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whip_lash : religion   46

Why do Americans claim to be more religious than they are?
Americans are hardly more religious than people living in other industrialized countries. Yet they consistently—and more or less uniquely—want others to believe they are more religious than they really are.
politics  religion 
january 2019 by whip_lash
The Burdensome Myth of Romantic Love | David C. Dollahite and Betsy VanDenBerghe | First Things
Americans increasingly value romance over the institution of marriage, just as they shun religious institutions for the ethereal appeal of spirituality. But even as we fall out of love with institutions, we continue to have the needs they once satisfied, displacing those needs onto relationships that collapse under a weight only God and faith can lift.

NOT EXACTLY, BUT CLOSE ENOUGH.
love  romance  relationships  religion 
february 2018 by whip_lash
How Did New Atheism Fail So Miserably? | Slate Star Codex
This is 90% of popular intellectual culture these days: progressives regurgitating progressivism to other progressives for nothing but the warm glow of being told “Yup, that was some good progressiving there”. Conservatives make fun of this incessantly, and they are right to do so. But for some reason, in the case of New Atheism and only in the case of New Atheism, Progressivism itself suddenly turned and said “Hey, you’re just repeating our own platitudes back to us!” And New Atheism, caught flat-footed, mouth open wide: “But…but..we thought we were supposed to…we thought…”.

