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Daniel Voisin has been at 1 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google+8,562,306The Google+ team will be sharing a few updates. RSVP to this event to watch the broadcast live.A Morning with Google+2013-10-29 17:30:0034078 

Daniel Voisin has been shared in 44 public circles

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
michael Addi0Today's Circle Share - 11/19/2014 #circleshare  Great people and pages in this circle. Have a great day! 2014-11-19 13:55:35429211229
Tarık Bulut238#growthcircle   #circleshare   This is my 21st circle share of this circle and I hope to get over 400+ shares and continue to grow this as time goes on.  This should increase Google Plus comments and plus ones.  This is a circle I created a few months ago and am now sharing with you in hopes that we can all benefit and grow our online presence.  This circle rewards those who take part in interaction as seen below..  #GrowthCircle   For all you SEO and social media marketing needs visit my company  #bosmol #BosmolCircle   #GrowthCIrcle     #GooglePlus   #CircleShare   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #publiccirclesproject   #publicsharedcircles   #circleoftheday   #google   #circle #circles #publiccircle #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles   #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles #addcircle   #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery 2014-07-02 14:40:215015816
Tarık Bulut238Free google Plus FollowersTo be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - Click add people and create your circle3 - share the circle (include yourself)4 - add +1 to the post______________________________________ #CircleSharing #Circle#Share#CircleOfTheDay#ShareCircle#Google+#ADD#SharedPublicCircles#Google#SharedCircles#Friends#GooglePlusTips#SocialMedia#AddCircle#Marketing#SocialMediaMarketing#Engagers#AddPeople#PublicSharedCircles#teamelitecircle2014-07-02 12:08:3430010712
Tarık Bulut78 #growthcircle   #circleshare   This is my 21st circle share of this circle and I hope to get over 400+ shares and continue to grow this as time goes on.  This should increase Google Plus comments and plus ones.  This is a circle I created a few months ago and am now sharing with you in hopes that we can all benefit and grow our online presence.  This circle rewards those who take part in interaction as seen below..  #GrowthCircle   For all you SEO and social media marketing needs visit my company  #bosmol #BosmolCircle   #GrowthCIrcle     #GooglePlus   #CircleShare   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #publiccirclesproject   #publicsharedcircles   #circleoftheday   #google   #circle #circles #publiccircle #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles   #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles #addcircle   #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery 2014-07-01 19:46:105015510
michael Addi0If you're receiving this notification then you are in this circle!6/27/2014This circle has a great group of active users on G+, they also share some great content as well.  #circleshare  If you'd like to stay included in this circle, then I ask you to please share this original post.If you want to be excluded, please let me know and you will no longer be included.2014-06-27 18:04:52385112
Maria Morisot34,675Moan Lisa's All Kinds of People Shared Circle27 June, 2014RESHARE if you want to be includedmoanlisa.org2014-06-27 10:54:53299106112154
Tessa Schlesinger20,569This is the circle of people I follow. I am not in it (so I'm not promoting myself). I follow them because they are interesting, sincere, have good stuff. Some of them have been here with me from day one.  They don't always interact every day, but I think it really depends on what you're looking for on G+. If you want people to interact with you, well, nobody can interact with everybody who adds them. There just isn't enough time to do that. On the other hand, if you'd like to read someone because they present informative, interesting, entertaining stuff, then this circle is interesting. I think it would appeal to atheists, agnostics, people who love beauty, travel, occasional humor, who are visual, intellectual, thinkers, humanist, and/or liberal. :)2014-05-08 15:31:52186503
Shashi S5,567Circle of Great Engagers________________________There is no doubt this is one of the most powerful group of engager's who will make your time of exploring worthwhile in Google Plus. Share and enjoy...Sorry if I missed anyone. Please comment I'll include you in the next shared circle. :)Also, This is a Great Circle and includes Google+   #TopEngagers : really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.Top Google+ users that share unique and original contents.Follow this advice and grow your G+ community with people that share amazing content that will surprise you:Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - include me in your circles2 - share the circle (include yourself) *3 - add +1 to the post4 - *Start something new and share with the world of google plusMore you share more you get!__Shashiॐ नमः शिवायOm Namah Shivaya#circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #sharedcircles #Friday #sharingcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday #circlesunday   #share   #shared   #followers   #addcircles #publicsharedcircles   #share   #addpeople   #addcircle #addfriends   #circle   #empireavenue   #socialmedia     #influencers   #influencer   #influence   #influencermarketing #sundaycircle  2014-04-11 10:40:52294211430
Ole Olson38,548٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶If you're looking for some of the BEST engagers on Google+, this is it.Top notch commentary, good content support, and some out of this world posts to boot. =========================================I sculpted this circle personally over the last year, and this is it's first full release. The Top Engagers is guaranteed to make your G+ experience better. =========================================    #publicsharedcircles       #publiccircle       #circle         #circles    #thebigcommunity   #kingcircle #topcircleshare   #awesome       #awesomepeople       #shareyourcircle    #circleoftheday         #circleshare       #circlesharing           #sharedcircles       #sharedpubliccircles     #sharedcircleoftheday  2014-01-27 09:48:552507711
Nina Pelletier16,409Thought today would be a good day to share my Canadian Circle .  Some of the very best Canucks are right here on G+ with us :)2014-01-25 19:12:58471215
Ole Olson20,256Top Circlers on the GooglesphereI've been sharing one and only one circle per day lately, picking the most interesting ones I've found. My goal is to share a diverse selection of circles, some based on topics like the environment, or interests like scifi, or well designed share circles. Probably about time I share one of my OWN circles for a change!Below is my recently updated Top Circles circle. These folks have a good track record of forging excellent share circles. Add them immediately.  #HashtagZoo  (concept courtesy of +Peter Edenist) #Circles   #Sharedcircles   #PublicCircles   #topcircles   #circlequeen   #circlemaster   #SharingIsCaring  2013-08-15 08:12:489515820
Shawna Mac22,734Canadian Circle Share - Evening EditionHappy Friday!  Last week there were a few Canadian circle shares and I was circled by a bunch of new Canucks, so I'm sharing mine this week as it is brimming with fresh, active Canadians and will help those new to G+ get some great content in their streams.  Slight emphasis on Nova Scotians mebbe.If you are a Canadian or a new circler and want me to add you, please comment below and I shall be happy to do so (but please have your about me filled out with something other than Viagra ads!)I <3 my Canadians (and I'm notifying you so you know where all the new people are coming from)#Canada #Canadiana #NovaScotia #circleshare #circlesharefriday2013-05-11 00:08:5950128920
Ole Olson13,134My Top Circler CircleSpecial thanks to these people on G+ who have shared me in one of their circles. I don't say it very often, but I really do appreciate it.  As I went over the list on +CircleCount last night, I realized some of these folks had vanished from my own circles, which happens on G+ occasionally, but that has been rectified. These are all fine folks with an eclectic mix of quality posts. Add this circle for some outstanding engagers.   And for others, sculpting quality circles and SHARING them is a very important part to G+. Don't share a circle every day, but do it once in a while to help others find who is important to you on here. Dirk TalamascaAndrey MashnichJack C CrawfordCircleCountEuro MaestroSusanne RamharterMark SDaniel HarringtonPaul MeulmanRandy HilarskiJUSTIN MATTHEW (shouting!)Gideon RosenblattTrever McGheeArmando LiossMike ClancyJohn HardyRob SalzmanJason Hurtado DanielsAlister MacintyreTina ValeJohn KelldenBob MulhollandDaniel SandsteinJari HuomoGabriel FitzpatrickGiovanni TotaroRae OuztsDaniele VegaMelissa WalkerKimberly CrawleyShaun WheldenRichard Greenjohn sawyerWes ForsterMarko Shiva PavlovicWataru TengaDavid BeeAtheismJohn DoeMelisa BeliwiczErik BarrettAmy McLeodAaron StanleyJeffrey HarringtonJason MDaniel VoisinBill SewardAndrew HartwellJoys Maclaurinmatt vovakiss #CircleShare   #SharedCircles   #SharedPublicCircles   #CircleOfTheDay   #Engagers  2013-04-23 13:27:015013615
Bob Mulholland12,616Inform | Act | Share | Stay Aware #InformActShareStayAware  #InternetFreedom   #SharedCircle  *Part 1 of 2*With the impending #Anonymous  day of action tomorrow #PM2012 , here's a Circle of people who care about internet freedom.+1 or share to be added.2012-12-20 18:51:28490916
Trever McGhee17,563+Take2seconds to check out this circle of amazing people made up of great Artists and Art lovers that +Nicolas Green has found, along with some other extraordinary people that I've added that share inspiring posts.+Take2seconds today and everyday to click the +1...the share button on positive posts that make you smile, for it's guaranteed to make someone else smile as well when you share it on the public stream.Share circles of people that are making a difference with their posts, with their shares.+Nothing but Circles +CircleCount  #SharedCircles   +Best Shared Circle    #circle   #share   #publiccircle   +Public Circles 2012-12-20 17:58:02444512237
Bob Mulholland12,239#InternetFreedom   #SharedCircle  [Part 1 of 2]+1 to be added. I don't notify anymore, but all #InternetFreedom  related posts have this added:Inform | Act | Share | Stay Aware #InformActShareStayAware 2012-12-04 15:15:2349251011
Brian Buckley0Sharing my first group of awesome Canadians. I had to cap it at <500 so I could share. My next post will be the second smaller circle that has grown out of folks who connected after I shared the first one. Are you a Canadian want to be to be added? Send me a comment, +1, or circle me.2012-10-28 17:16:3449110111
Brian Buckley0Here is my circle of amazing Canadian plussers. I actually have 521 but G+ has limited the share to 500. I'll meed to split it into 2 groups. If you're not in this circle and would like to be comment and I'll add you into one of my two circles - If you are in fact Canadian. Be awesome if you want to re-share. You may be one of the 21 G+ cut out.2012-10-13 17:20:45500736
Anna Mannino2,231Whether you have told me you write, or you participated in #NaNoWriMo last year, this is my circle of writers. Strangely only 500 people can be shared at a time, so this is only most of you.If you'd like to be in my writers circle, let me know. I mostly post around and about NaNoWriMo stuff. I try to also do a lot of hangouts to help those who need the support of a local meetup but can't make their local meetups for whatever reason, or just prefer talking to strangers on the internet as opposed to strangers in a coffee house. (Whatever, I don't judge).2012-10-02 04:30:31501501
Bob Mulholland9,885#InternetFreedom #CircleShare #SharedCircles  Part 1 of 2+1 the post to be included, +1 my first comment to also be notified (although these types of posts are becoming less and less common)2012-10-01 02:46:474983213
Alister Macintyre9,520Here is my circle of people who like to (and have demonstrated capability of) having a civilized conversation about Current Events from a Progressive point of view.2012-09-11 06:05:57252533
Zachary Roovenback1,335Sharing my Atheist and Fellow Freethinkers circle again.  Almost 1,800 strong.  You can only add 500 a day, so let me know if you need it shared again.Stay thinking, my friends.2012-08-10 04:29:445016310
David Waddington2,256An updated Canadian's on Google+ circle.Feel free to share.If you are a Canadian and would like to be added to this circle just make a comment. When I plus 1 your comment you have been added.These are not just photographers. This is a mix of many interests.2012-07-27 23:54:124301015
Bob Mulholland7,562Sorry it's been a couple weeks, but Melissa is going to have the baby any day now and my focus now needs to be offline most of the time.After Zane has been born, my posts will become regular again.#InternetFreedom   #CircleShare  [part 1 of 2]Inform | Act | Share | Stay Aware+1 if you want in+1 my first comment if you also want notifications. #InformActShareStayAware  2012-07-17 17:15:194947211
David Waddington2,233I am sharing my circle for Canadians that are on Google+I try to add as many as I can. If you are not in this circle and wish to be added just make a comment. If your comment gets plus 1'd by me then you have been added. I will share this circle again at a later date with new additions.I also have a circle for users in Edmonton. If you are in Edmonton and wish to be added just note in your comment that you are in Edmonton.  I have added quite a few users from Edmonton in the last while. One thing I have noticed is many haven't filled out their profile. If you wish to have people follow you it's a good idea to fill out a profile and put it in why people might be interested in following you.Lets grow our circles!  :) #circleshare #circles #circlesharing #circleshared  2012-07-16 00:35:063512004
Bob Mulholland5,392Do you want to #StopCISPA ?So do these people. This is my Internet Freedom Circle. If you aren't in this Circle but should be, click +1 and I'll add you to it.If you also want to be notified when important posts regarding Internet Freedom are shared, click +1 on my first comment. (no more than 5 per day, usually only one or two)Edit: Sorry, I got distracted by something shiny and forgot to comment. Look for comment number 6 or 7.2012-04-20 13:46:4424021626
Bob Mulholland5,230Inform | Act | Share | Stay AwareIt's a little late this week, but here's this week's share of my Internet Freedom Circle. You know the drill by now, folks:If you're not already here and you want to be added to this Circle, click +1 on either of the first two comments. UPDATED: Oopsie! I got distracted by a funny picture and forgot to make the comments, so look for comments 6 and 7[clicking +1 on the main post does not automatically get you included in the Circle]2012-04-17 12:58:24228707
Mike Norton2,517SWTOR Circle ShareWe are a bit overdue for a SWTOR Circle share. So here it is :)Please be sure to mention in your profile somewhere you play SWTOR to help others circle you back.Please reshare.2012-04-13 14:35:23500312
Mark Gesswein3,076Maybe this #sharedcircle already came across your way. Otherwise I recommend to take a closer look at it, cause you will find some inspiring people. Of course you can also simply follow the whole circle :-)Happy Easter!#sharedcircles #HighQualitySharingPeopleOfG+2012-04-09 14:56:14164223
Marc Jansen17,871Sharing the LoveI freely admit that +Bearman Cartoons came up with this idea first (Hell, I'd better own up to that, considering that I publicly proclaimed my desire to steal borrow this idea on his thread!)This circle is made up of all of the people who've included me in very nearly 150 publicly-shared circles, as captured by +CircleCount.com.There are, or course, a lot of the Usual Suspects here, people like +Peter G McDermott , +Michael Anderson, +stephanie wanamaker , and +Eoghann Irving.What I found most enlightening is that fact that I actually found a handful of names that I didn't recognize here. People who have apparently taken some level interest in me without me even realizing it. People like +Fred Wierda, +Nate Smith, +tam frager, and +Zach Harper, to name a few.I just wanted to follow +Bearman Cartoons lead and thank each of these people and to repay the favor. THIS JUST IN: It seems that I missed +Shay Dougan and +Kevin Medeiros when I put this together - my apologies to both of you for the oversight!(Oh, and lest anyone cares to give me a hard time for adding myself, +CircleCount tells me that I somehow managed to share myself out at least once... ;-) )2012-03-24 03:37:2075717
Shane Pitre2,308Canadian 1 - is now full!Starting a Canadian 2 Circle.If you're Canadian, and you're awesome, and you want to be hooped; +1, comment, share, kick me, whatever.My goal is to see how many Canadians we can get in shared circles.Please make sure your profile is filled out+Shared Circles on G+ #sharedcircles #circleshare #canada #canadian2012-03-13 23:19:04501101118
Shane Pitre2,172CanadiansIf you're Canadian, and you're awesome, and you want to be hooped; +1, comment, share, kick me, whatever.My goal is to see how many Canadians we can get in shared circles.Please make sure your profile is filled out+Shared Circles on G+ #canada #canadian #sharedcircles2012-03-11 16:30:414399910
Mike Norton2,353SWTOR Circle Share 2 of 2Please share these circles of awesome people who play or follow Star Wars the Old Republic. Also please help others who discover you by putting somewhere in your profile that you are interested in SWTOR.2012-02-01 02:47:09376003
Mike Norton2,227SWTOR Circle Share 2 of 2Please put somewhere on your profile that you are interested in SWTOR so everyone knows what circle to put you in.2012-01-17 15:01:13364000
Mike Norton2,060SWTOR Circle Share Circle 2 of 2 of the main circle.Please add SWTOR somewhere to your profile so others will know where to add you when they come looking :)2011-12-29 15:14:05319000
Mike Norton1,943SWTOR Circle Share 2 of 2This is the main SWTOR Circle.Please put somewhere in your profile that you are interested about SWTOR or TOR so people will know where to put you.2011-12-13 18:09:00284410
Daniel Voisin45This is half my atheist circle. Enjoy the conversation and share about!2011-12-10 14:50:335011712
Mike Norton1,896SWTOR Circle Share 2 of 2Please be kind and add SWTOR or TOR somewhere on your profile so others know to add you.2011-12-09 14:29:38240100
Mike Norton1,871SWTOR Circle Share 2 of 2Please help others re-circle you by putting SWTOR somewhere in your profile.2011-12-06 18:08:04215001
Wataru Tenga0Latest Progressive Politics circle2011-11-12 11:51:482281132
Anna Mannino (GoNoAMMo)213This is my current count of the NaNoWriMo challengers this year. I know there are more of you!Remember, there will be an ongoing Google+ hangout the entire month, as well as live streaming, you can pop in and out as needed and get a support group for your Novel no matter what you're writing about!Let me know if you would like to be added in. ^_^Anna Mannino shared a circle with you.2011-10-30 20:54:004541843
Michael Jacobs0Mike Norton's "Starwars circle"Michael Jacobs shared a circle with you.2011-10-27 21:14:434541317
Wataru Tenga0Progressive PoliticsWataru Tenga shared a circle with you.2011-10-27 11:34:351761439
Mike Norton1,079Updated SWTOR Circle share. Pass it on and update it with your SWTOR circle.Mike Norton shared a circle with you.2011-10-20 14:09:38455201

