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What If We Taught Students That Religion is Absurd?
We need to educate our children and teenagers to the point where they can think critically for themselves and can easily see and understand the absurdity of religion. The good news is that once someone’s brain is at this level of comprehension, a great many positive side effects occur. Life would be much better for everyone if everyone in our society is educated to the level where they understand that religion is absurd. The religiosity of America fascinates me. I am intrigued by the idea of millions of people in an advanced nation believing that they have a “relationship” with an imaginary friend and believing that this imaginary friend is answering their prayers.  In the United States, something like 76% of the population believes in God, and seventy percent of the population identifies as Christian. Three-quarters of the U.S. population believes that the Bible was at least inspired by God, and 28% (more than 89 million people) believe the stories in it are literally true. Why would anyone today believe that the Christian god is real or that the story of Noah’s ark is true? My goal here is to advocate that we, as a society, start an active campaign to make religion irrelevant to human civilization. In the same way that there have been active campaigns to eliminate diseases like smallpox and polio, we should start a similar campaign against religion.  The tool I propose for religion’s elimination is across-the-board education in critical thinking. But first, let’s step back for a moment and ask, How do we find ourselves in this position as a species? There are many interesting things that human beings do. Music, math, tools, cooking, science, engineering, art, and language all come to mind. But religion ranks up there as perhaps the most interesting.  Religion stands out because it is so irrational and bizarre. Billions of people on this planet believe in their various imaginary beings so firmly that disagreements about religion often escalate to violence and warfare.  Read the full story: https://www.fadewblogs.eu.org/2021/11/teaching-about-religion-in-school.html  
I Said No to a Religious Friend as She Lay Dying. Was I Right?
Religion is nothing but a crock used by people to fortify themselves against the frightening prospect of death, that chillingly inevitable end of life.  And when death impends, be that at war, in hospital, or on death row, people cling more desperately to that delusion.  Even nonbelievers walk on eggshells when faced with a dying person. We wonder: Is this really a good time to tread on their sensibilities and disabuse them of their crock? Not long ago I found myself in that quandary.  Someone I knew was dying, and I went to her deathbed to pay my respects. She was a woman who respected me as an elder of the Nigerian community in Cleveland.  She was also something of a protégé, having sought my advice repeatedly as she considered the proper advanced-degree path to pursue.  In my days as a scientific educator—when, also, two of my sons were in the university—I had become something of an information resource for my fellow Nigerians on matters like the choice of college to attend and the discipline of study, and especially how to tap into financial assistance programs available to good students and their parents in the U.S.  I chose to visit her when most of her friends and well-wishers would be at work. I was wary of the perplexed reactions of my fellow Nigerians when it became known that I am an atheist.  My friends told me I would come across much better as an agnostic or a pagan than an out-and-out atheist, for Nigerians are often ranked alongside Americans in sheer religiosity—of the pushy and loud sort.  It’s amazing that the very people whom religion has historically oppressed and denigrated the most (i.e. women, Blacks, colonized people) are the ones who cling to it most tenaciously!  The Nigerian media go so far as to estimate that one in three houses in the cities and townships of the Christian south of the country are used nowadays as churches, chapels, temples, tabernacles, or other places of worship.  “Nigerian atheist” is considered an oxymoron. Those who know I was raised a Catholic—and, to boot, an altar boy able to recite the entire Eucharist liturgy in Latin and English—profess themselves baffled by my apostasy.  Read the full article: https://www.fadewblogs.eu.org/2021/11/I-said-no.html
Jesus: Prophet of Peace and Love or Purveyor of Fear and Hate?
Multitudes of Christian commentators over the past two millennia have proclaimed the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth to be unsurpassed tenets of spiritual wisdom and unexcelled guidelines for living a morally responsible life.  Hundreds of millions of devout believers are absolutely convinced that they will conquer death and attain everlasting life because God sacrificed his son for their sins. They are also convinced that Jesus didn’t really die. He was restored to life and subsequently ascended to heaven to spend eternity with his father, and soon Jesus will return to Earth to judge the wicked and rapture righteous believers up to heaven with him. Countless books have been written extolling the allegedly commendable features of the “Christian worldview” and the “Christ-centered life,” but, by contrast, few authors have examined the unsavory side of Jesus’ personality and his less than-meritorious behavior and opinions. For this presentation, I’ve formulated, in a balanced fashion, two sets of ten principles based on Jesus’ pronouncements. Although his directives come from the canonical gospels (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), additional documentation is abundant elsewhere in the New Testament epistles and letters. The twenty precepts are listed along with the supporting Bible verses from which they derive. The cited verses and passages appear in this separate article. This scriptural evidence will enable readers to answer for themselves the binary question that is the title of this article. NB: This article is not made assuming Jesus literally indeed existed, but an evaluation of the character of the Abrahamic religious texts. Read the full article:https://www.fadewblogs.eu.org/2021/11/jesus-prophet-of-love-or-hate.html
More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops
Two months ago, a small atheist organization put an ad out saying “Don’t Believe in God? You Are Not Alone." The group found that they had a problem. The problem was not that the group (Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry) attracted any hostility. It was exactly the opposite. They were completely unprepared for the response. More than 100 people showed up for their most recent public meeting, causing the board members to discuss whether it was time to find a larger place. According to the article, parents are now asking for family-oriented programs where they could meet "like-minded nonbelievers." “Is everyone in favor of sponsoring a picnic for humanists with families?” asked the board president, Jonathan Lamb, a 27-year-old meteorologist, eliciting a chorus of “ayes.” More than ever, America’s atheists are linking up and speaking out. Internet groups and meet-ups are growing in number every day, all over the country. They are volunteering, petitioning, and just discussing their beliefs with each other. The article goes on to explain that these new Athiest groups are trying to "liken their strategy to that of the gay-rights movement, which lifted off when closeted members of a scorned minority decided to go public." “It’s not about carrying banners or protesting,” said Herb Silverman, a math professor at the College of Charleston who founded the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, which has about 150 members on the coast of the Carolinas. “The most important thing is coming out of the closet.” Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/us/27atheist.html