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Profile Information

Gender: Confused
Hometown: Somewhere in Texas
Home country: USA
Current location: What part of lost do you not understand?
Member since: Sat Apr 20, 2013, 03:29 AM
Number of posts: 2,763

About Me

Hi I am Lost. In fact, I am pretty sure I made a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Anyone know the way to Cucamonga?

Journal Archives

NY town bans atheists from delivering invocations after Supreme Court prayer victory

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in its favor, the town of Greece, New York issued a new policy that will bar atheists from delivering opening invocations at city functions, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) reports.

According to the new policy, “he invocation shall be voluntarily delivered by an appointed representative of an Assemblies List for the Town of Greece.” That list will be compiled by the clerk of the town board, and will consist of “assemblies with an established presence in the Town of Greece that regularly meet for the primary purpose of sharing a religious perspective.”

This policy dictates that no group lacking a “religious perspective” will be allowed onto the “Assemblies List,” which means that speakers who lack such perspectives will not be eligible to deliver opening invocations. The “Assemblies List” will consist of “all ‘churches,’ ‘synagogues,’ ‘congregations,’ ‘temples,’ ‘mosques’ or other religious assemblies in the Town of Greece” — meaning that the policy specifically excludes anyone who does not participate in a “religious assembly” from delivering an opening invocation.

The Town Board justified its decision by noting that “our country’s Founders recognized that we possess certain rights that cannot be awarded, surrendered, nor corrupted by human power, and the Founders explicitly attributed the origins of these, our inalienable rights, to a Creator.” The policy does not “show a purposeful preference of one religious view over another,” because it does not permit “the faith of the person delivering the invocation to be considered when extending an invitation”

More at link

Creationist's Noah's Ark Theme Park Gets $18 Million Tax Break, Won't Hire Gays, Atheists

Creationist Ken Ham has very strict standards when it comes to hiring people -- not so strict standards when it comes to accepting donations.

His Ark Encounter theme park late last month was unanimously approved for an $18 million tax break -- paid for by the citizens of Kentucky, thanks to the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority -- and after many years of trying to get his second creationist-motivated museum moving, he says they have secured financing and broken ground. What Ham doesn't say much about is a reported donation worth $1 million from the leader of a certified white supremacist hate group.

"The project is slated to include a facsimile of Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel, and will proselytize Christian evangelicalism to patrons, an Answers in Genesis spokesman said," reports an NPR affiliate.

But Daniel Phelps, the president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society and vice president of Kentuckians for Science Education, isn't pleased. In an op-ed at the Lexington Herald-Leader, "Non-Christians need not apply," Phelps explains his concerns.

More at link

Apparently do unto others as you would have them do unto you means that they want to be discriminated against through hiring policies. Not that any self respecting atheist or member of the LGBTQ community would in any way WANT to work for this asshole.

That said, times are hard for many people right now and self respect takes a second seat to earning money to put food on the table

Regardless, if they are going to be discriminatory in their hiring policies they should lose their tax break.

Town bans pagan temple after finding out its not Christian

Arkansas town bans pagan temple after finding out it’s not Christian: Your ‘God isn’t my God’
By David Edwards
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 12:41 EDT

The high priest of an Arkansas temple said that the city of Beebe ordered him to close after finding out that his religion was pagan, not Christian.

High Priest Bertram Dahl told KARK that Beebe Mayor Mike Robertson had initially supported his plans to open a Seekers temple and spiritual good shop in the garage behind his home.

“When they knew we were going to open a church, it wasn’t an issue,” he explained. “We explained to the house had a building that we could open the church in, and he had no problem.”

But Dahl said that the city’s attitude changed after learning that members of the temple were pagan.

More at link at the top of the quote!

And even more here:

Didn't see this on the front page and thought this was a suitable topic for this forum!

What is meant when one uses the word "god(s)"

I posted a thread in another forum asking about the definition of atheism. So I thought it might be interesting to create a thread on the definition of god here in religion.

The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.

What do people mean when they use the word "god?" Are we all talking about the same thing? Or is this an abstract concept that most people really don't understand and each person has their own definition.

  • Are they/he/she/it a force of nature given consciousness ala what we find in many polytheistic religions (gods of fire, water, earth, and air)?

  • Or are they/he/she/it an all powerful all knowing all present supernatural person(s) that created the universe by sheer force of will? A personal God, like YHWH as described using a literal interpretation of the bible.

  • Or is your god an all powerful force with which we can't relate like the god of Deism.

  • Or maybe god is the essence flowing through and giving essence to everything. Like the God of Spinoza/Pantheism

  • Or are you unsure if there is a god at all if not out right believe there are no gods. Atheism.

  • Or is the very notion of a god nonsensical to you? A poorly defined concept that needs further thought and development before you possibly take a position? Ignosticism.

  • Or something else entirely?

