Why do atheists eat babies? + Spiritual struggles & health + Religious actions study

#1
Why Do Atheists Eat Babies?
http://www.atheistrev.com/2017/01/why-do...abies.html

EXCERPT: I've always liked this particular meme. It manages to be silly while simultaneously poking fun at Christians for some of the absurd things they believe about atheists. And yes, that is my take on the primary meaning of this meme: it serves to highlight the absurd lengths to which some Christians will go to demonize atheists....

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An Atheist Tried Finding Love on Various Religious Dating Websites… At Least It Was Entertaining
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyath...ertaining/

EXCERPT: Hana Nobel, writing for The Bold Italic, attempted to meet the man of her dreams by trying various religious dating sites — everything from Christian Mingle to Atheist Passions (which is apparently a thing). It didn’t go well....



Avoiding spiritual struggles and existential questions is linked with poorer mental health
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20...111017.htm

RELEASE: Fear of confronting the tensions and conflicts brought on by existential concerns -- the "big questions" of life -- is linked with poorer mental health, including higher levels of depression, anxiety and difficulty regulating emotions, according to a new Case Western Reserve University study. "Religious and spiritual struggles -- conflicts with God or religious people, tough questions about faith, morality, and the meaning of life -- these are often taboo topics, and the temptation to push them away is strong," said Julie Exline, professor of psychological sciences at Case Western Reserve and co-author of the research.

"When people avoid these struggles, anxiety and depression tend to be more intense than if they faced these struggles head-on." People who more fully embrace these struggles with fundamental beliefs and values report better mental health than those who don't, Exline added. The study, based on a survey of 307 adults about recent life experiences, was published in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science.

Among the study's findings:

An unwillingness to accept spiritual struggle could contribute to major social ills, leading to lost opportunities to engage with people of different faith beliefs and backgrounds and come to view them as threatening.

"This avoidance may lead to the rejection of whole groups of people based on their religious differences or perceived incongruence between, for example, their sexuality or gender-based identity and religious teachings," Exline said.

Mental health providers may find it useful to help clients with spiritual struggles face their difficulties in a more proactive way.

"People seem to be more emotionally healthy if they're able to accept troubling thoughts," Exline said. "Looking at spiritual doubts in an objective way seems to help. You may or may not work through them, but at least you can tolerate having them."

Avoidance itself is not a problem; rather, the behavior can become problematic when escaping becomes harmful or contrary to personal goals and sets a rigid pattern of experiencing and responding to the world.

"Regular spiritual avoidance can make it difficult to identify, work toward or experience the qualities that lend a sense of purpose to life," she said.

Using emotional and cognitive energy to push thoughts away will not stop them from continuing to intrude over time.

"Continually being re-visited by these thoughts can create strains on emotional health, especially if a person sees this kind of questioning as morally unacceptable and dangerous," Exline said.



Religious actions convey pro-social intent, finds study
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20...083443.htm

RELEASE: Religious expression has a central role in societies around the world, but exactly what role it plays isn't always clear. Santa Fe Institute Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellow Eleanor Power has an answer: whether it's walking across hot coals or simply going to church on Sunday, people who participate in religious acts send a potent signal to others that they're ready and willing to contribute to their communities.

Power's study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, was designed to test whether a model called signaling theory applied to religion. Signaling theory's key prediction is that people will pay a price in time, money, or even physical pain to demonstrate something to others -- in this case, people would engage in religious acts to demonstrate their generosity, devotion, and so on to others.

There's evidence to suggest that regular churchgoers, for example, really are more generous than others. But to demonstrate that signaling theory is part of the answer, it's not enough to prove that people who engage in religious acts also engage in prosocial behavior -- you also have to show that others in the community get the message.

Do religious acts get the message across? Power spent two years living in a pair of Tamil villages in southern India studying the question. Based on interviews, formal surveys, and other observations, Power's answer is "yes." She found that those who engaged in more religious action were perceived as more hardworking, more generous, and even stronger compared to others. Interestingly, dramatic acts in the name of religion, such as being pierced by hooks and swung from a crane didn't send the strongest messages -- instead, the connection was strongest for the simple act of regular worship. "That has often a bigger effect on your reputational standing than big, extreme acts," Power says.

