Posts Tagged ‘skepticism’

Skepticism and Free Thought work both ways

September 1, 2015

<www.religiousforums.com>Thread:”Militant Atheism”

Please click the post # below to view,to comment and or join discussion on the topic.

Post #268

Very good points, I appreciate the post.
Regards

Atheism is not the default position

May 21, 2014

http://atheistenglishman.wordpress.com/about/comment-page-1/#comment-34

paarsurrey on May 21, 2014 at 4:07 pm said:
Atheism is not the default position.

http://atheistenglishman.wordpress.com/about/comment-page-1/#comment-37

AtheistEnglishman on May 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm said:

Care to provide any proof of your assertion? Given the fact that believes are predominantly likely to believe the religion of their parents (or a subtle variant of the same) it is abundantly clear that we are not born with a religion, but that our parents surrender us to a religion, their religion.

http://atheistenglishman.wordpress.com/about/comment-page-1/#comment-40
paarsurrey on May 21, 2014 at 7:35 pm said:

I think there would be only few or a negligible minority of people in the world who would have Atheism as a default position or the original position reasonably. Only those of them could claim Atheism as their default position whose parents were Atheists and hence they need to be helped by the Theists to provide reasonable arguments.

The majority of the Atheists, I think cannot claim Atheism as their default or original position. They belonged to a position of one of the religions in the world; and then they thought it to be convenient to get converted to Atheism (Skepticism, Agnosticism etc) without being convinced with evidences or proofs which they demand from the believers so often.

Atheism is a position of doubt and ignorance, not of certainty. Had they got converted to Atheism with evidences and proofs; they would have them ready to present them to believers?

They just demand evidences and proofs from the believers.

Regards

In search of truth

April 1, 2014

The viewers are advised to visit the link given below to know the context of discussion and then from their independent and sincere opinion.

http://anaivethinker.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/how-i-became-an-atheist/comment-page-1/#comment-121

paarsurrey | April 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm

@ anaivethinker
“. . I would have to try to make evolution and religion work together. . .
. . .
. . .
Do you have a similar experience? Do you know someone with a similar experience? Feel free to comment or question about anything.” Unquote

The observation was correct that evolution/science work together; but the decision was incorrect to become Atheist/Agnostic/Skeptic.

If Bible/Christianity was wrong on occasions; it does not prove Atheism/Agnosticism/Skepticism automatically correct. Truth of Atheism/Agnosticism/Skepticism must be proved correct on its own merit.

Truth must be proved of every religions or non-religion on some common criteria.

So your search for truth is incomplete. You went from one extreme to another extreme.

Thanks and regards

A weird concept of Religion and Transcendence

March 24, 2014

http://triangulations.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/humanizing-transcendence/#comment-126885

paarsurrey
03/24/2014 at 6:16 am

@ Sabio Lantz
“Religion is a term used to package very complicated socio-political movements while also capitalizing on internal psychological states.”

There seems to be some error in your concept of religion as given above.

Do you think Atheism/Agnosticism/Skepticism/”Humanism”/secularism etc are also covered in your concept of religion?

If yes; why?

If no;why?

Please give your proofs and evidences.

Regards

BUDDHA HAS DEFINITELY NO CONNECTION WITH NON-THEISM, ATHEISM, AGNOSTICISM, SKEPTICISM

February 28, 2014

Please view Paarsurrey’s comments on the following blog for your valuable opinion:

“NonProphet Status (NPS)”
“KAREN STOLLZNOW INTERVIEW, PART TWO
FEBRUARY 20TH, 2014 | POSTED BY: CHRIS STEDMAN”

http://nonprophetstatus.com/

http://nonprophetstatus.com/2014/02/20/karen-stollznow-interview-part-two/#comment-1265013329

PAARSURREY • A FEW SECONDS AGO
@KAREN STOLLZNOW
@CHRIS STEDMAN

“NONTHEISM IS ALSO COMPATIBLE WITH BUDDHISM”
MAYBE THE BUDDHISM IN AMERICA HAS SOME CONNECTION WITH NON-THEISM OR ATHEISM/AGNOSTICISM/SKEPTICISM; BUT BUDDHA HAS DEFINITELY NO CONNECTION WITH THEM (NON-THEISM OR ATHEISM/AGNOSTICISM/SKEPTICISM).