Think of one of those corrupt kleptocracies where the dictator takes bribes, all his ministers take bribes, all their assistants take bribes, the anti-corruption task force takes bribes, etc. Then one day some shmuck manages to get on the dictator’s bad side and – bam – the secret police nab him for taking bribes. The look on his face the moment before the firing squad shoots – that’s how I imagine New Atheists feeling too.
atheism  culture  religion 
october 2017 by whip_lash
Tolerance is not a moral precept – Extra Newsfeed
The Peace of Westphalia, the series of treaties which ended them, was built on two radical tenets: that each ruler had the right to choose the religion of their state, and that Christians living in principalities where their faith was not the established faith still had the right to practice their religion. A decision was made, in essence, to accept the risk of the monster rather than the reality of the war.
philosophy  religion  tolerance  sociology 
august 2017 by whip_lash
Does Religion Really Poison Everything? - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
While the field is still young and fairly small—those involved haven't settled on a name yet, though "evolutionary religious studies" gets thrown around—its findings could reshape a very old debate. Maybe we should stop asking whether God exists and start asking whether it's useful to believe that he does.
religion  evolution 
august 2012 by whip_lash
New Statesman - The social cell
Consider four unrelated species of social cell that share some interesting features. What do the Japanese tea ceremony, debutante parties, Ponzi schemes and many Christian churches have in common? They are all variations of an insidiously effective social mechanism that:
1) thrives on human innocence, and
2) nobody had to design, and
3) is threatened with extinction by the rising tide of accessibility to information.
evolution  psychology  religion  sociology 
april 2012 by whip_lash
Escape From the Holy Shtetl
“The Lubavitchers, they have a joy about them. The Satmars are nuts. They tell you the State of Israel shouldn’t exist because the Messiah hasn’t come yet, that the Holocaust was God’s way of punishing Jews for Zionism. It makes you sick.”
judaism  religion 
february 2012 by whip_lash
Twins - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine
Another study found that the strength of an individual's religious fervor was significantly shaped by heredity, though one's choice of affiliation—whether to become, say, a Methodist or a Roman Catholic—was not.
religion  genetics 
december 2011 by whip_lash
Göbekli Tepe - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine
"Most of the world's great religious centers, past and present, have been destinations for pilgrimages—think of the Vatican, Mecca, Jerusalem, Bodh Gaya (where Buddha was enlightened), or Cahokia (the enormous Native American complex near St. Louis). They are monuments for spiritual travelers, who often came great distances, to gawk at and be stirred by. Göbekli Tepe may be the first of all of them, the beginning of a pattern. What it suggests, at least to the archaeologists working there, is that the human sense of the sacred—and the human love of a good spectacle—may have given rise to civilization itself."
civilization  religion 
may 2011 by whip_lash
Apple causes ‘religious’ reaction in brains of fans, say neuroscientists
"According to the neuroscientists, the scan revealed that there were marked differences in Brooks’ reactions to the different products. Previously, the scientists had studied the brains of those of religious faith, and they found that, as Riley puts it: “The Apple products are triggering the same bits of [Brooks'] brain as religious imagery triggers in a person of faith.”"
apple  religion 
may 2011 by whip_lash
Txt Post – A Pilgrimage of Sin: Booze, Bombs, and Hookers in Islamic Thailand
"In 2009, a shari’ah court in the Islamist-controlled state of Pahang sentenced Malaysian model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to six lashes of a cane for drinking a beer in a hotel bar. It would have been the first judi¬cial caning of a woman in modern Malaysian history. The Sultan of Pahang commuted the sentence to community service, but in February 2010, three women actually were caned for having sex outside of marriage, and many people think—my bar companions did—that canings for drinking alcohol will now begin to rise. Drinking in Malaysia will become increasingly dangerous, its allure will soar, and the border will boom. For Thailand, it’s both a curse and a grotesque business opportunity."
economics  thailand  malaysia  religion  islam 
april 2011 by whip_lash
China’s Taoism Revival - NYTimes.com
It is impossible to miss the religious building boom, with churches, temples and mosques dotting areas where none existed a few years ago. How many Chinese reject the state’s official atheism is hard to quantify, but numbers suggest a return to widespread religious belief. In contrast to earlier surveys that showed just 100 million believers, or less than 10 percent of the population, a new survey shows that an estimated 300 million people claim a faith. A broader question in another poll showed that 85 percent of the population believes in religion or the supernatural.
china  religion 
november 2010 by whip_lash
Jpost | Print Article
A singer who performed in front of a “mixed audience” of men and women was lashed 39 times to make him “repent,” after a ruling by a self-described rabbinic court on Wednesday.
israel  religion 
august 2010 by whip_lash
The rise of the new agnostics. - By Ron Rosenbaum - Slate Magazine
Faith-based atheism? Yes, alas. Atheists display a credulous and childlike faith, worship a certainty as yet unsupported by evidence—the certainty that they can or will be able to explain how and why the universe came into existence. (And some of them can behave as intolerantly to heretics who deviate from their unproven orthodoxy as the most unbending religious Inquisitor.) - THIS ISN"T QUITE RIGHT.
philosophy  religion  science  agnosticism  atheism 
july 2010 by whip_lash
The Varieties of Religious Experience: How Apple Stays Divine - Science and Tech - The Atlantic
There are scholars who study Apple's consumers as religious devotees. Consumer behavior specialists Russell Belk of York University and Gulnur Tumbat of San Francisco State, even put together a framework for assessing Apple's mystical mythology. The company was built on four key myths, they argued.
religion  psychology  apple 
july 2010 by whip_lash
GodBlock - Protect your children
GodBlock is a web filter that blocks religious content. It is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual, and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions. When installed properly, GodBlock will test each page that your child visits before it is loaded, looking for passages from holy texts, names of religious figures, and other signs of religious propaganda. If none are found, then your child is allowed to browse freely.
humor  religion 
july 2010 by whip_lash
http://www.mapsofwar.com/images/EMPIRE17.swf
Flash map of the history of conquest in SW Asia.
history  israel  politics  war  religion 
june 2010 by whip_lash
Caspar Melville - Battle of the Babies | New Humanist
What Kaufmann is arguing is that the secularisation thesis, the assumption that modernity leads inexorably to a lessening of religious belief and a day when we are all rational humanists, is wrong – at one point Kaufmann approvingly quotes Rodney Stark and Roger Finke’s view that this is “a failed prophecy”. Further he is saying that there is something about our current form of liberal secularism that contains (here’s another headline) the seeds of its own destruction. Since the birth rate of individualistic secular people the world over is way below replacement level (2.1 in the West), and the birth rate of religious fundamentalists is way above (between 5 and 7.5 depending on sect), then through the sheer force of demography religious fundamentalism is going to become a much bigger force in the world and gain considerable political muscle.
religion  politics  sociology  demography 
april 2010 by whip_lash
Spaceship Jesus Will Come Back and Whisk Us Away < Killing the Buddha
Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series of sixteen novels (so far!) represents everything that is most deranged about religion. If I had to choose companions to take my chances with in a lifeboat, and the choice boiled down to picking Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, or Christopher Hitchens, I’d pick Hitchens in a heartbeat. At least he wouldn’t try to sink our boat so that Jesus would come back sooner. He might even bring along a case of wine.
religion  books  christianity 
november 2009 by whip_lash
Op-Ed Contributor - A Grand Bargain Over Evolution - NYTimes.com
Since Lewis wrote — and unbeknown to many believers — evolutionary psychologists have developed a plausible account of the moral sense. They say it is in large part natural selection’s way of equipping people to play non-zero-sum games — games that can be win-win if the players cooperate or lose-lose if they don’t.
religion  science  evolution  ethics 
september 2009 by whip_lash
Robert Wright: Why the "New Atheists" are Right-Wing on Foreign Policy
When it comes to foreign policy, a right-wing bias afflicts not just Hitchens's world view, but the whole ideology of "new atheism," especially as seen in the work of Hitchens allies Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.

