The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity

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ha-ha-god
A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations

A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. For college students and the general population, means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from −.20 to −.25 (mean r = −.24).

Three possible interpretations were discussed.

First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma.

Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs.

Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.

Read more >> ars technica

How To Get Away With Murder

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The Annotating Skeptic

Christians really like to talk about justice. One of their main arguments against atheism is that we “just want to do whatever we want” but we “will pay in the end”.

Yeah that’s it, I literally truly believe that God exists and that he will send me to hell for eternity for kissing another woman, but you know what…I just don’t care. Eternal torture? Fine with me!
They actually believe people could live like that?

Anyway, so they really like to talk about justice. They say that their god makes it so that there will always be justice, that’s why you should feel good about all the criminals who get away(if they escape before we can kill them, because they all deserve DEATH), because they will have to answer to God in the end! What a good ending to the story. All the bad guys lose and all the good…

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General Haftar’s Orwellian BBC interview

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So looks like they removed it. Shame on you BBC.

Ila el amam!

Image: BBC Image: BBC

Those who watched BBC News last Thursday morning, January 29, were treated with a rare interview with Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan general whose name in de media often is preceded by the words “renegade” and “rogue”, which in essence refers to Haftar’s betrayal of the Al-Fatah Revolution that he once was a part of. And even though those words may not refer directly to the work he did for the CIA between 1991 and 2011 from the town of Falls Church in suburban Virginia, just a few miles away from the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, the fact remains that Haftar obviously specialized himself in CIA tricks and tactics, including Orwellian doublespeak. In the BBC interview, he made the following statement:

We fought about 25 battles against them [the Libya Dawn militias] and we damaged them; that’s exactly what we’ve been looking for. Actually, we are working to completely…

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Terror is not about religion, it’s about power

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What any street vendor in the Middle East knows and most analysts and politicians in the West completely ignore – or choose to ignore- is that terrorism is not about religion. It’s not about how different “our” God is from “theirs,” it’s not about a painting, a movie, a cartoon, a book, or an article. It’s not even about the freedom of expression. It’s about power— at all levels.”

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Our Full Interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

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assad paris match The Full Paris Match interview of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, granted in Damascus on November 28th.

Paris Match: Mr. President, three years into this war, and considering how things have turned out, do you regret that you haven’t managed things differently at the beginning, with the appearance of the first signs of the revolution in March 2011? Do you feel that you are responsible for what happened?
Bashar el Assad: Even in the first days of the events, there were martyrs from the army and the police; so, since the first days of this crisis we have been facing terrorism. It is true that there were demonstrations, but they were not large in number. In such a case, there is no choice but to defend your people against terrorists. There’s no other choice. We cannot say that we regret fighting terrorism since the early days of this crisis. However, this doesn’t mean that there weren’t mistakes made in practice. There are always mistakes. Let’s be honest: had Qatar not paid money to those terrorists at that time, and had Turkey not supported them logistically, and had not the West supported them politically, things would have been different. If we in Syria had problems and mistakes before the crisis, which is normal, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the events had internal causes.

Paris Match: Your army is blamed for its excessive use of force during this war. Why are civilians shelled?
Bashar el Assad : When a terrorist attacks you with weapons, how do you defend yourself and your people, with dialogue?! The army uses weapons when the other side uses them. For us in Syria, it is impossible to have our objective as shelling civilians. There’s no reason to shell civilians. If we are killing civilians, in other words killing our people, fighting terrorists at the same time, and fighting the states which stand against us and which support terrorists, like the Gulf countries, Turkey, and the West, how could we stand for four years? If we haven’t been defending the people, we wouldn’t have been able to stand all this pressure. Consequently, saying that we are shelling civilians doesn’t make any sense.

More here >> Paris Match

Religion – ‘Man-made for Men’

SECULAR SCARLET

imageCan anyone think of a good thing about religion? Anyone? Anyone?….. No me neither! If it was on the agenda of a board meeting, we would strike it off as a vote of no confidence! If we put it forward in a court of law we would throw it out for lack of evidence! There is an awful lot wrong with the world but without religion we would be making a step in the right direction

Religion is purely and simply  – Made for Men!

