From today, 1 January 2010, the new Irish blasphemy law becomes operational, and we in Atheist Ireland begin our campaign to have it repealed. Blasphemy is now a crime punishable by a €25,000 fine.
Imagine you have never heard of the Bible, and you are given the 27 books of the New Testament and asked to put them in order.
How soon is the first fiction in the New Testament? Try the first page. The title is the Gospel of Matthew. In reality, nobody knows who wrote any of the Gospels, other than they were Christians who spoke Greek and lived outside Palestine between about 65-95 CE.
This list was first published in July 2009, and is occasionally updated: add your own favourite atheist-related book to the comments and I will add it to the list.
If you plan to campaign against the new proposed Irish blasphemy law, here are some key points that it would be helpful to be familiar with.
The ten commandments of Judeo-Christianity are not a guide for ethical conduct. They are laws for regulating the conduct of one Bronze Age tribe.
Religion and wealth are the two main factors that influence cultural values around the world. The influence of religion can be measured on a scale from traditional values to secular-rational values, and the influence of wealth can be measured on a scale from survival values to self-expression values.
Happiness is infectious. It spreads through social networks, infecting people that you don’t even know. And it spreads more strongly than sadness does. That’s according to a recent study that examined the happiness of almost five thousand people over twenty years from 1983 to 2003.
Religious Medieval philosophers tried to use reason to do three things: to support their belief in a god, to prove their belief in a god, and to develop a unified theory of all knowledge, divine and human. They partly succeeded in the first of these aims, and failed in the other two.
Many medieval philosophers tried to reconcile their belief in a god with the logic and reason of Greek philosophy. In this article, I outline how ten of them tried to do this: