Use

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TERMS OF USE [READ THE MANIFESTO]

 

BY READING THIS SENTENCE YOU HAVE AGREED TO THESE TERMS OF USE. (all rites reversed—reprint what you like.) KSC613X.>> #PORNCULT is not responsible for any insanity resulting from reading these TERMS OF USE. #PORNCULT is not responsible for your involvement in #PORNCULT. Thru the transitive properties of quantum solipsism, MONITOR and /or subsidiary gods, goddesses, memes, and jokes are the sole property of your brain. I AM WHO I AM & I AM YOU.>> #WeAreResurrected. hey diddle diddle. the cock played the fiddle cause it was long & strong. then came along a lady who was anything but dainty & the cock played her all night long. YOUR REALITY IS TOO MAINSTREAM SO I MADE MY OWN. MYTH is ART that attempts to explain something that transcends reason. A MYTHIC EXPERIENCE is a personal experience that transcends reason, like a psychic experience. You can also exercise belief in a myth (like having sex in the name of a hyper-dimensional pornstar) to create a mythic experience, and we call that FAITH.… Read the rest

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Norwegian Muslims to Jews: If Someone Wants To Attack You, They’ll Have To Step Over Us First

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

In the wake of last week’s attack on a Copenhagen synagogue – along with the Paris terrorist attacks, the murders of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, and growing anti-Semitism across Europe – a group of young Muslims in Norway have organized a Shabbat “Ring of Peace” around an Oslo synagogue to, in the words of its 17-year-old organizer, “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims.” Concerned the event could prove “counter-productive” in an increasingly volatile climate, the leader of Oslo’s Jewish community agreed to it only if at least 30 people signed up. To date, over 1,500 have, agreeing with organizers’ argument that, “Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to.” The event has also sparked a wave of online campaigns expressing similar solidarity, including #IGoToSynagogue #WeMustStickTogether #MuslimsAndJewsRefuseToBeEnemies #ChildrenOfAbraham #AbrahamIbrahim. Explained one attendee for the Ring of Peace, “We all have to live under the same sky.”

And in Toronto, this Blind Trust Project:

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Wolfgang Grasse (1930 – 2008) – Temporal Misift

Wolfgang Grasse (1)

“Wolfgang Grasse is a temporal misfit, with artistic skills and attitudes that stand out, in our time, as a witch or an alchemist stands out… his work can be traced back to Bosch, Bruegel and Max Beckman.” — Art News

The world that Grasse created on his canvas is more than fantastic, it is magic. He was the wise-old magician. Through his paintings, he cast a spell on the viewer and in that perpetual moment of truth, revealed two thousand years of human degradations.

His painting possesses a haunting menace which appropriately reflect the moral and social values.

Wolfgang Grasse was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1930. After private artistic training first by his grandfather, Feidrich Grasse, and then later studying in Italy, he returned to a partitioned post-war East Germany. There he was imprisoned for his cartoons crtical of Soviet propaganda. He was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison.  After serving 8 years of this sentence, he was granted an amnesty and released.

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064. Daniele Bolelli | Taoism and Gravity-Defying Glorious D-Cups

Via Midwest Real

“Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?” -Zhuangzi

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

TScreen Shot 2015-02-15 at 7.29.32 PMaoism is, in a way, the anti-religion. Its very existence is a philosophical counter-punch to the jaw of the saintly pomp revered by most religions. Zhuangzi (widely regarded as one of the greatest Taoist minds) once told a curious man that if he wanted to understand the Tao, he should go take a close look at the nearest pile feces.

This is why Taoism is awesome.

As for the point of Zhuangzi’s poop story– if the questions you’re asking aren’t about making your way through every day life with full reverence and appreciation for each bite of food, puff of air and pile of dog shit you encounter, you’re missing the point.

Of course, there’s more to Taoism than cartoonish stories about excrement.Read the rest

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Furious Fridays: The Redemption of Sisyphus, or: Why Most (All?) of our Beliefs are Religious in Nature

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“Black Icarus”
Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

–David Foster Wallace

 

1. IN WHICH MR. FURIOUS BEGINS THE ESSAY WITH AN ANECDOTE THAT SEEMS TO HAVE LITTLE TO DO WITH THE TRUE TOPIC AT HAND

I used to believe that the old Greek myth that best represented how I experienced life was that of Icarus. That my failings in life were the result of my aiming too high.… Read the rest

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Church of England vanquishes Satan: References to Devil removed from services to make them ‘accessible’

Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

They’re using half measures, as usual. And now they also think that casual dress and priests looking like slobs will garner more respect. They’re still insisting on preaching dualism and dividing society. It’s either they discard Satan from their preaching or they embrace the Biblical scripture and the vital presence of the Satanic in their religion. All they’re doing is alienating people and not satisfying people who would welcome changes. Christian Politics, as usual.

John Bingham via the National Post:

The Book of Revelation speaks of the Devil being vanquished and cast into a pit of fire and brimstone at the end of the world.

Yesterday, however, the Church of England consigned Satan to a decidedly less dramatic fate – being quietly designated as an optional extra.

Instead of requiring an apocalyptic battle between the forces of good and evil, the move was approved with a polite show of hands at the General Synod, the Church’s decision-making body, which has been meeting in Westminster.

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Can the Satanic Temple Save America?

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Yes, we know the Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan are not the same. Great poster though…

Some satanic click-bait from Daily Beast, which claims “America’s new Satanists are less about animal sacrifice and more into ‘Paradise Lost’—and they may be our best hope for saving religious freedoms”:

It’s 1 a.m., and I’m waiting for a Satanic ritual to start at a loft in Detroit. It’s dark, natch, and smoky, ditto, crammed with people dressed in black. Most of them are young and goth-ish. There are upside-down crosses aplenty, pounding dance music, a porn room and a surprisingly good hors d’oeuvres table—freshly baked Madeleines and gorgeous fruit, on platters grouped around a massive ice-sculpture replica of Brancusi’s Princess X, a statue that’s either a penis and testicles or a woman gazing into a mirror, depending on your point of view.

At this Satanic Temple party, the ritual is finally starting.

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Could virtual reality change religion — and terrorize children?

Phil Whitehouse (CC BY 2.0)

Phil Whitehouse (CC BY 2.0)

Via Nathaniel Mott at Pando Daily:

Worship usually requires a large building with uncomfortable seating and the holy text of that particular religion’s choice. But a reverend in Florida believes virtual reality could be used to help other worshippers, such as those who live in remote areas or are otherwise unable to attend church and participate in prayer.

Here’s what Rev. Christopher Benek of the First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale said in an interview with Hypergrid Business last week:

Personally, I think that as technology like Oculus Rift becomes more developed, immersive, and available to the general public, we may soon be able to easily develop virtual worship and Christian education experiences. This would be a great asset to the church universal, as it will enable the infirm, homebound, and potentially even the poor to participate from afar regardless of their personal mobility or lack of affordable transportation …

Benek’s points about virtual worship don’t actually require virtual reality.

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