Just a Little Common Sense

For a life based on reason, ethics, literature and art.

Posts Tagged ‘atheist

One of the Best Humanist Blogs Around

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I’ll be very busy this weekend, so I won’t be able to spend too much time here until next monday. So for the meantime, I thought I’d throw out a recommendation for all who want to read clear, honest, humanist thoughts:

It’s a blog called Belief In People. You can also find it in my blogroll in the sidebar. It’s a great blog full of insightful musings. What I find to be particularly interesting about Shawn’s writings is that he wrote a fair bit about being an atheist parent. His musings are thought-provoking, the topics are interesting, his reasoning is clear and his writing is eloquent. It just can’t get much better. A good place to start reading is The Best of Belief in People, a selection of his best posts. Enjoy!

Porn for Bibles? An Afterthought

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I got an interesting reaction to my previous post. As I shared the story on facebook, a fellow atheist replied in disgust, saying that we shouldn’t resort to such “barbaric lewdness”. I was really surprised, for I didn’t expect anything in that direction. It didn’t even occur to me that reasonable non-religious people might take offense at this. Maybe it’s because I’m european, but I don’t think it’s that much of a big deal. Anybody calling simple porn “barbaric lewdness” would be laughed at over here. Simply a matter of custom I guess. But wether you think it’s poor taste or not, it’s a brilliant move from a marketing-point of view. Hand out flyers, and you might reach a hundred people a day who actually read, and what’s more, actually think about it. Offer them porn, and they will be shocked. They’ll stay and discuss, the religious will go bonkers, the following media hype will ensure you get invited to dozens of talkshows and radio-programms giving you a chance to elaborate your point to an audience of thousands. In finland, there’s probably not a single person now who has not heard about this, and didn’t listen to the explaination of those who sparked the controversy. One can hardly deny that in points of effectiveness and cost-efficiency, this campaign will be hard to top.

I find myself thinking about proposing to copy this idea to my local freethought society.

Written by Phil

June 11, 2010 at 03:53

Helsinki: Atheists Offer Porn in Exchange for Bibles

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A Finnish free-thought society thought of this provokative campaign to draw some attention to how much the churches are trying to controll private matters. Last weekend, whoever brought a bible along for a visit to the freethought society of Helsinki was offered a porn-magazine á la “Hustler” or “Erotica lehti” in exchange. According to diepresse.com, 50 people took them up on the offer.
The Christian Party of Finland condemned the campaign, calling upon the authorities to review the legitimacy of it. Despite the passionate protests by various christian groups, the police were quoted saying that the campaign “didn’t cause much trouble”.
The spokeswoman of the atheist society showed herself satisfied with the result of the campaign. In an interview with the finnish news-agency STT she said that the aggressive protests revealed the need for an open debate over the controll that religious communities exert over the private life and the sexuality of their members.

via diepresse.com

PS: I recieved some comments on this that triggered some afterthought.

Written by Phil

June 10, 2010 at 12:18

A Humanist Manifesto

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I just browsed through Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great, intending to look something up for a discussion I’ve recently had with a friend. A paragraph from the first chapter cought my eye, and once again I wasn’t able to put the book down until over an hour later. I really admire Hitchens’ command of the english language; there are few writers so effortlessly eloquent.
There is only one thing to criticize: His misleading use of the word ‘atheist’. Theism is usually defined as the belief in a single God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe. All that is necessary in order to qualify as an atheist, is not to believe in that. Even if one defines atheism as the positive doctrine that there is no god (there is some controversy about wether atheism describes a lack of belief in existence, or the assertion of the nonexistence of god), the values that Hitchens names are absolutely optional. Atheism is one belief, not a belief system. That is also why ‘atheism’ is written with a lower-case ‘a’, while ‘Theism’ is written with a capital ‘T’. What Hitchens laudates here are essentially the values of Secular Humanism, and are far beyond simple non-belief. Anyhow, it is a beautiful and moving piece of writing, so enjoy: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Phil

May 18, 2010 at 21:15

Hell’s Angel: Mother Teresa

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For decades now Mother Teresa has been one of the favourite and most successful PR-tools of the catholic church and Christianity in general. For her “humanitarian work” and “spiritual inspiration” she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Her name became a synonym of goodness around the world, although few people know what her work consists of, and even fewer have actually seen it. Those who did are usually rather shocked. Read, for example the account of Hemley Gonzalez, founder of the Facebook page STOP The Missionaries of Charity:

I worked as a volunteer in one of Mother Teresa’s homes in Calcutta, India, for a period of two months at the end of 2008. It was during this time that I was shocked to discover the horrific and negligent manner in which this charity operates and the direct contradiction of the public’s general understanding of their work. […]

Workers washing needles under tap water only to be reused again. Medicine and other vital items being stored for months on end, expiring and eventually still applied sporadically to patients. Volunteers with little or no training carrying out dangerous work on patients with highly contagious cases of Tuberculosis, leprosy and other life threatening illnesses, while the workers of the charity patently refuse to accept and implement machinery and equipment that would safely automate processes and save lives.

Few voices are brave enough to criticize the religious icon that is Mother Teresa so bluntly. The most famous criticism so far stems from the pen of Christopher Hitchens, Read the rest of this entry »

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