Do you consider yourself to be a rational person?

The vast majority of people are religious, which generally entails belief in a supernatural entity or three. And yet amid the oceans of religiosity are archipelagos of non-belief. Accurate numbers are hard to come by, but even conservative estimates suggest that half a billion people around the world (and counting) are non-religious. But scientists who …

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Even Isis can’t stop spread of secularism

The rise of Isis and fanatical Islam might lead you to think that far from fading, religion is making a comeback. But the reverse is true: it’s humanists who are on the march. “The fastest-growing belief system in the world is non-belief.” In Saudi Arabia, 5% of those polled in 2012 described themselves as atheist …

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Musings on the Netherlands and Turkey

On Wednesday 15th March, the Netherlands will hold a general election. In the American and British popular imaginations, the Netherlands is a socially progressive nation with a well-functioning democracy, and a high trust in its institutions. Relatively speaking, that perception is largely correct. But the Dutch increasingly believe their values are under threat, not from …

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Epicureanism matters (something philosophical for Thanksgiving)

You have a choice. You can choose between an array of superstitions, or you can believe in a set of teachings that are rational and common sense. Modern humanism is one alternative, but  it is a little dry as a belief system, skirts round what happens after death, and is less forceful about friendship and …

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Erdogon seems to be conducting a wholesale religious coup.

In Turkey, Erdogan , who does not believe in the equality of the sexes, is overturning the secularization of the country that followed the First World War. A bill is before Parliament which would allow men accused of raping underage girls to be cleared if they marry the girl has been preliminarily backed by Turkish …

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