A philosophy test for New Agers

“The universe gives back what we send out.”  “Everything happens for a reason.”

These are among the most widely repeated dogmas of New Age thought.

I propose a simple test of the validity of a philosophy such as this.

If you would be ashamed to express your philosophy to someone who has lost a child in a tsunami, then it’s probably immoral… and false.

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In Medieval Superstition News, U.S. Presidential Delegation Honors Mother Teresa’s Miracle Cures

In Medieval Superstition News, U.S. Presidential Delegation Honors Mother Teresa’s Miracle Cures

For mysterious reasons, U.S. politicians and major media outlets are today hyperventilating over one religious group’s unproven claims of ghostly miracle cures.  President Obama has sent a presidential delegation to pay tribute to the ghost faith healer. 

I’m speaking, of course, of today’s canonization of Mother Teresa by the Catholic Church, making her a saint. A saint is someone Catholics believe has special after-death powers to which they can appeal for miracles, as evidenced by at least two miracles so far.

The political and media honors would be slightly more understandable if this were one of the secular tributes for her that have also taken place for her non-miraculous work.  Work, that is,  which largely involved raising vast sums of money to convert Hindus to Catholicism and crusade against contraception and abortion, thereby increasing poverty and suffering.  Using the funds to bring modern medical cures and comforts went against her belief that poverty and physical pain made sufferers more holy to Jesus.

But no, in this case the honors are for her elevation in heaven to God’s miracle broker.

My question is, how exactly does  Pres. Obama determine which unproven miracle cures to honor?  Will we soon be seeing this?   Continue reading

Evangelicals Literally Believe Net Domain Name Thing is the End of the World

Evangelicals Literally Believe Net Domain Name Thing is the End of the World

I thought religion was supposed to bring inner peace.

  • God Please Help Us!
  • Mercy on US Lord the Enemy is out to destroy! Prophecy being fulfilled right before our lives!
  • Only our Lord can stop this evil! So we need to be ready! God help us!

Is this any way to live???  This pervasive paranoia that finds signs of fiery Armageddon in every relatively minor event is simply tragic.

Evangelical Christians utterly lost their minds when one of America’s most popular evangelical leaders, Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham, called on the federal lawmakers to halt the transfer of the Internet domain naming system from U.S. government control to a U.S.-based internationally monitored nonprofit, something that’s been publicly planned for years.

As a conservative wanting less power concentrated in the government, he’s happy, right?  No, because it’s Obama, it must be evil, with a hidden agenda to destroy all that is decent:

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Why is CNN Asking Presidential Candidates if They Believe in God?

Why is CNN Asking Presidential Candidates if They Believe in God?

CNN has been asking third-party political candidates if they believe in God, pray, and go to church.  It’s a new trend that’s deeply unethical.

[Excerpts.  The full version of this article can be viewed where it is published at The Friendly Atheist.]

By Bo Gardiner

“Do you believe in God?”

Since June, CNN has boxed into a corner three third-party candidates for President and Vice-President with this ridiculous question.   On June 22, the Libertarian Party candidates for president and vice-president, Gary Johnson and William Weld, answered questions by CNN reporter Chris Cuomo and selected voters in a CNN-hosted “town hall.”

(Video here, relevant portion starts at 22:00)

CNN selected Amanda Lindemann, an undecided voter from New York, to ask Johnson “Do you pray and do you believe in God?” 

Johnson isn’t interested, but knows what he must say:  “I have to admit to praying once in awhile and yes, I do believe in God.”

Cuomo clearly thinks she should have asked the vice-presidential candidate too, so puts the litmus test question to Weld:  “Governor?”

Weld is even less interested, but knows what he must do:  “Same on both.  Same on both.”

Cuomo is unsatisfied, and pushes Johnson harder:  “What do you want people to know about you in terms of religion?   I mean, is the answer “none of your business?” Or do you go to church?  Do you ascribe to a particular religious philosophy?”

Johnson:  “I was raised a Christian, I do not attend church, and if there’s one thing I’ve taken away from Christianity, ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’”

And then this from Cuomo:  “Why don’t you go to church?”

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Talking political pseudoscience on MSNBC

Bo Gardiner

This morning I was a guest on MSNBC’s AM Joy show with Joy-Ann Reid, discussing the disappointingly nonprogressive, anti-science beliefs of the Green Party and its candidate Dr. Jill Stein, with their potential for harm to public health and the environment.  Full video here.

Wonder if she was surprised to hear me bring up tigers and orangutans.

Jill Stein to WaPo on Vaccines: She’s Just Asking Questions

By Bo Gardiner

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Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President, finally received her big chance yesterday to straighten out the growing concern about her position on vaccines.

With people like me unfairly maligning her, as her supporters have been pouring in here and to The Friendly Atheist to tell me, she had the opportunity to unequivocally reassure us and the American public that vaccines were safe and that she strongly encouraged their use.

The Washington Post began with a softball question to begin their interview: do vaccines cause autism?  Here was the doctor’s reassuring reply:

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Just In Case There’s Any Doubt Jill Stein Sows Distrust in the U.S. Vaccination Program…

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Let’s simply let her supporters answer.

Here are some comments from angry Jill Stein supporters on the Friendly Atheist Facebook page in response to my article criticizing her statements on the U.S. vaccination program.   It was gratifying to see these dwarfed by many thousands of likes and shares, as was a lovely mention as well by the national progressive humanist group Center for Inquiry’s Paul Fidalgo in his daily roundup of humanist news:

Speaking of Stein, Bo Gardiner does a good overview of Stein’s many pseudoscientific predilections.

But it’s a veritable online rule that people who disagree are the most likely to comment, and comment they did.  

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