PAARSURREY • 12 MINUTES AGO
@KAREN STOLLZNOW:

“THE BEST WAY TO BE SENSITIVE TO THESE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IS TO GET TO KNOW THEIR MEMBERS PERSONALLY AND TO SEE THEM AS PEOPLE, NOT AS STEREOTYPES PERPETUATED IN MOVIES, BOOKS AND ONLINE. FOR EACH RELIGION PROFILED I HAD DIRECT CONTACT WITH MEMBERS OF THESE GROUPS. IT WAS ALSO IMPORTANT FOR ME TO WORK WITH EX-MEMBERS OF THESE GROUPS, TO GAIN INSIGHT FROM THOSE WHO ARE NOW OUTSIDERS, AND HAVE A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE AS FORMER INSIDERS.”

I AM AN AHMADI PEACEFUL MUSLIM. I LIKE THE APPROACH OF KAREN STOLLZNOW. ONE MUST HAVE A PERSONAL CONTACT WITH THE COMMUNITIES TO WHOM ONE WANTS A MEANINGFUL DIALOGUES. I APPRECIATE IT. IT IS ETHICALLY GOOD.

http://nonprophetstatus.com/2014/02/20/karen-stollznow-interview-part-two/#comment-1265013329

Atheism cannot be a position of default or position of origin; why?

February 19, 2014

http://calladus.blogspot.ca/2010/05/what-i-believe.html

paarsurrey said…
@ Calladus :

“I lack any belief in a deity.

This is a “default” position for me. I have not found sufficient evidence to encourage belief in a deity.”

I don’t get you. Were you an Atheist when you gained consciousness as a child, as far as you remember?

Please

18/2/14 9:19 AM

Calladus said…
My earliest memories were full of magic, wonder and fear.

I was scared to death of the “Bumble”, from the Christmas animation, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.

I was also pretty scared of monsters and ghosts – I’d read about them in “Tales from the Crypt” comics that my older teenage neighbor liked to read.

And, I thought that butterflies were magical – we were in the middle of the Monarch butterfly migration path, and our yard would be filled with them every year.

I don’t remember much about Church at this age, because I’d go to the Pre-kindergarten child care when Mom and Dad went to church. I played with the blocks there and built things with them.

As a child, I’d have my father check under my bed and in my closet for monsters, and I’d have my mom leave the hallway light on.

So if you are claiming that my “default position” is whatever I believed as a child, then it would be about Bumbles, ghosts and monsters.

But no deities. I just didn’t think about them.

18/2/14 10:54 AM

Calladus said…

I think I see a pattern here. People think that “Belief” is some sort of binary logic. Sort of like computer logic, that is either 1 or 0, or “True” or “False”.

And what is funny, is that binary logic isn’t even true with computers. There is a Third State, known as “Tri-state” or “Hi-Z”, which are both fancy ways of saying, “Disconnected”.

I don’t have a belief that a deity exists. I don’t have a belief that a deity does NOT exist. I don’t bother with believing, or disbelieving.

Instead, I’m disconnected from belief in a deity.

As are you, dear reader, about a great many things.

For example you are disconnected from belief in Trugs. You don’t believe in a Trug, you don’t disbelieve in a Trug.

And if I informed you that a Trug was a supernatural creature, you might still not form a belief stance on Trugs. After all, why bother? It doesn’t affect you one way or another.

No matter what I say about a Trug, you are unaffected unless I can bring some sort of convincing evidence.

18/2/14 11:04 AM

paarsurrey said…

@Calladus :18/2/14 10:54 AM

“So if you are claiming that my ‘default position’ is whatever I believed as a child, then it would be about Bumbles, ghosts and monsters.”

