Category Archives: religion

Update on the Irish woman-as-incubator case

by Grania An Irish High Court has ruled that the clinically dead pregnant woman who has been kept on life support against the wishes of her family may be removed from those machines. Fortunately no-one wishes to appeal this decision, so her family, who already have suffered the trauma of losing a loved one will […]

It’s easy, anyone can do it

by Grania A year ago, Seventh Day Adventist pastor Ryan Bell decided to spend a year living as an atheist, in his own words, “I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else’s circumstances.” […]

Europe: not quite the secular paradise you’d think

by Grania There is a tendency in atheist circles for Europe to be held up as a place where religion has been all but relegated to the bin, and secularism reigns supreme. It’s true that in comparison to the USA, there is a difference. People on the whole do not make public displays of religiosity or […]

Will religion ever disappear?

by Grania If somebody were to ask me this question, my short-hand, non-researched reply would be: probably not. I think that humanity currently seems set to become more and more secular as religiosity drops in the newer, younger generations; global birth rates start to show signs of coming under control and even slowing, which we […]

What not to say to an atheist

by Grania The Christmas Wars are upon us again, and to mark the season of family get-togethers,  Herb Silverman has written an interesting piece at OnFaith  called Seven Things not to say to the Atheist in your Family. I’m pretty sure that many of us have heard one or more of these from well-meaning (sometimes) but concerned […]

The ghoulish and inhumane side effect of legislating for the “pro-life” position

By Grania Spingies At the beginning of the year Texas had a case of a woman being kept alive by a hospital for the sake of a fetus, even though it was against her own previously stated wishes as well as her husband’s. Eventually the court ruled to allow the machines to be turned off. […]

Sam Harris and The Very Bad Wizards

No, it’s not a new novel from Terry Pratchett. If you’re in the mood for discussion about religion, free will, morality, drugs, guilt, blame and vengeance, then you are in luck. Sam Harris joined philosopher Tamler Sommers and psychologist David Pizarro on their December 15th podcast. You can listen either on Sam’s site here or on The Very […]

The contest for ownership of Shahada

By Grania Spingies Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written an op-ed for TIME in the aftermath of the tragic and brutal siege in Australia, very worth reading for yourself. Her focus is on the Shahada, now becoming a familiar sight on television news as the white writing on a black flag waved by extremists. She points […]

Is religion good or bad for humanity?

The thesis of “New Atheist” books like The God Delusion and God is not Great is that the net effect of religion has been bad, both in ancient times and today.  Yes, the authors argue, religion has sometimes motivated people to do good things, but that is far outweighed by the misery, death, and divisiveness produced by religion since […]

My TLS review of Darwin’s Cathedral

As promised, here’s my old review of David Sloan Wilson’s book, Darwin’s Cathedral, which criticizes the theory of “cultural group selection” for the spread of religion mentioned in the last post. The full reference is below (there may be slight differences between what was published and the version I give here, which was the submitted version; I […]

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