atheists

Online survey author alleges atheists have better sex lives

Online survey author alleges atheists have better sex lives

Psychologist Darrel Ray, who was raised in a conservative Christian household, conducted an online survey to determine the impact of religion on sexual satisfaction.

Ray set out to confirm whether his own experience- that his sex life vastly improved when he ditched religion- bore out among others. Ray, who authored the book The God Virus: How God Infects Our Lives and Culture, sought out 14,500 people who had once been religious or raised in a religious environment before becoming atheist or agnostic. What Ray discovered is that guilt seems to heavily influence sexual satisfaction in many specific subsets of Christianity.

The survey did not adhere to social science study guidelines, but Ray reported the results as follows:

Those who had been raised Mormon with their strict views about sex, showed the highest rating among those who had sexual guilt with an average score of 8.19 out of 10. Others with similar responses were Jehovah’s Witness, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist and Baptist.

Catholics, on the other hand, rated their guilt at 6.34 and Lutherans came in at 5.88. Atheists and agnostics were the lowest in guilt at 4.71 and 4.81.

University of Texas at Austin associate professor Mark Regnerus dismissed the survey as biased and said Ray’s methods were “unscientific,” adding:

“It appears that it was a ‘fill it out if you want to’ kind of survey that is not random, not nationally representative, and relies entirely on self-selection,” he said. “In other words, they have data from people who felt like filling out a survey on atheism and sex. As a result, I am not surprised at their findings.”

Regnerus said the results were based on “hearsay or guesswork,” and opined:

“I don’t fault the author for running the survey he did, but it does display research methods which do not meet the standards of most published social science.”

Indeed, the results would have been a bit more interesting even just stacked against responses from religious folk who consider themselves sexually satisfied. Do you agree with Ray’s findings? Does religion or lack thereof significantly affect your view on sex?

Seattle Atheists collect for “Rapture Relief Fund’

Seattle Atheists collect for “Rapture Relief Fund’

A fringe Christian group has been busy lately warning the world about the coming Rapture, which it claims will be here on May 21.

California-based Family Radio is spearheading the cause and has purchased billboards around the country asking commuters to mark May 21 on their calendars. They say that’s the day when Jesus will return and true Christians will be spirited off to heaven, leaving the rest of the population to suffer through the last five months of their lives until God destroys the Earth on October 21.

If the prognosticators are right, then some of us are in big trouble.

With that thought in mind, a local group called Seattle Atheists is now taking donations for a “Rapture Relief Fund” to help those who are left behind.

“To help us help you, we’ve created ‘Rapture Relief,’ an aid fund for the unfortunate people left behind,” said John Keiser of Seattle Atheists. “When you give to this fund, Seattle Atheists will use the money to help survivors of any Armageddon-sized disaster in the Puget Sound area.”

Keiser and the 280 other members of Seattle Atheists have already raised $800 for the fund, and they hope to have $5,000 by May 21.

If Family Radio is wrong and the world survives, Seattle Atheists will donate all the money from the relief fund to Camp Quest, which teaches children about science and critical thinking.

“It just dawned on us that this is really dumb stuff and these people are really showing a complete lack of critical thinking,” Keiser said. “We wanted to highlight that and highlight the need for critical thinking, which is why we decided to make it a fundraiser for Camp Quest.”

Seattle Atheists will be out raising money for the fund at several upcoming events, including an end-of-the-world party scheduled for May 21 at Dorky’s Arcade in Tacoma at 8 p.m. Members will also be present in the University District for StreetFair on May 21-22 and they’ll be at Westlake Park on May 23-27.

Easter heavy metal gig planned for Northcote venue in sin bin

Easter heavy metal gig planned for Northcote venue in sin bin

THE Baillieu Government will move to ban a bad-taste concert being staged on one of the most sacred days of the Christian year.

Easter Mass 11, featuring Christian-hating heavy metal bands, has been planned for a Northcote venue on Good Friday, mocking the day’s religious significance.

It would be headlined by Sydney shock group Jesus Christ – a tribute act to deceased US punk rocker GG Allin, who typically defecated and urinated on stage, rolled in faeces, consumed excrement and committed self-harm.