I wanted to know the original position or the original default position since you got consciousness of existence of life.I don’t think you would have described your position as Atheism at that time.

Am I right?

From: https://paarsurrey.wordpress.com/

18/2/14 12:13 PM

Calladus said…
No, I would not have described my “position” as atheism at the age of 4 or 5.

Who would?

Please, tell me what child would describe ANYTHING as their life philosophy at the age of 4 or 5?

Maybe you know of a child prodigy?

18/2/14 1:30 PM

Paarsurrey said: ( paarsurrey sent these comments but these are still awaited to be published after moderation; not yet exhibited on the Calladus blog):

@ Calladus:18/2/14 1:30 PM
“No, I would not have described my “position” as atheism at the age of 4 or 5″

May be I could not express my thoughts properly.
There must be a first stage at which you would have been able to name it as Atheism.
At what age this happened?
Before it; it was not Atheism.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Paarsurrey adds further to the above discussion:

I think there would be only few or a negligible minority of people in the world who would have Atheism as a default position or the original position reasonably. Only those of them could claim Atheism as their default position whose parents were Atheists and hence they need to be helped by the Theists to provide reasonable arguments.

The majority of the Atheists, I think cannot claim Atheism as their default or original position. They belonged to a position of one of the religions in the world; and then they thought it to be convenient to get converted to Atheism (Skepticism, Agnosticism etc) without being convinced with evidences or proofs which they demand from the believers so often.

Atheism is a position of doubt and ignorance, not of certainty. Had they got converted to Atheism with evidences and proofs; they would have them ready to present them to believers?

They just demand evidences and proofs from the believers and are hesitant even to define as to what they mean from “evidence” or “proof”; a dictionary cannot be much useful in this connection; as everyone of them differs with others.

Buddha did not Support Atheism/Skepticism in any concrete terms

December 25, 2013

Buddha did not Support Atheism/Skepticism in any concrete terms; if one differs with me then one should quote from Buddha where he supported Atheism/Skepticism specifically and unequivocally.

I re-blogged the following post in my blog one could view it at the following link:
“The Garden of Eden was in Congo ”

http://maasaiboys.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/the-garden-of-eden-was-in-congo/

The comments exchanged are also given below:

paarsurrey says:

December 25, 2013 at 14:22

So , please don’t mind it; you don’t have anything concrete from Buddha supporting Atheism/Skepticism.

It is just your impression that Buddha discussed here about the Truthful Revealed Religions; he has discussed here the corrupted version of the religions and of those who don’t believe in any altogether.

If one finds after observation and analysis that Atheism/Skepticism don’t agrees with reason and it is conducive to the good and benefit of the humanity not to accept them; then one is doing this within the scope of the general teaching of Buddha for not accepting Atheism/Skepticism.

Kindly give some concrete quotation from Buddha in support of Atheism/Skepticism. Please
Reply

Buddha has got nothing to do with Atheism or Skepticism.

December 23, 2013

I re-blogged the following post in my blog one could view it at the following link:
“The Garden of Eden was in Congo ”
http://maasaiboys.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/the-garden-of-eden-was-in-congo/

The comments exchanged are also given below:

paarsurrey says:
December 18, 2013 at 10:49

Reblogged this on paarsurrey and commented:
??
Reply

archaeopteryx1 says:
December 18, 2013 at 11:35

Hello, Paarsurrey, I don’t believe I’ve met you yet – how are you? I look forward to your comments from a Muslim perspective. I have a number of former Muslim friends, from Egypt, who post on the thinkatheist.com website, who are now atheists. As you are a peaceful Muslim, so we are peaceful atheists, mostly.
Reply
paarsurrey says:
December 18, 2013 at 11:58

Yes;we have never met before; but it is never late when two humans meet and share their experiences.
I like the post “The Garden of Eden was in Congo”. How do we know which one is the original; the Bible version or the Congo version.
Reply
makagutu says:
December 18, 2013 at 12:00

Good question. The Congo one is independent of the bible one and may be older than the bible one just as there are many stories in the bible told after the fact but passed as prophecy.

