Nov 9, 2014

Poll: Atheists More Moral Than Believers, Religion More Harmful Than Good (VIDEO)

Religion Harmful
Religion More Harmful Than Good
An eye-opening survey conducted in the UK reveals a truth many in the United States will find shocking. When asked if atheists are more or less moral than religious people, our allies across the pond favor atheists.

"The British feel those who identify as atheists are more likely to be good people. In fact, 12.5% of Britons believe atheists are more moral, while only 6% say atheists are less moral.

Fewer than a quarter of Britons believe religion is a force for good. On the contrary, over half believe religion does more harm than good. Even 20% of Britons who describe themselves as ‘very religious’ are on record stating religion is harmful to society.

The poll, conducted by Survation for the HuffingtonPost UK’s series Beyond Belief doesn’t address why Britons have come to this conclusion, however faith in God and religion is falling in America as well. Jerome Baggett, a professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California told The San Francisco Business Times why he thinks people are retreating from religion in the United States,"
“Religious institutions themselves have lost their legitimacy in the eyes of many Americans due to sexual and financial scandals, or political overreaching ‘by the so-called Christian right.”

Oct 13, 2014

If Jesus Never Existed Would There Still Be Love

Learning love from the bible, you have to be choosy, avoiding the genocide, infanticide, rape, incest, ethnocentrism and godly hypocrisies. Could I not also learn about love by enacting all the virtues inherent in the execution of the principles of love? If I seek the understanding of compassion, isn't a world of knowledge available in countless written forms, conveying fundamental concepts of the golden rule? Why is the bible the highest culmination of learning when it so riddled with fallacy? 

If Jesus never existed would there not be love? 

Those that lived on this good Earth died without salvation before the coming of Jesus, yet they raised families, learned to write, developed framing techniques, created music and survived long enough as a culture to create multiple forms of religion. Religions that spawned the monotheistic form of worship we debate now.

Certainly the bible cannot be a source of love for your fellow man if god himself lacked the will to 'turn the other cheek.'

In the old testament God's law proclaims that we must put to death any man who joins with another man:
Leviticus. 20:13, If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.
Yet in the same scripture of God's unbreakable laws:
Luke. 12:47, The servant who knows the master's will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.
As a people we have rectified the inhumanity in the owning and punishment of slaves. Yet, right wing christian's chose one of these laws over another to suit there ideological agenda.  
The bible brings nothing to the table of human endeavors that man cannot ascertain for himself. -D. Mitchell Sweatt

  Dr. Michael Shermer, The Science of Good & Evil

"THE SCIENCE OF GOOD & EVIL, the third volume in his trilogy on the power of belief (the first two volumes were Why People Believe Weird Things and How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God), psychologist and historian of science Dr. Michael Shermer tackles two of the deepest and most challenging problems of our age: (1) The origins of morality and (2) the foundations of ethics. Embedded within these two problems are questions that have occupied the greatest minds in history: Is it in our nature to be moral, immoral, or amoral? If we evolved by natural forces then what was the natural purpose of morality?"
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Oct 2, 2014

Terrorists To Strike U.S. Malls on Halloween?

Rumors of terrorism on American shopping malls will begin in a flurry of twitter posts and e-mails this year. To get ahead of the panic that may set in for some people, here is the basic premise of another terrorist attack on the United States. Basically most rumors of an attack will look like this.

"Hi All -
I think you all know that I don't send out hoaxes and don't do the reactionary thing and send out anything that crosses my path. This one, however, is a friend of a friend and I've given it enough credibility in my mind that I'm writing it up and sending it out to all of you.

My friend's friend was dating a guy from Afghanistan up until a month ago. She had a date with him around 9/6 and was stood up. She was understandably upset and went to his home to find it completely emptied. On 9/10, she received a letter from her boyfriend explaining that he wished he could tell her why he had left and that he was sorry it had to be like that.

The part worth mentioning is that he BEGGED her not to get on any commercial airlines on 9/11 and to not to go any malls on Halloween.

As soon as everything happened on the 11th, she called the FBI and has since turned over the letter. This is not an email that I've received and decided to pass on. This came from a phone conversation with a long-time friend of mine last night. I may be wrong, and I hope I am. However, with one of his warnings being correct and devastating, I'm not willing to take the chance on the second and wanted to make sure that people I cared about had the same information that I did."