Atheism has little intrinsic ideological bent. (Karl Marx. Ayn Rand. I rest my case.) But things change when you add the key ingredient of the new atheism: the idea that religion is not just mistaken, but evil -- that it "poisons everything," as Hitchens has put it with characteristic nuance.
religion  politics  culture 
july 2009 by whip_lash
A Religion for Atheists | Standpoint.Online
The tragedy of modern atheism is to have ignored just how many aspects of religion continue to be interesting even when the central tenets of the great faiths are discovered to be entirely implausible. Indeed, it’s precisely when we stop believing in the idea that gods made religions that things become interesting, for it is then that we can focus on the human imagination which dreamt these creeds up. We can recognise that the needs which led people to do so must still in some way be active, albeit dormant, in modern secular man. God may be dead, but the bit of us that made God continues to stir.
religion  culture 
april 2009 by whip_lash
One World, Under God - The Atlantic (April 2009)
The Jesus in Mark, far from calmly forgiving his killers, seems surprised by the Crucifixion and hardly sanguine about it (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). In Mark, there is no Sermon on the Mount, and so no Beatitudes, and there is no good Samaritan; Jesus’ most salient comment on ethnic relations is to compare a woman to a dog because she isn’t from Israel.

The more familiar Jesus, the one who stresses tolerance and interethnic charity, shows up in the books of Matthew and Luke, which seem to have been written a decade or two after Mark—about half a century after the Crucifixion. This late arrival of the “good” Jesus is enough to make you wonder whether the real Jesus, the “historical Jesus,” was really so good. And in fact some scholars have wondered that.
religion  christianity 
march 2009 by whip_lash
Do these mysterious stones mark the site of the Garden of Eden? | Mail Online
'To build such a place as this, the hunters must have joined together in numbers. After they finished building, they probably congregated for worship. But then they found that they couldn't feed so many people with regular hunting and gathering.

'So I think they began cultivating the wild grasses on the hills. Religion motivated people to take up farming.'
history  religion  archaeology 
march 2009 by whip_lash
Morality may have roots in our primate ancestors - Telegraph
Although morality has always been viewed as a human trait that sets us apart from the animals, it now appears our closest ancestors share the same scruples.

Scientists have that discovered monkeys and apes can make judgements about fairness, offer sympathy and help and remember obligations.

