Tag Archives | Religion

Beliefs In Ghosts And Gods Might Be Based In Early Evolution Of Brain

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The Nature Spirits told me to share this with you.

Notions of gods arise in all human societies, from all powerful and all-knowing deities to simple forest spirits. A recent method of examining religious thought and behaviour links their ubiquity and the similarity of our beliefs to the ways in which human mental processes were adapted for survival in prehistoric times. It rests on a couple of observations about human psychology. First, when an event happens, we tend to assume that a living thing caused it. In other words, we assume agency behind that event. If you think of the sorts of events that might have happened in prehistoric times, it’s easy to see why a bias towards agency would be useful. A rustling of a bush or the snapping of a twig could be due to wind. But far better to assume it’s a lion and run away.

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The Hobby Lobby-Sponsored School Curriculum: Feminism Originated In The Bible

Holy BibleThe Freedom From Religion Foundation just released its finding regarding the Bible-based curriculum that the president of Hobby Lobby is trying to push into schools.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) in Madison, Wisconsin requested a copy of the course materials from Mr. Green, who has yet to respond. The FFRF has managed to look at a copy of the textbook for the course and has found a number of problems with it, all of which are related in various ways to the four principles above.

First, a hallmark of academic study of any topic is a willingness to adopt a critical attitude. Any question is valid so long as it is directly related to the topic. The Green textbook treats all events that the Bible describes as historically accurate. There are parts of the Bible that historians can confirm with independent evidence, but the Green text offers specific artifacts of biblical events as only remaining to be found, such as Noah’s ark, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Holy Grail (apparently without reference to Monty Python) when no serious scholar thinks the related events really happened or expects ever actually to find any of the objects in question.

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Harvard University to Hold Satanic Black Mass on Monday

Ninth-Gate-Satan-RitualHarvard University, one of the most well-respected Ivy League schools in the world, has responded to rumors that they would be hosting a Black Mass performed by the Satanic Temple on Monday. As it turns out, they weren’t rumors at all.

The idea that Ivy League students have sinister pacts with the devil is usually the stuff of b-movies, but on Monday, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club will play host to a Black Mass, a ritual meant to invoke Satan while desecrating the Catholic sacrament, usually through stabbing, crushing, or sexually defiling a communion wafer.

As you can imagine, religious groups are completely freaking out about it, even prompting the Archdiocese of Boston to issue a statement asking Harvard to shut down the event. Still, Harvard says that while they might not personally agree with the views expressed by student clubs, they “support the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely”.… Read the rest

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This 13th Century Bishop Anticipated the Big Bang and Multiverse Theory

PIC: PD

PIC: PD

Philosopher and theologian Robert Grosseteste had a few interesting ideas. Surprised he didn’t end up on a stake.

Via HuffPo:

A 13th century British bishop’s theories of the origin and structure of the universe were centuries ahead of their time, says a group of scholars. According to TheConversation.com, Durham University’s Ordered Universe project has found that Robert Grosseteste, the Bishop of Lincoln from 1245 until his death in 1253, anticipated the ideas of Sir Isaac Newton and other scientists by centuries.

Grosseteste was a philosopher, church reformer, poet, theologian and politician.

“Nearly 800 years later the example of Grosseteste’s works provides the basis for doing great interdisciplinary work, offering unexpected challenges to both modern scientists and humanities experts alike, especially in working closely together,” wrote the group of scholars who are attempting a modern revision of the 1912 publication of Grosseteste’s work.

One of the more startling finds among the Medieval thinker’s papers and notes is his work “De Luce” or “Concerning Light.” In it, Grosseteste made one of the first known attempts to apply a set of physical laws to the universe as a whole, transferring what he knew of light and matter to apply to worlds beyond our own.

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Terasem: Rapture of the Nerds

TIME reports on the Terasem Movement, a transhumanist school of thought focused on promoting joy, diversity, and the prospect of technological immortality via mind uploading and geoethical nanotechnology:

In the backyard of a cottage here overlooking the water, two poles with metal slats shaped like ribcages jut out from the ground. They look indistinguishable from heat lamps or fancy light fixtures.

These are satellite dishes, but they aren’t for TV. They’re meant for dispatching “mindfiles,” the memories, thoughts and feelings of people who wish to create digital copies of themselves and fling them into space with the belief that they’ll eventually reach some benevolent alien species.

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Welcome to the future. Hope you don’t mind E.T. leafing through your diary.

The beach house and the backyard and the memory satellites are managed by 31-year-old Gabriel Rothblatt, a pastor of Terasem, a new sort of religion seeking answers to very old kinds of questions, all with an abiding faith in the transformative power of technology.

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Oklahoma School District To Adopt Hobby Lobby President’s “Bible Curriculum”

Steve GreenA future in which the fanatical billionaire heads of our nation’s largest retail chains dictate what is taught in schools. Religion News Service reports:

The Mustang, Okla., school board voted Monday to adopt the first year of the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, an ambitious four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Bible developed by Hobby Lobby president Steve Green.

In September 2016, Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative, which is overseeing its development, hopes to place it in at least 100 high schools; by the following year, “thousands.”

If successful, Green, whose family’s wealth is estimated at upward of $3 billion, would galvanize the movement to teach the Bible academically in public schools, a movement born after the Supreme Court banned school-sanctioned devotion in the 1960s but whose steady progress in the last decades has been somewhat hampered.

The Green curriculum ”is like nothing we’ve seen before,” said Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center and editor of a booklet sent out to all schools by the U.S.

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Police Called Over “Homeless Jesus” Sculpture Installed In Wealthy North Carolina Town

Homeless JesusHere’s what would happen if Jesus were to return to Earth and land in the affluent Bible Belt suburbs. Via NPR:

The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.

The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t. “One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by,” says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. “She thought it was an actual homeless person.”

That’s right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus. Some neighbors feel that it’s an insulting depiction of the son of God.

“It gives authenticity to our church,” Rev. David Buck says. “This is a relatively affluent church, to be honest, and we need to be reminded ourselves that our faith expresses itself in active concern for the marginalized of society.”

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A Viable, Contemporary Neopaganism

“So if I want Mexicans to learn the name of Quetzalcoatl, it is because I want them to speak with the tongues of their own blood. I wish the Teutonic world would once more think in terms of Thor and Wotan, and the tree Igdrasil. And I wish the Druidic world would see, honestly, that in the mistletoe is their mystery, and that they themselves are the Tuatha De Danaan, alive, but submerged. And a new Hermes should come back to the Mediterranean, and a new Ashtarot to Tunis; and Mithras again to Persia, and Brahama unbroken to India, and the oldest of dragons to China.”
—D.H. Lawrence, The Plumed Serpent
Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. Photo: Jiuguang Wang (CC)

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. Photo: Jiuguang Wang (CC)

 

As early as in 1968, Alain de Benoist founded in France the Groupement de recherche et d’études pour la civilisation européenne, a ethnonationalist think-tank that rejected Christianity and advocated a return to Paganism.… Read the rest

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