What harm does superstition do? What harm in believing in
fables, in legends?
To believe in signs and wonders, in amulets, charms and
miracles, in gods and devils, in heavens and hells, makes the brain
an insane ward, the world a madhouse, takes all certainty from the
mind, makes experience a snare, destroys the kinship of effect and
cause — the unity of nature — and makes man a trembling serf and
slave. With this belief a knowledge of nature sheds no light upon
the path to be pursued. Nature becomes a puppet of the unseen
powers. The fairy, called the supernatural, touches with her wand
a fact, it disappears. Causes are barren of effects, and effects
are independent of all natural causes. Caprice is king. The
foundation is gone. The great dome rests on air. There is no
constancy in qualities, relations or results. Reason abdicates and
superstition wears her crown.
Robert Green Ingersoll - “Superstition” (1898)
November 24, 2008
November 21, 2008
November 14, 2008
November 13, 2008
November 10, 2008
With 71 days left in office, President Bush is less popular than President Nixon was at the time of his resignation, according to data released Monday by CNN and Opinion Research Corporation.
The new poll, taken Thursday through Sunday, showed an approval rating of 24 percent and a disapproval rating of 76 percent.
CNN released a chart showing presidential "disapproval" ratings in CNN or Gallup polls for each president dating back to Harry Truman. This list shows the percentage of Americans who disapproved of the way each president was handling his job.
% Disapprove - Date
G.W. Bush: 76% - Nov. 2008
Clinton: 54% - Sept. 1994
G.H.W. Bush: 60% - July 1992
Reagan: 56% - Jan. 1983
Carter: 59% - June 1979
Ford: 46% - April, Nov., Dec. 1975
Nixon: 66% - Aug. 1974
Johnson: 52% - March, Aug. 1968
Kennedy: 30% - Nov. 1963
Eisenhower: 36% - March 1958
Truman: 67% - Jan. 1952
November 07, 2008
November 06, 2008
Washington, DC – Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) is the only member of Congress who is on record as not holding a god-belief, the first such Congress member in history. Rep. Stark publicly acknowledged his nontheism in 2007 following a nationwide search conducted by the Secular Coalition for America. In an election year when national candidates' religious beliefs were given unprecedented importance, the Coalition sees Stark's re-election, with 76% of the votes in his district, as a sign that religious tests for candidates may become less common.
Polls have shown that Americans without a god-belief are, as a group, more distrusted than any other minority in America, and that most Americans would not vote for an atheist for president even if he or she were the most qualified for the office. At the same time, however, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 2008 saw a "small but significant" increase in the number of Americans who say they are "uncomfortable when they hear politicians talk about how religious they are."
"This year, we saw an incumbent U.S. Senator not only defeated but roundly criticized after trying to paint her opponent as godless; and now we see an openly godless member of the House handily re-elected," said Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America. "This looks to us like progress, and we praise Rep. Stark for his courage and leadership."
Surveys vary as to the number of atheists, humanists, freethinkers and other nontheists in the U.S., with about 16% (over 50 million people) a reasonable estimate, making this a larger group than Jews, Presbyterians, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Roman and Greek Orthodox combined. "If the number of nontheists in Congress reflected their numbers in the larger population," observed Lori Lipman Brown, director of the Secular Coalition, "there would be 86 nontheistic Congress members instead of one."
November 05, 2008
November 04, 2008
But this is most likely the most beautiful song ever.
The lyrics were written by David Byrne, and the music was written by Byrne and the other members of the band, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. In the "Self Interview" on the DVD of the concert film Stop Making Sense, Byrne admits that it is a love song, a topic he tends to avoid because it is "kinda big". Throughout the Stop Making Sense version, Byrne and his bandmates perform by a standard lamp, while close-up images of various body parts are projected onto a screen behind them. When the song reaches a bridge, the musicians step back and Byrne dances with the lamp, a reference to Fred Astaire's similar dance with a coat-rack in Royal Wedding.
This Must Be The Place
Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round
I feel numb - burn with a weak heart
(So I) guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It's ok I know nothing's wrong . . nothing
I got plenty of time
You got light in your eyes
And you're standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up + say goodnight . . . say goodnight
Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home - -she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from another
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time
Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I'll be . . . where I'll be
We drift in and out
Sing into my mouth
Out of all tose kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head Ah ooh