Also surprising: just how much of an effect religious acts had on others. "These are people who know each other well and have many lines of evidence to draw on, of which religion is just one." Power says. "Given all those other opportunities for observing one another, the fact that there are such strong relationships -- it's pretty telling."
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#2
Quote:Why Do Atheists Eat Babies?
http://www.atheistrev.com/2017/01/why-do...abies.html


"Blood libel (also blood accusation) is an accusation that Jews kidnapped and murdered the children of Christians in order to use their blood as part of their religious rituals during Jewish holidays. Historically, these claims – alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration – have been a major theme of the persecution of Jews in Europe.

Blood libels typically say that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover, although this element was allegedly absent in the earliest cases which claimed that then-contemporary Jews reenacted the crucifixion. The accusations often assert that the blood of the children of Christians is especially coveted, and, historically, blood libel claims have been made in order to account for the otherwise unexplained deaths of children. In some cases, the alleged victim of human sacrifice has become venerated as a martyr, a holy figure around whom a martyr cult might arise. Three of these – William of Norwich, Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, and Simon of Trent – became objects of local cults and veneration, and in some cases they were added to the General Roman Calendar. One, Gavriil Belostoksky, was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

In Jewish lore, blood libels were the impetus for the creation of the Golem of Prague by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel in the 16th century. According to Walter Laqueur:

'Altogether, there have been about 150 recorded cases of blood libel (not to mention thousands of rumors) that resulted in the arrest and killing of Jews throughout history, most of them in the Middle Ages. In almost every case, Jews were murdered, sometimes by a mob, sometimes following torture and a trial.'

The term 'blood libel' can also refer to any unpleasant and damaging false accusation, and has taken on a broader metaphorical meaning. However, this usage remains controversial and has been protested by Jewish groups."---https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_libel
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#3
Why am I always hungry after CC posts? 

There's a guy who didn't eat any but still managed to kill 5 members of his family and get away with it for 18 years. Oh yeah, the motive was to send them to God because the world is a bad place, very unChristian or is it?  I'm speaking of John List, a mild-mannered American Christian accountant who brutally murdered his wife, 3 kids and his mother all in the name of the Lord. Watched it on Forensic Files last night.

I know folks think that if people weren't killing for God then they'd kill for some other reason. Personally I would like to see the reasons go away, forever. Imagine having no reasons to kill. One thing I don't have is a reason to kill someone in the name of religion. To kill because I'm an atheist and my victim is (pick a religion) just isn't motivation enough for me. Ever notice when atheists and theists debate that the God worshippers tend to become very agitated, but that's my personal experience so it could be different elsewhere. Anyways, if I was given a choice between dying and converting to (pick a religion) then I do the right thing and choose life. I can lie and be religious anytime I want, it would be a minor inconvenience. Makes me wonder how many (pick a religion) really think theirs is the truth. Closet atheists, trying to survive in an imposing environment. Not easy.
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#4
(Jan 19, 2017 07:37 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Closet atheists, trying to survive in an imposing environment. Not easy.

Are you one, a closet atheists? Were you always an atheist? If not, what were you and when did you become one?
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#5
(Jan 20, 2017 02:38 AM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Jan 19, 2017 07:37 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Closet atheists, trying to survive in an imposing environment. Not easy.

Are you one, a closet atheists?  Were you always an atheist?  If not, what were you and when did you become one?

I've always questioned religion.  A god has never made sense to me so I guess in that respect I've always thought one didn't exist. I admit there were moments when I might have been swayed but by the time I became an adult, late teens early twenties, I was an atheist 100%. 

I'm a closet atheist when it comes to my mom however. She's happy and there's no need to spoil it. When my in-laws were alive I played the game also. I agreed to church wedding and baptisms because in my mind that meant nothing. They're only ceremony so there was no reason to get bent about it. 

