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call it housekeeping

I've been saving some posts and webpages I've collected from various places. I really wish I had the time to comment thoroughly on all of them, but I don't. So, I will just share for the curious, and possibly return to them at some other time.

http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/guestessays/religion101.html

Religion 101: Final Exam
by Anonymous

1.1) Which of the following is the most compelling evidence for the
existence of an intelligent and loving Designer?

A.A Caribbean sunset
B.The screams of a baby seal as it is torn apart by a shark
C.The first time your perfect new baby smiles at you
D.The speed of the Ebola virus converting an African child's
organs into liquid

2.A deeply devout Catholic couple has just returned from their
fiftieth anniversary celebration, when suddenly the husband falls to
the
ground, clutching his chest. What is the most productive action
for the wife to take?

A.Call 911
B.Put him in the car and race to the hospital herself
C.Administer CPR
D.Fall on her knees and pray to the Lord to spare his life

3.You are a product tester and frequently bring your work home.
Yesterday, while dressed in a flame resistant suit (up to 3,000
degrees) and
carrying the latest model fire extinguisher, you discover your
neighbor's house is on fire. As the flames quickly spread, you stand
and
watch your neighbor's new baby burn to death. Which of the
following best describes your behavior?

A.All-powerful
B.All-knowing
C.All-loving
D.Mysterious

4.One day while jogging in the park, you see a maniac with a
butcher knife about to attack a six-year old girl. Which would be the
most
morally proper action to take?

A.Grab the nearest rock and beat off the attacker
B.Call the police on your cell phone
C.Yell "POLICE!" and run toward the attacker in a threatening
manner
D.Calmly walk away, because God works in mysterious ways, and
what appears "evil" to our finite human mind, may in fact be part of
a vaster plan in God's infinite mind, so it's best not to
interfere

5.You are the incarnated Son of the all-powerful and all-loving
Creator of the universe. What would be a good way to demonstrate your
compassion and power?

A.Cure cancer forever
B.Cause all the earth's deserts to bloom with food crops
C.Unite the world with a common language and an end to poverty
D.Conjure up a jug of wine and follow it up by walking on water

6.Since we can never "know" whether or not a God exists - it is
fundamentally a matter of "faith" - it's best to be a believer since
you have
nothing to lose, but everything to lose if your disbelief is
incorrect. Keeping in mind that the fate of your soul depends on the
right choice,
in which God should you place your belief? For extra credit,
include a brief essay justifying your choice, along with the reasons
why you
reject the other three.

A.Zeus
B.Quetzalcoatl
C.Vishnu
D.The Holy Trinity

(*Note: Choice D assumes you were born around 400 A.D. or later,
after the invention of the Trinity)

7.You are the Creator of the universe. Your chosen people are a
tribe of nomadic herdsmen, presently in bondage on one of the millions
of
your planets. Their ruler is being quite obstinate. Keeping in
mind that you possess not only infinite power but also infinite love,
your best
course of action would be to:

A.Cause the ruler to drop dead of a heart attack
B.Cause the ruler to fall off a cliff
C.Visit the ruler in a dream and persuade him to let your
people go
D.Slaughter a great number of innocent babies who had nothing
to do with the ruler's policies

8.You are a Starfleet Federation explorer in the process of
cataloging two newly discovered planets. The majority of the
inhabitants of each
planet believe in a deity, but they are two different deities.
Deity "X" is said to be not only all-powerful, all-loving, and
all-knowing, but
the designer of a marvelously complex and ordered world. Deity
"Y" is said to be indifferent, absent, unconcerned with the affairs of
his
planet, and some even say evil. Which god rules over which
planet?

Planet A: Has apparently achieved a state of advanced benign
equilibrium in which there are no viruses or diseases, and only a very
small
number of natural disasters, which, when they do strike, always
eliminate only the sinful and evil. The inhabitants, both plant and
animal,
have learned to maintain their existence through photosynthesis,
and thus do not have to kill and eat each other in order to survive.
There
are no "birth defects;" every inhabitant comes into existence
perfectly formed and equipped for a long and productive life.
Deity X_____
Deity Y_____

Planet B: Adorned with many examples of beauty and order, it is
also constantly beset by hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods,
volcanoes, lightning bolts, viruses, disfiguring diseases,
parasites, leeches, flies, crop-destroying pests and many other
phenomena which
afflict both the innocent and the evil. Every life form on the
planet can only sustain its existence through the destruction and
consumption
of other life forms. Some of the inhabitants are born with a
crippling condition called a "birth defect", which condemns them to
living
extremely limited, short, or painful lives.
Deity X_____
Deity Y_____

9.What is the number of children born without arms or legs that
have been miraculously restored by a visit to the shrine at Lourdes,
France?

