No, Atheists, Religions Are Not Equal

first_imgReligions do not always act as forces for good, but some are clearly evil.If you thought witchcraft went out with the Middle Ages, look at this headline on Phys.org: “Bringing the shocking issue of witchcraft under the UN spotlight.”Witchcraft-related beliefs and practices have resulted in serious violations of human rights including beatings, banishment, cutting of body parts, and amputation of limbs, torture and murder.There are thousands of cases of people accused of witchcraft each year globally, often with fatal consequences, and others are mutilated and killed for witchcraft-related rituals.Atheists sometimes treat “religion” as some catch-all category where “people of faith” are equally misguided, stupid, or harmful. But even the most egregious cases of Judeo-Christian atrocities don’t sink to the level of “trade in albino body parts” resulting from torture and killing of albino humans as conferring magical powers. And Christians (in name only) who have done evil don’t follow the teachings of Jesus, who called for loving one’s neighbor to the point of enduring evil rather than retaliating. Followers of witchcraft, though, are doing exactly what their religion commands them to do.Now a team, led by Lancaster University, have enabled the shocking issue, which includes ritual killings, to come under the microscope for the first time at international level.A UN Witchcraft and Human Rights Expert Workshop will take place at UN headquarters in Geneva on September 21 and 22 with a multi-agency approach.EugenicsWhy aren’t certain atheistic or Darwinistic behaviors treated like religions? Consider the case of Eugenics. This was a veritable “religion” to its adherents before the Nazis turned it into a dirty word. Ricki Lewis examines the dark side of Eugenics for a PLoS Blog entry. And she draws a clear connection to evolutionism:Whenever I work on a new edition of my human genetics textbook and reach the section on eugenics, at the end of an evolution chapter, I’m relieved that it’s history. But this summer, as I wrapped up the 12th edition, the eugenics coverage took on a frightening new reality.Today’s resurging white nationalism/supremacy echoes the century-old idea that a self-appointed group that perceives itself as superior can “improve” a human population through selective breeding or actions taken against individuals judged to be inferior. Theodore Lothrop Stoddard, identified in Wikipedia as an historian but also a eugenicist and Klansman, laid out his ideas in the 1920 book “The Threat Against White World Supremacy: The Rising Tide of Color.”Unlike some in the mainstream media, who try to link white supremacy to conservatives or Christians, Lewis rightly shows it to rise out of evolutionism. In her brief history of eugenics, though, she fails to mention that its founder was a nephew of Charles Darwin:Sir Francis Galton coined the term “eugenics,” meaning “good in birth,” in 1883, defining it as “the science of improvement of the human race germplasm through better breeding.” In 1930, Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher, another pale Brit, embellished Galton’s ideas by suggesting that governments reward high-income families when they have children, to encourage the passing on of the prized germplasm.By failing to establish the Darwin connection, and by ignoring the worst atrocities of eugenics, Ricki Lewis’s treatment of the subject is weak. To get the whole ugly history of eugenics, see Jerry Bergman’s books How Darwinism Corrodes Morality and The Darwin Effect, and John West’s book, Darwin Day in America. We must not let Darwinists forget their dirty hands in the eugenics movement. If the likes of Richard Dawkins want to impugn the God of the Bible, let them examine the horrific effects of their idol, Charlie Darwin. Misguided Christians have done evil things, but usually because they were not students of the Scriptures. This is true of medieval Catholicism that actually discouraged study of the Bible, and had become so political and corrupt, even insiders knew it needed a Reformation. The body count from atheist regimes, though, stands mountains over that from religious “holy wars.” We’re talking hundreds of millions of casualties from communism and Nazism in the 20th century alone! Jerry Bergman documents unbelievable atrocities committed by regimes that swallowed Darwin’s lies about superior races and survival of the fittest. What about eastern religions? Buddhism advocates separation from passion, leading to apathy about those who suffer; it has also made the Buddha into an idol. Hinduism and other polytheistic religions encourage self-torture (lancing one’s tongue, spearing one’s flesh and carrying weights on the spears) and irrational, unhealthy behaviors like bathing in the filthy Ganges. It led to suttee and the caste system. Muslims engage in slavery, abuse women, and use the sword to force conversion. Islam is not so much a religion as a political and legal regime following (again) the teachings of one man, a torturer, murderer, conqueror and child abuser. Confucianism is not really a religion, but a set of teachings by one man who didn’t know everything and didn’t try to understand the natural world.Christians have brought help to the suffering, and sought to end the evil practices of other religions. Protestant churches were the first responders to the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Christian missionaries and charities, like Samaritan’s Purse, send food to Haiti and the Sudan. Christians also take great interest in seeking to understand the workings of God’s creation—a passion that led to modern science (see our series on the world’s greatest creation scientists). Finally, Jews and Christians have preached against the evils of false religions for thousands of years. The contrast between God and the idols of the Canaanites is stark. Idol worshipers burned their children in the fire to their gods, and engaged in sexual orgies as “worship”. The Bible consistently condemned such evils in the strongest terms. Remember that Jesus provided a way to distinguish true from false religion: “You will know them by their fruits.” Only Christianity could draw the contrast that James makes in his letter:Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18)Atheists must not be allowed to lump the good and the evil under one label, “religion.” For one thing, atheism is a religion if religion is defined as a worldview that seeks to understand the Big Questions of Life (where did we come from; what is the meaning or purpose of life; what is good, true and beautiful). Darwinism certainly qualifies as a religion with that definition. For another thing, lumping supposed “people of faith” together overlooks differences which are much, much greater than the similarities. Finally, let’s dispense with the meaningless phrase, “people of faith.” Everybody is a person of faith. Substitute our phrase for those with simplistic, unexamined beliefs: people of fluff. We have an additional term for angry Darwinists: people of froth. (Visited 539 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Still Fighting the Same Battles, 20 Years Later

