Category Archives: Atheism

I’m pretty sure Oprah would prefer to be white. Right? I mean, who wouldn’t?

Below the fold is the video of Oprah and her encounter with Atheists.

“So you don’t believe in a higher being? … I’m puzzled. I’m confused. You don’t believe in god …? Maybe you believe in you don’t know you believe … maybe it’s more spiritual …”

Oprah, has anyone ever told you that they assume you would prefer to not be black? There are people who think that, you know. I certainly hope that if someone said that to you … something like “I can’t believe you’d want to be black. Wouldn’t life just be easier if you were white….” that you would not find such a thing offensive.

Or would you?

Continue reading I’m pretty sure Oprah would prefer to be white. Right? I mean, who wouldn’t?

Silence = Death

I have been to Uganda a number times, but only illegally or by accident, in which case I was in the remote bush, or in transit, stopping at Entebbe Airport, so I can’t say that I know much, directly, about the culture there. However, I have spent months in Kenya and years in Zaire/Congo, and a little time in Tanzania and Rwanda, so I’ve kinda got Uganda surrounded. I can tell you that the political culture and government of Zaire/Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda are very, very different from one another. At the same time, all of these countries have certain commonalities that are relevant to the present discussion, and I’d bet money that these extend to some degree into Uganda. They are:
Continue reading Silence = Death

New Atheists Ruin Movie for Catholics.

Though its trailer gives no clue as to its true agenda, this venomous supposed comedy is set in a world where lying is unknown and every word spoken is accepted as truth and where — not accidentally, the screenplay implies — God does not exist. Until, that is, failed documentary screenwriter and all-around loser Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) spontaneously discovers the ability to deceive.

Continue reading New Atheists Ruin Movie for Catholics.

Americans Who Don’t Identify with a Religion No Longer a Fringe Group

You’ve certainly heard of the ARIS 2008 survey from Trinity College. One of the more interesting aspects of the survey is the demonstration that there is a sex difference in patterns of religions identification. Below I give some links where this has been discussed, but I want to note that in many discussions one of the first things people say … quite reasonably … is that the differences seem small and potentially well within the normal sampling error of a survey.

The reason people think that is because they are accustom to survey data in relation to political polling where sample error is usualy 5% or 3% because of standard methodologies and sample sizes. The ARIS survey has a much lower error rate. The lower error rate does not mean the the conclusion is stronger than it might otherwise be. It means that it is less likely spurious than it might otherwise be. But, in this case, this certainly means that the differences between groups (mainly male vs. female) can not be written off as statistical artifacts. (Though they could easily be of little consequence. Or not.)

In order to help move this discussion beyond sample size questions, I am hereby reproducing salient portions of the Methodological Note for the recently widely discussed and blogged about survey “American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population.”

Continue reading Americans Who Don’t Identify with a Religion No Longer a Fringe Group