21 June 2011

Why We Believe in Gods

18 June 2011

'Atheists of Color' - an easy to use list of people and groups

A little late but a more than worthy blog post here. Greta Christina is a very interesting atheist blogger who I have written about here on a few occasions.
She has very kindly added my name and this blog to the list.

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2011/03/atheists-of-color.html

She has kindly agreed to the list being copied. Please pay her a visit and leave a comment.
INDIVIDUALS
Mina Ahadi, founder of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims (Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime) and the International Committee against Stoning
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel and Nomad, activist, politician, founder of the AHA Foundation
Norm Allen, author of African American Humanism andBlack Secular Humanist Thought, editor-in-chief of Human Prospect: A Neo-Humanist Perspective, secretary of Paul Kurtz's Institute for Science and Human Values, former head of African Americans for Humanism
Apanage21, blogger
Maggie Ardiente, director of development and communications, American Humanist Association; editor of Humanist Network News (AHA's weekly e-zine)
Homa Arjomand, coordinator of the International Campaign Against Shari'a Court in Canada
Hector Avalos, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Iowa State University, speaker/ debater, author of The End of Biblical StudiesStrangers in Our Own Land: Religion in U.S. Latina/o LiteratureSe puede saber si Dios existe? [Can One Know if God Exists?], and more
Donald Barbera, author of Black But Not Baptist: Nonbelief and Freethought in the Black Community
Dan Barker, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation, author of several books, including Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists and The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God
Jamila Bey, atheist comedian and journalist
Naima Cabelle, atheist activist and member ofWashington Area Secular Humanists
Ian Cromwell, musician and blogger, The Crommunist Manifesto
Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, founder, Maharashta Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samitee (Superstition Eradication Committee)
Sanal Edamaruku, author and paranormal investigator, founder-president of Rationalist International, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, creator of The Great Tantra Challenge
Afshin Ellian, columnist for Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad and Elsevier; blogger; poet; law professor at University of Leiden
Mike EstesAtheist Coalition of San Diego; public speaker
Reginald Finley, founder of Infidel Guy radio show
MercedesDiane Griffin, blogger/ activist
Debbie Goddard, campus outreach coordinator at theCenter for Inquiry, speaker, head of African Americans for Humanism
Jacques L. Hamel, Scientific Affairs Officer with United Nations, international science and technology policy expert
Zee Harrison, blogger, Black Woman Thinks
Mark Hatcher, founder of Secular Students at Howard University
Sabri Husibi, speaker, Tulsa Atheist Group
Sikivu Hutchinson, writer and editor, author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America, editor of BlackFemLens.org, Senior Fellow for theInstitute for Humanist Studies
Leo Igwe, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Nigeria
David Ince, a.k.a. Caribatheist, blogger, No Religion Know Reason
JeansTake, video blogger
McKinley Jones, president, Black American Free Thought Association (BAF/TA)
S.T.Joshi, literary critic, novelist; author of God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrongand more; editor of Atheism: A Reader and more
Alix Jules, chair of diversity committee on the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition for Reason
Kenan Malik, writer, lecturer, blogger, and BBC Radio broadcaster, author of Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its LegacyStrange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate, and more
Derrick Alaiyo McMahon, gay/ feminist/atheist blogger, The Anti-Intellect Blog
Hemant Mehta, blogger at Friendly Atheist, author of I Sold My Soul on eBay
Ian Andreas Miller, blogger, Diaphanitas
Jeffrey "Atheist Walking" Mitchell, atheist street philosopher and member of Black Skeptics
Micheal Mpagi, blogger, Quitstorm
Maryam Namazie, rights activist, commentator and broadcaster on Iran, rights, cultural relativism, secularism, religion, political Islam and other related topics; spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Taslima Nasreen, author and activist
Ramendra Nath, professor and author; head of Department of Philosophy, Patna College, Patna University; author of Why I Am Not a HinduIs God Dead?The Myth of Unity of All Religions, and more
First Nation, blogger, Native Skeptic
Kwadwo Obeng, author, We Are All Africans
Adebowale Ojuro, author of Crisis of Religion
James Onen, radio broadcaster, blogger at Freethought Kampala
Charone Paget, producer/host of LAMBDA Radio Report, WRFG, Atlanta; on leadership team of Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta; founder of Queer and Atheist of Atlanta
Ernest Parker, leader of African Americans for Humanism DC
Anthony Pinn, author of numerous books on humanism, head of Institute for Humanist Studies, Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University
Robin Quivers, radio personality
Bwambale Robert, founder, Kasese Humanist Primary SchoolKasese United Humanist Association
Sid Rodrigues, scientist, researcher, organizer of Skeptics in the Pub
Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things and more, activist
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses,Midnight’s ChildrenLuka and the Fire of LifeGrimus, and more
Amartya Sen, Nobel-prize winning economist
Alom Shaha, science teacher, film-maker, and writer
Ariane Sherine, creator of the Atheist Bus Campaign
Labi Siffre, poet and songwriter
Simon Singh, author, journalist, TV producer, libel reform activist
Greydon Square, atheist rapper and spoken word artist
Wafa Sultan, author and critic of Islam and Islamic theocracy
David Suzuki, scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster; co-founder of the environmentalist David Suzuki Foundation
Red TaniFilipino Freethinkers
Mandisa Lateefah Thomas, co-founder, Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta
Maria Walters, a.k.a. Masala Skeptic, blogger, Skepchick
Ayanna Watson, founder of Black Atheists of America
Wrath James White, author, blogger at Godless and Black
Clarence Williams, author of Truth
Donald Wright, author of The Only Prayer I'll Ever Pray: Let My People Go
Zhiyah, writer/blogger, The Affirmative Atheist
Indra Zuno, stage/ film/ television actress, Mexico and USA, appeared in "The Virgin of Juarez" and "The Violent Kind"