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 150

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2014-10-16 13:59:21 (150 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

This is a survey about Muslims has been making its rounds lately. Many people have been using it as evidence for how terrible Islam is, how irreconcilable it is with our own values, and solid proof that Islam is the main problem, not politics, culture, or other external forces.

Except after reading the entire thing it just doesn't seem that way. 

First let's talk about the problem of Muslim immigrants overwhelmingly wanting Sharia law. That their faith demands this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-2.png

Here we see high support for Sharia law is predominate only in countries already under Sharia law or with very high Muslim majorities. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia it drops below twenty percent. As well let's consider:

Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than 90% of the population, relatively few want... more »

Most reshares: 8

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2014-10-22 00:54:21 (49 comments, 8 reshares, 44 +1s)Open 

First time seeing this. Maybe Obama is an atheist in Christian clothing? 

Most plusones: 44

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2014-10-22 00:54:21 (49 comments, 8 reshares, 44 +1s)Open 

First time seeing this. Maybe Obama is an atheist in Christian clothing? 

Latest 50 posts

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2014-11-20 20:13:30 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Waiting in line to pay and I get this surprise! That wasn't too long of a wait at all. ( For the update. Line is taking forever.) 

Waiting in line to pay and I get this surprise! That wasn't too long of a wait at all. ( For the update. Line is taking forever.) ___

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2014-11-18 02:04:03 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Have an idea but I'm far too lazy to do anything about it.

Start a petition to have John Green removed from the list of those undesirable to Canada. 

Then make him a honorary citizen. The educational impact he's had on my son, a ten year old history buff, is immense. Crash Course videos should be added to the standard curriculum across the country. He's exactly the type of role model our kids need exposure to as we head into the future. 

Have an idea but I'm far too lazy to do anything about it.

Start a petition to have John Green removed from the list of those undesirable to Canada. 