How have you been? I haven’t heard from you in quite a while.
Reply
paarsurrey says:
December 18, 2013 at 12:09

Thanks for remembering me.
May be both the stories in origin have been revealed to both the people independently by the One-True-God Allah Yahweh.

makagutu says:
December 18, 2013 at 12:08

Thanks for that insight. I haven’t read the book either and I honestly must say I haven’t read much anthropology too. But as you say, the stories, if true would challenge beliefs held by many people.
Reply
paarsurrey says:
December 18, 2013 at 12:16

There is no challenge in it. I believe that the One-True-God Allah Yahweh conversed with ever people; since the source is common hence the commonalities of stories.
Reply
makagutu says:
December 18, 2013 at 12:17

I agree with you the source is common and that is human minds.
Reply
paarsurrey says:
December 18, 2013 at 12:23

I don’t agree with you here.
makagutu says:
December 18, 2013 at 12:25

I am fine with that.
archaeopteryx1 says:
December 18, 2013 at 18:50

“I believe that the One-True-God Allah Yahweh conversed with ever people; since the source is common hence the commonalities of stories.”

Most cultures, Paarsurrey, around the world, have flood stories, and many religious apologetics cite this as proof of Noah’s universal flood, which we now know was plagiarized from a minor Mesopotamian river flood of 2900 BCE. There is no evidence for a global flood to be found. Each culture has had a flood happen to their people at some time in their history, but that doesn’t mean their floods didn’t happen at widely different times.

Both Islam and Christianity evolved from Judaism, and there is no evidence for either of their magical claims, nor to believe that some supernatural being chose a family of nomadic goatherders to be his chosen people and carry his message to the world. I say this with all due respect to your own beliefs, I am merely expressing mine.
Reply
paarsurrey says:
December 18, 2013 at 21:04

Of course you could express your opinion freely but I don’t see it to be correct.
archaeopteryx1 says:
December 18, 2013 at 21:34

I never, for a moment, Paarsurrey, entertained the hope that you would. Sadly, most of us are never able to free ourselves from the philosophical system – and that’s exactly what all religions are – in which we are indoctrinated as children. Fortunately, on the other hand, some of us are able to move into the 21st century, and you will find a small collection of us here.

Because I can’t imagine this conversation going much further, let me leave you with this advice to consider:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
– Buddha –

Pax vobiscum – or, as you might more readily say, As-Salaam Alaikom –
paarsurrey says:
December 18, 2013 at 21:42

Wa Ulaikumus Salam
Thank you.
Please do not doubt unless it is reasonable to doubt; it is unnatural to doubt to start with.
archaeopteryx1 says:
December 18, 2013 at 21:49

With Humankind, it is natural to question.
paarsurrey says:
December 18, 2013 at 21:55

Yes; if it is reasonable otherwise it would by cynical; please don’t mind.
archaeopteryx1 says:
December 18, 2013 at 22:04

Who decides what “reasonable” is? Question, then decide for yourself if the answer, not the question, is “reasonable.”

“If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood, or persuaded of afterward, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call in question or discuss it…the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.”

– William Kingdon Clifford –

And against himself, I would hasten to add.
makagutu says:
December 18, 2013 at 22:56

Doubt, my friend is the beginning of wisdom. Be wary of anyone who discourages you from doubt.
paarsurrey says:
December 21, 2013 at 20:16

If one starts with doubt; one can never get any knowledge; one could end in cynicism.
archaeopteryx1 says:
December 21, 2013 at 21:11

“”Question with boldness even the existence of god.”
– Thomas Jefferson –

I’m not sure how you can believe that Paarsurrey – beginning with doubt leads to the collection of evidence, which leads to resolution of the doubt, but based on facts, not suppositions.

