In England, near the town of Ringwood, there is a secret camp. Nestled into a secluded part of the New Forest, protected from even airborne prying eyes by dense foliage and a locked gate, sentries patrol to discourage people on foot. Dozens of serious-looking people, men and women, mostly in their late twenties, walk quietly between clean huts. They are the vanguard of the atheist terrorism movement.
"The Lottery" is a short story written by Shirley Jackson, first published in the June 26, 1948 issue of The New Yorker. It has been described as "one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature". The story describes a fictional small town in contemporary America, which observes an annual rite known as "the lottery", in which a member of the community is selected by chance to be stoned. It is implied in the story that the lottery is practiced to ensure the community's continued well being. Readers' initial negative response surprised both Jackson and The New Yorker: subscriptions were cancelled, and much hate mail was received throughout the summer of its first publication. The Union of South Africa banned the story. The story has been dramatized several times and subjected to much sociological and literary analysis. (Wikipedia)
How do the lyrics go? "So, this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun." It's worth thinking about. What have you done? Why do we even do Christmas? Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas; it's a season when people are generally nicer to each other, a time when people give each other gifts, there's good company, good food and the demon drink. Religion just gets in the way! This blog post was written by someone I don't know but is interesting nevertheless.
Are we humans really as special as we think we are? Is mankind really worth saving? This is a question, especially in light of recent societal and political developments that has got me thinking. Don't get me wrong, I think there are plenty of people out there who are nice but I have to wonder if being "nice" is enough and these days the level of hatred, especially online hatred, is enough to make one throw one's hands in the air and walk away in disgust muttering, "Bah, humans! Really not worth the effort!"
When I am ill, I go to a doctor because they are more qualified than I am in the areas relevant to my health. It would be fair to say that I consider the medical profession the authoritative guide to medical issues. That said, I welcome the medical professions cautious acceptance of some "alternative" medicines or therapies. Enter the faith healer, one who claims to use spiritual powers to cure ills without medical intervention.
In our more liberal countries, there is much comment on human rights. Which rights are, to coin a phrase, 'inalienable' and which are assigned by laws? It took civilisation to instil them into the fabric of society. If rights are dependent entirely upon the society in which a person lives, that means that there could be somewhere with no rights for its citizens at all, a different culture, with different standards and rules.
I thought Flat-Earthers were something one only saw on the internet but one day (it must have been a year ago) my best friend and I actually met one; that's right, a real, honest-to-god, plain as the hand in front of my face and the beer it was holding, Flat Earther. To say I was shocked was an understatement, but, bit by bit, I scrabbled back my dignity and helped put the critter down where he belonged.
NOMA (non-overlapping magisteria) is a view, advanced by the late Stephen Jay Gould, that science and religion each represent different areas of inquiry, fact vs. values, over which they have "a legitimate domain of authority," and that the two do not overlap (Wikipedia). In many ways NOMA can be seen to be an attempt to stop the warring between religious and science-oriented factions and this article argues that NOMA is effectively invalid.
I am an atheist and pretty damned proud of being one! I like that I don't subscribe to anyone's particular way of thinking. Of course, like anyone else, I am influenced by views I hear or read but I believe I think about those things and decide whether or not they make any sense. Whether I use it or not all the time, I believe I have the ability to think critically ... that's why I am a fan of science, why I am an atheist and, more recently, why I am not a Brexiter. I like to think of it as an alarm bell, a bullshit-o-meter that goes off whenever I think something doesn't feel or smell right.
If I had a dollar for every time a theist has tried to tell me we atheists can't understand their relationship with god I'd be ... well I wouldn't actually be rich but I'd probably be able to buy my family a decent curry and several beers each. Suffice to say, it's a common claim but it's also wrong and here's why.