Then make him a honorary citizen. The educational impact he's had on my son, a ten year old history buff, is immense. Crash Course videos should be added to the standard curriculum across the country. He's exactly the type of role model our kids need exposure to as we head into the future. ___

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2014-11-18 00:31:56 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Handing your device off to the little one? #Nexus9 with #AndroidLollipop now has screen pinning to keep your stuff safely tucked away from tiny, tap-happy hands.

Handing your device off to the little one? #Nexus9 with #AndroidLollipop now has screen pinning to keep your stuff safely tucked away from tiny, tap-happy hands.___

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2014-11-17 14:10:48 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

And BTW … this tax cut I’m defending?

Not gonna see a nickel.

Oh, I don't know, I'm sure you'll see something for the crap you just spewed into the world with the article.

As usual there isn't a mention of the cuts only applying to fifteen percent of people. Instead we're told the reason anyone would be against them is because they're dirty hippies. Not quite. 

And BTW … this tax cut I’m defending?

Not gonna see a nickel.

Oh, I don't know, I'm sure you'll see something for the crap you just spewed into the world with the article.

As usual there isn't a mention of the cuts only applying to fifteen percent of people. Instead we're told the reason anyone would be against them is because they're dirty hippies. Not quite. ___

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2014-11-17 13:58:32 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Ah, yes, the Western response to crisis that lets us feel good and forget about the problem. Buy the single and you can feel like you've done your part plus make sure these noble celebrity types get the exposure they deserve for being so very kind and socially active.

I've even heard many read entire articles all about ebola in preparation. 

Ah, yes, the Western response to crisis that lets us feel good and forget about the problem. Buy the single and you can feel like you've done your part plus make sure these noble celebrity types get the exposure they deserve for being so very kind and socially active.

I've even heard many read entire articles all about ebola in preparation. ___

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2014-11-15 01:10:39 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

If you know anyone on the right side of the political spectrum this is a fantastic article for them to read. It's not a warning coming from an arrogant liberal, it's from the military, and it says some pretty revealing things about how serious the problem really is.

It should also make people question how we are letting ourselves be governed. Both on the left and right.

People on the right should be asking why the advice of generals and military experts, the people who sacrifice everything to protect us, has been given second fiddle to the advice of bankers and oil tycoons. The lives of soldiers should never be gambled on the interests of the few. We do not live in a monarchy.

People on the left should be asking why our governors have been more interested in inking deals and getting their fingers into the emerging green industry instead of trying everything in... more »

If you know anyone on the right side of the political spectrum this is a fantastic article for them to read. It's not a warning coming from an arrogant liberal, it's from the military, and it says some pretty revealing things about how serious the problem really is.

It should also make people question how we are letting ourselves be governed. Both on the left and right.

People on the right should be asking why the advice of generals and military experts, the people who sacrifice everything to protect us, has been given second fiddle to the advice of bankers and oil tycoons. The lives of soldiers should never be gambled on the interests of the few. We do not live in a monarchy.

People on the left should be asking why our governors have been more interested in inking deals and getting their fingers into the emerging green industry instead of trying everything in their power to compromise or advocate. An issue of this proportion is one that should be energising to left into a frenzy. Instead it feels like they've sold out as to not be excluded. There isn't any passion.

Hopefully an article like this appearing in Forbes is a another sign of the establishment finally admitting they've been deluded. I'm still worried they don't yet understand the biggest sacrifice will have to come from them. ___

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2014-11-13 22:59:00 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Thanks for the invite. I'm intrigued enough by all the positive messages being passed around to see how this all turns out.

The video captures my personal philosophy pretty closely. I'm a Canadian living in a paradise I'd love to share with the world and I believe Bertrand is explaining the essence of making that work.

I'm also very argumentative, verbose, and a bit of a contrarian. I believe our beliefs, no matter what they may be, need to be challenged, tempered, matured, and refined.

At the same time I really enjoy all sorts of people and really strive, in real life at least, to be kind in word and action. The world has enough cruelty and spite that it doesn't need some more from me. 

Thanks for the invite. I'm intrigued enough by all the positive messages being passed around to see how this all turns out.

The video captures my personal philosophy pretty closely. I'm a Canadian living in a paradise I'd love to share with the world and I believe Bertrand is explaining the essence of making that work.

I'm also very argumentative, verbose, and a bit of a contrarian. I believe our beliefs, no matter what they may be, need to be challenged, tempered, matured, and refined.

At the same time I really enjoy all sorts of people and really strive, in real life at least, to be kind in word and action. The world has enough cruelty and spite that it doesn't need some more from me. ___

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2014-11-06 20:11:49 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

"I like Islamic State because they pursue Sharia and kill infidels, non-Sunnis and those who converted from Islam," he says.

"The people killed by Islamic State are American agents. We must behead them as Allah said in the Koran."

In any if these cases you'll find there are two forces at work: religious and political.

Notice the boy hasn't just been taught to love Islam, he's also been taught to hate the west. Further in the article you'll see more examples of people talking about this conflict as being against the west, with the fall of the west as the primary goal, mainly to get them out of the middle east.

Yet over here we don't focus that much on our own culpability in the situation, instead relying on analysis that keeps our hands clean, and puts the blame squarely on them. The most popular being to blame their... more »

"I like Islamic State because they pursue Sharia and kill infidels, non-Sunnis and those who converted from Islam," he says.

"The people killed by Islamic State are American agents. We must behead them as Allah said in the Koran."

In any if these cases you'll find there are two forces at work: religious and political.

Notice the boy hasn't just been taught to love Islam, he's also been taught to hate the west. Further in the article you'll see more examples of people talking about this conflict as being against the west, with the fall of the west as the primary goal, mainly to get them out of the middle east.

Yet over here we don't focus that much on our own culpability in the situation, instead relying on analysis that keeps our hands clean, and puts the blame squarely on them. The most popular being to blame their religion and making up to them to change their ways while we continue to exploit and abuse them. ___

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2014-11-06 15:06:39 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Morning off so I rambled a lengthy reply to this young fellow. As follows: 

Feeding the paranoia of religious extremists, and deliberately misrepresenting how atheists feel about religious people is counter productive.

Now since when did Mr. Harris become elevated in the ranks of the Atheist Clergy? 

I don't say this to argue I think atheism is a religion with a unified belief, I say it to question why you would want to imply exactly that, since Andrew is raising criticism against Harris' words and not atheists in general. If your in-group/out-group sense is tingling maybe you've been taking your atheism a little too seriously, as something beyond just a lack of belief, into full blown certainty to the point of cognitive bias. 

Andrew Brown offers no way to unite the religious and non religious to tackle extremism. Rather, he promotes that atheistsar... more »

Morning off so I rambled a lengthy reply to this young fellow. As follows: 

Feeding the paranoia of religious extremists, and deliberately misrepresenting how atheists feel about religious people is counter productive.

Now since when did Mr. Harris become elevated in the ranks of the Atheist Clergy? 

I don't say this to argue I think atheism is a religion with a unified belief, I say it to question why you would want to imply exactly that, since Andrew is raising criticism against Harris' words and not atheists in general. If your in-group/out-group sense is tingling maybe you've been taking your atheism a little too seriously, as something beyond just a lack of belief, into full blown certainty to the point of cognitive bias. 

Andrew Brown offers no way to unite the religious and non religious to tackle extremism. Rather, he promotes that atheists are quite prepared to become mass murderers on the basis of other's religious beliefs (just like plagiarist CJ does). Without specifying the context of what Sam Harris was saying about actions caused by beliefs that threaten humanity.

You're right Brown doesn't say much, not explicitly at least, about possible solutions. He does however imply one, that we should start being even headed and honest in our analysis, instead of being swept up by negative emotion. 

He's also not attacking atheism in the article at all. Like I said above, your cognitive bias is showing, and you're not being critical. If you read the linked article on mass killings by communist states, you'll see the majority were ideological, they were not motivated by race, nor even religion. Even then the real intention was to solidify power. It was motivated less by an enduring love of Communism and more for pragmatic and practical reasons. 

Mind you the people were sold on allowing this immorality as a means of self defense against an unreasonable and vicious enemy. Kill or be killed.

The body count is far higher for muslims killed by fundamentalists than it is for non muslims, when we look at the modern day blood bath playing out. The fundamentalist view that people are inseparable from their religion is one Brown is endorising.

Modern day is how long of a time span? One news cycle? Maybe two?

Like Brown said in his article:

I remember George W Bush explaining that we were not going to war with the Iraqi people, but with the Iraqi government. Since then, something like a million of the Iraqi people have died as a result of our not going to war with them. The distinction is no doubt a great comfort to their surviving relatives but it’s not very useful for predictive purposes.

I also remember lots of pundits telling me we were going to war to fight an ideology. To promote freedom, dispose a dictator, and plant the seeds of AWESOME with a capital America. To free the downtrodden, liberate the women, and give the children a future that looks exactly like a Western life with camels. To fight people who can only be fought because they are so twisted and brainwashed by their sick ideology.

They ensured us any "collateral damage" was worth it in the long run because they were committed to creating a strong democracy and none of it, not a bit, had anything to do with oil. It was all done for the best of intentions and in a few years things would be magical. It's not like they were just thinking about securing the resources and expanding their influence.

At the time a lot of people disagreed vehemently. They knew full well that Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism, that they posed no real risk to America or the West directly, and that despite the super secret intelligence no one was allowed to see they didn't have massive stockpiles of WMDs. Those people warned any type of invasion was absurd, that it would destabilize the entire region, and lead to even larger terrorist groups.

But their voices were effectively silenced in the cacophony of "experts" and pundits pushing the point that religion is the real problem here, that we can't possibly reason with people that fanatically religious, and we need to go to war. Doing otherwise would be asking for another 9/11 that would make the first look like a scrapped knee. 

Finally to that point I'll say this Muslim on Muslim violence you mention is very often violence that results from political instability. It's you and the media that attribute it to religion when you could equally attribute it to politics. 

Far right extremists need challenging because they promote discrimination (from immigration controls to no mosques being built) on back of religious critique debate. Secularism matters because it treats people regardless of their beliefs as equal citizens before the law and with the same universal human rights.

