The 2014 Freedom of Thought report

Cover of the 2014 Freedom of Thought report.

2014 Freedom of Thought report.

Today (10 December, 2014) is Human Rights Day. It’s starting to become a tradition every year that on this day the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU releases their Freedom of Thought report – which is becoming one of the most comprehensive reports about discrimination against nonbelievers. In the coming weeks I will be diving deeply into the report (as I have done in the past), but for now I’m just going to answer the question that I imagine is the most pressing for readers of this blog: How did Canada do? Continue reading

Onion Article: Man Somehow Overcomes Alcoholism Without Jesus

The Onion wrote a funny piece titled, Man Somehow Overcomes Alcoholism Without Jesus. The article talks about how the man used his own willpower, a desire to better himself as a human being, and not Jesus Christ for the otherwise inexplicable recovery which would not have been possible without [wife and non-supernatural-entity] Susan even though his aunt remained steadfast in her insistence that Jesus most likely had something to do with it.

The article is funny because I’m sure many of us have been inundated, at least once in our lives, with people praying for us when we were ill or in other bad circumstances; some even tell us they are praying for us even though they know we don’t believe. Then, when we come through, these praying people give all the credit to their god while forgetting about the doctors, the support of friends and family and our hard work in our own recovery.

The only thing that makes me cringe a little is the “willpower” part that the alcoholic credited with his success. I recognize willpower is set up as a humorous foil to Jesus and of course willpower is essential to recovery, but it reminds me a bit of my own pet peeve – dualism; the idea that a being, perched behind your eyes and separate from your brain, is really calling the shots. Of course, this is untrue and we are our minds and those minds are subject to the laws of physics, genetic inheritance and daily influences. Therefore, an alcoholic probably needs, and shouldn’t be ashamed to, seek help from organizations like AA; however atheists typically feel they can do without all the god stuff in AA so they instead can turn to organizations like, AA AgnosticaAA Toronto Agnostic or Vancouver AA meetings for Agnostics and Atheists.

Still, the Onion piece is pretty funny and comes at the perfect time of year when praying abounds.

A Giant Statue


I’m pretty much neutral in the Apple vs. Windows debates that flare up now and then in various venues. Both kinds of computer have more or less similar capabilities, and I don’t mind using either. However, I do have a slight preference for Windows machines, which is partly down to force of habit and partly down to minor aesthetic and functional differences between the two systems. Another factor, though, is the faint but undeniable whiff of cultishness that surrounds Apple and its products.

Incidentally, “iSlam” should be pronounced “eye-slam”.

Sweden and Other Atheist Nations

Swedish for God Probably Doesn't Exist

Swedish for God Probably Doesn’t Exist

Vox put together a cute clip listing 11 reasons we should all move to Sweden. Among the 11 things listed are: universal health care, extremely generous parental leave (to be taken anytime before the child turns 8), almost free daycare and lots of holidays.

I’d like to add another one: Sweden is one of the least religious countries in the world! Seems like a pretty successful society much like many other strong atheist nations like Europe, other Scandinavian countries, Australia and New Zealand. So much for society going to hell without religion!

You can see a lists of The Largest Atheist / Agnostic Populations in this PDF.

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