Indian Court Rules That Faith-Based Starvation in Jainism Is Suicide

When atheists criticize religion, they sometimes have a soft spot for the faith I grew up with: Jainism. It’s a religion that extols non-violence (ahimsa) and self-control, so you can see why it has its fans. But Jainism also has its supernatural beliefs — some of them pretty harmful — and realizing that is why I left the fold a long time ago.

One of those harmful beliefs is fasting. While religions like Islam say that, during Ramadan, you’re not supposed to eat during daylight hours, some followers of Jainism promote fasting for long stretches at a time. I’ve known people to eat nothing (except boiled water that’s cooled off) for more than a week. I know someone who ate food one day, then nothing the next day, for a full year. My mom still has days when she limits herself to eating only once. It’s a way to show you’re in control of your body and that your mind is focused on prayer.



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We’re All Gonna Die… in 100,000,000,000 Years

According to research by scientists at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Western Australia, our universe is losing energy much faster than we thought, and we can only survive for another 100 billion years:



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Here’s What the Research Shows About Public Perceptions of Atheists

Will Gervais, the University of Kentucky professor who’s done a lot of research into public perception of atheism, gave a talk a few months ago at the University of Texas at Austin, and the video is now up online:



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Atheist Voter Project Relaunches for 2016

Two years ago, American Atheists launched a campaign urging atheists to get active and go vote. It was called AtheistVoter.org. And now it’s being relaunched for 2016:



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Black Pastors Want Bust of Margaret Sanger Removed from the Smithsonian

If you visit the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian, you’ll come across this bust of Margaret Sanger, the birth control activist who founded the group that is now known as Planned Parenthood:

Sanger has always been a lightning rod for controversy. But following the release of the anti-Planned Parenthood videos, a group of African-American pastors associated with Staying True to America’s National Destiny (STAND) sent a letter Friday to the director of the National Portrait Gallery asking for the removal of Sanger from all exhibits:

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