John Allen Paulos on atheist distrust and Liberty Debate Team

John Allen Paulos' latest "Who's Counting" column addresses the Univ. of Minnesota study on American distrust of atheists and the facts (or rather, lack thereof) behind Liberty University's claim to be the #1 debate team in the U.S. … [Read more...]

Atheists and nonbelievers, by country

Adherents.com has data on the top 50 countries with the highest percentage of people who do not believe in God (though may not self-report as "atheists") and the top 20 countries with the largest number of nonbelievers. The data comes from Phil Zuckerman, "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns," in Michael Martin's The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (2006, Cambridge University Press).The United States is #43 for percentage of nonbelievers, and #7 for absolute number of nonbelievers (after … [Read more...]

Distrust of atheists–further evidence

Internet Infidels executive director Keith Augustine has pointed me to another study which also shows that Americans distrust atheists. This report (PDF) by the Pew Center, issued March 22, 2006, lists Americans' favorability ratings for various religious groups on p. 3 (table 5) from a July 2005 survey:Table 5.--------------------------------------------------Favorability Ratings of Religious Groups--------------------------------------------------Opinions of ... Fav Unfav No … [Read more...]

Slavery and the Bible

Ed Brayton has been carrying on some very interesting discussions on a specific topic of biblical morality, the subject of slavery and why the Bible doesn't condemn it. It's fascinating to see how some Christians have tried to argue about the subject with him.The subject of slavery in the Bible is one of the main reasons Ed came to the conclusion that the Bible isn't the word of God. He sets out his initial statement in a post aptly titled "Slavery and the Bible," where he argues against a … [Read more...]

The secular oppose torture more than Christians do

Not surprisingly considering the content of the Bible, a Pew poll shows that 57% of those who are "secular" think that torture is never or only rarely acceptable, while only 42% of Catholics and 49% of white Protestants and white evangelicals feel that way. (I'm not sure why the poll only looked at white Protestants and evangelicals.)The survey question was "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be … [Read more...]

Atheists distrusted by 97% of the population

As reported at Pharyngula:From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in "sharing their vision of American society." Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.This comes from a study done at the University of Minnesota. … [Read more...]

Moral Orel

I've recently discovered the stop-motion animated show "Moral Orel" on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. It's the story of a very devout 11-year-old boy, Orel, who lives in the fictional town of Moralton in the fictional state of Statesota (located between Kansas and Missouri). Orel loves church, but frequently misunderstands the religious moral principles he's being taught, leading to horrifying situations that have to be cleaned up by the end of each episode. For example, in the episode … [Read more...]

Atheist sells chance to save soul on eBay

DePaul University graduate student Hemant Mehta--an atheist and chairman of the Secular Student Alliance--sold, on eBay, the chance to save his soul. His offer was that for each $10 of the final bid, he would attend one hour of church services, and document the results on his blog. The winning bidder (at $504, which was donated to the Secular Student Alliance) was Jim Henderson, a former evangelical minister from Seattle, who instead hired Mehta to attend 10-15 services of Henderson's choosing … [Read more...]


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