Atheist : Origin of Species

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The 2009 atheist bus campaign. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian

Nick Spencer ( Atheists: The Origin of the Species ) doesn’t believe the standard creation myths about atheism.

According to the standard account, atheism is the produce of reason and science: “men began to work the metal, which they called ‘reason’, using it to forge a new weapon, which they called ‘science’, and they used ‘science’ to attack the monster, and the very clever men.”

The monster, of course, was religion, and the men of science “had to be very careful at first because if anyone was caught using ‘science’, they would be dragged into market squares where they would be burned alive, and indeed this was how many men lost their lives.”

Spencer argues that religion had a more positive role in forming atheism, and science had little to do with it: “

Modern atheism did indeed emerge in Europe in the teeth of religious, i.e. Christian, opposition. But it had only a limited amount to do with reason and evenless with science.

The creation myth in which a few brave souls forged weapons made of a previously unknown material, to which the religious were relentlessly opposed, is an invention of the later nineteenth century, albeit one with ongoing popular appeal.

In reality . . . modern atheism was primarily a political and social cause, its development in Europe having rather more to do with the (ab)use of theologically legitimized political authority than it does with developments inscience or philosophy.”

The conflict was not science v. religion, or reason v. faith, but a battle over the sources and nature of authority: “the history of atheism is best seen as a series of disagreements about authority, the concept in which various concerns – does God exist, how do we know, how should we live and who should we obey —coalesce.”

Credit : First Things

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अंधविश्वास ! लाल पैन से लिखते ही होगी मौत

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Curtsey : Nari

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लाइफस्टाइल: हर देश की अपनी मान्यताएं और परंपराएं होती हैं। कहीं पर बिल्ली के रास्ता काटने को अशुभ माना जाता है तो कहीं पर किसी रंग को अच्छा नहीं समझा जाता। आज हम जिस अंधविश्वास की बात कर रहे हैं वो है लाल स्याही से लिखना।

जी हां यह सच है कि दुनिया में एक ऐसा देश है जहां पर लाल स्याही से कुछ भी लिखना सख्त मना है। माना जाता है कि लाल रंग से किसी का नाम लिखने पर उसकी मौत हो जाती है।

आइए जानें आखिर कौन-सा है यह देश

दक्षिण कोरिया दुनिया का एक मात्र ऐसा देश है जहां पर लाल रंग से लिखने की सख्त मनाही है। यहां पर लाल रंग की कलम को बच्चों से भी बचाकर रखा जाता है। इसके पीछे यह मान्यता है कि जब लाल पैन से किसी का नाम लिखा जाता है तो उसका मृत्यु हो जाती है। इसी अंधविश्वास के चलते लोग लाल पैन का इस्तेमाल ही नही करते। यह मान्यता यहां पर नई नहीं है। लाल पैन न इस्तेमाल करने की यह परंपरा यहा पर सदियों पुरानी है।

हम यह तो नहीं जानते कि लाल स्याही से लिखने पर किसी की मौत कैसे हो सकती है लेकिन इतना जरूर कह सकते हैं कि दक्षिण कोरिया दुनिया का एक मात्र ऐसा देश है जो इस तरह के अंधविश्वास से ग्रस्त है। यहां पर कुछ लोग तो लाल स्याही से नाम लिखना तो दूर कुछ भी लिखना अशुभ मानते हैं।

प्रस्तुतकर्ता : सिकन्दर कुमार मेहता

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Meet The Man Who Is Fighting The Superstitions In The Society And Trying To Bring Rationality

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Narendra Nayak Pic- The Logical Indian

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Narendra Nayak is a well-known rationalist, intellectual, and Godman debunker from Mangalore, Karnataka.
He is the current president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Association (FIRA) .
He conducts workshops around the country to promote scientific thinking while also showing the participants how to identify frauds spreading misinformation in the name of religion.
To promote this thought, he founded Nirmukta .

The objectives as presented on their website are.

*.To provide a platform for the freethought and secular humanist community in India and South Asia.

*.To promote a naturalistic life philosophy as a moral and fulfilling alternative to religion and spirituality.

*.To promote secular humanism, equality, social justice, communal harmony and human rights.

*.To promote scientific literacy and to fight against pseudo-science.