I checked on Snopes to see what their take on this was:

An anonymous internet e-mail message has been widely circulated pertaining to an Arab male who warned his wife not to fly on September 11, 2001 and not to go to any shopping mall on October 31, 2001.

The e-mail further states that the Arab male disappeared prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The FBI has conducted an inquiry into the source of this e-mail and determined that the alleged threat is not credible.

A public information officer at the FBI's National Press Office told us that they've fielded many phone calls about this message, they've checked it out, and they have received no letter of warning from a girl with an Afghan boyfriend. This story fits neatly into the genre of a number of similar rumors about helped terrorists or compassionate Arabs who are moved to offer specific warnings about upcoming attacks, and thus should most likely be dismissed as just more of the same. Helped terrorists of lore offer such heads up by way of thanks for a kindness done them. "Compassionate Arabs" of rumor offer such intelligence to favored neighbors, usually just before they themselves pack up and leave in the middle of the night. Dozens, if not hundreds, of versions of such tales abound, each told by someone who swears he heard it from someone who knows the person who had the encounter.)

Such snippets of lore swing on the belief that those who have foreknowledge of  destruction to come would jeopardize the outcome of those events by warning others. Terrorists may very well form friendships among the folk they've temporarily taken on the coloration of, but friendships stop at the line where they might interfere with operations. To think otherwise is to surrender to a form of that can only be characterized as appallingly wishful.

22 Photographs of 9/11

Sep 27, 2014

Escalation #NRA

Escalation NRA

If everyone is armed as the NRA wants, every cop will eventually become a villain out of self preservation. If everyone can shoot, everyone is allowed to be shot. Escalation will be the culmination of people armed with a tool created for violence. Even policemen, with training and experience shoot the wrong people. How will you survive if everyone has a gun, if their inexperience is the justification you will need to fire back? 


I don't think cops are 'trigger happy', I think they are aware that there are more guns and more inept gun owners, more stolen weapons on the streets, more ways for them to be killed on duty.


Sep 24, 2014

Bin Laden son-in-law given to life in U.S. prison

Twin Towers 9/11
(Reuters) - A seemingly unrepentant Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in New York following his conviction on terrorism charges.
A Manhattan federal jury in March found the Kuwaiti-born 48-year-old guilty of conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to provide material support for terrorists and providing such support, after a trial that offered a rare glimpse of bin Laden in the hours following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan imposed the sentence minutes after Abu Ghaith made a statement in Arabic, quoting the Koran and declaring he would not ask for mercy from anyone but God.

"Today, and at the same moment where you are shackling my hands and intend to bury me alive, you are at the same time unleashing the hands of hundreds of Muslim youths," the former imam said through an interpreter. "And they will join the rally of the free men."

In response, Kaplan noted Abu Ghaith had expressed no remorse, and cited a video in which Abu Ghaith appeared amused by al Qaeda's Sept. 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.
"You, sir, in my assessment, are committed to doing everything you can to assist al Qaeda in its mission to kill Americans," Kaplan said.

Prosecutors painted Abu Ghaith as a charismatic spokesman for al Qaeda in the days after the attacks, saying he recorded inflammatory videos used to recruit new members.

The government also contended that one October 2001 video, in which Abu Ghaith promised the "storm of airplanes will not stop," indicated he knew beforehand of an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to detonate a shoe bomb aboard a jetliner in December 2001 by Briton Richard Reid.

"Abu Ghaith was a proud participant in al Qaeda's conspiracy to kill Americans," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cronan told the court. "He was someone Osama bin Laden relied on heavily."

Abu Ghaith's lawyer, Stanley Cohen, argued his client was guilty only of fiery speeches and that not a "scintilla of evidence" exists to connect him with any specific plots.

At trial, Abu Ghaith testified that he met bin Laden in an Afghan cave on Sept. 11.
"We are the ones who did it," he said bin Laden told him."

The next day, Abu Ghaith said, he recorded his first video at bin Laden's request. However, he claimed he was not an al Qaeda member and said he did not intend to speak for the group.

Abu Ghaith would later marry bin Laden's daughter Fatima, a fact the jury was not told.
Following the verdict, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder traveled to New York, where he said the trial proved again that such cases should be prosecuted in civilian court.

On Tuesday, he said in a statement, "We will continue to rely on this robust and proven system to hold accountable anyone who would harm our nation and its people."

(Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish)


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