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Atheism

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After Atheism : Religion and Ethnicity in Russia and Central Asia (Caucasus World)
coverThe Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe.

Over a period of nearly two millennia, the Christian Church has oppressed and brutalized millions of individuals. Meticulously researched and courageously written, "The Dark Side of Christian History" by Helen Ellerbe examines the Church's devastating impact upon human freedom, dignity and spirituality. Written for the lay reader, this controversial book is especially relevant today as the religious right is attempting to assert greater influence in American politics and society. "The Dark Side of Christian History presents a compelling argument that the Church's desire to control and contain spiritually motivated its persecution of heretics, its burning of libraries, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the witch-hunts. This dark Christianity ahs left a legacy, a world view, which permeates every aspect of Western society. It is a legacy which fosters sexism, racism, the intolerance of difference and the desecration of the natural environment. Helen Ellerbe is a researcher, writer, and public speaker living in the San Francisco bay area...  

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Oddities Excellent Site Award

The Philosophy Research Base won the Excellent Site Award from Oddities, Inc. in August, 1999.

You just have to see this website to understand why anyone would win an award...

Click here to visit this infamous website "where the worthwhile worship"...

 

Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Society?  by Bertrand Russell

Excerpt:

My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilization. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others.

The word religion is used nowadays in a very loose sense. Some people, under the influence of extreme Protestantism, employ the word to denote any serious personal convictions as to morals or the nature of the universe. This use of the word is quite unhistorical. Religion is primarily a social phenomenon. Churches may owe their origin to teachers with strong individual convictions, but these teachers have seldom had much influence upon the churches that they have founded, whereas churches have had enormous influence upon the communities in which they flourished. To take the case that is of most interest to members of Western civilization: the teaching of Christ, as it appears in the Gospels, has had extraordinarily little to do with the ethics of Christians. The most important thing about Christianity, from a social and historical point of view, is not Christ but the church, and if we are to judge of Christianity as a social force we must not go to the Gospels for our material. Christ taught that you should give your goods to the poor, that you should not fight, that you should not go to church, and that you should not punish adultery. Neither Catholics nor Protestants have shown any strong desire to follow His teaching in any of these respects. Some of the Franciscans, it is true, attempted to teach the doctrine of apostolic poverty, but the Pope condemned them, and their doctrine was declared heretical. Or, again, consider such a text as "Judge not, that ye be not judged," and ask yourself what influence such a text has had upon the Inquisition and the Ku Klux Klan...

 

American Atheists

American Atheists has been the premier organization laboring for the civil liberties of Atheists, and the total, absolute separation of government and religion. It was born out of a court case begun in 1959 by the Murray family which challenged prayer recitation in the public schools. That case -- Murray v. Curlett -- was a landmark in American jurisprudence on behalf of our First Amendment rights.

 

Atheists United

Atheists United is a Los Angeles-based freethought organization founded in 1982.  Our main purposes are to promote positive atheism through education, and to maintain the separation of church and state. 

Atheists United is a member of the Los Angeles Alliance of Atheists, Humanists and Ethical Culturalist, and is a founding member of the international Atheist Alliance.

 

Atheism

Francois Tremblay

This site hosts discussions, lists monthly articles, and has an extensive list of online sites (religious, anti-religious, radical religious and everything in between), suited for intense debate.

Click here to visit Tremblay's Objective Thought Website.

 

The Necessity of Atheism by Percy Bysshe Shelly

Excerpt:

There Is No God
This negation must be understood solely to affect a creative Deity. The hypothesis of a pervading Spirit co-eternal with the universe remains unshaken.

A close examination of the validity of the proofs adduced to support any proposition is the only secure way of attaining truth, on the advantages of which it is unnecessary to descant: our knowledge of the existence, of a Deity is a subject of such importance that it cannot be too minutely investigated; in consequence of this conviction we proceed briefly and impartially to examine the proofs which have been adduced. It is necessary first to consider the nature of belief.

When a proposition is offered to the mind, It perceives the agreement or disagreement of the ideas of which it is composed. A perception of their agreement is termed belief. Many obstacles frequently prevent this perception from being immediate; these the mind attempts to remove in order that the perception may be distinct. The mind is active in the investigation in order to perfect the state of perception of the relation which the component ideas of the proposition bear to each, which is passive; the investigation being confused with the perception has induced many falsely to imagine that the mind is active in belief. -- that belief is an act of volition, -- in consequence of which it may be regulated by the mind. Pursuing, continuing this mistake, they have attached a degree of criminality to disbelief; of which, in its nature, it is incapable: it is equally incapable of merit...

 

Pandemonium

Josh and Andrew

Multi-Topic website exploring the relationship between philosophy and atheism.  Site includes Atheism Chat, Quotes, sections on Bertrand Russell, News, Links, Poetry and Essays, Music, Suggested Readings and more.

 

The Philosophy of Atheism

by Emma Goldman

First published in February 1916 in the Mother Earth journal.

Excerpt:

To give an adequate exposition of the Philosophy of Atheism, it would be necessary to go into the historical changes of the belief in a Deity, from its earliest beginning to the present day. But that is not within the scope of the present paper. However, it is not out of place to mention, in passing, that the concept God, Supernatural Power, Spirit, Deity, or in whatever other term the essence of Theism may have found expression, has become more indefinite and obscure in the course of time and progress. In other words, the God idea is growing more impersonal and nebulous in  proportion as the human mind is learning to understand natural phenomena and in the degree that science progressively correlates human and social events...

 

Psychology of Atheism by Paul C. Vitz 

Excerpt:

The title of this paper, "The Psychology of Atheism," may seem strange. Certainly, my psychological colleagues have found it odd and even, I might add, a little disturbing. After all, psychology, since its founding roughly a century ago, has often focused on the opposite topic-namely the psychology of religious belief. Indeed, in many respects the origins of modern psychology are intimately bound up with the psychologists who explicitly proposed interpretations of belief in God.

William James and Sigmund Freud, for example, were both personally and professionally deeply involved in the topic. Recall The Will to Believe by James, as well as his still famous Varieties of Religious Experience. These two works are devoted to an attempt at understanding belief as the result of psychological, that is natural, causes. James might have been sympathetic to religion, but his own position was one of doubt and skepticism and his writings were part of psychology's general undermining of religious faith. As for Sigmund Freud, his critiques of religion, in particular Christianity, are well known and will be discussed in some detail later. For now, it is enough to remember how deeply involved Freud and his thought have been with the question of God and religion...

 

Other Atheism Resources:
bulletHistory of Atheism -- Paper imparts a brief history in the non-belief of deities. Divided into historical time periods ranging from ancient times to the present.
bulletPositive Atheism -- Discussion forum about the philosophy and ethics of atheism includes an email list, a quote list and links to related publications.
bulletArguments in Favor of Atheism -- Extensive presentation of articles, essays, and interviews that argue against the existence of God. Includes links to other atheist pages.
bulletAtheism Web -- Resources for atheists, including a general introduction to the topic and the construction of logical arguments. Includes newsgroups.

 

Atheism Newsgroups:
bulletalt.atheism -- The "alt.atheism" newsgroups include moderated and unmoderated discussions of atheism.
bulletsoc.atheism -- Atheism is the topic of discussion at this newsgroup.

 

Further Than Atheism

By Jonathan Cook

Further Than Atheism attempts to explore the territory that lies beyond mere denial of gods, taking such denial as a first step, beyond which lies the opportunity for positive belief.

 

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