Carnival of The Godless

Well, here it is - the latest issue of Carnival of the Godless. I have had plenty of submissions, and since many arrived at the last minute it has taken a while to put this together. It seemed to me that the fairest way of arranging everything was to have the posts in chronological order of arrival, so here goes.

I must admit to finding Alister McGrath rather annoying, and so, obviously, does Shalini whose post deals with a few examples of the guy's "buffoonery".

Barry Mahfood takes a look at what can be described as miraculous in his post, and what a religious person can take from the fact that they survived a bridge collapse.

Sometimes the best way to expose somebody as being deluded is just to let them express themselves, and Martin Wagner's discussion in this post shows just how wrong they can be.

BT Murtagh in his post takes a look at the god of both deists and of the Abrahamic faiths and shows that one is false, and the other is useless.

Doug Humphries' post in Eight Hour Lunch hides its moral (albeit loosely) behind a family of Possums. It is amazing how inter-Possum relations can shed light on how pathetic some members of the human race can be!

Chris Flynn-Jones' mini-epic about the meaning of life is certainly worth a read, as is the discussion of homosexuality in Jared's submission. Meanwhile Red Baron uncovers the extremist tendencies of The Sun.

Mike Elias seems to have found something in Buddhism whilst No More Mr Nice Guy is annoyed by the Christian response to the latest Harry Potter offering.

Ryan attacks popular misconceptions about neo-Atheism while Mike Haubrich questions politicians who ask for us to "pray for rain" and John P. asks "Why didn't Jesus Write?".

Ironwolf calls for believers to come clean about the basis of their beliefs. Dikkii has a discussion about cartoon strips and the problems with Pascal's Wager, whereas Cheerful Iconoclast looks at a case where a catholic diocese files for bankruptcy. Barry Leiba has a light-hearted look at the power of prayer.

Andrew Bernardin asks why Christian slaves are to respect their masters; evanescent asks whether believers really believe? The therapydoc looks at the terror of concentration camps.

Hell's Handmaiden writes about de-constructing the works of Stanley Fish. Tobe questions whether the current trend of pro-atheism books is worthwhile or just preaching to the converted, and Phil send us a poem.

Sexy Secularist wonders what can make a new religion while Greta Chrisitina uncovers what Jesus had to say about hell (as well as the bridge collapse). VJack asks the Important Atheism Questions and finally The Skwib looks for further signs of the apocalypse.


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Argument by Incredulous Substitution

I found today an article that I had missed in the Guardian in January. Apparently secular fundamentalists should now be the number one enemy of the politically correct crowd.

I agree that people should be free to believe what they want. But as the 'big three' religions in this country all advocate violence against against people who believe in other gods then some restrictions should be placed on them. Not 'advertising' by wearing religious jewelry is something that needs to be discussed, as it does not really harm anything, but veils and the like are a symbol of oppression rooted in the bronze age.

As for terrorism not being linked to religion: could there be religious extremists without religions?

There is also an example of what I call 'argument by incredulous substitution':

"Witness, for example, Mary Riddell's astonishing sentence in the Observer last month (try replacing "religion" with "homosexuality" to get the point): "secularists do not wish to harm religion or deny its great cultural influence. They simply want it to know its place." In other words: get back in the closet."

Religion is a set of beliefs, inconsistent across cultures, often internally inconsistent and generally mutual exclusive. Homosexuality is a sexual preference. We could insert a particular religion or even another belief system like racism or liberalism. We cannot insert homosexuality in the same way we cannot insert 'albinism' or 'animals'.

Are they waking up?

In an article on Christian Post Michelle Vu reports that Anthony Horvath has made a scathing attack on the way the church does little to promote itself to young people. This, he argues, is responsible for the increasing number of atheists.

The report says that the church should do more to explain why it believes things such as Jesus rising from the dead. Just how this will make Christianity more believable is beyond me. Roll on the next and larger generation of atheists!


Carnival of the Godless

Well, once again it's been a while since I have posted here. The excuse this time is moving house, and other commitments I have had with various organisations and people.

I will now be able to return to something at least resembling normal service. On the 18th of August I will be hosting Carnival of the Godless here - so it would be good to get everything back to normal by then!

I have also had a few contributions from some other people, who although they do not want to contribute regularly have generously offered me a contribution or two. If anybody else wants to send me any then please feel free to either send it, or if you'd prefer we can discuss it first.

I will be placing these submitted articles up over the next month or so - and I hope you enjoy them. They are of topics that I have no or little direct experience of - and should help to broaden the themes of this blog.