Your belief system teaches you to fear questioning ANYthing – I can’t even imagine living like that, nor would I want to. I’m free to follow the evidence, your fear forbids you that luxury.
paarsurrey says:
December 22, 2013 at 04:56

When one sees an anomaly; then it is natural to doubt, question and find the solution; not otherwise..
archaeopteryx1 says:
December 22, 2013 at 06:22

“When one sees an anomaly; then it is natural to doubt, question and find the solution” – I can agree with you about this, but not about this: “not otherwise…” Always question.

“anomaly: something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected”

Now I’ll be quick to admit that my knowledge of the Quran is very limited, and I have no idea how knowledgeable you are with the Bible, as I know that the Quran is supposed to be based on the Biblical Patriarchs, but I also know that a number of the Biblical tales have been significantly changed, or omitted entirely by the authors of the Quran.

The Bible, however, is loaded with anomalies, as is, I suspect, the Quran as well. Examples:
1. An invisible spirit who lives in the sky, magically assembled all of the material in this inconceivably vast universe, from nothing, and created everything.
2. The planet was covered with water, to the point of 15 cubits (22.5 feet) above the highest mountains, despite the fact that there isn’t even half enough water in, on, under, and above the earth to accomplish that, and of the water that IS available, 90% of that is already at or below sea level, and thus unavailable for flooding purposes.
3. How about the Red Sea magically parting, while a million and a half men, women and children walked the 18 miles (at it’s very narrowest point), to get to the other side?

There’s no point in going further, the Bible is riddled with anomalies, including the fact that there is no evidence that any of the Patriarchs, including Moses, upon whom Judaism, Islam and Christianity are based, ever existed.

Oh, and how about old Mo flying from Mecca, to Jerusalem, to heaven, and back to Mecca on a winged horse, in a single evening, getting home in time for breakfast? Anomaly!
paarsurrey says:
December 22, 2013 at 19:10

I an an ordinary man in the street with no claims of any piety or scholarship of any kind.

Krishna, Buddha,Zoroaster, Moses,Jesus, Muhammad, the founders of great revealed religions; they or their Word of Revelation in origin never claimed to writing down any text books of science. They guided humanity in ethical, moral and spiritual realms.
archaeopteryx1 says:
December 22, 2013 at 22:56

“I an an ordinary man in the street with no claims of any piety or scholarship of any kind.”
Sounds very much like you’re one of us, yet I sense that you are defending religion. You clearly stated, on your own website, that you are Muslim.
They guided humanity in ethical, moral and spiritual realms.
Some more successfully than others – Yahweh, for example, told the Israelis to commit mass genocide, that rape was ok as long as you married the girl eventually, and many, many other abominable pieces of advice.

I actually quoted you Buddah, but you seemed to reject his opinion:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
– Buddha –
Possibly you will find this a little more to your liking:
“Custom, tradition, and intellectual laziness lead men to follow their religious leaders blindly. Religions have been the sole cause of the bloody wars that have ravaged mankind. Religions have also been resolutely hostile to philosophical speculation and to scientific research. The so-called holy scriptures are worthless and have done more harm than good, whereas the writings of the ancients like Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, and Hippocrates have rendered much greater service to humanity.”
– Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyā al-Razi –
paarsurrey says:
December 23, 2013 at 04:56

“Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.”; then why should one believe in Atheism?
archaeopteryx1 says:
December 23, 2013 at 05:12

“…why should one believe in Atheism?”

No wonder you’re so critical of atheism, Paarsurrey, you clearly don’t understand it! It’s not about believing, it’s about not believing, and it follows the tenets of Buddah’s advice entirely, in that it depends on evidence – not emotional, irrational belief systems, but rather observation and analysis.

paarsurrey says:
December 23, 2013 at 05:49

Buddha has got nothing to do with Atheism or Skepticism.
Paarsurrey says:
December 25,2013

@archaeopteryx1
The following quote given by you from Buddha is already in my knowledge and I have read it several times:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
– Buddha –

It is a general teachings and is already included in the teachings of the Truthful Religion; there is nothing in it which specifically supports Atheism/Skepticism. Please quote something from Buddha where he supported Atheism/Skepticism specifically.