Atheism has cost me friends, and I think that is my only regret being an atheist. I don't seek out other atheists and I keep it more to myself these days. Now I usually wait and see what people feel/say about god(s) before barking.
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#7
(Jan 20, 2017 06:22 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: I used to feel that way, too, but I then I decided that I want people to know the real me, or at least my version. Wink
My logic was that it just isn't worth the trouble. My wife is OK with it, my kids and many people I associate with have no problem. I guess it was inevitable that those who saw the devil in me would probably keep their distance, like I had the plague. I don't need the hassle so I avoid getting into these discussions with others. I don't drink anymore so I've probably regained my inhibition. 

My wife is from a Catholic upbringing. Her parents, staunch believers, wanted our wedding to take place in a Catholic church. Although I abhor religion I went along with it because I'm a lover, not a fighter. Part of this experience was to meet the priest prior to the big day. I said OK but didn't know I'd be grilled at this meeting. Before he agreed to marry us he made me sign a document that said I would raise our kids as Catholics. Same logic, it meant nothing to me and besides, there is freedom of religion in my country. I signed it knowing full well it was garbage. Next he asked me what my religion was. Now I had to be extremely careful because admitting my atheism may upset all the planning that had gone on before this meeting. I remembered that my mother was Presbyterian so that's what I told him. He said 'you can't be'. I asked 'why not?'. "Because', the priest said, 'Presbyterians HATE Catholics'. I'm not shittin' ya, that's verbatim. I said, 'Well obviously not.' He seemed OK with that answer. Anyways 2 days before I got married I was told we were getting another priest because the original, the one who interrogated me, had just been excommunicated. Turned out that our Holy Father was caught diddling young teenage girls.
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#8
(Jan 21, 2017 03:56 AM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: My logic was that it just isn't worth the trouble. My wife is OK with it, my kids and many people I associate with have no problem. I guess it was inevitable that those who saw the devil in me would probably keep their distance, like I had the plague. I don't need the hassle so I avoid getting into these discussions with others. I don't drink anymore so I've probably regained my inhibition. 

My wife is from a Catholic upbringing. Her parents, staunch believers, wanted our wedding to take place in a Catholic church. Although I abhor religion I went along with it because I'm a lover, not a fighter. Part of this experience was to meet the priest prior to the big day. I said OK but didn't know I'd be grilled at this meeting. Before he agreed to marry us he made me sign a document that said I would raise our kids as Catholics. Same logic, it meant nothing to me and besides, there is freedom of religion in my country. I signed it knowing full well it was garbage. Next he asked me what my religion was. Now I had to be extremely careful because admitting my atheism may upset all the planning that had gone on before this meeting. I remembered that my mother was Presbyterian so that's what I told him. He said 'you can't be'. I asked 'why not?'. "Because', the priest said, 'Presbyterians HATE Catholics'. I'm not shittin' ya, that's verbatim. I said, 'Well obviously not.' He seemed OK with that answer. Anyways 2 days before I got married I was told we were getting another priest because the original, the one who interrogated me, had just been excommunicated. Turned out that our Holy Father was caught diddling young teenage girls.


We went to my cousin’s house after the funeral.  Everyone jumped up and ran out back.  There was a very vivid double rainbow.  They interpreted it as a sign.  I thought about it for moment and simply said, "Did you ever notice that the spectrum is reversed?"

Coming home from Alaska, one of my family members said look god is watching over us.  I told her that it was called a glory.  She had never seen one before.  

Knowing more doesn’t lessen my experience, it enhanced it.  

Anyone who enjoys optics has probably fallen in love with Professor Walter Lewin’s enthusiasm, but did you know that his lectures were removed because he engaged in online sexual harassment. I don't think he was Catholic, though.  Wink

MIT indefinitely removes online physics lectures and courses by Walter Lewin
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#9
It's a sign alright Rolleyes Remember, God didn't start putting that sign up there until he was finished destroying the world. No rainbows prior to the flood if you believe Noah's Ark is fact.
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#10
My old dear friend from high school has an elderly mom who  is religious and Catholic.  I try to talk to him very little about religion.  Once he asked me if I thought religion was phony, but I could not say, because it could have complicated his life badly.  His mom is so conservative that my perspective, though it is moderate in many ways is extreme in other ways, and not on the conservative side. Figuratively, all I have to offer him is a bite from the forbidden apple.
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