As a sociologist, I can not rely on naturalism or materialism (especially methodological naturalism). Continue
The study of social life would be impossible from any of those positions.
Thus it is important to understand the epistemological and ontological basis of all worldviews, even if they do not lead to truth. It is enough that people believe them to be true (because sociology is not about truth, but about how people make sense of the world.
Having said that:…
Added by Justin Murray on September 20, 2013 at 6:56am —
Having recently spent quite a bit of time looking closely at the doctrines of a wide range of religions, I have come to the conclusion that most follow the same pattern: Continue
1. An authority figure makes a claim that the individual is in some way flawed or dependent on a supernatural entity;
2. The authority figure make the claim that only they have special access to that supernatural entity;
3. The individual is thus convinced they are incomplete without the authority…
Added by Justin Murray on September 20, 2013 at 5:48am —
"...if not for the women of this church, it would be poorer. So we acknowledge the role of these women who serve us with enthusiasm.” Different man in many layers
Again I let go of my skepticism about gods and let the power of the ritual of the Catholic Mass surround me.
I meet a skinny man who had been going to this church since 1961. Not this exact building, but the same precinct. The building in which we chat now has been a school chapel, a school house and… Continue
Added by Justin Murray on September 19, 2013 at 11:30pm —
What does it mean to have faith?
For me, when I was a believer, faith is accepting something as true without ever looking for evidence. Continue
Once I looked for evidence and found none, I changed my…
Added by Justin Murray on September 16, 2013 at 7:43pm —
“Once you give up one doctrine, it is easier to give all of them up. I am an agnostic.” Man with beard. Continue
It is almost redundant to say that 25 years is a long time. It has taken a complete break from my routinised everyday life to make me realise this. At the time that I left the Catholic church, there were many worshippers and many services on both Saturday and Sunday. I remember regularly attending the…
Added by Justin Murray on September 15, 2013 at 8:00pm —
On an unseasonable warm spring day, a man dressed in a multiple layers of clothes: black coat, covered with flowing white robes and a scarlet red poncho, stands in front of a crowd. Behind him is a towering statue of a Jewish man who was believed to live 2000 years ago, and who was tortured to death by the soldiers of the Roman Empire. The man dressed in multiple layers believes that the statue represents one part of a three part deity that he worships. To his left is another statue, a… Continue
Added by Justin Murray on September 11, 2013 at 8:14pm —
Everyday Religious Practice 2: The Uniting Church and Surrendering
“If you sin… God loves you. If you are kind… God loves you. If you are selfish… God loves you. If you follow all the commandments in the Bible… God loves you.”
I am nervous, very nervous. There is no need to be. I am about to enter a building where people talk about love. They smile, sing and clap hands. It is a friendly place.
But there are other things there, invisible things. The people who… Continue
Added by Justin Murray on September 11, 2013 at 8:14pm —
Everyday Religious Practice 1:
Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Buddhist Shintoism practice in Japan
I have set myself the target of experiencing as many religious practices as he can in order to better understand the theist position. In this post I advance the idea that the typical Japanese person has an ambivalent and ambiguous attitude towards religion, and that this is reflected both in Shinto mythology and everyday religious practices. This is based on the three months he… Continue
Added by Justin Murray on September 11, 2013 at 8:13pm —
I am a sociologist with an interest in religious practice (as well as deviance and crime, medicine and organisations).
I have some free time coming up in September.
I am thinking about running a sociological experiment.
I want to attend as many different types of religious services as possible.
My intention is to attend but not participate and just take notes during the services. I would introduce myself if approached after the services are finished.… Continue
Added by Justin Murray on September 11, 2013 at 8:10pm —
As an atheist and a trained sociologist, I fail to see any evidence for innate human rights (what some may call natural rights). While I personally agree that all humans should be extended equal rights and that this should occur in all places and at all times. Yet, at the moment there is no evidence that such origins of such rights are to be found in either biology or human nature (if there is such a thing).…
Added by Justin Murray on March 13, 2013 at 5:29pm —
Given that the tasks for which men may have been necessary no longer require them (via the invention of IVF, vibrators, the mechanisation of typically masculine work, the ability of women to work & jar opening technology), can we say that men (in the roles by which they have traditionally been known) are obsolete? Continue
Partly a joke (at least the jar opening bit), but mostly serious.
The 21st century may be a good time for men to reconsider…
Added by Justin Murray on February 24, 2013 at 6:51pm —
A new video where Mundane matt:
- states that 3rd wave feminists and white knight males perpetuate rape culture, as they say women are weak;
- But he claims that women are stronger than men (emotionally but not physically);
- he claims that 3rd wave feminists and white knight males perpetrate a myth 'cause it gives them an audience; and
- he also claims that "feminists…
Added by Justin Murray on January 31, 2013 at 9:17pm —
As a sociologist, I have been wondering about the sociological aspects of irreligion, with key questions like: Continue
· under what conditions is it safe to come out as an atheist?
Added by Justin Murray on December 17, 2012 at 7:21pm —
NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox claims civer-up of child sexual abuse by the Catholic church
The NSW Government has announced a special commission of inquiry into the… Continue
Added by Justin Murray on November 12, 2012 at 9:00pm —
In the last 100 years, we've got rid of the diseases that kill the young. The challenge is now to take better care of elders, as we'll live longer.
Added by Justin Murray on November 7, 2012 at 8:00pm —
Added by Justin Murray on October 14, 2012 at 11:30pm —
Hope is for the weak. Continue
This is an idea I have been obsessed with for a while: that is better to take action, rather than wishing things will get better. It is a one of the trinity of beleifs that I oft heard repated in the catholic church:: faith, hope and charity.
Faith is believing in something in the absence of evidence, that just seems to be gulliability.
Having been a volunteer for various…
Added by Justin Murray on October 11, 2012 at 6:03pm —
Added by Justin Murray on October 3, 2012 at 11:00pm —
I am having a long running discussion in another forum about whether Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao were atheists. Continue
I maintain that there were not, in the current sense, because they were simply following Marx's axiom that religions are human products.
That would put the burden of proof on him to prove that there was no gods. Since this is impossible, he should have revised his ideas.
Maybe they should have been something like:
"The belief in god is a human…
Added by Justin Murray on October 1, 2012 at 8:17pm —
I have been praying to the pantheistic goddess Amaterasu (You can see my prayer log below).
Nothing happened until Saturday night when I had the chance to make a totally unsupported inference that I am pissing her off (and she is expressing her anger on my family) from a unrelated… Continue
Added by Justin Murray on September 24, 2012 at 8:00pm —