If you actually believe this why are you so eager to defend Harris?

Politicians of all strips employ propaganda. World War I saw the first mass scale use of propaganda, which after the war slowly grew into what we know today as public relations or marketing, and has achieved a very high level of sophistication.

Harris is a high level propagandist. His function is to convince the people that the actions of the establishment are just, good, and worthy of support. However, because he does this from a very public and very mainstream position, his rhetoric needs to be measured, ambiguous, and superficially defensible. He needs to be able to say something like “there are some beliefs so terrible that we are justified in killing people just for holding them” and be able to back peddle enough that people don't seriously question him. Enough that his celebrity appeal, wit, superficial charm, and air of rationality keep people feeling he's right. (Let's not forget his atheist status and his ability to trigger in-group feelings from people like you.)

On the fringe we'll find more explicit, more violent, and more hateful rhetoric. It will seem absurd, irrational, and offensive. It will not seem anything like what Harris is saying or doing. It's an illusion.

At the core of that far right wing extreme though, you'll find more moderate right wing thought, like that killing people on the basis of their ideological beliefs, and what those beliefs can lead to, is justifiable if you can't capture them. (As if capturing militants is even a possibility to began with. It really isn't.) From there they blend in xenophobia, racism, and play off ignorance to further vilify Muslims, blame them for all the problems their own right wing backwards thinking is causing, and convince them to keep voting for the right because they are the only ones able to protect them from the terrifying Muslims.

The rhetoric is all the same and all used for the same purpose: get people to vote for the right. What changes is who the rhetoric is aimed at. The audience. If you're trying to talk to red neck Christians you obviously use someone red neck Christians will listen to. Just like if you're trying to get across to one of the fastest growing demographics in America, the non-religious, you use an atheist like Sam Harris. 

In the end it doesn't matter who says it, the ideology behind it is the same, and leads to the same results. People like Tony Abbot, Stephen Harper, David Cameron, or the epitome of them all, George W. Bush, are people opposed to secularism, human rights, and freedom. In every case of them being in power they have lead as away from these things instead of toward them. They openly support the religious right and people who would love to take the justified killing on the basis of belief to mean atheists too.

Yet you don't see this because, why, Sam Harris says he's an atheist? Why don't you judge Harris' words as coming from a devout Christian or Jew waving the Republican flag and see if you agree they are just honest criticism and not actually meant to "promote discrimination (from immigration controls to no mosques being built) on back of religious critique".___

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2014-11-04 15:22:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

___

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2014-11-02 04:47:20 (35 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Is Sam being objective here or is he being an Israeli apologist? I can't see why he extends so much charity here. 

Is Sam being objective here or is he being an Israeli apologist? I can't see why he extends so much charity here. ___

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2014-10-31 15:55:50 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Don't think I'll be showing this to the kids... 

Don't think I'll be showing this to the kids... ___

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2014-10-31 14:50:14 (28 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

This might be a longer video, but I hope people give it a watch. At least partly.

I've found increasingly that when it comes to the direction we need to take to advance secularism in the world a good many people have found answers from people like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, or Hitchens. Some people even call this direction and the people interested in following it New Atheists because it diverges from the direction Old Atheists were taking.

Robert Wright does a good job here pointing our many of the problems. Essentially it comes down to politics. 

Right wing politics won't take us into a brighter future because our future demands we question not just our religious traditions, but our political and economic traditions as well. Conservatism is not willing to do this as they are the force in our societies that argues for keeping things the same.

Proof of... more »

This might be a longer video, but I hope people give it a watch. At least partly.

I've found increasingly that when it comes to the direction we need to take to advance secularism in the world a good many people have found answers from people like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, or Hitchens. Some people even call this direction and the people interested in following it New Atheists because it diverges from the direction Old Atheists were taking.

Robert Wright does a good job here pointing our many of the problems. Essentially it comes down to politics. 

Right wing politics won't take us into a brighter future because our future demands we question not just our religious traditions, but our political and economic traditions as well. Conservatism is not willing to do this as they are the force in our societies that argues for keeping things the same.

Proof of this need to move beyond our old systems is clear when you see the effect liberal policies have had in creating peaceful secular countries. The Nordic countries got where they are today by being brave enough to say, yes, we will sacrifice what we've earned to raise all people up instead of just ourselves. They were brave enough to stop deluding themselves into thinking a healthy wealthy class will rain down prosperity on the people. In fact they were brave enough to question if a wealthy class is needed at all.

That's why I don't like Sam. Not because he criticizes Islam, but because he's not acknowledging his political bias toward maintaining the establishment when doing it. I don't find him being honest, I find him making excuses. ___

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2014-10-31 12:56:46 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Lol.

That was the point of your movement in the first place. To get you to vote for Republicans. Libertarians are Republicans. They're just too deluded to catch on.

Up next will be the Republican party pandering to atheists. Actually, that's already started, with the whole New Atheism thing. 

Curious that so many of those New Atheists are Libertarians too. Hmmmm...

Libertarians must unite with Republicans to save the Republic

When Democrats/Progressives/Socialists win elections, it's a tribute to the divided egos of those against them. It's time to vote a united front to stop the decline of our Republic. Dividing a freedom vote is just handing over the reigns of government to everything we all deplore. It's got to stop.

Quote:
If there is any chance to salvage some semblance of constitutional limited government, it must be tried. After 40+ years, it’s obvious the Libertarian Party, while serving as an educational platform, cannot win a major political office. The Republican Party is, faults and all, our only hope.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/10/why_its_time_for_libertarians_to_vote_for_republicans.html#ixzz3HdvMvEdv___Lol.

That was the point of your movement in the first place. To get you to vote for Republicans. Libertarians are Republicans. They're just too deluded to catch on.

Up next will be the Republican party pandering to atheists. Actually, that's already started, with the whole New Atheism thing. 

Curious that so many of those New Atheists are Libertarians too. Hmmmm...

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2014-10-31 12:41:47 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

My baby girl heading off to scare the crap out of her classmates on birthday/Halloween number 7.

I remember being a little less enthused about her birth than my son's. I was worried there wouldn't be the same bond with her as with him. 

Turns out I was wrong. I'm completely and utterly in love with this little creature. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the inevitable transition away from me and into the big scary world. I don't want to ever let her go, but love her enough to know I have to. 

My baby girl heading off to scare the crap out of her classmates on birthday/Halloween number 7.

I remember being a little less enthused about her birth than my son's. I was worried there wouldn't be the same bond with her as with him. 

Turns out I was wrong. I'm completely and utterly in love with this little creature. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the inevitable transition away from me and into the big scary world. I don't want to ever let her go, but love her enough to know I have to. ___

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2014-10-31 12:08:37 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I'm very glad they've brought up the Moncton shooter in this article. I'd argue that if we apply the terrorist label to the two recent incidents we should do the same with him. From the article:

"I would still look at [Bourque's case] more as the personal [motivation] of 'I hate the police, I hate government.' It's not an effort to impact or effect large-scale political change."

I can't agree the point wasn't to effect large scale political change. He even admitted he was trying to kick start a revolution. If that's not large scale change I'm not sure what is.

The real problem here is if explored his ideology a little deeper we'd follow a trail right back to our government's ideology.

Remove all regulation to bring liberty to the people, privatize anything and everything to bring liberty to the people, cut all... more »

Was the Ottawa attacker Michael Zehaf-Bibeau a terrorist? It's a question that doesn't have a simple answer.

The RCMP have said Zehaf-Bibeau's actions were motivated by political ideology, part of the Criminal Code definition of terrorism.

But NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says there isn't enough evidence to conclude that the gunman's "criminal act" was terrorism.___I'm very glad they've brought up the Moncton shooter in this article. I'd argue that if we apply the terrorist label to the two recent incidents we should do the same with him. From the article:

"I would still look at [Bourque's case] more as the personal [motivation] of 'I hate the police, I hate government.' It's not an effort to impact or effect large-scale political change."

I can't agree the point wasn't to effect large scale political change. He even admitted he was trying to kick start a revolution. If that's not large scale change I'm not sure what is.

The real problem here is if explored his ideology a little deeper we'd follow a trail right back to our government's ideology.

Remove all regulation to bring liberty to the people, privatize anything and everything to bring liberty to the people, cut all social services to stop dependency and bring liberty to the people, and stop perpetuating the lie of climate change to bring liberty to the people. And of course let people have their guns back to being liberty back to the people.

This ideology, libertarianism, is just as dangerous as Islam. It has an ideal utopian future, a completely free market without a government to interfere, and a golden age to return to, namely a time before the tyranny of government. In essence it is the same as ISIL but relies on the God of the free market instead of Allah and government instead of Shaitan.

I'll also point out that in America there have been several incidents of libertarian violence against police. Notice the distinction between Islamists here is they will oppose the military, who are the main perpetrators of the grievances, while libertarians will target to police. This is partly because libertarian ideology is big on military spending and strong security.

So why don't we start having a conversation about the ideology that is, quite literally, driving our country? That many of the politicians who represent us hold even if they don't take it to the extreme. 

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2014-10-31 11:16:36 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Note this.

Note this.___

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2014-10-30 14:10:39 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

"You are not ready for independence yet!"
This is what our British overlords were trying to tell Indians in the 1930s by this inscription above the main entrance of the North Block, Central Secretariat, New Delhi. By the time they finished and staffed this building and the others, it was time for them to leave.

The inscription reads:
"LIBERTY WILL NOT DESCEND TO A PEOPLE; a people must raise themselves to liberty; it is a blessing that must be earned before it can be enjoyed."

Absolutely true. We got our liberty maybe a bit earlier than deserved so we bumbled along for a few decades. Going by what is happening in India nowadays, it seems that time has come for real liberty.

"You are not ready for independence yet!"
This is what our British overlords were trying to tell Indians in the 1930s by this inscription above the main entrance of the North Block, Central Secretariat, New Delhi. By the time they finished and staffed this building and the others, it was time for them to leave.

