Tag Archives: atheism

NEW EVENT: THIS THURSDAY 21st, AMERICAN ATHEIST’S DAVE MUSCATO ON ATHEISM, ACTIVISM, & POLITICS

American Atheist’s Dave Muscato at Rutgers November 21 to
Rally Support for Court Battles That Seek To Separate Religion from Government

daveAmerican Atheists Public Relations Director Dave Muscato will urge students and others to move From Slactivism to Activism: Turning Atheists into Activists” in a talk Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:30pm. The event will take place in the Red Lion Café, Rutgers Student Center, Lower Level, on the College Avenue campus.

Front and center will be a discussion of three cases that American Atheists are currently pursuing in the courts.  American Atheists v IRS seeks the elimination of favoritism toward religious institutions as opposed to other non-profits in national tax policies.  American Atheists v Kentucky seeks to remove language stating reliance on ‘Almighty God’ from the training and educational materials  and from public plaques of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.  American Atheists v Port Authority seeks to disallow solo placement of a Christian Cross at the 9/11 Memorial.

Muscato is a former Christian praise and worship musician who became an atheist activist in 2009.  His projects have appeared in Rolling Stone, People, Time, The New York Times, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard Magazine, and on MTV News, NPR, MSNBC, Kevin & Bean/KROQ in LA, and Howard Stern.

Free parking for campus visitors is available in Lot 26 (Entrance on Bartlett St), Lot 30 (Sicard St.) and the College Ave. Parking Deck

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NEW RESEARCH, PEW – RISE OF ‘UNAFFILIATED’ & THE SECULAR MOVEMENT

By Daniel Schiff
Volunteer Network Coordinator 
Secular Student Alliance, Northeast Network

A new study from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released October 9, 2012 offers an intriguing look into generational religious change in the United States.

Central to the study is the growth of the percentage of Americans who self-identify as “unaffiliated” with a particular religion from 15.3% in 2007 to 19.6% in 2012. Meanwhile, the portion of self-defined atheists and agnostics has risen from 3.7% to 5.7% in the same time period.

For secular/atheist organizations like the American Humanist Association, the Center for Inquiry, American Atheists, and the Secular Coalition for America, this new research is an example of the turning tides of American religiosity.

Importantly, the shift in religious affiliation is primarily due to (more…)

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CONFESSIONS OF A PASTAFARIAN: MY RELIGIOUS JOURNEY

By Ben Davis
First Mate (VP) of RU Pastafarians

Rutgers University Engineering Student

My religious background was the best I could’ve asked for.  I am a proud Unitarian Universalist, and if you’ve ever heard of that, you are a rarity indeed.

Mine is a religion based not around deities, but around individual search for spiritual growth.

The Seven Principles we share revolve around the inherent worth and dignity of all people and more ideas of the like.  Yet while we discuss viewpoints that we all have in common, my congregation’s Bond of Union talks of “reserving to each individual the right to his or her own beliefs as to the nature of God and the universe.”

The quest for those beliefs can be a confusing one.  I never have and never will even consider renouncing Unitarian Universalism, but I’ve had dealings with other religious groups.

——-

In high school, my first girlfriend – Christian to the core – invited me to join her youth group’s activities.  She assured me that (more…)

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NEW STUDY: PSYCHOLOGY, ATHEISM & WELL-BEING

By Lonna Murphy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology,
Passaic County Community College

I was a secular humanist for years before I was a psychologist. That’s why when I was in college and graduate school my ears perked up the few times that religion, or lack thereof, came up in academic discussions about various psychological phenomena.

The two findings that always stuck in my mind are that people who have strong religious beliefs are also more psychologically healthy, and that having strong religious beliefs is the second highest predictor of death among older adults (physical health is the number one predictor).

As someone with no religious beliefs, I took this quite personally. No one wants to hear in a classroom or read in a textbook that they are at risk for mental illness or an early death. Thank goodness that a large part of training in the psychological sciences involves (more…)

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A HUMANIST’S CONCERNS ABOUT “ATHEISM+”

By Jimmy Palmer
President of RU Secular Humanists
RU School of Engineering Sophomore

Secular Humanists have a place at the table when Atheists are discussing their having certain values. This has started up on FreeThoughtBlogs (FTB) and has gotten dissent from other online Atheist personalities. I take what they say with a grain of salt in fields that are not of their training (while I’m not claiming to be an expert). They may have good natured ideas but whether or not these ideas are applicable is what concerns me.

Atheism plus logoA good example is the concept of Atheism+ (pronounced like ‘Atheism Plus’) which is a part of the Atheist values arguments that have gone on.

This first came to my attention when a man aliased as IntegralMath posted a video on YouTube exclaiming (more…)

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WHERE DO ACADEMIC PHILOSOPHERS STAND ON REALITY, MORALITY, & GOD?

Of course the so-called argument from authority doesn’t amount to an argument or any kind of proof.  Everyone could be wrong, after all.  But if we didn’t give some weight to authority you’d have to dismiss everything your teacher told you in school which you didn’t observe yourself.  So asking what the experts say is of some value.

So where do the ‘authorities’ who study the questions of God’s existence, the nature of the world beyond the senses, and what morality is like stand?  When the greatest minds who have devoted themselves to these questions get together and mull over all the arguments that history has produced, what do they conclude?

A survey published in PhilPapers asking academic philosophers 30 different multiple choice questions has broken it down for us.  It turns out that a significant majority of Philosophers are (more…)

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GODLESS BY 2038? THE RISE OF SECULAR STUDENTS

‘Atheism to defeat religion by 2038’?  Well that’s the headline of Nigel Barber’s recent article in the Huffington Post.  Barber argues that religion will go the way of the horse and carriage, and for the same reason.  Because “improv[ed] living conditions are associated with a decline in religion, [which] is supported by a mountain of evidence.”  The relationship between economic security and irreligion is known as the existential security hypothesis.

But why 2038?  Well according to Barber’s estimate taken from the 9 most godless and 9 least religious countries in the world, that is the year that the godless/non-religious will outnumber theists.  How did he get this number?  By simply taking the average year that stat was reached in those countries and the gdp per capita of the countries and then comparing it to global trends.

If anything this trend is most evident in the growth of non-theism among American students.  So the growth might not be caused by individuals eventually reaching a certain level of economic and existential security, but students growing up and forming their identity with such existential security.  When Pew Research asked Americans if they ever doubted the existence of God, the Millenial generation born from 1981 and younger left the Baby Boomers, Gen X and the Silent Gen far behind in terms of number of skeptics.  Current college students are the tip of the iceberg of those that doubt God’s existence and incorporate Him less into their worldviews.  Twenty somethings and younger are becoming more and more comfortable doubting and wondering if God is all that important.

But more so than just skepticism and doubt, American College students are (more…)

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INDIAN ATHEIST ARRESTED FOR BLASPHEMY – DEFENSE FUND

Pat Robertson and a large bulk of American Fundamentalists today believe that Christianity is under attack.  Robertson himself has said it is currently “more terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.”  But not only is the hyperbolic degree of this persecution silly, the question of what ethnic or religious group is persecuted internationally the worst is highly debatable.

It is true that the last person to be executed in England for blasphemy was 20 year old university student Thomas Aikenhead all the way back in 1697.  But the crime of not believing in a Deity is still around.  Blasphemy is still on the books and is being enforced by governments and courts of law for a long list of countries.

Whether it is (more…)

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