first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in When I began working at the Journal of Light Construction in 1999, I was assigned to edit the magazine’s Q&A column. At all of my various jobs since then, I’ve been called on to help answer questions submitted by residential designers and builders.Over the last twenty years, I’ve been asked the same three questions again and again:No matter how many times my colleagues and I try to wrestle with these issues, the questions persist. I feel a little like Phil Connors in the movie Groundhog Day.  If I was effective at my job, you might think that these questions might taper off in frequency — but they don’t. These stubborn questions return again and again, and experts’ efforts to answer them are ineffective.So why are these questions so thorny? As I began to ponder these issues, I wondered:After mulling these issues, I realized that I don’t have any simple answers. But it’s worth untangling a few threads to figure out what’s going on.These problems elicit a variety of reactions from builders, including some shoulder shrugs. But these aren’t trivial problems. Imperfect knowledge can result in expensive mistakes — and these are not victimless mistakes. Every month of the year, GBA hears from homeowners facing $20,000 and $30,000 repairs for avoidable problems.The residential construction industry inexplicably accepts a high rate of defects — defects that include damp basements, moldy insulation, persistent ice dams, and grossly oversized HVAC equipment. Our industry needs to start seeing these defects as unacceptable. The auto industry would never accept this level of defects.Right now, the residential construction industry is failing to consistently build good houses. We need a paradigm shift.Let’s look at these three questions, one at a time.Poorly insulated cathedral ceilings… center_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberslast_img read more

Derek Jeter Launches The Players Tribune

first_imgDerek Jeter wrapped up his baseball career in rival-city Boston this past weekend and is now setting his sights on digital publishing. The Players’ Tribune went live yesterday, Oct. 1 and now the former Yankees captain has a new role–founding publisher.Presently, the landing page only features a letter from Jeter explaining the goals and objectives for the project.”I do think fans deserve more than ‘no comments’ or ‘I don’t knows,’” Jeter writes. “Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me. I’m not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend. So I’m in the process of building a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.” The current site iteration looks similar to Medium, and the concept itself is somewhat similar, as well. That is, like Medium, The Player’s Tribune will be a user-generated storytelling platform. And given Jeter’s clout, it’s likely that high-profile athletes will make up the roster of contributors. No word from Jeter yet on the site’s monetization model. The site will be revealing more information about its plans today and hereafter.Jeter isn’t the first ex-major leaguer to launch his own media company. Lenny Dykstra tried his hand in publishing when he launched The Player’s Club magazine, which was marketed to former athletes looking to invest their career earnings. The magazine was also tied to an online investment site called Nails Investment. Things didn’t turn out too well, however.Dystra’s several investments were not successful, which led to bankruptcy and illegal activities–mostly fraud. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2012 as a result.Highly unlikely Jeter’s career in publishing will have a similar ending.last_img read more

