Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"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

 

confrontingbabble-on:

Whenever religion manages to maneuver into a position of absolute power…the world does not become a better place…it becomes a very evil…dark…insane…place…!
Full of torture…slavery…rampant intimidation and fear…controlled information…curtailed freedoms…subjugated women…abused children…oppressed minorities…stoning to death for the most subjective infractions…instructions for genocide…dashing babies against walls…burning the frivolously accused, alive at the stake…and an almost endless list of immoral debauchery…by religious leaders…
See…
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vatican/esp_vatican29.htm
http://readingshouts.wordpress.com/2008/05/12/most-painful-20-torture-devices-in-the-history/
http://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/10-medieval-torture-devices.htm

confrontingbabble-on:

Whenever religion manages to maneuver into a position of absolute power…the world does not become a better place…it becomes a very evil…dark…insane…place…!

Full of torture…slavery…rampant intimidation and fear…controlled information…curtailed freedoms…subjugated women…abused children…oppressed minorities…stoning to death for the most subjective infractions…instructions for genocide…dashing babies against walls…burning the frivolously accused, alive at the stake…and an almost endless list of immoral debauchery…by religious leaders…

See…

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vatican/esp_vatican29.htm

http://readingshouts.wordpress.com/2008/05/12/most-painful-20-torture-devices-in-the-history/

http://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/10-medieval-torture-devices.htm

So basically, while we “do not torture” we have admitted “in the abstract” that we did torture, but if any of those tortured reveal the details of that torture the terrorists of the future will know how we torture and learn how to evade it. So we’re obviously still torturing.

The punishment was death by stoning. The crime? Having a mobile phone

This barbaric form of execution is on the rise, and campaigners are calling on the UN to act.

Two months ago, a young mother of two was stoned to death by her relatives on the order of a tribal court in Pakistan. Her crime: possession of a mobile phone.

Arifa Bibi’s uncle, cousins and others hurled stones and bricks at her until she died, according to media reports. She was buried in a desert far from her village. It’s unlikely anyone was arrested. Her case is not unique. Stoning is legal or practised in at least 15 countries or regions. And campaigners fear this barbaric form of execution may be on the rise, particularly in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Women’s rights activists have launched an international campaign for a ban on stoning, which is mostly inflicted on women accused of adultery. They are using Twitter and other social media to put pressure on the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to denounce the practice.

"Stoning is a cruel and hideous punishment. It is a form of torturing someone to death," said Naureen Shameem of the international rights group Women Living Under Muslim Laws. "It is one of the most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms."

She said activists will also push the UN to adopt a resolution on stoning similar to the one passed last year on eradicating female genital mutilation – another form of violence against women often justified on religious and cultural grounds.

Read More

humanrightswatch:

Former detainees and defectors have identified the locations, agencies responsible, torture methods used, and, in many cases, the commanders in charge of 27 detention facilities run by Syrian intelligence agencies.
The systematic patterns of ill-treatment and torture that Human Rights Watch documented clearly point to a state policy of torture and ill-treatment and therefore constitute a crime against humanity.
Check out the interactive map here.

humanrightswatch:

Former detainees and defectors have identified the locations, agencies responsible, torture methods used, and, in many cases, the commanders in charge of 27 detention facilities run by Syrian intelligence agencies.

The systematic patterns of ill-treatment and torture that Human Rights Watch documented clearly point to a state policy of torture and ill-treatment and therefore constitute a crime against humanity.

Check out the interactive map here.

Had I lived a few centuries ago I might have been burned alive by some loving Christians.

Had I lived a few centuries ago I might have been burned alive by some loving Christians.

ih8religion:

crazypictures:

A Sufi Kalandar (or wandering ascetic) performs an act of self torture during the annual Urs festival at the shrine of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, India, Thursday, June 9, 2011. The Urs is observed to mark the death anniversary of the saint, known for his philosophy on religious tolerance. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Religion makes people do fucked-up shit! FUCKED-UP SHIT!!

ih8religion:

crazypictures:

A Sufi Kalandar (or wandering ascetic) performs an act of self torture during the annual Urs festival at the shrine of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, India, Thursday, June 9, 2011. The Urs is observed to mark the death anniversary of the saint, known for his philosophy on religious tolerance. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Religion makes people do fucked-up shit! FUCKED-UP SHIT!!

(Source: crazypictures)

Things like lakes of fire or telling a child that a man was tortured to death because they are a bad boy/girl. Or how about that time god killed everyone on earth or that other time he just killed all the first born children of Egypt?

Things like lakes of fire or telling a child that a man was tortured to death because they are a bad boy/girl. Or how about that time god killed everyone on earth or that other time he just killed all the first born children of Egypt?

[The Catholic Church] barely protested when the last president authorized torture, but the Catholic hierarchy is now determined to use what’s left of its authority to organize protests this summer against their right to deny insured contraception to Catholic and non-Catholic employees in schools and hospitals. This will be their cause - not saving universal healthcare from repeal, not bringing illegal immigrants out of the shadows, not protecting the poor, but affirming that religious liberty is at stake if they cannot keep the pill from their female employees’ insurance, 98 percent of whom use it at some point in their lives anyway.

leftist-linguaphile:

anticapitalist:

Secret footage showing ‘torture’ of Syrians in Homs hospital was leaked


The secretly recorded images, to be broadcast by Britain’sChannel 4 television stationon Monday night, show wards of wounded men being held blindfolded and shackled to their beds in what is said to be the military hospital in Homs.


Some bear wounds suggesting they have been severely beaten. In a chilling indication that their ordeal has been endured in the hospital itself, a rubber whip and an electric cable lie on a table in one of the wards.


Electric cables are known to be one of the most commonly used instruments of torture in Syria, where they are used repeatedly to beat a suspect’s feet into a bloody pulp, a practiceknown as “falaka”.


The victim is then often forced to walk across a floor sprinkled with salt, described by some of those who have experienced it as far more painful than the beating itself.


The footage was recorded by an unidentified employee at the hospital and was spirited out of Syria by a French news photographer.



This is really outrageous. I’m fucking shaking.


You can NEVER justify what is happening in Syria. Horrendous. 

leftist-linguaphile:

anticapitalist:

Secret footage showing ‘torture’ of Syrians in Homs hospital was leaked

The secretly recorded images, to be broadcast by Britain’sChannel 4 television stationon Monday night, show wards of wounded men being held blindfolded and shackled to their beds in what is said to be the military hospital in Homs.

Some bear wounds suggesting they have been severely beaten. In a chilling indication that their ordeal has been endured in the hospital itself, a rubber whip and an electric cable lie on a table in one of the wards.

Electric cables are known to be one of the most commonly used instruments of torture in Syria, where they are used repeatedly to beat a suspect’s feet into a bloody pulp, a practiceknown as “falaka”.

The victim is then often forced to walk across a floor sprinkled with salt, described by some of those who have experienced it as far more painful than the beating itself.

The footage was recorded by an unidentified employee at the hospital and was spirited out of Syria by a French news photographer.

This is really outrageous. I’m fucking shaking.

You can NEVER justify what is happening in Syria. Horrendous. 

(Source: anticapitalist)

Simply the BEST

aatombomb:

Is it not telling, for example, that the party that tells us that America is exceptional is also the party that endorses torture but will not call it by its proper name? And the logic is very tight: because America is morally superior, it can act in ways others morally and legally cannot, and when Americans torture, it is not torture, precisely and only because Americans are doing it. It’s the kind of perfect self-justification one finds among some of the more self-righteous “born-again”, a hermetically sealed circle of self-love, designed not to expose and root out sin, but to reaffirm self-worth regardless. It’s a very modern form of solipsism, the kind of thing conservatives would usually condemn if told to a child as a way to build his or her self-esteem. But that’s how they see Americans, as children, whose memories evaporate instantly, who are only beguiled by the cliches of lost eras, who need to be told repeatedly, even as they slip behind, that they are still the best.And not just the best. But the Best Ever!

— Andrew Sullivan

(Source: andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)