Im making no apologies for this post and its focus on women. This has been taken out of my hands by the stories in the news. More to the point its about why in hell women would wish to follow a myth that perpetuates women’s submission to a higher authority. Because ladies don’t fool yourselves, if you believe  in a God that is exactly what you…

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Religion…. to be taken with a pinch of salt and a shot of tequila

SECULAR SCARLET

imageWell, what a weeK! I still find it totally astounding that there are so many crazy theists out there who seemingly don’t get the concept of their religion. Or maybe its the selfish gene – the great ‘IAM’ of the bible.  I can’t see where they find the time for their chanting rituals and other ‘god stuff’ as they spend all their time arguing on social media with atheists lol.

Ive noticed three are three types of theist troll:-

  • HATERS
  • SLEEPWALKERS
  • COMPLETE NUTTERS

I met a few of them this week….. hell i meet a few of them every bloody week..

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Why Syrians support Bashar al Assad

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Syria-120-animated-flag-gifs The sudden reversion of Washington to a ‘war on terror’ pretext for intervention in Syria has confused western audiences. For three years they watched ‘humanitarian intervention’ stories, which poured contempt on the Syrian President’s assertion that he was fighting foreign backed terrorists. Now the US claims to be leading the fight against those same terrorists.

Why Syrians support Bashar al Assad

By Tim Anderson

But what do Syrians think, and why do they continue to support a man the western powers have claimed is constantly attacking and terrorising ‘his own people’? To understand this we must consider the huge gap between the western caricature of Bashar al Assad the ‘brutal dictator’ and the popular and urbane figure within Syria.assad

If we believed most western media reports we would think President Assad has launched repeated and indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, including the gassing of children. We might also think he heads an ‘Alawi regime’, where a 12% minority represses a Sunni Muslim majority, crushing a popular ‘revolution’ which, only recently, has been ‘hijacked’ by extremists.

The central problem with these portrayals is Bashar’s great popularity at home. The fact that there is popular dissatisfaction with corruption and cronyism, and that an authoritarian state maintains a type of personality cult, does not negate the man’s genuine popularity. His strong win in Syria’s first multi-candidate elections in June dismayed his regional enemies, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey; but it did not stop their aggression.

Read full article here >>

99 Years of Turkish Genocide

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seyfovictimsOn April 24, 1915 the Turkish genocide of Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians began very simply, without pomp and circumstance. “We have made a clean sweep of the Armenians and Assyrians of Azerbaijan.” Those were the words of Djevdet Bey, the governor of Van Province in Ottoman Turkey, who on April 24, 1915 lead 20,000 Turkish soldiers and 10,000 Kurdish irregulars in the opening act of the genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Pontic Greeks. In three short years, 750,000 Assyrians (75%) would be killed, 1.5 million Armenians and 500,000 Greeks.

On April 24 Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians will commemorate the 99th anniversary of the genocide with vigils, church services, lectures, demonstrations and personal reflection.

Much progress in recognizing the genocide has been made throughout the world since 1915. Many states officially recognize the Armenian genocide. Australia and Sweden have officially recognized the Assyrian genocide — called Seyfo (sword) in Assyrian. The International Genocide Scholars Association Officially Recognized the Assyrian and Greek Genocides (AINA 2007-12-15

But recognition for the genocide by the most important country has not been made. Turkey has not only denied the genocide, but has actively worked to block its recognition throughout the world. In February, 2013 the Turkish EU minister Egemen Bagis compared the Assyrian genocide with the act of masturbation (AINA 2013-02-26).

Full article here >>>

To Crush ISIS, Make a Deal With Assad

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Syria-120-animated-flag-gifsBy AHMAD SAMIH KHALIDISEPT. 15, 2014

LONDON — LAST week, President Obama virtually declared war on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But it is hard to reconcile the seemingly urgent need to confront the threat posed by this organization with the chosen means of doing so.

By opting to support the “moderate” Syrian opposition and running the risk of an open confrontation with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the West appears to be primarily appeasing Arab Persian Gulf allies that have turned the overthrow of Mr. Assad into a policy fetish that runs against any rational calculation of how to defeat Islamist terrorism.

The persistent belief in Western policy circles that there is a “moderate opposition” in Syria — reiterated at the close of a NATO summit meeting in Wales on Sept. 5 — warrants serious scrutiny. The very notion of a “vetted” opposition has an absurd ring to it. It assumes that moderation is an identifiable, fixed element that can be sorted out from other, tainted characteristics. It further presumes that the vetting process will not stain those being vetted. It takes as a given that Western-backed opposition will prevail and in turn provide the basis for a happier and better Syria.

There is little to support any of these beliefs. The most effective forces on the ground today — and for the foreseeable future — are decidedly nonmoderate. This is not primarily because the West has let down the Syrian opposition, but because the conflict now sweeping through the Levant is grounded in elements that have little to do with the presumed struggle between moderation and extremism.