An online advertisement for the event says: “On this, the most important day on the Christian calendar, the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be destroying himself not for your sins, but for your pure entertainment.

“Performing communion at the mass service will be … Reverend Hackxwhore, Pastor Jigsaw Torture and Father Drongo.”

But Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien said the State Government would move to ban the event under liquor laws covering offensive images and religious vilification.

“I have asked the director of Liquor Licensing to look into whether this tasteless and moronic promotion complies with the Liquor Control Reform Act,” Mr O’Brien said.

A barbecue and meat tray offer is to be held at the gig on Good Friday – a strictly meat-free day for Catholics and some other Christians, but a religious holiday observed by all Christian faiths to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Religious groups are expected to picket the April 22 event at Northcote bar 303 if it goes ahead. Anglican Archdeacon Andrew Oddy said the gig insulted people’s faith.

“The timing of the event is utterly insensitive and to have it on Good Friday is simply designed to cause offence,” he said.

Performer “Carcass” Butcher said the concert was “just a bit of harmless fun”.

The Brumby government unsuccessfully attempted to shut down a controversial Mother’s Day kickboxing tournament, called Mother’s Day Mayhem, in 2009.

If Christianity is True

If Christianity is True

Note: Given the propensity of Christians to continually deceive themselves with this argument, I have decided to bring this back to the front of my site. In case you are wondering, I often prefer to use the informal indicative rather than the more formal subjunctive. – May 2005

IF CHRISTIANITY IS TRUE

Wayne Everett Orgar

March 2000

Over the past few years, one of the most frequent comments I have heard from Christians is paraphrased as follows:

If Christianity is true and I believe, than I have eternal life.

If it is true and I don’t believe, I have eternal punishment.

If it is false and I believe, than I will have only lived a lie.

This is nothing more than Pascal’s wager watered down. Bet on Christianity and you lose nothing.

WRONG! You lose plenty.

First, though, let’s recognize this is only a statement of fear and presents evidence of nothing except the fear of hellfire and brimstone. Supposedly, believing in Christ on faith is the key to salvation. Believing in Christ because it is a safe bet is not faith and disqualifies you from salvation. This is fear, not the courage of one’s conviction.

Consider:

  • This argument provides no evidence for a god or for gods.
  • It presents no evidence of an afterlife.
  • It presents no evidence for the truth of Christianity or the belief that these practices will bring you that eternal life. You still have no guarantee that being a Christian brings eternal life if there was an afterlife.
  • It represents a false dichotomy. The choice is not between Christianity and atheism. It is a choice among atheism, Christianity, and the thousands of other religions that respective believers think will get them eternal life. If eternal life existed, it could belong to only the Hindu.
  • If Christianity was false and you believed, you could lose more than a life of lies. If Shintoism were true instead, you would lose eternal life. You better get out there and believe in Shintoism to hedge your bet.

Consider the underlying reasoning behind the argument and it falls apart.

If religion A is true and I believe, than I have eternal life.

If religion A is true and I don’t believe, than I have eternal punishment.

If religion A is not true and I believe, than I will only have lived a lie.

You could use this to justify believing in any religion. Just substitute Islam for religion A. If you use this reasoning to justify believing in Christianity, the moral principle of fairness requires you to allow other religions to use it with equal justification and hope of salvation. Otherwise, you are being hypocritical and you are deceiving yourself.

You could use it to hold conflicting beliefs and be in total self-contradiction. Why would anyone respect this argument?

Now back to my original point. You have plenty to lose with Christianity

  • You lose a lot of time and money on religious organizations and icons, time and money that could be better spent on real problems.
  • You have to worry about guilt and shame from the imaginary concept of sin. Big brother is watching.
  • You have to stand on your head and do verbal gymnastics to “apologize” for ridiculous Bible stories and verses.
  • You have to worry about the increasing knowledge of the facts of the universe and try to rectify them with the Bible, written by people who knew nothing about their universe.
  • You have to worry about the increasing civil rights of women and other minorities such as homosexuals, atheists, ethnic groups, and other religious groups that are increasing in this country.
  • You have to constantly worry about non-believers watching your behavior as Christians and pointing out that you do not behave any better than non-believers.
  • You have to worry about your friends and family going to hell for an eternity. If you don’t worry about this, you either don’t truly believe or are a very callous individual.
  • You have to worry about breaking arbitrary “rules of men” that were attributed to a supposed deity thousands of years ago.
  • You have to worry about those secular humanists (all 20 of them) that have taken over every school, government body, university, media outlet, and ice cream stand in the country.

