The Terrible Ten Commandments

The rules of Christianity are based upon the Ten Commandments. It is from here that religious law and morality is drawn. Many Christians call for laws to be based on the 10 Commandments. However, as major guiding principles, they are atrocious. Half of them are pointless and the other half are either too obvious to be mentioned or not crucial moral guiders. They are just as flawed as for what they do not talk about, being silent on racism, sexism, slavery, tyranny, the list goes on. It is hard to find a more flawed moral code than the 10 commandments. Continue reading “The Terrible Ten Commandments”

A guest blog I wrote on social mobility in America and the failure to live up to the American Dream

Class War In America

[Guest article by Robert Nielsen, Ireland]

The American Dream is at odds with reality. America views itself as the “The Land of Opportunity”, the place where if only you work hard enough you will become rich. This American Dream has been the hope of millions of immigrants who come to America’s shores. Yet this dream is slowly becoming a myth. America is turning into a rigid class society where where you come from matters as much as what you know.

Americans like to pretend that there is no such thing as class. It is often assumed that all people are the same and have the same chance in life. The only division is between the hard working and the lazy. Yet studiesshow that half of a son’s income is determined by the income of his father. This is not the American Dream of equal opportunity, but rather the nightmare of…

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10 Questions For Christians

In my last post I addressed 10 questions Atheists are commonly asked. I decided it was only fair to follow up with 10 questions for Christians. After all if someone says they are an Atheist, they are often called upon to give an explanation of themselves and to argue their case. Yet being a Christian requires no explanation or proof. In fact most people live their entire lives without anyone questioning their beliefs. Few if any Catholics ever wonder why they are Catholic and not Protestant. Few know anything about non-Christian religions and therefore no thought is given to the religion of their birth. Hardly any ever sit down and ponder the arguments for and against the existence of God, it is simply assumed. Hopefully these questions will make people at least think. Continue reading “10 Questions For Christians”

10 Questions For Atheists

On the internet there are many challenges posed by Christians to Atheists. Some are genuinely curious while others are unintelligent and offensive (take that stupid atheists!). Most are questions that Christians genuinely can’t see how Atheists can answer and are meant to open a debate or even attempt a conversion (some examples here, here, hereand here). So I decided to collect some of the better questions and answer them here. I have deliberatively omitted the worst questions (why are atheists evil? Is it because you worship the devil? If we came from monkeys why are there still monkeys?) In case you think I’m making that up there are some examples here and here. A downright offensive one here and a parody here . I have paraphrased the questions to make them as strong as possible. Interestingly, I have noticed that most questions are usually about evolution, implying their argument is with science not Atheism. I’m not going to repeat those questions here because evolution is a scientifically recognised fact beyond question and it only discredits Christians (most European ones have accepted evolution). Continue reading “10 Questions For Atheists”

Age Of Consent For Religion?

In Ireland you must be 16 before you can join a political party. The thinking is that only at this age are people mature enough to make a conscious decision about something as important as politics. At a younger age they are not capable of rational thought or fully aware of the consequences of their actions. As children their parents will simply tell them what to do. Imagine if we treated religion the same? Imagine we said people must reach adulthood before they could become a member of a religion? Continue reading “Age Of Consent For Religion?”

Predictably Irrational Chapter 11 & 12 – The Context Of Our Character

Chapters 11 and 12 of “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely are all about dishonesty. He discusses the decline in ethics which is relevant at a time of corporate scandals and financial scams. He examines and measures the likelihood of people cheating for financial gain and ways to keep them honest. The level of integrity his experiments reveal is particularly interesting. He also finds how people differentiate between cheating, being more likely to cheat if non-monetary items are involved. Continue reading “Predictably Irrational Chapter 11 & 12 – The Context Of Our Character”

Predictably Irrational Chapters 9 & 10 – The Effect Of Expectation & The Power Of Price

In Chapter 9 and 10 (I combined them as they’re quite similar) of “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely, the concept of how are expectations affect our decision making is discussed. We are not rational actors making choices in a vacuum but rather we are deeply affected by our expectations. If we expect a movie to be good, then it often is. This placebo effect is always to be found with prices. If we pay more for something, we value it more and get more from it. This creates serious problems for those who claim that market distortions will be corrected by market forces pushing a return to equilibrium. Continue reading “Predictably Irrational Chapters 9 & 10 – The Effect Of Expectation & The Power Of Price”