The inscription reads:
"LIBERTY WILL NOT DESCEND TO A PEOPLE; a people must raise themselves to liberty; it is a blessing that must be earned before it can be enjoyed."

Absolutely true. We got our liberty maybe a bit earlier than deserved so we bumbled along for a few decades. Going by what is happening in India nowadays, it seems that time has come for real liberty.___

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2014-10-30 11:49:44 (5 comments, 2 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

This is worth more air time.

More information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serena_Shim
http://rt.com/news/198436-serena-shim-laid-rest/

/via +Steven Schend (who, oddly enough, decided to share it privately! ;-) )

This is worth more air time.

More information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serena_Shim
http://rt.com/news/198436-serena-shim-laid-rest/

/via +Steven Schend (who, oddly enough, decided to share it privately! ;-) )___

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2014-10-29 18:35:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Wowwwwwwww 

Wowwwwwwww ___

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2014-10-29 17:23:51 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Tunisia --- The First Secular Arab Spring Country?
I hope it sticks. They deserve it. After all, Arab Spring started in Tunisia, the land of Ancient Carthage.
http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21628920-surprising-defeat-islamist-nahda-party-secularists-comeback

Tunisia --- The First Secular Arab Spring Country?
I hope it sticks. They deserve it. After all, Arab Spring started in Tunisia, the land of Ancient Carthage.
http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21628920-surprising-defeat-islamist-nahda-party-secularists-comeback___

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2014-10-29 13:21:04 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

I'm an atheist from Canada that hasn't believed since I was rational enough to do so. Around eight to ten years old. I'm not here to defend religion or the Church. Just defend rational thinking based on evidence.

Facts are facts and one of the big problems with religions in our cultures is they tend to deny or twist facts to suit their own agenda. Instead of looking at what we can perceive and reason as the starting point they put their holy book there instead and make the world fit it. That's not how it should work.

That being said not every religion behaves the same nor do they share the same theology. They approach scripture in a variety of ways. That's why there are numerous denominations. The way the Catholic church approaches scripture is not the same as how a Southern Baptist would. In many ways they're the complete opposite.

But let's get... more »

I'm an atheist from Canada that hasn't believed since I was rational enough to do so. Around eight to ten years old. I'm not here to defend religion or the Church. Just defend rational thinking based on evidence.

Facts are facts and one of the big problems with religions in our cultures is they tend to deny or twist facts to suit their own agenda. Instead of looking at what we can perceive and reason as the starting point they put their holy book there instead and make the world fit it. That's not how it should work.

That being said not every religion behaves the same nor do they share the same theology. They approach scripture in a variety of ways. That's why there are numerous denominations. The way the Catholic church approaches scripture is not the same as how a Southern Baptist would. In many ways they're the complete opposite.

But let's get back to the facts. The Big Bang Theory originates from a Catholic priest. That's a historical fact that you can't avoid.

As well, the Catholic church has supported science and education for centuries, opening many of the first Universities across Europe. They played a critical role in the Renaissance, both fostered and fought Humanism, and in the last century have supported universal education and healthcare across North America. They long ago accepted evolution and teaching it in their schools hasn't been a problem for a very long time. 

A whole lot of people seem to be confusing denominations. Catholics try to use reason to understand scripture. Granted, they start with some pretty unreasonable first premises, but they still use logical arguments to form their dogma and theology. 

Other denomination don't do this. They use faith, and faith alone, to understand scripture. There are the denominations that believe in the literal word of the Bible, in some cases even thinking it was written by God himself, and are generally pretty fucked up. 

Some even go so far as to reject reason entirely, seeing it as hostile to their religion, and strive to rid the world of it. This type of thinking was deemed heresy by the Catholic and Anglican churches long ago because it not only undermines their authority, it also leads to some pretty crazy things, and is essentially an excuse not to think. Some of the first people colonists in America were proponents of this doctrine. That's why they left.

None of this is to defend the Church or apologize for it. Like I said above  it's simply to clarify some factual errors people have been making if only to promote a reasoned approach to reality instead of an emotional one. ___

2014-10-27 14:50:21 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

"We hope the members of the media will choose to continue to focus their reports on the people of our community, including emergency services personnel, who really came together, and continue to work hard to keep us all safe.  We believe it is important to give attention to people who choose to do good"

This has been a real thing I've noticed in our media.

Whenever something terrible happens there is this almost universal agreement we need to not say a single word about the killer, not talk about their intentions, and instead focus on good things. The argument is if we talk too much about these people they'll become famous, people will copycat, and we'll be somehow saying what they did was awesome.

Fuck that.

This guy, like the other two that rampaged on my country's streets, was radicalised. Like the other two he was mentally ill... more »

"We hope the members of the media will choose to continue to focus their reports on the people of our community, including emergency services personnel, who really came together, and continue to work hard to keep us all safe.  We believe it is important to give attention to people who choose to do good"

This has been a real thing I've noticed in our media.

Whenever something terrible happens there is this almost universal agreement we need to not say a single word about the killer, not talk about their intentions, and instead focus on good things. The argument is if we talk too much about these people they'll become famous, people will copycat, and we'll be somehow saying what they did was awesome.

Fuck that.

This guy, like the other two that rampaged on my country's streets, was radicalised. Like the other two he was mentally ill and fell for a bad ideology.

Except unlike the other two the ideology wasn't Islam this time. It was the opposite end of the spectrum. It was far right libertarianism.

If ideologies are such big problems these days I don't think we should ignore his just because it happens our ruling political party believes in it. Just because it isn't the ideology of the day we've been told we need to be aware of and fear.
#terrorism #islam #libertarian #atheism #openyoureyes___

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2014-10-27 14:03:38 (35 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Wanted to cross share this here because the variety of opinions is very valuable. I think I'm feeling deep empathy for Christians when they are forced to watch their ideology get hi-jacked by political interests. 

This article really irked me. A lot. I'm intent on writing something about it later, after work, but wanted to get some enlightened perspectives. See what I may be missing and challenge my assumptions.

A few things I see being presented:

A dichotomy between religious apologists and atheists. Take a measured approach to this issue and you're an apologist for Islam. Essentially one step above terrorist. You're a bad person.

The idea of people holding "no beliefs". This suggests we can fully trust someone like Harris or Maher or another "true atheist" because unlike the religious they have no beliefs they could ever want to push. No agenda. Just pure, unfiltered, trustworthy rationality.

The idea that the religious have had an iron grip on morality and have been indefensible UP UNTIL NOW! Simply not true except maybe in America. Canada mostly got rid of all that shit before our economy faltered, conservatives got into power, and the discourse swayed back to old mythologies of good versus evil and God started popping back up in speeches. Europe is even further ahead in some areas. Nordic countries are almost finished with it. It gives a false sense of persecution and oppression.

The idea that religion isn't subjective to the individual. Again, this idea isn't a new one, Aslan isn't inventing it, and even in atheists circles it's pretty well understood. Are we to forget entirely about the existential atheists that had a far greater impact on secularizing and moving our culture away from religion than the sum total of everything New Atheism has attempted? I find it hard to think of Albert Camus as a religious apologist.

The inherent anti-intellectualism of the entire thing. In a way I see some of these people as a manufactured intelligentsia. All controlled, all on message, and all one comment away from getting booted and booed into obscurity. I still can't stop going back to the difference between the Maher that said maybe we're the cowards, and the Maher that is sure it's them now. It's as if someone gave him a spanking.

What does everyone think?   ___Wanted to cross share this here because the variety of opinions is very valuable. I think I'm feeling deep empathy for Christians when they are forced to watch their ideology get hi-jacked by political interests. 

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2014-10-27 14:01:36 (17 comments, 1 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

This article really irked me. A lot. I'm intent on writing something about it later, after work, but wanted to get some enlightened perspectives. See what I may be missing and challenge my assumptions.

A few things I see being presented:

A dichotomy between religious apologists and atheists. Take a measured approach to this issue and you're an apologist for Islam. Essentially one step above terrorist. You're a bad person.

The idea of people holding "no beliefs". This suggests we can fully trust someone like Harris or Maher or another "true atheist" because unlike the religious they have no beliefs they could ever want to push. No agenda. Just pure, unfiltered, trustworthy rationality.

The idea that the religious have had an iron grip on morality and have been indefensible UP UNTIL NOW! Simply not true except maybe in America.... more »

This article really irked me. A lot. I'm intent on writing something about it later, after work, but wanted to get some enlightened perspectives. See what I may be missing and challenge my assumptions.

A few things I see being presented:

A dichotomy between religious apologists and atheists. Take a measured approach to this issue and you're an apologist for Islam. Essentially one step above terrorist. You're a bad person.

The idea of people holding "no beliefs". This suggests we can fully trust someone like Harris or Maher or another "true atheist" because unlike the religious they have no beliefs they could ever want to push. No agenda. Just pure, unfiltered, trustworthy rationality.

The idea that the religious have had an iron grip on morality and have been indefensible UP UNTIL NOW! Simply not true except maybe in America. Canada mostly got rid of all that shit before our economy faltered, conservatives got into power, and the discourse swayed back to old mythologies of good versus evil and God started popping back up in speeches. Europe is even further ahead in some areas. Nordic countries are almost finished with it. It gives a false sense of persecution and oppression.

The idea that religion isn't subjective to the individual. Again, this idea isn't a new one, Aslan isn't inventing it, and even in atheists circles it's pretty well understood. Are we to forget entirely about the existential atheists that had a far greater impact on secularizing and moving our culture away from religion than the sum total of everything New Atheism has attempted? I find it hard to think of Albert Camus as a religious apologist.

The inherent anti-intellectualism of the entire thing. In a way I see some of these people as a manufactured intelligentsia. All controlled, all on message, and all one comment away from getting booted and booed into obscurity. I still can't stop going back to the difference between the Maher that said maybe we're the cowards, and the Maher that is sure it's them now. It's as if someone gave him a spanking.

What does everyone think?   ___

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2014-10-26 17:06:57 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Sorry young lady, but all you're trying to do is silence the truth and divert opinion, with this opinion education has a role. She needs to learn the only place to find solutions is from the learned men (and token women) of our political right. Religion is the only problem here and until we defeat Islam we'll just have to keep fighting.

Even if that takes forever.

Youngest-ever Nobel Prize recipient Malala has literally taken a bullet for standing up to religious extremists who hate women's rights and education.

#Feminism   #Education   #Terrorism  ___Sorry young lady, but all you're trying to do is silence the truth and divert opinion, with this opinion education has a role. She needs to learn the only place to find solutions is from the learned men (and token women) of our political right. Religion is the only problem here and until we defeat Islam we'll just have to keep fighting.

Even if that takes forever.

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2014-10-23 02:01:07 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I was reading on article the other day on how atheism needs a bit of integral theory. It really caught my attention because its description of the mythic stage of development fit many of the anti-theists I've seen around perfectly. It was like finding Blue's paw print.

I was going to do a post showing the connection to get some opinions until I actually started looking into it. I stopped at this page. 

Something interesting about the main page for the entire thing. It's focused on criticism of his ideas. He even links to his family guy spoof. As if to show he has nothing to hide. 

http://www.integralworld.net/

Opinions? Is this prepackaged spirituality maybe? 

I was reading on article the other day on how atheism needs a bit of integral theory. It really caught my attention because its description of the mythic stage of development fit many of the anti-theists I've seen around perfectly. It was like finding Blue's paw print.

I was going to do a post showing the connection to get some opinions until I actually started looking into it. I stopped at this page. 

Something interesting about the main page for the entire thing. It's focused on criticism of his ideas. He even links to his family guy spoof. As if to show he has nothing to hide. 

http://www.integralworld.net/

Opinions? Is this prepackaged spirituality maybe? ___

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2014-10-23 00:06:27 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

USA vs Canada news.

The news is still awful, but... Really?

USA vs Canada news.

The news is still awful, but... Really?___

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2014-10-22 21:01:29 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Penn is a libertarian. His entire ideology is based on treating people on the basis of how they can be rewarded for being gung ho capitalists or punished for being lazy moochers.

But he's right that warped type of thinking is incompatible with morality.

#peacefulparenting #atheism #christianity #religion #pennjillette #pennandteller___Penn is a libertarian. His entire ideology is based on treating people on the basis of how they can be rewarded for being gung ho capitalists or punished for being lazy moochers.

But he's right that warped type of thinking is incompatible with morality.

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2014-10-22 15:46:23 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Link to the live blog covering this morning's shooting on Parliament hill.

I'm absolutely beside myself right now. We as a country are failing our people when they've so easily and so completely rejected our principles. I think it's because we sold out those principles a decade ago when we were more worried about our pocket books and punishing our liberals than making good choices.

This is where a society based on principles of profit over people and a government that acts like business managers leads. To emptiness that can be filled by the first person offering sensible truth. We need change. 

Link to the live blog covering this morning's shooting on Parliament hill.

I'm absolutely beside myself right now. We as a country are failing our people when they've so easily and so completely rejected our principles. I think it's because we sold out those principles a decade ago when we were more worried about our pocket books and punishing our liberals than making good choices.

This is where a society based on principles of profit over people and a government that acts like business managers leads. To emptiness that can be filled by the first person offering sensible truth. We need change. ___

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2014-10-22 00:54:21 (49 comments, 8 reshares, 44 +1s)Open 

First time seeing this. Maybe Obama is an atheist in Christian clothing? 

First time seeing this. Maybe Obama is an atheist in Christian clothing? ___

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2014-10-21 21:03:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

This is very powerful. It's the final words of the most well known (there are tens of thousands more) young black men who were murdered by the police who were supposed to protect them.

This is very powerful. It's the final words of the most well known (there are tens of thousands more) young black men who were murdered by the police who were supposed to protect them.___

2014-10-21 03:21:14 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Thoughts on the content? 

Thoughts on the content? ___

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2014-10-20 07:12:02 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I've been collecting notoriety lately for not admiring the courage of Sam Harris in saying something that's been said incessantly for the last thirteen years. That's really beside the point though.

When I was reading this tonight a paragraph jumped out:

Mythic versions of religious traditions, and in this case, mythic version of Islam, tend to be deeply ethnocentric. This means that there is a very strong emphasis on "in group and out group"/ "people of the book and infidels", etc.. Also at this stage there is often an over dependence on black and white meaning making. Absolutistic stances are taken on topics, almost always based on external authority, without much room for rational inquiry.

This is a pretty good description of quite a few of my fans. They also tend to think at one point in history there was a time of no religion, pure... more »

I've been collecting notoriety lately for not admiring the courage of Sam Harris in saying something that's been said incessantly for the last thirteen years. That's really beside the point though.

When I was reading this tonight a paragraph jumped out:

Mythic versions of religious traditions, and in this case, mythic version of Islam, tend to be deeply ethnocentric. This means that there is a very strong emphasis on "in group and out group"/ "people of the book and infidels", etc.. Also at this stage there is often an over dependence on black and white meaning making. Absolutistic stances are taken on topics, almost always based on external authority, without much room for rational inquiry.

This is a pretty good description of quite a few of my fans. They also tend to think at one point in history there was a time of no religion, pure atheism, that they want to return to in the future. At which point all the problems of the world will be solved.

Thoughts? ___

2014-10-19 15:51:51 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

What do people think? Is this guy just full of crap, perhaps being a religious apologist like I've been told I am myself, or can we trust some of what he says? Generally this is a pretty good website for dealing with all sorts of woo and irrationality that outside of the directly religious stuff, but it could just be an invention of people trying to hide the truth, establish sharia law in America, and kill everyone with ebola. That's a possibility. 

What do people think? Is this guy just full of crap, perhaps being a religious apologist like I've been told I am myself, or can we trust some of what he says? Generally this is a pretty good website for dealing with all sorts of woo and irrationality that outside of the directly religious stuff, but it could just be an invention of people trying to hide the truth, establish sharia law in America, and kill everyone with ebola. That's a possibility. ___

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2014-10-18 23:01:58 (22 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

What are people's opinions on this? Good rational stuff we should all consider or just another brain disease? 

What are people's opinions on this? Good rational stuff we should all consider or just another brain disease? ___

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2014-10-18 19:39:02 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

What are people's opinions on this? Good rational stuff we should all consider or just another brain disease? 

What are people's opinions on this? Good rational stuff we should all consider or just another brain disease? ___

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2014-10-18 06:08:03 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Hey Atheists, what do you think of this? 

Hey Atheists, what do you think of this? ___

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2014-10-17 18:57:25 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

perspectives on learning

perspectives on learning___

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2014-10-17 13:03:49 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

He also thinks the earth is six thousand years old. So....

#ebola  ___He also thinks the earth is six thousand years old. So....

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2014-10-17 13:02:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

"In the wrong hands, 'A Path Appears' is a dangerous book...If you want to carry on with your life just as it is, best give it a miss." A glowing review of A Path Appears in the New York Times Sunday Book Review by Paul Collier, best-selling author and former chief economist of the World Bank. Check it out!

"In the wrong hands, 'A Path Appears' is a dangerous book...If you want to carry on with your life just as it is, best give it a miss." A glowing review of A Path Appears in the New York Times Sunday Book Review by Paul Collier, best-selling author and former chief economist of the World Bank. Check it out!___

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2014-10-16 13:59:21 (150 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

This is a survey about Muslims has been making its rounds lately. Many people have been using it as evidence for how terrible Islam is, how irreconcilable it is with our own values, and solid proof that Islam is the main problem, not politics, culture, or other external forces.

Except after reading the entire thing it just doesn't seem that way. 

First let's talk about the problem of Muslim immigrants overwhelmingly wanting Sharia law. That their faith demands this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-2.png

Here we see high support for Sharia law is predominate only in countries already under Sharia law or with very high Muslim majorities. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia it drops below twenty percent. As well let's consider:

Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than 90% of the population, relatively few want... more »

This is a survey about Muslims has been making its rounds lately. Many people have been using it as evidence for how terrible Islam is, how irreconcilable it is with our own values, and solid proof that Islam is the main problem, not politics, culture, or other external forces.

Except after reading the entire thing it just doesn't seem that way. 

First let's talk about the problem of Muslim immigrants overwhelmingly wanting Sharia law. That their faith demands this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-2.png

Here we see high support for Sharia law is predominate only in countries already under Sharia law or with very high Muslim majorities. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia it drops below twenty percent. As well let's consider:

Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than 90% of the population, relatively few want their government to codify Islamic law; this is the case in Tajikistan (27%), Turkey (12%) and Azerbaijan (8%).

The article goes on to provide some explanation: Indeed, the survey finds that support for making sharia the law of the land is often higher in countries where the constitution or basic laws already favor Islam over other religions.

http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-3.png

We can also glean some insight into the idea that Muslims want to impose Sharia law onto non-Muslims. The poll suggests a majority think  Sharia should only apply to Muslims: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-6.png

Now to get to the real scary part. Death of apostates and the cutting off of hands and other such barbaric fun. It's true in South Asia and the Middle East / North Africa these views are supported at a very high level. However, again in those cases we are dealing with culture as much as anything else, because those views do not transfer when the people leave those cultures. In Central Asia and Eastern Europe the rate is below twenty percent: 
http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-7.png

However, this isn't to say beliefs don't transfer, as we can see with this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-9.png

What is or isn't morally wrong is clearly being established by their religion. Prostitution, homosexuality, and suicide being three areas where it seems there is consensus. As this is pretty much the same as many religious folk I don't see this as being uniquely Islamic.

The last two areas I'll touch on are women's rights and terrorism. These two areas are the ones we most often hear about. The argument has been that Islam is completely opposed to the first and completely for the second.

