I believe that the universe was formed around 15 billion years ago and that humans have evolved from their apelike ancestors over the past few million years. I believe we are more likely to live a good life if all humans try to work together in a world community, preserving planet earth. When decisions for groups are made in this world, I believe that the democratic process should be used. To protect the individual, I believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, freedom of inquiry, and a wall of separation between church and state.

When making decisions about what is right or wrong, I believe I should use my intelligence to reason about the likely consequences of my actions. I believe that I should try to increase the happiness of everyone by caring for other people and finding ways to cooperate.

Never should my actions discriminate against people simply because of their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or national origin. I believe that ideas about what is right and wrong will change with education, so I am prepared to continually question ideas using evidence from experience and science. I believe there is no valid evidence to support claims for the existence of supernatural entities and deities. I will use these beliefs to guide my thinking and my actions until I find good reasons for revising them or replacing them with other beliefs that are more valid.

—  Ronald P. Carver
The End of Casual Christianity

As expected, the response to a recent Pew report finding a precipitous decline in religious believers in the United States has generally been doom and gloom among most Christians. But as an article in the Washington Post rightly points out, the issue of declining piety — and its subsequent impact on society and policies — is a lot more nuanced that meets the eye. Most of the actual decline in…

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Parenting Without God Isn’t Just a Good Option It’s Increasingly Looking Like the Better One

By Rachel Ford

Last month, an op-ed about secular parenting by Phil Zuckerman, author and Pitzer College professor of Sociology and Secular Studies, was published in the LA Times. In the piece, Zuckerman discusses his own and other researchers’ work, in measuring the success, or lack thereof, of raising kids to be “good without God.”

And the results seem to indicate the secular community is doing as good a job, and in some measures possibly a better job, than their peers.

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They say knowledge knows no boundary. Nor colour, nor caste. Nor religion.

Maryam Asif Siddiqui, a 6th Grade student studying in Cosmopolitan High School, Mira Road, Mumbai, recently won the GCL – Gita Champions League. She broke all stereotypes when she competed against 3000 participants and excelled the 100 mark multiple choice questions test based on the Gita in the Gita Champions League which was organized by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) in January. Maryam studied material that was provided by Iskcon for almost a month before giving the test in English. She received the prize on March 15th, 2015.

Maryum has always been curious to know about different religions and often read up on them in her free time. She believed that this contest was a good way for her to understand what the Gita was about. It’s no surprise to know that Maryum’s broad thinking comes from her family who completely supported her idea to take part in the competition and believes that one needs to respect and accept all religions and before children come under any bad influence, parents need to talk to them and make them understand what is right.

The Logical Indian believes that Humanity is the greatest religion that one must follow and it’s high time we stopped differentiating on the grounds of religion.And of course, we wish her the heartiest of congratulations for winning the GCL and salute her for becoming an example of communal harmony at the tender age of 12.

-Anoushka Saharoy

Image Courtesy : Nimesh Dave, MiD DAY

pythie asked:

The law is in fact a law forbidding any covering of the face in public places (be it a niqab, but also masks etc). To be honest, it was formulated this way because saying "we want to forbid the niqab!" was in fact forbidden by the Supreme Court. As for the headscarves in school, kippas and crucifixes and every sign of religion were forbidden (to which I don't agree either. I think it's better to learn to accept rather than to hide...) but that wasn't targeted at Muslims.

Ah okay that makes sense. Because I read a lot of people who said it was justified by framing it as being in accordance with the principles of French secularism. So while I was aware French Muslim women not being allowed to wear it when they’re just walking in public is a bit technically different from those cases where somebody appearing a public/government capacity cannot wear religious symbols, there was a lot of blurring it. I get the impression the principle has expanded beyond its strict confines and is treated to be a form of persuasive authority for a lot of laws.

Well I have to admit I did find it a bit strange and excessively restrictive because the type of secularism I’m familiar with is just more of the “wear whatever you want, it’s fine as long as you don’t try and actively convert people to your religion when acting in public capacity.” Whereas French secularism seems a lot more like an active removal of religion, even those which are intended to just be personal religious expressions that will not extend beyond the individual.

Hundreds of Reasons not to be Religious #132

Ebola disease in Africa shows the superiority of science to religion. The missionary doctors went to Africa with prayers to protect them from the disease. On the other hand, Doctors without Borders went to Africa without prayers, but with strict scientific procedures. The science has so far saved these medical personnel.

After three missionaries contracted the disease, they were returned to America with their tails between their legs to get the best medical treatment that science could provide. Their prayers and belief in God did not help them, but science saved their lives.

Science will eventually win!
Maybe the greatest threat to the Church is not heresy, not dissent, not secularism, not even moral relativism, but this sanitized, feel-good, boutique, therapeutic spirituality that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice, asks for no conversion, entails no battle against sin, but only soothes and affirms.
—  Archbishop Timothy Dolan
Does what you are arguing for impinge upon my right to live in a secular society? Is the basis for your offence rational thought, or religious doctrine? If it’s the former, we have to find some form of compromise. But if it’s the latter, then I’m sorry, but that’s tough.
If you don’t like images of the Prophet Muhammad, fine. Don’t draw them. But don’t tell me I can’t draw them. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, don’t. But don’t try and tell me who I can and can’t marry. If you don’t think shops should open on a Sunday, don’t go to the shops. But don’t tell me I have to sit at home and make peace with your god.
This is the line that needs to be drawn. Not around free speech, but around our right to have our own set of beliefs, rather than have them imposed as part of a de-facto theocracy.
This is the deal. Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslims. Welcome. You are free to practice your faith amongst us. But never forget this. It is your faith, not mine. And if you can’t accept that, then in the immortal words of the mayor of Rotterdam, you can “f––– off”.
—  Telegraph