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Bewilderment

Sheet music of life

Once upon a time lived a make-belief princess in that delusional castle of hers… 

The sun hits my face
My mind recites your embrace
It’s such a cold world…

I blink and suddenly I’m in another body. I walk to the bathroom and eye the strange mirror reflection, who is she? I murmur to myself; It’s me, after everything, it’s still me. Oh bitter soul, what have you become? Did the current take away your spark like a thief snatches an old lady’s purse? The rainbow’s fading, go find shelter before it rains knives and razor blades. Stop, drop and roll. Toss and turn, before you feel the burn. Stranger, why are you staring back at me? I can see guilt in your eyes like I can see blood on your hands, crystal clear. Your mind’s not clear. Stranger, how can you look like a predator one minute, and…

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New UN special envoy to Libya, Bernardino Léon, is a Bilderberg Group member

Ila el amam!

BLeonFollowing a resolution adopted by Libya’s new parliament asking the UN for help to deal with militia violence across the country, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on August 14 named Spanish diplomat Bernardino Léon as special envoy to Libya. Léon plans to visit Tripoli next week (though other sources say the date of his visit will be September 1), to seek a ceasefire between militia brigades from the northwestern city of Misrata and the western town of Zintan, that have turned the airport of the Libyan capital as well as civil areas into a battlefield.

A statement by his office said Leon’s Tripoli visit for talks would be conducted with the United Nations as the only international mediator accepted by all Libyan parties, Reuters reports. “It is in this framework that I am planning to travel to Tripoli as early as next week to continue to support the talks between…

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LaCie 2Big Raid fail, recover files

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Some years ago I bought a Lacie 2Big Network external HDD with two 500 Gig drives. After losing lots of files due to crashing harddrives in my PC it looked like a good system. In Safe Mode it acts as a Raid drive which means that the drives are mirrored so when one fails all data are on the other one. After replacing the crashed HD the system functions as before with no files lost.

Lacie 2bigSo far so good. I felt pretty safe until last week. None of the drives ever failed in those years but last week the enclosure had some problems. I could not access either one of the drives, so having them mirrored did not help very much.

I tried all the solutions I found on the internet: New power supply, tried factory reset but that did not work. Downloaded newest Lacie Network Assistant to try the recover function and put a new OS in it. Nothing worked.

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Former Al-Qaeda Leader says that the CIA runs Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda

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Syria-120-animated-flag-gifsThe following is an interview of Osama bin Laden’s personal guard, Nabil Na’eem Abul Fattah. Na’eem tells Lebanon’s Asian News Agency in an interview that not only is the leader of Al-Qaeda, his former colleague Ayman Al-Zawahiri, a US double agent working on behalf of the interests of Washington, but that the leader of Jabhat Al-Nusra is a US agent fighting inside Syria.

Syria: The Hidden Massacre

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Mideast Shuffle

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(Read this article in Arabic or Turkish).

The attack took place shortly after the first stirrings of trouble in the southern Syrian city of Daraa in March 2011. Several old Russian-made military trucks packed with Syrian security forces rolled onto a hard slope on a valley road between Daraa al-Mahata and Daraa al-Balad. Unbeknownst to the passengers, the sloping road was slick with oil poured by gunmen waiting to ambush the troops.

Brakes were pumped as the trucks slid into each other, but the shooting started even before the vehicles managed to roll to a stop. According to several different opposition sources, up to 60 Syrian security forces were killed that day in a massacre that has been hidden by both the Syrian government and residents of Daraa.

Explains one Daraa native: “At that time, the government didn’t want to show they are weak and the opposition didn’t want…

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To Halal or not to Halal

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Again there is a big fuzz about the religious slaughter of animals and the labeling of meat that is slaughtered this way. Personally it does not matter to me. I don’t think the animal cares either, it will probably be happy its miserable life will come to an end.
For an excellent view on the life of animals before they are slaughtered see this site on factory-farming.

What bothers me as an atheist is this exception in the EU laws, Directive 93/119/EEC, purely for religious reasons.

Make laws for everyone or don’t make laws at all.

Father Frans on the Syrian Rebellion: The “Protestors” Shot First

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Syria-120-animated-flag-gifsJust a reminder of something a lot of us said from the beginning.
I post this now because the same script seems to have been used in Ukraine. In both cases the “peaceful protesters” were armed and used their weapons first.