Again we see culture and geography having an effect. Everywhere except Africa we see majority support for the veil being a choice. In the top three it's over seventy percent.

http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-11.png

On the topic of if a woman should obey her husband, it's not quite as resounding, however linking this to Islam alone is tenuous. Knowing how Christians and Jews and Buddhists view women, and knowing how recently our own cultures have been in giving equality to women, I don't think it can be said Islam is the first cause. Nor can we clearly say it's religion. Our countries adopted rights for women at a time when religiosity was well over ninety five percent.

Finally suicide bombing. Here we see the same trend. In Southern Eastern Europe and Central Asia the practice is rejected by over eighty percent of the populations (except Turkey at 78%). The rest of the world shows a majority rejecting it, except in Palestine, where is rests at 49% rejection. 

To me all of this clear shows the worst parts of Islam not only can be rejected by adherents, when they move to more diverse countries they are. It's showing culture, geography, and politics are playing a very big role in shaping the beliefs of Muslims. And it's showing Islam isn't, as much as the mullahs will say otherwise, a monolithic unchanging faith. ___

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2014-10-16 13:58:39 (24 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

This is a survey about Muslims has been making its rounds lately. Many people have been using it as evidence for how terrible Islam is, how irreconcilable it is with our own values, and solid proof that Islam is the main problem, not politics, culture, or other external forces.

Except after reading the entire thing it just doesn't seem that way. 

First let's talk about the problem of Muslim immigrants overwhelmingly wanting Sharia law. That their faith demands this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-2.png

Here we see high support for Sharia law is predominate only in countries already under Sharia law or with very high Muslim majorities. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia it drops below twenty percent. As well let's consider:

Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than 90% of the population, relatively few want... more »

This is a survey about Muslims has been making its rounds lately. Many people have been using it as evidence for how terrible Islam is, how irreconcilable it is with our own values, and solid proof that Islam is the main problem, not politics, culture, or other external forces.

Except after reading the entire thing it just doesn't seem that way. 

First let's talk about the problem of Muslim immigrants overwhelmingly wanting Sharia law. That their faith demands this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-2.png

Here we see high support for Sharia law is predominate only in countries already under Sharia law or with very high Muslim majorities. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia it drops below twenty percent. As well let's consider:

Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than 90% of the population, relatively few want their government to codify Islamic law; this is the case in Tajikistan (27%), Turkey (12%) and Azerbaijan (8%).

The article goes on to provide some explanation: Indeed, the survey finds that support for making sharia the law of the land is often higher in countries where the constitution or basic laws already favor Islam over other religions.

http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-3.png

We can also glean some insight into the idea that Muslims want to impose Sharia law onto non-Muslims. The poll suggests a majority think  Sharia should only apply to Muslims: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-6.png

Now to get to the real scary part. Death of apostates and the cutting off of hands and other such barbaric fun. It's true in South Asia and the Middle East / North Africa these views are supported at a very high level. However, again in those cases we are dealing with culture as much as anything else, because those views do not transfer when the people leave those cultures. In Central Asia and Eastern Europe the rate is below twenty percent: 
http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-7.png

However, this isn't to say beliefs don't transfer, as we can see with this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-9.png

What is or isn't morally wrong is clearly being established by their religion. Prostitution, homosexuality, and suicide being three areas where it seems there is consensus. As this is pretty much the same as many religious folk I don't see this as being uniquely Islamic.

The last two areas I'll touch on are women's rights and terrorism. These two areas are the ones we most often hear about. The argument has been that Islam is completely opposed to the first and completely for the second.

Again we see culture and geography having an effect. Everywhere except Africa we see majority support for the veil being a choice. In the top three it's over seventy percent.

http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-11.png

On the topic of if a woman should obey her husband, it's not quite as resounding, however linking this to Islam alone is tenuous. Knowing how Christians and Jews and Buddhists view women, and knowing how recently our own cultures have been in giving equality to women, I don't think it can be said Islam is the first cause. Nor can we clearly say it's religion. Our countries adopted rights for women at a time when religiosity was well over ninety five percent.

Finally suicide bombing. Here we see the same trend. In Southern Eastern Europe and Central Asia the practice is rejected by over eighty percent of the populations (except Turkey at 78%). The rest of the world shows a majority rejecting it, except in Palestine, where is rests at 49% rejection. 

To me all of this clear shows the worst parts of Islam not only can be rejected by adherents, when they move to more diverse countries they are. It's showing culture, geography, and politics are playing a very big role in shaping the beliefs of Muslims. And it's showing Islam isn't, as much as the mullahs will say otherwise, a monolithic unchanging faith. ___

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2014-10-16 13:58:14 (9 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

This is a survey about Muslims has been making its rounds lately. Many people have been using it as evidence for how terrible Islam is, how irreconcilable it is with our own values, and solid proof that Islam is the main problem, not politics, culture, or other external forces.

Except after reading the entire thing it just doesn't seem that way. 

First let's talk about the problem of Muslim immigrants overwhelmingly wanting Sharia law. That their faith demands this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-2.png

Here we see high support for Sharia law is predominate only in countries already under Sharia law or with very high Muslim majorities. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia it drops below twenty percent. As well let's consider:

Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than 90% of the population, relatively few want... more »

This is a survey about Muslims has been making its rounds lately. Many people have been using it as evidence for how terrible Islam is, how irreconcilable it is with our own values, and solid proof that Islam is the main problem, not politics, culture, or other external forces.

Except after reading the entire thing it just doesn't seem that way. 

First let's talk about the problem of Muslim immigrants overwhelmingly wanting Sharia law. That their faith demands this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-2.png

Here we see high support for Sharia law is predominate only in countries already under Sharia law or with very high Muslim majorities. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia it drops below twenty percent. As well let's consider:

Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than 90% of the population, relatively few want their government to codify Islamic law; this is the case in Tajikistan (27%), Turkey (12%) and Azerbaijan (8%).

The article goes on to provide some explanation: Indeed, the survey finds that support for making sharia the law of the land is often higher in countries where the constitution or basic laws already favor Islam over other religions.

http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-3.png

We can also glean some insight into the idea that Muslims want to impose Sharia law onto non-Muslims. The poll suggests a majority think  Sharia should only apply to Muslims: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-6.png

Now to get to the real scary part. Death of apostates and the cutting off of hands and other such barbaric fun. It's true in South Asia and the Middle East / North Africa these views are supported at a very high level. However, again in those cases we are dealing with culture as much as anything else, because those views do not transfer when the people leave those cultures. In Central Asia and Eastern Europe the rate is below twenty percent: 
http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-7.png

However, this isn't to say beliefs don't transfer, as we can see with this: http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-9.png

What is or isn't morally wrong is clearly being established by their religion. Prostitution, homosexuality, and suicide being three areas where it seems there is consensus. As this is pretty much the same as many religious folk I don't see this as being uniquely Islamic.

The last two areas I'll touch on are women's rights and terrorism. These two areas are the ones we most often hear about. The argument has been that Islam is completely opposed to the first and completely for the second.

Again we see culture and geography having an effect. Everywhere except Africa we see majority support for the veil being a choice. In the top three it's over seventy percent.

http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/gsi2-overview-11.png

On the topic of if a woman should obey her husband, it's not quite as resounding, however linking this to Islam alone is tenuous. Knowing how Christians and Jews and Buddhists view women, and knowing how recently our own cultures have been in giving equality to women, I don't think it can be said Islam is the first cause. Nor can we clearly say it's religion. Our countries adopted rights for women at a time when religiosity was well over ninety five percent.

Finally suicide bombing. Here we see the same trend. In Southern Eastern Europe and Central Asia the practice is rejected by over eighty percent of the populations (except Turkey at 78%). The rest of the world shows a majority rejecting it, except in Palestine, where is rests at 49% rejection. 

To me all of this clear shows the worst parts of Islam not only can be rejected by adherents, when they move to more diverse countries they are. It's showing culture, geography, and politics are playing a very big role in shaping the beliefs of Muslims. And it's showing Islam isn't, as much as the mullahs will say otherwise, a monolithic unchanging faith. ___

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2014-10-15 19:26:17 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Is this racism or is this criticism?

More generally is this an acceptable thing for enlightened open minded people to do? Would you say this is a good thing for atheists to engage in? And finally does race play no role in this at all? 

Is this racism or is this criticism?

More generally is this an acceptable thing for enlightened open minded people to do? Would you say this is a good thing for atheists to engage in? And finally does race play no role in this at all? ___

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2014-10-15 17:59:59 (90 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

___

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2014-10-15 17:44:05 (28 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Indeed, I would argue that people who line up on opposing sides of the Harris-Aslan feud over religion and Islam represent fundamentally different worldviews, in ways they themselves may not recognize. I’m not talking about East vs. West or Muslim vs. Christian, and still less about lily-livered p.c. “progressives” vs. courageous contrarian truth-tellers, or however Bill Maher would like to phrase it. And I don’t precisely mean the difference between people of faith and the atheistic or irreligious. Those are facets of the dispute that are largely obvious. In a conversation between Richard Dawkins and Pope Francis (and I’d definitely pay to watch that), both would politely acknowledge that they hold divergent views about the fundamental nature of reality. What I really mean is the difference between humanities majors and science majors.

Indeed, I would argue that people who line up on opposing sides of the Harris-Aslan feud over religion and Islam represent fundamentally different worldviews, in ways they themselves may not recognize. I’m not talking about East vs. West or Muslim vs. Christian, and still less about lily-livered p.c. “progressives” vs. courageous contrarian truth-tellers, or however Bill Maher would like to phrase it. And I don’t precisely mean the difference between people of faith and the atheistic or irreligious. Those are facets of the dispute that are largely obvious. In a conversation between Richard Dawkins and Pope Francis (and I’d definitely pay to watch that), both would politely acknowledge that they hold divergent views about the fundamental nature of reality. What I really mean is the difference between humanities majors and science majors.___

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2014-10-13 14:39:23 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

The Role of Christianity in the Promotion of Individualism
This post is part of my ongoing effort to understand the origins of Western society and its fundamental tenets. I have already discussed the contributions of Judaism (See The Gifts of the Jews: Why Jews Are Loathed or Loved http://www.joabcohenauthor.com/2014/07/the-gifts-of-jews-why-jews-are-loathed-and-loved.html
 and The Meaning, Origins, and Evolution of the Jewish Concept of Tikkun Olam - Repairing the World  http://www.joabcohenauthor.com/2014/03/the-meaning-origins-and-evolution-of.html), and now I am wondering about the contributions of Christianity.

