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Religious discrimination in Canada

Religious discrimination in Canada

Last week the government of Quebec passed a discriminatory law that would ban the wearing of kippah (skull caps), turbans and hijabs (headscarfs), among other religious symbols, for all public servants in ‘positions of authority’. This includes teachers, police officers, judges and others. At a stroke, this law bars traditional religious people – many of whom may feel morally obliged to wear such symbols – from a large swathe of public life. It is not the case that all religious…

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Dawkins, Haidt and Harari on Religion

Dawkins, Haidt and Harari on Religion

It’s fascinating to compare the different views of Dawkins, Haidt and Harari on religion. All three approach it from a sociological/evolutionary perspective but small differences in assumptions lead to quite large differences in conclusions. Dawkins, as is well known, sees religion as a parasitic meme. It’s common across humanity simply because it’s good at spreading and we should examine how different religions grow purely on the basis of how optimised they are for growth, not on any impact they might…

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Elisha was a Druid, and other hypotheses

Elisha was a Druid, and other hypotheses

What if well known figures from the Bible were really characters from D&D? Elijah (Cleric, NG): The most famous prophet of all, Elijah is the archetype of the Cleric. A holy man, raising the dead, creating food and water – what more could one ask for? Culminating, of course, in the scene on Mount Carmel, a classic Flamestrike if ever there was one. But if Elijah is a Cleric, his disciple, Elisha, is a bit different. Elisha (Druid, NG): At…

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Bible Analytics: What do Children’s Bibles Focus On?

Bible Analytics: What do Children’s Bibles Focus On?

We have quite a lot of children’s bibles and it’s always interesting to see what each one focuses on. This post carries out some fairly surface level analysis of how much time different children’s bibles spend on different books. First, the actual bibleWe can look at the relative size of the different books of the bible by comparing the number of chapters they have. It’s not a perfect analysis – some chapters are longer than others – but it’s good…

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Some Thoughts on the Culture Wars

Some Thoughts on the Culture Wars

It’s hard to imagine now just how controversial and offensive Monty Python’s Life of Brian was when it first came out. BBC and ITV refused to show it, it was banned by a number of town councils and cinemas were picketed by angry people who felt it shouldn’t have been made. For someone like me, who grew up seeing it as irreverent, slightly rude humour, not particularly different to Fawlty Towers, it can be hard to see it this way….

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