*.To consciously work towards building a culture of secularism, and promote a secular public policy keeping with our constitution.

The Logical Indian spoke to Narendra Nayak about secularism, uniform civil code, and much more.

Here are the excerpts of the interview.

How did you come about forming Nirmukta?

Ten years ago, a friend contacted me, saying we should open a website to promote rationalism and logic. I was sceptical about the usefulness about creating a website to spread the message.
Initially, the site was only about my travels and experiences. Later, it became more independent and developed an identity of its own. Today, Nirmukta is a bustling platform of informed debate and discussion on virtually every topic.

What is your opinion on Jalikattu?

I have no take on it as such since I haven’t researched on the essentials of this question. But I feel that cruelty to animals should not be tolerated in any manner.

Should India adopt a uniform civil code?

Definitely. Secularism mandates a uniform civil code. That is a matter of principle. At the same time, we should keep in mind that the implementation of a uniform civil code will pose its challenges.
For example, how will a UCC be implemented in the North-east where civil law is essentially a matter of local beliefs and tribal traditions? So we have to be prepared to meet these challenges.

What, according to you, is secularism?

The total separation of religion and State. A Government should not support any religion; it should distance itself from religion indulgences.
This by no means makes a State anti-religion; it makes it a modern State.

The indoctrination of children to the religion of their family is a topic we rarely discuss.
What is your view on it?

Allocating religious beliefs based onthe accident of birth does not makeany logical sense.

A child should beallowed to make his or her choice when they are able. This is particularly true for Indian society where knowledge is primarily a factor of experience.

How can we counter the indoctrination of children?

Fifteen years ago, we had proposeda Bill to identify true secularism, essentially a statement by the State saying it would not play a role in religion. It, of course, failed.
If you have a political system that thrives on religion and blind belief, how can you counter the indoctrination of children in the first place?

How free should free speech be?

In principle, completely. However, we must penalise speech that directly incites violence. But other kinds of speech should not be banned in my opinion.
Take blasphemous speech, for instance. The very concept of criminalising blasphemous speech is irrational. You are saying that people should be punished for seemingly having issues with what they believe is a non-existent entity. This is not right. They should be allowed to speak about what they believe exists and does not exist. Free speech is the basis of a civilised society. Without it, we descend to fascism and disorder.

Should we tax religious institutions?

Definitely. All religious institutions are a form of business. We should suitably tax all religious institutions – temples, mosques, churches, all of them.

What is the biggest challenge that the world faces today?

Economic inequality and the rise of different kinds of fundamentalism.

What is the biggest challenge that India faces today?

The same that the world faces I would say.

If you were to give a piece of advice to India’s youth, what would it be?

“Let’s learn to be human beings first.”

• This is a guest post originally posted by Sudhanva Shetty on The Logical Indian .

Brought To You By : Sikandar Kumar Mehta

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[कविता] : धर्म

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नफरत हिंसा द्वेष घृणा का ढूंढा तो आधार धर्म ।
जितना खून बहा है जग में उसका भी आधार धर्म ।
विश्व विवादों की जा जड़ में देखा तो आधार धर्म ।
भूख गरीबी और शोषण का इनका भी आधार धर्म ।
आतंकवाद का पहन के चोला करता नरसंहार धर्म ।
रूढिवाद पाखंडवाद पाषाणवाद का खोल धर्म ।
छल प्रपंच का जाल रचाकर ठगने का ब्यापार धर्म ।
सारे पाप माफ हो जाते लगता यह पचनोल धर्म ।
पोप पुजारी जी को करता देखो मालामाल धर्म ।
आंख के अंधे भक्त गणों को करता यह कंगाल धर्म ।
स्वर्ग नरक भगवान भाग्य का फैला यह भ्रमजाल धर्म ।
तीर्थ और ब्रत में जा देखा पोपो की हर चाल धर्म ।
गांधी को गोली से उडाया इसका भी आधार धर्म ।
ईसा को सूली पे चढाया इसका भी आधार धर्म ।
दयानन्द को जहर पिलाया इसका भी आधार धर्म ।
मोहम्मद साहब को भी सताया इसका भी आधार धर्म ।
किया अहिल्या का मुंह काला इसका भी आधार धर्म ।
एकलव्य का कटा अंगूठा इसका भी आधार धर्म ।
सति बृन्दा के सत को लूटा इसका भी आधार धर्म ।
फिर बचा कौन दुष्कर्म जगत में न जिसका आधार धर्म ।
मंदिर मस्जिद बैर बढाते इतना तो शैतान धर्म ।
इनसे तो अच्छी मधुशाला इतना तो बदनाम धर्म ।
तर्क इसे न अच्छा लगता अक्ल पे ताला पड़ा धर्म ।
सुंदर सुघर सलोना मुखड़ा दिल का काला किन्तु धर्म ।
ढोंगी और पाखंडी कहते हिंदू सिक्ख इस्लाम धर्म ।
संत फकीर सभी यह कहते ईसा मूसा राम धर्म ।
ज्ञानी ध्यानी सव जन कहते वेद पुरान कुरान धर्म ।
सौ बातों की बात एक है मानव का इंसान धर्म ।
कोई कहता है आचार धर्म कोई कहता है ब्यवहार धर्म ।
पर मेरी समझ में यह आया बस मानव का उपकार धर्म ।
मानव सेवा ईश्वर सेवा मानवता ही है सार धर्म ।
कबिरा ने सिखाया प्यार धर्म बरना आडम्बर यार धर्म ।