No poll options. I would like to hear you put your answer in your own words. Again, this is about how you define god not so much what god/religion you believe in, though if you want to share that, feel free.

What do you mean when you say god?

Cross posted on the discussionist forums (not DU post at your own risk)

How do you define atheism?

There has been a lot of debate on what the word atheist means in the OTHER forum as of late.

In response, I thought it would be nice to have a thread here in the A/A forum for us to point to in order to show others how we, ACTUAL REAL LIVE ATHEISTS, define ourselves.

All that said, I humbly ask that any believers who visit our forum please refrain from replying.

So how do you define atheism? Is atheism a belief that there is no god(s), or is it a lack of belief in any god(s), or do you have a completely different definition?

The agnostic version of this post can now be found here:

Oklahoma students know less about evolution after Biology I than they did before taking it

A study published in the latest edition of Evolution: Education and Outreach demonstrated “the average student…completed the Biology I course with increased confidence in their biological evolution knowledge yet with a greater number of biological evolution misconceptions and, therefore, less competency in the subject.”

The study, conducted by Tony Yates and Edmund Marek, tested biology teachers and students in 32 Oklahoma public high schools via a survey the pair called “the Biological Evolution Literacy Survey.” The survey was administered to the teachers first, to get a benchmark of their grasp of evolutionary theory. The survey was then administered twice to the students — once before they took the required Biology I course, and once after they had completed it.

Yates and Marek found that prior to instruction, students possessed 4,812 misconceptions about evolutionary theory; after they completed the Biology I course, they possessed 5,072. Of the 475 students surveyed, only 216 decreased the number of misconceptions they believed, as opposed to 259 who had more of them when they finished the course than before they took it.

“There is little doubt,” they argued, “that teachers may serve as sources of biological evolution-related misconceptions or, at the very least, propagators of existing misconceptions.”

More at link.

NJ bank won’t notarize American Atheist documents for ‘personal reasons’

The managing director of American Atheists, Inc. reported on Tuesday that she was refused notary service at a TD bank in Cranford, NJ because of her atheist affiliation.

In a post on Facebook, Amanda Knief wrote, “I was just refused service — because I am an atheist. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and it pissed me off.”

According to Knief, she and American Atheists president David Silverman were in the process of getting documents notarized by one of the bank’s notaries public when the woman asked them what the documents were for.

“The documents were charitable organizations registrations for American Atheists in several states,” wrote Knief. “So I told her what AA is about. She looked down, then looked at me and Dave Silverman and said she couldn’t sign the documents because of ‘personal reasons’ and went to find another notary who was eating his lunch to come do the authentications.”

More at link:


Wikipedia founder responds to woo petition

Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales this week sent a clear signal to skeptics who edit the user-created encyclopedia – he agrees with our focus on science and good evidence. He did this by responding firmly in the negative to a Change.org petition created by alternative medicine and holistic healing advocates. His response, which referred to paranormalists as “lunatic charlatans”, was widely reported on Twitter.

I’ve been recommending skeptics pay close attention to Wikipedia since the earliest days of this blog, almost six years ago. Susan Gerbic took up that gauntlet and created her wildly successful Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia project.

In the last year or so, the success of Susan’s project has gotten many paranormal and alternative medicine advocates riled up. They’ve repeatedly floated conspiracy theories that skeptics are somehow rigging the game on Wikipedia, or even bullying opponents off the site. Even personalities like Rupert Sheldrake and Deepak Chopra have gotten involved. None of these accusations have been supported by facts, and both Sheldrake and Chopra have been subsequently embarrassed by their own supporters’ rule-breaking behavior on the service.

With this response, Wales makes clear what I have been saying all along – the rules of evidence on Wikipedia are pro-skeptic and pro-science. If you are pushing an idea that science rejects, Wikipedia will reject it too. Read on for Wales’ exact words…

More at the link:


For the love of all that is holy please make it stop!!!

Im being bombarded with ad after ad after ad for crazy, after nuts, after batshit fucking insane conservatives running for government one after another. Someone put me out of my misery.


They just ran ads for all three troglidytes running for attorney general followed by one for Greg Abbot. Please make it stop. Please...

Is belief and/or disbelief a choice?

Kind of got into this in another forum but I thought it would make a good thread here.

ULTIMATELY, do you think belief/disbelief is a choice? I am not talking about something like "which denomination do you like best," but rather something like "do you A) hold claim X to be true, B) hold claim X to be false, C) neither hold claim X to be true or false, or D)whatever else may lay between."

Can you make yourself believe in something simply because you want to? Or is belief involuntary. Can you make yourself believe that there are really such things as Unicorns simply by wanting to believe and in a way that is more than just putting on an act?

Or, do we have no control over what we believe? You either believe or you don't.

FOR ARGUMENT SAKE, can we please accept the following definition of belief for this poll and discussion?


Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a conjecture or premise to be true.
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