I could list more. I found no comfort from Christianity. It is not a sure thing and I certainly would not want to bet my life or well being on it.

February 2006 – The stupidist thing a Christian has ever said to me in regard to this is that non-belief in Christianity has consequences and the above is therefore not true. Other religions have no consequences? Tell that to an Islamic believer who insists that Christians will go to hell!

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.

Heresy? Perhaps. But a survey that measured Americans’ knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term “blind faith.”

A majority of Protestants, for instance, couldn’t identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church’s central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.

Atheists and agnostics — those who believe there is no God or who aren’t sure — were more likely to answer the survey’s questions correctly. Jews and Mormons ranked just below them in the survey’s measurement of religious knowledge — so close as to be statistically tied.

So why would an atheist know more about religion than a Christian?

American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study, said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum.

“These are people who thought a lot about religion,” he said. “They’re not indifferent. They care about it.”

Atheists and agnostics also tend to be relatively well educated, and the survey found, not surprisingly, that the most knowledgeable people were also the best educated. However, it said that atheists and agnostics also outperformed believers who had a similar level of education.

The groups at the top of the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey were followed, in order, by white evangelical Protestants, white Catholics, white mainline Protestants, people who were unaffiliated with any faith (but not atheist or agnostic), black Protestants and Latino Catholics.

Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists were included in the survey, but their numbers were too small to be broken out as statistically significant groups.

Stephen Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University and author of “Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know — And Doesn’t,” served as an advisor on the survey. “I think in general the survey confirms what I argued in the book, which is that we know almost nothing about our own religions and even less about the religions of other people,” he said.

He said he found it significant that Mormons, who are not considered Christians by many fundamentalists, showed greater knowledge of the Bible than evangelical Christians.

The Rev. Adam Hamilton, a Methodist minister from Leawood, Kan., and the author of “When Christians Get it Wrong,” said the survey’s results may reflect a reluctance by many people to dig deeply into their own beliefs and especially into those of others.

“I think that what happens for many Christians is, they accept their particular faith, they accept it to be true and they stop examining it. Consequently, because it’s already accepted to be true, they don’t examine other people’s faiths. … That, I think, is not healthy for a person of any faith,” he said.

The Pew survey was not without its bright spots for the devout. Eight in 10 people surveyed knew that Mother Teresa was Catholic. Seven in 10 knew that, according to the Bible, Moses led the exodus from Egypt and that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

The question that elicited the most correct responses concerned whether public school teachers are allowed to lead their classes in prayer. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents correctly said no. However, 67% also said that such teachers are not permitted to read from the Bible as an example of literature, something the law clearly allows.

For comparison purposes, the survey also asked some questions about general knowledge, which yielded the scariest finding: 4% of Americans believe that Stephen King, not Herman Melville, wrote “Moby Dick.”

Mitch Daniels Is Fucking Idiot

Comments about ‘atheists’ put off nonreligious voters

Newly elected Austrailian prime minister Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female prime minister, is not a religious person. President Barack Obama is the first U.S. president to acknowledge nonreligious Americans in his Inaugural Address. However, Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is being considered by some as a candidate for president in 2012, in an interview with WANE.com in December, said, “And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists — Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth — because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth.”

This statement categorizes the 16 percent of Hoosiers who are not religious as atheists and makes false statements about them. Had he made a statement of this type about Muslims, Jews, gays or other minority groups, they would be calling for his resignation.

A letter was sent twice to Daniels inviting him to visit the Center for Inquiry Indiana, which is about five blocks from his office, so that he can learn more about people who are not religious. No acknowledgement of the receipt of either letter has been received.

Are the nonreligious the only group about whom a governor and aspiring presidential candidate can make derogatory remarks with no consequences? Does he think that 16 percent of his constituents are not worthy of respect from their governor?