02 April 2011

Quote of the Week:

"The true-believer syndrome merits study by science. What is it that compels a person, past all reason, to believe the unbelievable. How can an otherwise sane individual become so enamored of a fantasy, an imposture, that even after it's exposed in the bright light of day he still clings to it — indeed, clings to it all the harder?… No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie."


~ M. Lamar Keene, Allen Spraggett, and William V. Rauscher

01 April 2011

05 March 2011

'I am Stardust!'

A woman who is a friend decided at the age of about 13 or so to start going to church. She 'gave' herself to Christ and received encouragement and praise from her relatives and peers. Her devotion to 'God' was so intense that she even spent a year in a theology college in Scandinavia, taught young children about the love of god and all things Christian.
Her life moved on with the normal ups and downs that people experience and some poignant tragedies, divorce, premature death, etc. Her faith was almost intact and her 'rebel-mindedness' started her thinking about life, the purpose of life and why and how we are here.
We worked together for a short period and then lost touch. Our lives collided again and we took the same journey living in another continent, trying new things and lifestyles, wanting to get away from being a 'wage-slave'. This woman is the craziest, wackiest, bravest woman I know. We would talk about any and everything without fear of judgement or put downs from each other, oh except once when she unceremoniously told me at high volume to 'fuck off' out of her house!! (We got over that one!! - and the rest!)

My dear friend is now a non-believer. She is going through it as I write and she has given me permission to write about it here, to share it with you. She is crying, distraught, depressed at the number of people she has 'converted' to Christianity over the years. Her part in their indoctrination is causing her immense grief. She has come to the decision that this idea of a god or gods is bogus and should have no place in the rational, reasonable, wonderful and magnificent world that we live in. 'I am stardust' she said. Astonished at the thought. 'I am stardust. We are stardust'. Her words. We are all connected, we are all one and that makes the world more exciting and amazing than any botched, badly written, cobbled-together story in any of the so called 'great religions'. Science has helped us to discover only a minute part of all there is to know. What has religion helped us to know in comparison?

My friend is in pain and I am doing my best to support her on this journey as she has been hit by a mega-truth: we humans have been conned into focusing on the life after the only one we know. We have created rules which have prevented us from being true to ourselves. We have focused on rules like: you must cover your head, mustn't wear trousers as a woman, mustn't eat pork, must not eat red meat on Good Friday, must not wear jewellery, must cross yourself in a particular way after saying prayers or before eating, must wash parts of your body 5 times per day, must not eat prawns, must not eat cows, must face a particular direction whilst praying, must give 10% of your earnings to the religious institution you attend - and the list goes on. I'm sure you can think of at least 10 more.

Humans have hampered their own development.

My friend has begun to free her self from the shackles of faith and to use her own words, ' I am free. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me. Do you know before I would go to church and come home depressed? Now I know I have responsibility for myself and it makes complete sense that we are born and then we die and that is it. I feel at peace and am annoyed that it has taken me so long to reach this point.'

My response: 'But at least you got there. So many people won't.'