Care By Volvo subscription program revs up adds models

first_img Tags Enlarge ImageCare By Volvo started with the XC40, but now encompasses five different model lines.  Volvo Care By Volvo, the Swedish automaker’s monthly subscription program, has arguably been the only such plan to gain significant traction in America’s new-car marketplace. Now, Volvo is doubling down on the program, announcing expansion details that include more markets and more vehicles for its all-in-one, flat-rate monthly payment plan.Developed as an alternative to traditional vehicle leasing and purchase financing, Care By Volvo hasn’t been without its hiccups and controversies. The novel program has labored to overcome regulatory hurdles while slowly expanding state by state, and the plan has even rankled some members of the company’s dealership body. In fact, the California New Car Dealers Association asked the automaker to stop offering CBV in the Golden State back in 2018, and the California DMV is investigating the program for possible violations. Despite these obstacles, Care By Volvo appears to be meeting with greater consumer interest than any other automaker subscription program, and Volvo is understandably keen to capitalize on that momentum. First offered on select versions of Volvo’s entry-level XC40 crossover last year, the program recently expanded Care By Volvo to include the company’s new S60 sport sedan. Now, CBV is adding 2020 XC60 and XC90 SUV models, along with its V60 Cross Country lifted wagon. Interestingly, despite wide spreads in vehicle prices, there’s very little variation in Care By Volvo monthly pricing. For example, an XC40 T5 AWD in Momentum trim retails from $37,340 delivered, and runs $700 a month through CBV. The XC90 T6 AWD in Momentum trim retails for $57.940 delivered, but only costs $800 in installments — just $100 more per month. In other words, if you’re considering joining the program, bigger might be better from a value perspective.Care By Volvo pricingPer monthXC40 T5 AWD Momentum$700S60 T5 FWD Momentum$700XC40 T5 AWD R-Design$750S60 T6 AWD R-Design$750V60 Cross Country T5 AWD$750XC60 T5 AWD Momentum$750XC90 T6 AWD Momentum$800Care By Volvo involves a two-year agreement, with customers given the option to change to a different vehicle in the program after the first 12 months. When CBV was first announced in late 2017, the program started at $600 a month.At a media ride-and-drive event in Banff, Alberta, Volvo spokesperson Jim Nichols confirmed to Roadshow that “…well over 95% of Care By Volvo subscribers are first to the Volvo brand.” Converting first-time customers and so-called conquest buyers (those who presently own vehicles from other brands) is a difficult and particularly sought-after accomplishment among automakers, making 95% a very impressive statistic. 36 Photos 2020 Volvo XC90 is a slicker, safer Swedish SUV According to Nichols, Care By Volvo is now offered in 49 of 50 US states. New York — notoriously viewed as America’s most problematic auto insurance market for regulatory reasons– remains the lone holdout. The program recently launched in Canada, as well.While Volvo officials Roadshow spoke with declined to estimate how many customers are signing up for Care By Volvo on eligible vehicles, Nichols did offer some context, stating, “I will say the percentage is in single digits.”Volvo has been working to remove bottlenecks in the Care By Volvo signup and vehicle selection process, too. For starters, the CBV app, available on Android and Apple IoS platforms, is now a one-stop shop for both credit and insurance approval. According to Volvo, it’s possible to apply and be approved for a subscription within five minutes. 2019 Volvo S60 review: More competitive than ever Volvo More From Roadshow 2020 Volvo XC90 first drive: An improvement worth subscribing to 1center_img Roadshow’s long-term 2019 Volvo XC40 after three months 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country first drive: Small changes make a big impact 53 Photos Comment Share your voice Car Industry Mobile Apps Additionally, Volvo is working with its insurance partner, Liberty Mutual, to reorganize and streamline the plan’s insurance component. At present, individual policies are issued to individual customers, and as a result, it takes 24 to 48 hours for a policy to bind, delaying subsequent vehicle deliveries by a day or more. The automaker is working with Liberty Mutual on a new arrangement where an insurance card can be printed out right at the dealer in order to speed up the transaction. Right now, that process is in place in seven states, with plans calling for nationwide rollout by year’s end.Getting an insurance card doesn’t mean much if there are no vehicles available, of course. “We’re continuing to work with our retail partners on not only the subscription process, but also the delivery process,” says Nichols. At present, Care By Volvo vehicles all come from central stocks held at shipping ports. If you’re near to the ports (Newark, New Jersey and Los Angeles, California), you can probably get a car in 24 hours, but for other markets, it can take days. Volvo is working to change its process so that vehicles can be pulled directly from dealer stock for quicker delivery.Care By Volvo Volvo says a vehicle can be applied and subscribed to within five minutes. Volvo Other automakers’ pilot subscription programs have functioned very differently from Volvo’s scheme, including Book By Cadillac, which was halted, only to be rebooted after a cold reception by consumers. The initial program called for hefty $1,800 monthly payments, but allowed users to swap vehicles 18 times per year to suit their needs, from sedans to SUVs. Mercedes-Benz Collection, the German automaker’s subscription plan, has a similar structure, with varying vehicle access by tier, costing between $1,595 and $2,995 a month. While Volvo has not disclosed how many customers have signed on to Care By Volvo, it looks like it will become an increasingly important tool for the automaker going forward. The key to the program’s long-term success may not just be convincing consumers about the merits of the program — it might just be getting more dealers and regulators onboard. Volvolast_img read more

BJP takes a jibe at AAP says sting operation has exposed the

first_imgTaking a jibe at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay has said that he has now taking U-turn on his favourite tool ‘sting operation’.“Kejriwal has used sting operations to defame several politicians but now his team is questioning the legality of the operation,” said Satish Upadhyay. He was speaking on the recently released audio tapes of Kejriwal’s telephonic conversation. He further argued that the truth of Kejriwal who claims to be practising clean politics, transparency, nationalism and internal democracy and Lokpal, has been exposed. “It is surprising that the party and its leaders who were claiming of exposing corruption by recording and sting operations are now saying that these stings are not acceptable under law when their turn has come,” he added. He also claimed that the audio sting of talk between Kejriwal and former AAP MLA Rajesh Garg has also exposed the politics of dividing society on communal lines by AAP.last_img read more