Zoroastrianism: “The obscure religion that shaped the West”

There’s – almost – nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes. I wonder by what cognitive process watertight believers account for the fact, borne out by history, that there is very little originality in their belief system of choice?


 

The obscure religion that shaped the West

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McCarthyism and the 70-Year Stain, or Atheist-bashing from the Religion of Love

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I was gladdened to stumble across a fellow Wordplogger’s post just recently, entitled “Why Atheists Call Out Christians on Morality“. It’s a heartfelt and I think quite representative account of the sort of vitriol, negative typecasting, and unempathetically demeaning comments that regular and otherwise inoffensive atheists can be subjected to, by the followers of the “religion of love” (who paradoxically tend to be the most vociferous in claiming persecution, but that’s for another blog post). Continue reading

The Importance of Scepticism: An Atheist Mini-Critique of Richard Dawkins

Anyone who regularly tunes in to academic, atheist and author Professor Richard Dawkins’ television appearances and YouTube videos will likely be familiar with the following extract, which popped up in my social media feeds again, recently. This particular clip features Professor Dawkins’ 2012 participation on the panel of Australian ABC TV’s discussion show, “Q&A”, taking questions from the audience.

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Presidential Progress

So this showed up in one of my social media feeds, today.

While the historical momentousness for the United States of Hillary Rodham Clinton winning the presidential race is obvious (as much as would be the historical catastrophe of a Trump victory, but that’s not the topic of this post), the cynic in me, at least in reaction to this cartoon, called my mind back to a Gallup poll carried out in 2007,1 on the relative desirability of Continue reading

The Guardian slams Larry Alex Taunton’s book on Hitchens’s “conversion”

How low does one have to stoop (or indeed, how lacking in basic empathic and human awareness need one be) in order to resort to scoring party political points on the back of the deceased? It says very little for the strength of an ideology, if it requires the manufacture of endorsement or participation from those who are not in a position to set the record straight, for example on account of being a child, being a third world citizen with more pressing concerns, or being dead.

Matthew d’Ancona’s article in The Guardian yesterday is absolutely on point: in the venerable tradition of the “hitchslap”, he both respects Hitchens’ memory, and exposes Taunton’s reprehensible attempt to appropriate something that not only is not his to appropriate, but that he has spectacularly and singularly failed to understand.

Why Evolution Is True

I’ve now read most of Larry Alex Taunton’s odious book The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Famous Atheistand I stand by my judgment that Taunton is a vulture, profiting from picking at the corpse of a man who can’t respond. As you surely know, Taunton’s book was written to suggest that, at the end of his life, Christopher Hitchens was flirting with becoming a Christian, or at least adopting a belief in God. Those who knew Hitchens—his friends, associates, colleagues, and relatives—have universally decried this thesis. Hitchens, they say as one, was a diehard nonbeliever, who was simply interested in learning about religion. He didn’t know Taunton well, or for long, and the book’s thesis rests of a couple of long road trips and discussions Taunton had with the cancer-stricken Hitchens. Taunton has clearly misinterpreted Hitchens’s interest in religion, and in his traveling companion…

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