God is still dead and this effort at resuscitation fails miserably

When I saw an article titled Five rational arguments why God (very probably) exists I felt I had to read it, since I am someone who has argued repeatedly that there is every reason to believe, based on scientific reasoning, that god does not exist, and expand on this in my forthcoming book. So what argument does Robert H. Nelson, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, advance in support of his contention that god exists that he has taken from a book he published in 2015?
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Trump, Saudi Arabia, and Iran

Yesterday I posted the weird photo of Donald Trump, the Saudi King, and Egyptian dictator al Sisi placing their hands on a glowing orb, something that has sparked plenty of mockery and internet memes. Some have said that touching the orb was what caused a sinkhole to suddenly open up in front of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida at roughly the same time.
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Fighting religious indoctrination in South African schools

I have been hearing from Christopher, a reader of this blog and is a secular activist in South Africa, about a court case that being waged in that country to remove religious bias in their public schools. The group that has brought the case is called OGOD which is an acronym for the Afrikaans Organisasie vir Godsdienste-Onderrig en Demokrasie. The group challenged the practices of six schools that are explicitly teaching Christian doctrine.
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Why Buddhism can be as violent as any other religion

The country of Myanmar provides a good example of my view that the true nature of a religion becomes visible when that religious group is in the majority and enjoys state support. Myanmar is a country that is almost 90% Buddhist but in the southern part of the country that borders Muslim-majority Malaysia, Muslims are in the majority. So what do we see? We see Muslims in the southern part attacking Buddhists and Buddhists in the northern part attacking Muslims.
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The curse of blasphemy laws

The outgoing governor of the Jakarta in Indonesia, who is a double minority in that he is both Christian and ethnic Chinese in a country that has the largest Muslim population in the world and is 85% Muslim, was sentenced to two-years imprisonment for blasphemy. His crime? Quoting a verse from the Koran which he said that opponents were using to mislead people that Muslims should not vote for a non-Muslim.
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Stephen Fry investigated under Ireland’s blasphemy law

When we think of people being targeted for blasphemy, Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia immediately come to mind. But it turns out that atheist Stephen Fry is being investigated for this offense in Ireland for comments he made on a television show when he was asked what he would say to god if it so happened that after he died he was confronted by god.
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Cartoons on religion

Today’s newspaper had not one but two cartoons disparaging religion. The first one touches on a topic that I often raise when I have been invited to be on panels that include representatives from many religions. In such forums, those representatives go strongly into the kumbaya mode, vaguely suggesting that they all believe in the same god and focusing on common elements of morality and ethics that they happen to agree on. Boring!
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The corrosive effect of Darwin

In his 1995 book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Daniel C. Dennett invoked a metaphor that I have found quite helpful. He said that the idea of evolution by natural selection is like a ‘universal acid’, something that cannot be contained in any vessel because it eats through everything. It is so potent and corrosive that once created it cannot be contained or restricted in any way but breaks through all barriers until it reaches into every space. Once you accept the theory of evolution by natural selection as applying in any area of life, there is no way to prevent it being used to explain every aspect of life.
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