QuickiesSkepticism

Skepchick Quickies, 11.10

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. People want to know when their finances are going to get better.

    I’m going to summon the spirits that give me foresight…..they are telling me…..that your finances will improve…..I can see a time….wait…it’s conditional……your finances will improve when you quit throwing money away on online ‘psychics’.

  2. Paul Bloom says:

    “Most Americans who describe themselves as atheists, for instance, nonetheless believe that their souls will survive the death of their bodies.”

    Can anyone point me to the data for this? I vaguely remember some study a few months ago, but it slipped off my radar before I got to read anything in-depth.

  3. Seems to be a lot of money to be made in fake psychic field. Would it be unethical to set up an online psychic service (for entertainment purposes only, of course) that uses its revenue to promote critical thinking?

    I’m thinking maybe a Skepchick sister site called, erm, Psychick that doles out useless advice at a hefty premium and funnels the profits toward Skepchick pub nights and other worthy pursuits.

  4. The article refers to the theory that religious people may be nicer because they feel like god is always watching … My philosophy professor told me to think of ethics as the rules you follow even when nobody is watching … So I guess religious people cannot be ethical?

  5. “Just as religious people want to convert people to their perspective, atheist people want to convert people to their point of view,” Winston said. “The irony here is that atheism is a form of religion. You’re still in something.”

    Sounds like Dr. Winston needs a dictionary. Being “into something” does not mean that what one is into is a religion. Someone needs to go back to Logic 101, and I don’t think it’s me…

  6. The article on the alleged “witch chlidren” is not only horrifying, it also plainly shows the motivation of the supposed witch hunters.

    “The ceremonies are highly lucrative for the spiritual leaders many of whom enjoy a lifestyle of large homes, expensive cars and designer clothes.”

    “The preacher says that her work is true to the Bible and is a means of spreading God’s word. “Witchcraft is a problem all over Nigeria and someone with a gift like me can never hurt anybody,” she says. “Every Nigerian wants to watch my movies.” She denies that her teachings and films could encourage child abuse.”
    This is either the depth of depravity or a seriously deluded person speaking.

  7. @QuestionAuthority: I hate that argument (Dr Winston’s, not yours). “Atheists believe and preach, too” is just “you’re as bad as I am” which is not a good argument for anything, nor is it accurate.

    There’s a difference between sharing knowledge and actively trying to change people’s thoughts from one arbitrary belief to another. It’s not “conversion to a point of view” to encourage people to be intelligent, logical thinkers. Religion tells you what to think, atheism does not. If atheists are also skeptics, they may tell you *how* to think, but that is a completely different concept and still involves the individual coming to their own conclusion. Atheism also allows for the individual to change their own mind about something based on new evidence, religion largely does not allow such freedom of thought (perhaps for some things, but definitely not for the basics).

    Atheism is no more a religion than a community of people who happen to live in the same area are a religion. What a ridiculous assumption.

  8. @TheSkepticalMale: I agree with your philosophy professor’s take on ethics, though, I think the conclusion in this case would be – religious people may not be ethical.

    And that’s always been one of my criticisms of religion: the motivation given for following the word of God is to stay out of hell. It’s a completely different person who does good because he thinks it’s the right thing to do, than a person who does it to avoid “hell”.

  9. Does anybody remember last year there was a witchcraft story in Africa about “witches”, who were making men’s joy organs smaller? All of these stories are just hard to read. It’s just really depressing, and especially when it involves children.

  10. Religous people are always nice when they think there talking to another religous person. As soon as they find out your an Atheist they get mean instantly. I think that experiment lacks that small peice. In the experimanet it’s either religon or not, mix it up and see what happens. Religous people are nice around other religous people because they think you’ll tell your preist who will tell god on you and you’ll get in trouble. Not nicer just more afraid of consequence.

  11. “Does religion make you nice? ”

    hahahahahahahahahahahaha. No.

    I don’t think voting to take away the rights of people is NICE. I don’t think judging people based on if they believe in a god or not is NICE.

    No, not nice. Delusional, but not nice.

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