A.Too many to count
B.Over 1,000
C.Several dozen
D.Zero, but only because their faith was not strong enough

10.As we all know, there is only one true religion. What is the one
true religion in each of the following circumstances?

A.You are born in Karnak in 3000 B.C.
B.You are born in Bombay in 300 B.C.
C.You are born in Baghdad in 900 A.D.
D.You are born in Mexico City in 1956 A.D.

11.Although you are new at golf, you have just hit a beautiful
200-yard drive and your ball has landed on a blade of grass near the
cup at Hole
3. The green contains ten million blades of grass. The odds of
your ball landing on that blade of grass are 10,000,000 to one
against, too
improbable to have happened by mere chance. What's the
explanation?

A.The wind guided it
B.Your muscles guided it
C.There is no need for an explanation
D.You consciously designed your shot to land on that particular
blade

12.Which of the following is most likely to be true, and why?

A.Romulus was the son of God, born to a mortal human virgin
B.Dionysus turned water into wine
C.Apollonius of Tyana raised a girl from the dead
D.Jesus Christ was the son of God, born to a mortal virgin,
turned water into wine, and raised a man from the dead

13.Conceding that torture is permissible under certain conditions,
which of the following would be the best justification?

A.Your prisoner is the only one who knows the date and time of
an assassination attempt on the Pope
B.Your prisoner is the only one who knows where a nuclear
device has been planted in Washington, D.C.
C.Your prisoner is the only one who knows where a vial of nerve
gas has been placed in the London water supply system
D.Your prisoner has announced that the earth revolves around
the sun

14.We know that Christianity is true because the Gospel writers,
inspired by God who can make no error, recorded the founding events.
For
example, on the first Easter morning, the visitors to the tomb
were greeted by which of the following:

A.A young man (Mark 16:5)
B.No, no, it was no man, it was an angel (Matthew 28:2-5)
C.You're both wrong, it was two men (Luke 24:4)
D.Damn it, there was nobody there (John 20:1-2)

15.According to inerrant Scripture, the Savior prayed alone in the
garden while the three disciples who accompanied him had fallen
asleep.
How did the gospel writer know the words of that prayer?

A.Jesus left them written down under a rock
B.They were recorded on a primitive taping device
C.The gospel writer was psychic
D.The three disciples were later hypnotized and asked to recall
the prayer

16.According to at least one sainted church father, one of the
pleasures of the saved will be to behold the agony of the damned. What
would be
the best time of day in heaven for a mother to behold the agony
of her only son?

A.Early in the morning before it gets too crowded
B.Mid-day when she can compare notes and share the celebration
with other mothers
C.Late at night when she can enjoy the flames in starker
contrast

17.In the Judeo-Christian tradition, we always look to the Bible as
a guide. In this example, your teenage son has returned home from the
prom intoxicated. The Bible's instruction is:

A.Sit him down for a heart to heart talk
B.Enroll him in AA
C.Take away his driving privilege for one month
D.Smash his head in with rocks

18.In this example, your son-in-law, returned from his honeymoon,
has just told you he suspects your daughter was not a virgin on their
wedding night. Wishing to abide by God's holy rules as laid out
in the Bible, you should:

A.Ask him if he was a virgin before you do anything
B.Advise him to forgive her
C.Talk to your daughter
D.Go find those rocks

19.You are eating lunch at a crowded fast food restaurant, occupied
mostly by children, when suddenly a gunman bursts in, screams "Do not
question or test me," and sprays the room with bullets. Ten
people are killed instantly, many more grievously wounded, but somehow
you
escape unharmed. His ammunition expended, the gunman collapses to
the floor. What should you do?

A.Call the police and wait for them to arrive
B.Call the police and leave
C.Risk death by asking the gunman why he did it, even though he
told you not to
D.Fall on your knees and give thanks and praise to the gunman
for sparing your life

20.Why did God show his backside to Moses, as described in Holy
Scripture, Ex.33:23?

A.He invented everything, and this was simply the first mooning
B.He was really ticked off when Moses dropped the tablets
C.He was piqued, having just discovered His almighty powers
were useless against chariots of iron (Judges I:19)
D.Moses was too serious and needed to lighten up a little

21.Jesus was God, and God knows all things, including all the
medical knowledge that will ever be known. Why did Jesus blame demons
for
the case of epilepsy he cured?

A.He was suffering from a temporary case of "brain freeze"
B.The Aramaic word for "demon" is the same as the word for
"cranial malfunction"
C.Neurology was not his specialty
D.In first-century Palestine, demons really did cause epilepsy.
This affliction only began to be caused by electrochemical brain
activity
after about 1850 A.D.

22.This morning's paper carries a story about a suburban father who
became so enraged with his disobedient children that he carried them
both to the backyard pool where he drowned them, along with their
puppy, their kitten, and their hamster. How should this father be
treated?

A.He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law
B.He should be banished from the town
C.He should be lynched to save the taxpayers' money
D.The townspeople should gather together to sing hymns of
praise to him

23.This morning I started my day by insulting my mother in public,
then punched out my father, my brother, and my sister. Then I gathered
up all my clothes, sold them to a second-hand store, and with the
proceeds bought a used Uzi and 50 rounds of ammunition. Next, I went
down to the animal shelter and injected all the dogs with a drug
that caused them to go insane and dive into the nearby canal where
they all
drowned. By this time I was hungry, so I went over to my
neighbor's apple orchard and burned it down, because I wanted an
orange and
there weren't any. On the way home, I stopped at the local steel
mill to discuss my philosophy of life with some of the guys. They
laughed
at me and said to stow it, so I tossed them all into the blast
furnace. That night I discovered my son looking at a copy of Playboy.
Concerned for his future welfare, I cut off his right hand. What
historical character did my activities today most resemble?

A.Genghis Khan
B.Charles Manson
C.Adolph Hitler
D.Jesus Christ

24.Down through the ages, who has been most responsible for the
medical discoveries that have relieved untold amounts of suffering and
pain, and extended the length of that most sacred of creations,
human life?

A.Medical doctors
B.Research biologists
C.Chemists
D.The Catholic Church

25.A great sadness has come into your life which you feel you cannot
bear. A friend informs you of a free counseling service which has
never
failed to aid and comfort many others. You call the counselor;
the phone rings and rings with no answer; you finally hang up. What is
the
most likely explanation?

A.The counselor is sitting by the phone but not answering in
order to test your faith in him
B.The counselor always stands ready to hear your pleas for
help, but sometimes the answer is "no"
C.The counselor will not answer because he wants you to profit
by the spiritual strength that only comes through suffering
D.The counselor is not home

ESSAY QUESTION

While it is true that there have been and still are many different
gods and many different religions, they are really just the various
names by
which various cultures approach the same God. Explain how and why each
of the following is the same God:

Quetzalcoatl, who wants you to skin a young virgin alive, then
put on the skin and dance;
Shiva, who wants you to pray over his penis;
Allah, who wants you to fly airliners into buildings;
Catholic God; who speaks directly through the Pope;
Baptist God, who most definitely does not;
Jesus, who wants you to castrate yourself to ensure arrival in
heaven
Jehovah, who any day now, is going to kill everyone on the earth
except for his Witnesses
_______________________________________________________________


Finally, a thoughtful article on the "new atheists". Not exactly supportive, but not as insulting as most I've seen.

"Wall of Separation" to be shown on PBS is theocratic propaganda.

A brand-new Blog Against Theocracy


_________________________________________________________
http://pressesc.com/01182272332_no_daughters_athiests

"I would rather my daughter married a Muslim than an Atheist."
Submitted by Rathnavibushana on Tue, 2007-06-19 17:04.

This Group Does Not At All Agree with My Vision of American Society:
Atheists 39.6
Muslims 26.3
Homosexuals 22.6
Conservative Christians 13.5
Recent Immigrants 12.5
Hispanics 7.6
Jews 7.4
Asian Americans 7
African Americans 4.6
White Americans 2.2


I Would Disapprove if My Child Wanted to Marry a Member of This Group:
Atheist 47.6
Muslim 33.5
African American 27.2
Asian American 18.5
Hispanic 18.5
Jew 11.8
Conservative Christian 6.9
White 2.3


Source: American Mosaic Project, Survey, 2003.
Method: Nationally representative random-digit dial (RDD) telephone
survey (N = 2081) conducted during the summer of 2003.

http://www.soc.umn.edu/pdf/atheistAsOther.pdf

Atheists As "Other": Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in
American Society
Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerteis, Douglas Hartmann
(University of Minnesota)
AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW, 2006, VOL. 71 (April:211­234)
_______________________________________________________________


Former evangelical star athlete talks about losing his religion... and how much more he likes being an atheist.

That convention I'd like to go to.


So many of these deserve comment...

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