BeliefOMatic

The BeliefOMatic matches your stated beliefs with a corresponding set of beliefs.

Even if YOU don’t know what faith you are, Belief-O-Matic™ knows. Answer 20 questions about your concept of God, the afterlife, human nature, and more, and Belief-O-Matic will tell you what religion (if any) you practice or ought to consider practicing.

My top three were:

  1. Secular Humanism (100%)
  2. Unitarian Universalism (90%)
  3. Nontheist (85%)

I took it before and had a higher “Non-theist” score, but this time I answered some of the questions based on what I thought was right, instead of marking them all “not applicable”.

Thank Goodness

“Thank Goodness” is quality essay about being thankful from the perspective of philosopher and atheist Dan Dennet after he suffered a “dissection of the aorta”—the lining of the main output vessel carrying blood from his heart had been torn up.

[W]hereas religions may serve a benign purpose by letting many people feel comfortable with the level of morality they themselves can attain, no religion holds its members to the high standards of moral responsibility that the secular world of science and medicine does! And I’m not just talking about the standards ‘at the top’—among the surgeons and doctors who make life or death decisions every day. I’m talking about the standards of conscientiousness endorsed by the lab technicians and meal preparers, too. This tradition puts its faith in the unlimited application of reason and empirical inquiry, checking and re-checking, and getting in the habit of asking “What if I’m wrong?” Appeals to faith or membership are never tolerated. Imagine the reception a scientist would get if he tried to suggest that others couldn’t replicate his results because they just didn’t share the faith of the people in his lab! And, to return to my main point, it is the goodness of this tradition of reason and open inquiry that I thank for my being alive today.

The Four Horsemen of Atheism

Last September, four of the world’s most famous sceptics, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens gathered together for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion on religion, belief, and scepticism.

Part 1, running time 41 min.
Part 2, running time 1 hour.
(via)

Religulous

After several setbacks (including the Writer’s Strike) comedian Bill Maher’s new documentary, Religulous, will be released in theatres October 3rd, 2008. Known for his stance against religion, Bill Maher’s views on the various world religions are explored as he travels to numerous religious destinations, such as Jerusalem, the Vatican, and even Salt Lake City. He interviews believers from a variety of backgrounds and groups, including Jews for Jesus, Muslims, polygamists, Satanists, Hasidic scholars and even Rael of the Raelian Movement.

Religulous Movie Poster

From a Variety story on Religulous:

Explaining his impetus to make the film, Maher said: “I wanted to make a documentary, and I wanted it to be funny. In fact, since there is nothing more ridiculous than the ancient mythological stories that live on as today’s religions, this movie would try to be a real knee-slapper. Unless, of course, you’re religious; then you might not like it.”

A trailer for Religulous, is online at Apple. (Also on YouTube)

The Rough History of Disbelief

In the “History of Disbelief”, Jonathan Miller goes on a journey exploring the origins of his own lack of belief and uncovering the hidden story of atheism. From the BBC here are all three parts:

The history of disbelief continues with the ideas of self-taught philosopher Thomas Paine, the revolutionary studies of geology and the evolutionary theories of Darwin. Jonathan Miller looks at the Freudian view that religion is a “thought disorder”. He also examines his motivation behind making the series touching on the issues of death and the religious fanaticism of the 21st century.