Researchers say the findings may demonstrate morality developed through evolution, a view that is likely to antagonise the devoutly religious, who see it as God-given.
religion  evolution 
february 2009 by whip_lash
Jewish papers won't print pictures of Mossad beauty Tzipi Livni
Syria calls her the "Mossad beauty." But ultraorthodox Jewish newspapers in Israel won't print Tzipi Livni's picture or her name, for reasons of religious modesty.
religion  judaism  israel 
september 2008 by whip_lash
Edge: WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN? By Jonathan Haidt
But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer "moral clarity"—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.
voting  sociology  republican  religion  psychology  politics 
september 2008 by whip_lash
Critics of UC Riverside scholar say his studies on Sikh religion are sacrilege | Inland News | PE.com | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California
Some Southern California Sikhs want a UC Riverside religious scholar removed from his position in Sikh and Punjabi studies because his research challenges their beliefs that the holy scriptures are literally the word of God.
sikh  religion 
september 2008 by whip_lash
Honour killings on the rise in India: Women's group : HindustanTimes.com
Indian women activists have called for an urgent change in the country's laws to counter the uncontrolled rise of "honour killings" in India, saying they comprise ten percent of all killings in the northern Indian states of Haryana and Punjab.

Honour killings -- where men and women are killed by their kin or members of their caste -- are also rampant in the western part of Uttar Pradesh.
religion  hinduism  terrorism 
september 2008 by whip_lash
Reuters AlertNet - Saudi cleric wants death for TV "sorcerers"
A senior Saudi cleric has said purveyors of horoscopes on Arab television should face the death penalty, a paper said on Sunday, days after another cleric argued death for TV owners.

"Sorcerers who appear on satellite channels who are proven to be sorcerers have committed a great crime ... and the Muslim consensus is that the apostate's punishment is death by the sword," Sheikh Saleh al-Fozan told al-Madina daily.
religion  islam  culture 
september 2008 by whip_lash
Ultra-Orthodox vigilantes spread fear in Jerusalem
Some residents say the self-styled "modesty squads" are spreading terror among those seen as straying from the strict moral code demanded of the ultra-Orthodox in the more conservative neighbourhoods of the Holy City.
religion  terrorism  judaism 
september 2008 by whip_lash
TaxProf Blog: Pastors to Challenge Ban on Political Activity by Endorsing Candidates From Pulpit on Sept. 28
Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Ariz., nonprofit, is hoping at least one sermon will prompt the IRS to investigate, sparking a court battle that could get the tax provision declared unconstitutional.
politics  religion  taxes 
may 2008 by whip_lash
Freakonomics Blog » Cut God Some Slack
So who is making these anti-God books best-sellers? Do the people who despise the notion of God have an insatiable demand for books that remind them of why?
religion 
august 2007 by whip_lash
Transcending God
Thanks to advances of science, education, political tolerance, pluralism and so on, religion can now be one option among many...But in the texts...there is always this toxin that’s ready to be revived.
religion 
july 2007 by whip_lash
The Cleveland Free Times :: Cover :: Perversion of Judgement
Right there in black and white were all the judge's diatribes about Rachel's supposed immorality, and his calling her a pervert. Rachel immediately gave the transcripts to reporters and bloggers, and Judge Punch reportedly left town.
subgenius  religion 
july 2007 by whip_lash
Skeptic: eSkeptic: Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
[Dawkins] has not done any original work on the subject and he has not fairly represented the work of his colleagues.
evolution  religion  science 
july 2007 by whip_lash
Nepali "living goddess" fired after U.S. visit - Yahoo! News
A 10-year-old Nepali girl worshipped as a living goddess, or Kumari, has lost her "divine" status for defying tradition and visiting the United States.
religion 
july 2007 by whip_lash
BBC NEWS | The Editors
The scientologists have done us a service. Their rebuttal campaign aimed at John Sweeney’s Panorama investigation is a foretaste – a particularly well-funded and well-produced foretaste – of the feedback firestorm beginning to engulf all of Big Jour
news  religion  journalism 
may 2007 by whip_lash
Daily Herald - Convention ends with Satan and immigrants
Utah County Republicans ended their convention on Saturday by debating Satan's influence on illegal immigrants.
religion  immigration 
may 2007 by whip_lash
A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith - New York Times
One congregant stood out amid the flowers and finery: Senator Barack Obama, there to honor the man who led him from skeptic to self-described Christian.
obama  religion 
april 2007 by whip_lash

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