For now, I have come up with what seem to me three major contributions: individualism, love, and the equality of all men. This post will discuss the first item. This post is also part of the book I am writing about How to Repair the World. For previous chaptersb... more »

The Role of Christianity in the Promotion of Individualism
This post is part of my ongoing effort to understand the origins of Western society and its fundamental tenets. I have already discussed the contributions of Judaism (See The Gifts of the Jews: Why Jews Are Loathed or Loved http://www.joabcohenauthor.com/2014/07/the-gifts-of-jews-why-jews-are-loathed-and-loved.html
 and The Meaning, Origins, and Evolution of the Jewish Concept of Tikkun Olam - Repairing the World  http://www.joabcohenauthor.com/2014/03/the-meaning-origins-and-evolution-of.html), and now I am wondering about the contributions of Christianity.

For now, I have come up with what seem to me three major contributions: individualism, love, and the equality of all men. This post will discuss the first item. This post is also part of the book I am writing about How to Repair the World. For previous chapters browse this label: World Repair - The Book http://www.joabcohenauthor.com/search/label/World-Repair-The-Book
You can read this post with the footnotes and references intact here:
http://www.joabcohenauthor.com/2014/10/the-role-of-christianity-in-promotion-of-individualism.html

Although it is true that the Old Testament introduced individuals to the stage of history, a subject I discussed previously (see  The Gifts of the Jews: Why Jews Are Loathed or Loved ),  the individualism that we encounter in the Bible is a very far cry from what we consider individualism today, and it seems to me that the process of transformation from the initial understanding of this concept to our current one, is an important legacy of Christianity, perhaps even its most important one. This certainly is the stance taken by Jung in his discussion of the psychological role of Jesus.[1]

In this view, Jesus is both a symbol and a model of the ultimate individual, the human being that has become all a human being can be – one with the Divinity. In other words, a human being that has integrated the contents of the unconscious and is now identified with the Self, which is God, which is Jesus. Needless to say, the fact that the psychological meaning of the appearance of the man-god Jesus was not articulated in such terms is of no consequence. What is and remains important is that Jesus was seen as a role model, as someone that every Christian should imitate. Indeed Jesus himself articulates this idea numerous times as did Paul, St. Augustine, and others throughout the entire history of the Church.[2] In fact, the very existence of St Augustine's confession is seen as a new stage in the development of the individual, since it establishes the individual as an author in general and as "the author of his life in particular.[3] In any case, the question in Christianity was never "should Jesus be imitated and followed?", but rather how exactly this should be carried out.

In short, a good Christian desires to become an individual like Jesus, a person that has a direct and personal relationship with God/Jesus and is thus answerable first and foremost to God/Jesus and not to man or the laws of man. This idea of the autonomous individual, one who is capable of making moral decisions for himself and by himself and is responsible for the results of his actions is the seed that eventually formed the basis for Western individualistic society.

As others of have noted, the appearance of Jesus and the consolidation of the individual was the culmination of a previous, lengthy process of individuation. For instance, Jayne traces the emergence of an individualistic lexicon in Hebrew and Greek texts, noting the increasing frequency of references to the future, abstract nouns, and personal character, which become more detailed and complex with time, until the people speaking or being described are entirely "subjects".  Jaynes points to the difference between the direct unmediated prophecies of Amos, "who does not consciously think before he speaks, in fact he does not think at all" and the deep reflections of Ecclesiastes.[4]
Similarly, Butterfield[5] mentions Jeremiah 31:33 as a significant turning point in the development of individuality:  "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,” saith the Lord, “I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be My people". This idea definitely seems to foreshadow the Christian concept of obedience to the law by way of the heart, and points to an increase in the responsibility that the individual has for his own moral behavior. In other words, individuals are conceived of as able to stand before God as individuals and without the need for a collectively mediated experience, such as a temple sacrifice. The imminent shift to a more individual moral code is also evident in another verse from the same chapter: "In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But everyone shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge."[6] For Butterfield, this shift is in preparation for the establishment of the individual as an authority that can confront the State, the church and even God Himself. He also points out that this shift did not occur within Judaism, which "appears to have hardened and caked into a rigid corporate system".[7]

Thus it was left to Christianity to further the psychological cause of individualism by codifying, consolidating, and spreading the message of Jesus. In doing so, Christianity created a large geographic and demographic basis for the individualistic society  - a feat Judaism was incapable of performing - while also preserving the individual's place firmly within the confines of the Church. In other words, the individual was free to develop within the religious tenets and institutional structure the Church, and indeed it did so. Following Morris[8] and Burckhardt[9], Shanahan describes the developments that occurred in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In the Middle Ages we see increasing references to the self, to one's emotions, an emphasis on autobiography, self-discovery, the use of personal experience in sermons, and increasing moral authority of the individual. In the Renaissance we have a great enhancement of the interior life of the self, manifest in the rise of the individual as an object of interest in itself, not as a vehicle of confession and religious transformation. Biographies, detailed, personalized portraits, more emotionally specific poetry, and the veneration of the human body, which Shanahan views as part of the increase in individualism, mark this period. However, as Bynum[10] notes, the advances in individualism in the Middle Ages occurred within the context of the Church itself, and were actually accompanied by an increase in different forms of collective Christian activity. The Renaissance did not fundamentally alter this situation; this happened with the Reformation.

The translation of the Bible into languages other than Latin and then into the vernacular was the first step in breaking the monopoly of the Church on mediating between man and God. This occurred gradually throughout the 15th century and was one of the important events that preceded and caused the Reformation itself. The availability of the Church's fundamental texts, made possible due to the newly invented printing press, meant that people could read and think about these texts if they wished to and also interpret them as they saw fit, and when people begin to think for themselves, anything can happen…and in this case what happened was the Reformation.

The effect of the Reformation on the development of individualism was profound. The split in the Church marked the first time in over a thousand years that its authority was challenged by an equally legitimate religious interpretation, which quickly developed into many interpretations; the floodgates had been opened and new sects arose almost daily. Some succeeded and are still with us today, some died out quickly. But the point was made: educated men were able and willing and perhaps even obligated to read the holy texts for themselves and interpret them as they saw fit. This saw an unprecedented increase in the freedom of the individual and in the responsibility placed on the individual, a trend that reached its logical, radical conclusion in the Calvinist doctrine.

Weber[11] famously pointed out the connection between Protestantism and capitalism, remarking that the Lutheran concept of a "calling" or vocation for each individual was merged with the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and justification by works to form the ethical basis for the accumulation of wealth, which became a clear sign of being one of the "elected". Calvinist doctrine is seen as forming an image of God that is so remote and so uninterested in human affairs as to leave the individual believer to make the connection with the Divine on his own. This loneliness produces great uncertainty, because how is one to know if one is elected? Previously, believers could confess and be reassured of God's interest and forgiveness through the ministrations of the Church, but for Protestants this type of mediation was no longer available. Calvinism solved this problem through justification by works, thus forming the basis for capitalism, but the problem of certainty did not go away.

Individualism after Christianity
The next steps in the development of individualism were to free the individual completely from the constraints of religion altogether. At this stage the Church and Christianity became an obstacle in the way of the establishment of the autonomous individual. Gradually it turned into a nuisance and, finally, became a much maligned part of history. With the removal of the Church and God, the individual found himself on very flimsy ground. Previously people were assured that the world was a rational and basically benevolent place, and in any case all iniquities in this life would be corrected in the next. But what if there is no "next" and what if the world is not rational? How can the individual be certain of his own judgments if he was not born in the image of God and does not inhabit God's rational, well-ordered world? Protestantism turned the individual into an independent moral agent and seeker of truth, responsible for making good use of his time on earth. But all of these are most difficult problems for the secular person, and in fact much of Western philosophy has been occupied with them ever since. What is the truth in a secular world and what is the basis for morality? How can one know for certain the difference between right and wrong?

British philosopher David Hume[12] took the first step in articulating the loneliness of the individual and his dependence upon himself and his perceptions. This led to an attempt to understand the workings of the individual mind, the instrument of perception, which eventually led to the scientific study of the mind – psychology. Psychology represents, perhaps, the apex of Western individualism: a complete and utter preoccupation with the individual and his inner machinations. Unfortunately, secular psychology has been unable to resolve the most basic problems caused by the removal of God from the human equation. In other words, our society has still not been able to raise an individual that can successfully stand on his own, an individual that is psychologically self-sufficient. This, I believe, is at the heart of Western society's current crisis: a prevalence of individuals whose loneliness and anxiety is only attenuated by historically unprecedented wealth.

From a Jungian point of view, the matter is clear: if God is the Self, no amount of money, medication, alcohol, sex, drugs or even philosophy will solve the most basic problem of the modern, autonomous individual: how to remain connected to the Self while preserving one's autonomy. Once a stable connection is established with the Self, the questions of truth, meaning, morality, and the validity of our perceptions are solved, because the Self is the truth. This is the psychological meaning of that fundamental Christian verse: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." [13]

In summary, the development of individualism was a necessary step in the evolution of man, initiated and developed through Judaism and Christianity, but it is by no means the final one. The next step will be discussed in detail in part three of this book.

#individualism  ___

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2014-10-13 14:34:09 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Since Waterloo has one of the highest concentrations of educated people in the country can I say I live in the most educated place on the planet?

___Since Waterloo has one of the highest concentrations of educated people in the country can I say I live in the most educated place on the planet?

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