– Yadunandan Lal Lodhi

प्रस्तुतकर्ता सिकन्दर कुमार मेहता

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11 New Year’s Eve Superstitions You Probably Do Each YearThe fun and strange customs we do every year

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New Year’s Eve is a time of reflection and celebration. This is also the time when we tend to engage in age-old traditions and rituals, regardless of whether we consider ourselves to be superstitious or not. Some of these superstitions are fun while others are just weird. However, they all tend to be done in the belief that it will ensure a year of good fortune.
Here are 11 commonly practiced New Year’s Eve customs that we find ourselves doing every year.

Kissing at midnight

Couples and singles alike pucker up at 12 a.m. New Year’s Day believing that kissing someone at midnight will result in a lavish love life all year long. According to those who practice this delightful custom, if you don’t get kissed, then you’ll have bad luck in love.

A plate of black-eyed peas with a side of good luck

Many people usher in the New Year with a plate of black-eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread. Supposedly, the peas represent good luck and the greens represent money. The peas, often served over rice, can be seasoned with ham hock, bacon, onions, or salt and pepper. Regardless of how you make it, this is a long-lived Southern tradition that will leave you full and satisfied!

What you do at New Year’s determines how you’ll spend the year

Many believe that what you’re doing at either the stroke of midnight or on New Year’s Day will set the tone for what you’ll be doing all year. That means, if you’re partying, then you should expect to have a good time all year long. If you’re working out, then you’ll probably have a year of fitness.

Get dressed up with something new

New Year’s Eve gives us another reason to get dressed up and buy a new outfit. It is also believed that wearing something new on Jan. 1 will increase the likelihood that you will receive more new garments throughout the year.

Clean your home

Because the New Year represents a fresh new start, many spend Dec. 31 giving their home a good cleaning while getting rid of the trash and clutter.

Walking in

It is believed that you’ll have good luck if the first person to walk into your home in the New Year is a good-looking man.

12 grapes

In the Latino community, the New Year is welcomed in with a bowl of grapes becauseit’s believed that eating 12 grapes will bring you good luck for each month of the new year.

Wear red or yellow underwear

Another common Latino New Year’s Eve ritual is to wear red in order to ensure you have a healthy love life. The yellow underwear, however, is said to grant a year of happiness and prosperity.

Hold back your tears

Some cultures believe that the worst thing to do on New Year’s is to cry because it will cause you to shed tears and feel sad for an entire year.

Make some noise

Ever wonder why people blow whistles and make noise when the clock strikes 12? This custom is rooted in the superstition that loud noise will ward off evil spirits and thoughts.

Get your finances in order

Right before the New Year, many people willpay outstanding bills and settle debts believing that doing so will grant them luck in their finances. On the other hand, it is also believed that paying back loans or lending money on New Year’s Day guarantees you’ll be paying out all year.

Source – Black enterprise 

Brought To You By : Sikandar Kumar Mehta

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