Believers might be better served by NOT trying to prove god’s existence

Although he was born into a god-fearing family and had a typical Christian upbringing, the philosopher David Hume began to have doubts about god as early as in his teenage years, and throughout his adult life was very much a skeptic. I will later provide a review of the book The Infidel and the Professor by Dennis C. Rasmussen that is an intellectual biography of the friendship between David Hume and Adam Smith, but I wanted to pass along this passage that I just read that made me laugh out loud.
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Being hit by a hurricane shows that god loves you

We are familiar with religious leaders claiming that natural disasters are acts of vengeance of their god for the sinfulness by some members of the affected areas. These leaders know exactly why their god did it and it is usually something to do with disapproval of the LGBT community or whatever sex-related hang-up is currently bugging them. It is a cruel, but by now predictable, part of the coverage of the aftermath of such events.
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Film review: Sita Sings the Blues (2009)

I only recently became aware of this film that tells in animated form the story of the epic poem the Ramayana that, along with the Mahabharatha, provides much of the foundational myths of Hindus and India. There are many different versions of this epic poem. Like all such myths it blends the life of gods with that of humans, with gods manifesting themselves as people. The basic story is that of the divine prince Rama, his wife Sita, the demon king Ravana who abducts Sita, and her subsequent rescue.
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Of course you can be good without god

My attention was drawn to this article with the title Can You Be Good Without God? and it does not start out well.

“If God did not exist, then we would have to invent him,” said the French philosopher Voltaire. His point: that without a divine being to check right and wrong, any number of atrocities are possible and could go unpunished.

A recent study (of more than 3,000 people in 13 countries) published in the journal Nature Human Behavior echoes Voltaire’s maxim.

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Avoiding politics and religion in polite society

We are all aware of the advice that in gatherings of family and friends, two topics that should be avoided are politics and religion. I was under the impression that this was a fairly recent development but in reading the book The Scientific Revolution by Steven Shapin (1996), I learned that it dates at least as far back as the 17th century and that such prohibitions were even included in the constitutions of scientific societies.
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Fun times with ceremonial prayer

Thanks to commenter Timothy, I saw the video below of what happened at the meeting of the Pensacola city council in Florida when a Satanist gave the opening invocation, taking advantage of the US Supreme Court ruling that if government agencies are going to allow ceremonial opening prayers, then they cannot favor or discriminate against any single group. (You may have to turn on the sound by clicking the icon at the bottom right.)
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Prayer at school board meetings

Back in 1983, the US Supreme Court ruled in the case Marsh v. Chambers that the practice of ceremonial opening prayers of the Nebraska state legislature was constitutional. In his strong and cogently argued dissent, justice William Brennan warned that allowing any ceremonial prayer at all, whatever the constraints imposed, would result in the Supreme Court getting involved in endless disputations about what kind of prayer and settings should be allowable and what should be disallowed.
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