Over on FreeThoughtBlogs P Z Myers has written a piece titled Dogma comes in many flavours and talks about how many atheists are not worried about challenging dogmatic religious beliefs, but when it comes to other deep-rooted beliefs such as gender stereotypes, atheists are often quick to shy away from challenging this. ‘We wouldn’t hesitate to be iconoclastic if the issue is one of faith. Break it down, we’d say, shatter those chains and think for yourself,’ Myers writes. ‘Other topics, though, are suddenly taboo. Try to go to most atheist meetings and question, for instance, conventional notions of masculinity. A significant number of those radical superstition-breakers will be appalled and start whispering about you, and divisions will form and some will cast you out.’ Continue reading
Ghost Hunters claiming to clear spirits from a property is nothing new and yet many people who offer this nonsense service brand themselves as exorcists and they seem to be as popular as ever. So, what’s the deal? A survey conducted in 2012 found that 57% of Americans believe in demonic possession. A survey in 2013 showed that 18% of Brits did too. In October 2013 the Pope commended exorcist priests for their fight against “the Devil’s works” and said that the Church needed to help “those possessed by evil.” The Catholic church responded by training more priests to perform exorcisms with a conference last year seeing at least 160 priests in attendance. Continue reading
On November 1st 2015 my lovely grandfather- Pappy, as we called him -died.
We knew he was going to die because he had dementia and had suffered two strokes, that didn’t make it any easier, but what did help was knowing that he wasn’t truly gone. Maurice Stevens hasn’t vanished and ceased to exist. Continue reading
Terrorism, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is ‘the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation’. According to the GTI, in 2014 alone 17,958 people were killed in terrorist attacks which is 61% more than the previous year. 82% of all deaths from terrorist attacks occur in just 5 countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria and 90% of these attacks occurred in countries that already have gross human rights violations. Four groups were the dominant contributors: the Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIL, and al Qa’ida. Continue reading