Thanks

Theists and Atheist are both faith based

December 21, 2013

I started a thread in one of my favorite discussion forum the Hubpages titled “Atheism is a psychological construct of doubt ; not a reality” :

http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/118999

Following posts may be read in this connection:

Paarsurrey wrote:

Belief in One-True-God Allah Yahweh is very natural and is a reality; yet those who very unnaturally doubt it they are in no compulsion to believe it.

HowardBThiname wrote:

Ok, “atheism is a psychological construct of doubt ; not a reality”. I’ll agree with that.

But, by the same token, “Theism is a psychological ideation ; not a reality”.

What is real cannot be threatened. What is false, therefore, does not exist, except in the minds of the deluded.

wilderness posted:

As only a quite small percentage of people throughout the history of mankind have expressed a belief in Allah (and even fewer actually had such a belief), it doesn’t seem very “natural”, does it?

paarsurrey posted:

Natural is that what exists irrespective of humans believing or not believing and their numbers.

Wilderness posted:

Ah. Then both Allah and God are very unnatural as neither actually exists.

Why did you say the one was natural?

And why would you say that “Belief in One-True-God Allah Yahweh is very natural” if “natural” is irrespective of belief?

HowardBThiname wrote:

Ok, “atheism is a psychological construct of doubt ; not a reality”. I’ll agree with that.

But, by the same token, “Theism is a psychological ideation ; not a reality”.

What is real cannot be threatened. What is false, therefore, does not exist, except in the minds of the deluded.


Paarsurrey wrote:

You mean the minds of Atheists are free from being deluded?

JMcFarland posted:

no. Not all atheists are skeptics. Some atheists believe ridiculous things with no good reason. In other words, they have faith.

paarsurrey posted:

So the Theists and the Atheists both are faith based.

JMcFarland posted:

No. .. just atheists that believe something without a good reason and without evidence. That’s what faith is. Not all atheists are identical, just like not all theists are identical. Skepticism and atheism are not the same. I wish they were.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Paarsurrey says: one may like to comment in the hubpages or here in this blog.
Everybody is welcome to comment; even those who differ with me.

“It’s All Over?”

July 14, 2013

Paarsurrey says:

The only tools the atheists have are to ask others to provide evidence; if one counters them to provide one; they cannot come up with any.

Their others tools are to ridicule, to be sarcastic and to deride.

All religion(s) (there’s no end of them) should be investigated very seriously. Especially before acceptance, very few do so they are accepted and more ‘holy warriors’ swarm to the cause. Not good …

 

I agree with you; and Atheism , Humanism, Scepticism, Agnosticism etc.., should not be an exception; they should be continuously seen with doubt; as doubt is their basic approach. Doubt, however, cannot lead one to certainty, in my opinion.

I don’t see any much contribution of them in the human history that exceeds from the theists.

 

Argus
July 18th, 2013 at 4:29 am

I likewise try to be a good person. I just don’t like all the agony that various superstitions have created (and are still causing) throughout the ages, I try as best I can to fight it.

I do state without reservation that if there is a God — it’s nothing like many ‘religions’ would have us think.

Even Zen has a saying which means quite literally to “beware of false prophets”—

If you meet the Buddha on the road … kill him!

Fide Dubitandum

they_think_its_all_over_1999a-smallThe Spectator has published an article, proclaiming the end of the New Atheist movement, and the rise of a group of atheist thinkers who see religion in a much more nuanced way.

As much as I’d like to believe this, I’m not convinced.

Yes, I’d say that the New Atheism, like any movement, must always face the choice between adaptation or death. And, yes, they will eventually need to acknowledge the complex realities of life, and transition out of this simple atheism-good/religion-bad narrative that they hammer so tirelessly if they want people to keep listening.

But it is a bit premature to say that the movement is dead. Some are starting to realize that its treatment of religion has been unfair to the point of propagandistic, and journalists do seem to feel that the novelty of hearing someone proclaim “the world would simply be better without religion” has worn…

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