One has to wonder where Jim Adams (Letters, December 27) has been not to be aware of the tragic consequences of the adoption of atheism by societies and the attendant collapse into immorality and lawlessness.
It has to be admitted that atrocities have been committed in the past (and even today) in the name of some religions (even by so-called Christians) but the overall outcome has been positive for humanity – especially that of Christianity with its power to change lives for good.
Compare this with atheism which leads to disintegrating societies and the inevitable rise of totalitarian regimes such as those of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Ze Dong and Kim Jong-Un, and the death and suffering of hundreds of millions of people; not the idyllic picture Jim envisages.
We need to recognise that because of man’s fallen state atheistic, humanistic socialism can never be the answer; only a life-changing personal faith in Jesus Christ is.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith (in Jesus Christ) … not of works lest any man should boast” Ephesians 2:8-9.
Letters to the Editor, New Zealand Herald, Rotorura Daily Post
Openly Secular is changing that. Toolkits, resources, and videos help break down barriers and help secular people live full, honest, and open lives. Tell Your Story. Speak Your Truth. Together we can eliminate discrimination and increase acceptance. https://openlysecular.org/
Openly Secular is a coalition of secular organizations led by the Center for Inquiry.
Killah Priest is Openly Secular! In this interview with Mandisa Thomas of Black Nonbelievers, Killah Priest (aka Walter Reed) talks about how he became secular, and how religion and the imagery of various religions throughout history have informed his art.
Penn Jillette and Teller are Openly Secular and think that becoming Openly Secular is getting much better and much easier.
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Figures from the annual Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, run by ScotCen social researchers, have shown the highest ever proportion of non-religious people.
The new findings from Scotland’s most authoritative survey of public attitudes show that nearly six in ten (58%) now say that they have no religion, up 18 points on 1999 when the figure stood at four in ten (40%).
Young people are least likely to be religious; three quarters of young people (74% of 18-34s) say they have no religion compared with 34% of those over 65.
Commenting on the new figures, Gordon MacRae, Chief Executive of Humanist Society Scotland said:
Gordon MacRae, HSS Chief Executive
“This change is part of a long term trend that has seen more and more people in Scotland live happy and fulfilled lives without a religious belief.
“Humanist weddings for example are now more numerous in Scotland than any religious service.
“Today’s figures help support Humanist Society Scotland’s long held view that we should end privileges that some faith groups unfairly enjoy. A modern Scotland should ensure individuals of all faiths and none are equally respected.”
The follow-up to Steven Pinker’s groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.
Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature–tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking–which demagogues are all too willing to exploit.
With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
Release date: February 27, 2018