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Chimps Learn and Children Ape
Thursday. 12.2.10 5:05 pm
A fascinating set of experiments done with human children and chimpanzees. And a perfect (if frightening) example of why religious indoctrination of children is so easy.
Chimps VS Children 1/2
Chimps VS Children 2/2
Saturday. 11.27.10 9:56 pm
I'm a little more than halfway through The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, and I have to say this book has made a profound impact. I've been non-religious for some time now (6 years at least), but I've never really considered myself anti-religious. That is, I've always maintained that I would never try and talk anyone out of their belief. I'm beginning to question that position.
This book has really brought to light the seriousness of the situation, especially in countries like the United States, Iraq, and other predominately religious countries. I can only speak for the US, where for the last few decades there's been an alarming religious trend in right-wing conservatives and, as a result, the government. Now, while I still maintain that people should be allowed to believe whatever they want, I also vehemently protect any entanglement of religion and government.
Contrary to what republicans and other conservatives like to say, this country was NOT founded on religious ideals, nor was it founded by people escaping religious persecution (at least, not in the sense most christians take it). While the original settlers might have come here for that reason, the founding fathers (the true founders of this country) were predominately non-religous and, in many cases, anti-religious. This is an undisputed historical fact. In their books, writings, and letters, many of the founding fathers continually spoke out against religion. Especially its interference in politics.
(Here's a good resource for those quotations: Freethought.mbdojo.com )
I think it can safely be said that, while we can't say what their opinions might have been on the war in iraq, or gay marriage, or abortion, we can say with certainty that the current state of american politics would have appalled the founding fathers. The fact that openly claiming to be an atheist is considered political suicide is sickening to me. Many americans simply don't care what a persons political leanings are, so long as they're christian, and belong to the right party.
Ok, I went off on a tangent there. The bottom line is, I'm beginning to think that, as a free-thinking american, it's my responsibility to openly campaign against religious interference in politics and society. Not against christians themselves, who are obviously free to believe whatever nonsense they want, but against christian politicians and lobbyists who continually try and enforce christian morality and dogma on the rest of us.
Since I'm just some guy, and not in a position to do much, I plan to donate to the Richard Dawkins foundation, (click the red A to the left). I also want to challenge other christians to read the God Delusion with an open mind. Most christians are not gonna be so easily swayed from their beliefs, but maybe there's a small few who, like me, spent most of their time as a christian teetering on the edge of doubt. A book like this, that clearly lays out every reason a person should abandon christian dogma, is exactly what you need. Not only will it explain it in terms any moderately educated person will understand, but it can also act as a template for those who question your reasons for becoming an atheist.
Ok. I've said a lot. I'm done now.
Just wanted to respond to middaymoon's comment here, instead of leaving a lengthy rebuttal on an unrelated blog post.
What in any of what I said did you take for fanaticism? It's perfectly reasonable to want the laws of the country to be flexible enough to support ALL the religions who live here, instead of forcing schools to teach creationism to children who aren't christian, or keeping homosexuals from being married because some christians think they have a right to impose their moral values on the entire country (rather than allowing a law to be passed that would IN NO WAY alter their lives).
As for the assumption that I'm right and christians are wrong, my conclusions are based on scientific facts and the observations of the majority of the scientific community. Whereas christian beliefs are based on the bible, and only the bible. But like I said, it's fine and dandy if christians want to believe in the bible. But creationism belongs in the home and the church, NOT in the classroom (unless it be a christian school). And the laws of the country should NOT be influenced by religious texts. Especially when those laws would negatively effect people who don't even hold those religious texts to be true!
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