Alan Perlman's Blog Posts Tagged 'secular' (8)

Let my people go!

“Men create the gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regards to their mode of life.”

Aristotle



I have been hearing from people who have had to sit at Seders year after year, uncomfortably, stifling their inner thoughts about what nonsense this is, how tedious, what’s the point?  Early in her adulthood, my wife decided that THIS was the year she was going to stand up at a family Seder (with two rabbis present, mind you) and…

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Added by Alan Perlman on March 30, 2013 at 10:10am — 2 Comments

On the 47% and the semantics of victimhood

“..a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them free to otherwise to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.  This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

 

“When an American asks for the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on October 6, 2012 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

New Thread: What are “Secular Humanist Politics”?

“..a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them free to otherwise to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.  This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

 

There’s no debate about what “religious…

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Added by Alan Perlman on August 19, 2012 at 1:00pm — 11 Comments

"An Atheist Reads the Torah" -- Why I Wrote It and Why You Might Want to Read It

(Several years ago, I undertook to read the Torah.  For specific reasons, see below.  But basically I wanted to find out, to my own satisfaction, just what it said, to the extent possible, given that it's such an ancient text that's been repeatedly copied and edited. 

To rabbis, thus to most Jews, it is a repository of priceless wisdom.   I set out to find it. 

What I found was both enlightening and disappointing. …

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 30, 2012 at 3:30pm — 11 Comments

Religious Conversion: Who Goes Where? And Why?

Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.”

Ambrose Bierce

It would be great to have reliable numbers on religious migration: how many people change religions each year, how many become new adherents, how many drift away, never to return?

Increasing the ranks

Different religions have different ways of increasing their ranks: birth rate (e.g., all…

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 5, 2012 at 7:00pm — 6 Comments

4th of July Again a Bittersweet Holiday for Lovers of Liberty

(The following was originally submitted to the July 1-4 2008 Blogswarm against Theocracy.  I have made some additions and revisions.  Since my goal is always change in the real world, I urge you to take personal action to roll back religious bigotry and superstition.  First Freedom First is a good place to start.)

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good…

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 4, 2012 at 8:00pm — 11 Comments

Secular Wisdom for Humanists

Introduction

If secular humanists don’t look to God, the Bible or the Quran for their wisdom, where do they get it?  From other human beings, of course.  It turns out that people have been thinking and writing for a very long time about how to live a good life.

I’ve noticed that many of the same ideas keep showing up, across geography, history and culture.

The following collection provides practical advice about how to think, behave, and regard others,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 15, 2012 at 2:30pm — 8 Comments

Jewish Atheist takes on sacred cow -- forgiveness

The latest eruption of forgiveness worship almost made my breakfast erupt from my stomach.  Dear Abby (Keene NH Sentinel, 3/7/12) printed DECIDE TO FORGIVE in its entirety, and to give the enemy his due, I will do the same:

Decide to forgive, for resentment is negative. Resentment diminishes and devours the self. Be the first to forgive, to smile, and take the first step And you will see the happiness bloom on the face of your human brother or sister. Be always the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 8, 2012 at 2:11pm — No Comments

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