Full translation of Father Frans’s January 2012 report from Homs.

Report from Father van der Lugt on the Situation in Homs

We owe it to the citizens of Syria to be nuanced. Otherwise, their struggle is lost.

There are many people here that sincerely believe that we can go further with this [i.e. the current Syrian] government, that it is capable of implementing reforms (see the president’s latest speech) and that it is perhaps more democratic than possible replacements.

Most of the citizens of Syria do not support the opposition. Even a country like Qatar has stated this following an opinion survey. Therefore, you also cannot say that this is a popular uprising. The majority of people are not part of the rebellion and certainly not part of the armed rebellion. What is occurring is, above all, a struggle between the army and armed Sunni groups that aim to overturn the Alawite regime and take power.

From the start the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.

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SANA syria news agency link problems

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UPDATE: In some countries none of the below will load. As a work around you can use: http://213.178.225.235/index_eng.html

Maybe you have noticed that links on Twitter to the Syrian newssite SANA don’t open. This often happens on Twitter when people use the tweetbutton on the site. Problem is the link in the button points to http://www.sana.sy/eng/ while the siteadmin did not make an alias for the www. to the host sana.sy/eng/ .

This you get when pushing the tweetbutton:

Sanalink wrong

So just remove the “www.” in the link and you will get this:

Sanalink

Push the tweet button and the link will work.

P.S. this is also a problem with other SANA links for example in the bio.

Torture in Iraq: One Woman’s Story

one small window...

This is a guest post by Narmeen Saleh Al Rubaye, who was detained and tortured in Iraq in October 2004 by the US military along with her husband, Shawki Ahmed Omar . She was held for 16 days and tortured to confess falsely to membership of armed militias and that her husband had killed Americans in Iraq. Following release, she left Iraq in 2006 and went to Sweden and later moved to the UK. Her husband remains a prisoner in Iraq almost a decade later.

Narmeen Saleh read her testimony at a parliamentary meeting in London held on Tuesday 11 March 2014, No Woman is Safe, organised by Tadhamun, Iraqi Women’s Solidarity, on Iraq’s female prisoners. This is a slightly edited version of the original statement. 

 My name is Narmeen Saleh Al-Rubaye. I am a 27-year old Iraqi born Swedish national. I am the mother of 8-year old Zainab…

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UK Authorities Uncover a Massive Islamic Plan to Take Over Their School System

sharia unveiled

Al Noor School, Brooklyn, New York

Children as Young as 9-Years-old Now Exhibiting the Signs of Radicalization

by, Barry Duke | The Free Thinker

Three disturbing reports about Muslim extremism in the UK have emerged this weekend.

The first alleges that the Birmingham City Council has uncovered plans by fundamentalist Salafists to take over secular schools and turn them into into faith-based academies run on Islamic principles.

Documents, purportedly from “disaffected Muslim parents” who want the faith-based schools, call for an end to:

Corrupting children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children say Christian prayers and mixed swimming and sports.

If proven bone fide, the documents will be a further blow to the government’s free school’s programme, dogged by the closure of the Al-Madinah school in Derby after Ofsted found it failing in every respect, and reports children were being segregated by sex and non-Muslim members of staff being told to wear Islamic…

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MAN UIT ALMERE DIE NU IN SYRIE VECHT EN BEWEERT JIHADIST KHALID K. TE ZIJN, HOUDT OP FOTO EEN AFGESNEDEN HOOFD OMHOOG

haralddoornbos

Een man die op twitter beweert dat hij de uit Almere afkomstige jihadist Khalid K. is, heeft een week geleden een foto gepost van zichzelf terwijl hij het afgesneden en bebloede hoofd omhoog houdt van een onbekende man.

De foto is gruwelijk en is zichtbaar onder aan deze blog entry. U dient dus eerst even goed na te denken of u het aankunt om naar beneden te scrollen en de foto te bekijken.

Deze informatie werd me vanavond meegedeeld door Pieter van Ostaeyen, een Arabist die veel onderzoek doet naar radicale Islamisten. Van Ostaeyen’s twitter-handle is: @p_vanostaeyen. U doet er goed aan om hem te volgen.

Het verhaal begint als volgt:

Volgens dit artikel op de website van de NOS (http://nos.nl/artikel/424360-irakees-uit-almere-vecht-in-syrie.html) vecht er een jihadist uit Almere mee in Syrië. Deze jihadist zou Khalid K heten. Hoe kennen we de naam van Khalid K? Wel, hij heeft in…

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