In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and religion, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Nigerian put in mental hospital for atheism


A Nigerian man has been sent to a mental institute in Kano state after he declared that he did not believe in God, according to a humanist charity.

Mubarak Bala was being held against his will at the hospital after his Muslim family took him there, it said.

The hospital said it was treating Mr Bala, 29, for a “challenging psychological condition”, and would not keep him longer than necessary.

Kano is a mainly Muslim state and adopted Islamic law in 2000.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) says that when Mr Bala told relatives he did not believe in God, they asked a doctor if he was mentally ill.

Despite being told that he was not unwell, Mr Bala’s family then went to a second doctor, who declared that his atheism was a side-effect of suffering a personality change, the group says.

Mr Bala, a chemical engineering graduate, was forcibly committed to a psychiatric ward at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, but was able to contact activists using a smuggled phone, it says.

IHEU spokesman Bob Churchill said the group was concerned about his “deteriorating condition” and called for his “swift release”.

The hospital said in a statement that Mr Bala was “comfortable and conscious”.

He had been admitted because he required treatment under supervision, it added.

Mr Bala’s lawyer Mohammed Bello told the BBC he intended to arrange for an independent psychological evaluation of his client because of conflicting accounts of his health.

(Source: bbc.com)

iranianatheist:

shadowkin56:

iranianatheist:

Join the group to see more of the couregous act and support them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StealthyFreedom

- Iranian Atheist (http://iranianatheist.tumblr.com/)

Key point in case anyone missed it.  Dressing this way is a crime in Iran.  These people are taking pictures of themselves in criminal activity in a fight for freedom.  Ballsey as shit.

That’s right! Show your hair in public and not conforming to the archaic and misogynist forceful Islamic dress code can get you in a lot of trouble in Iran. Most Iranian women in this generation strongly oppose that.

Religion Has No Answer for Sectarianism

In Iraq, we are witnessing yet again the tremendous harm caused by religious fanaticism. One interesting aspect of the present conflict is that it largely pits Muslim against Muslim, with some fanatics in the Sunni tradition battling devoted adherents of the Shia tradition. Both traditions, of course, rely on the Quran as the ultimate authoritative text. So why the conflict?

Well, why not? History has witnessed many conflicts between religious groups who purport to rely on the same authoritative text. For the most part, different sects of Christians no longer kill each other, but the bloodshed between Protestants and Catholics only dribbled to a halt in the early nineteenth century — that is, apart from Northern Ireland.

And this phenomenon should not be surprising. In fact, the phenomenon of intra-religious strife highlights the key problem with using religious texts and doctrines to address ethical issues in general, and in particular, how we treat other human beings. All holy texts, and the doctrines derived from such texts, are infinitely malleable. Which is another way of saying that, in themselves, they are useless as ethical guides. The Bible and the Quran represent a hodgepodge of thoughts and observations and, in the case of the Bible, a hodgepodge of thoughts and observations extending over centuries of time. Believers who want to advocate a particular position can cherry-pick whatever scriptural passage or snippet of doctrine they find useful for making their point. If the apparent literal meaning of the text does not quite fit the position, no problem! They can make it fit by giving the text a “symbolic” interpretation or appealing to “context.” Think of any position you want. You can pick some passage in the Bible or Quran to support it….

Saudi Arabia attempts to silence NGO at Human Rights Council

Saudi Arabia repeatedly interrupted an American NGO at an extraordinary meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, as the organisation read out a statement criticising their imprisoning of a man on charges of atheism and running a liberal online forum.

The Center for Inquiry, a US non-profit advocating secular and humanist values, was stopped from speaking on three occasions by the delegation from Saudi Arabia who protested against their raising of specific incidents of alleged human rights abuse.

The case raised was that of Raif Badawi, co-founder of the Saudi Arabian Free Liberals website, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a $266,000 fine in May. He was convicted of violating Islamic values and slurring Saudi Arabia’s religious symbols, which drew the ire of Amnesty International who described the ruling as “outrageous”.

The Center criticised Badawi’s conviction at the Council, saying “Mr Badawi is a prisoner of conscience who is guilty of nothing more than daring to create a public forum for discussion and peacefully exercising the right to freedom of expression,” which prompted the Saudi delegation to interrupt the statement….

What is the big deal?

exhijabifashion:

Maggie sent the following question in (through the submit form and not the ask form, which is why I can’t reply directly):

What I think about this blog? Who cares? Lot of women wear hijab and others take it off-what makes you guys so special? I wore the Hijab 4 years ago and I am very happy…

iranianatheist:

Pakistan’s Islamic laws on blasphemy are brutal. They not only need to be changed, but completely abandoned. Islam needs to be reformed and this is why I support Muslims who contribute to the movement.

iranianatheist:

Pakistan’s Islamic laws on blasphemy are brutal. They not only need to be changed, but completely abandoned. Islam needs to be reformed and this is why I support Muslims who contribute to the movement.

Sudanese court orders release of woman sentenced to death for changing faith

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A Sudanese court on Monday ordered the release of a 27-year-old woman who was sentenced to death last month for converting from Islam to Christianity, the state news agency said.

The case of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, who is married to a Christian American, triggered an international outcry. Britain had last month summoned the Sudanese charge d’affaires in protest at the sentencing.

"The appeal court ordered the release of Mariam Yahya and the cancellation of the (previous) court ruling," Sudan’s SUNA news agency said. A government official had told Reuters on May 31 that Sudanese officials were working to release Ibrahim.

Ibrahim’s lawyer Mohaned Mostafa said she has already been released and sent “to an unknown house to stay at for her protection and security.”

"Her family had been threatened before and we are worried that someone might try to harm her," Mostafa told Reuters.

Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes for what it deemed her adultery for marrying a Christian. She gave birth in prison to a daughter, her second child by her American husband Daniel Wani.

This Ex-Muslim Started a Tumblr for Women Who Have Abandoned the Hijab | VICE United States

exhijabifashion:

Hi! We’ve been featured in VICE. Head over and take a look at my interview with Simon Davis about this project and my personal history with the hijab.

How cool!

Atheism in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — In this country known as the cradle of Islam, where religion gives legitimacy to the government and state-appointed clerics set rules for social behavior, a growing number of Saudis are privately declaring themselves atheists.

The evidence is anecdotal, but persistent.

“I know at least six atheists who confirmed that to me,” said Fahad AlFahad, 31, a marketing consultant and human rights activist. “Six or seven years ago, I wouldn’t even have heard one person say that. Not even a best friend would confess that to me.”

Saudi Justice Minister: ‘Hands off Islamic law’

Justice Minister Mohammed Al-Eissa has denounced international rights groups for attacking the Kingdom’s judiciary, saying laws in this country are based on divine precepts contained in the Holy Qur’an.

Apostate woman in Sudan sentenced to death forced to give birth 'with her legs chained'

A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for apostasy was forced to give birth in prison with her legs chained, her husband has claimed.

Daniel Wani said his wife Meriam Yahya Ibrahim gave birth to a girl in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the hospital wing of Omdurman Women’s Prison.

"They kept a chain on her legs," he told The Telegraph. "She is very unhappy about that."

Amnesty International said Ms Ibrahim has been shackled in heavy chains since being sentenced to death, a customary practice for prisoners facing execution.

The 27-year-old doctor, whose father was Muslim but was raised as a Christian by her mother, was convicted of apostasy and adultery and sentenced to death by a court in Khartoum after refusing to renounce her Christian faith during a four day ‘grace period’ while she was eight months pregnant…

Pakistani woman stoned to death in 'honour killing'

Farzana Iqbal was waiting for the court to open when a group of around dozen men began attacking her with bricks, said senior police officer Umer Cheema.

Her father, two brothers and former fiance were among the attackers, he said.

Ms Iqbal suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead in hospital.

All the suspects except her father escaped arrest.

He admitted killing his daughter and explained it was a matter of honour.

Many Pakistani families think a woman marrying her own choice of man brings dishonour on the family.

Ms Iqbal had been engaged to her cousin but married another man, Mr Cheema said…

…Around 1,000 Pakistani women are killed every year by their families in ‘honour killings’, according to Pakistani rights group, the Aurat Foundation.

However, the true figure is probably many times higher since the Aurat Foundation only compiles figures from newspaper reports.

The government does not compile national statistics….

sharkchunks:

silvester-anfang:

Look at these religious idiots.

Hey, if it’s idiotic to mourn a guy who died in 680 by cutting yourself on the head then I don’t wanna be smart. #ashura5ever

sharkchunks:

silvester-anfang:

Look at these religious idiots.

Hey, if it’s idiotic to mourn a guy who died in 680 by cutting yourself on the head then I don’t wanna be smart. #ashura5ever