Archive for the ‘Atheism’ Category

“Fighting God” – Presentation with David Silverman

Monday, November 2nd, 2015
"Fighting God" - Dave Silvermann in Basel

"Fighting God" - Dave Silvermann in Basel

The name David Silverman is the intrepid Fire branding Atheism strategy, which he translates as president of American Atheists in most PR-oriented promotions and mega events. His Reason Rally was in 2012 as the largest atheist event in world history. On the European tour for his book «Fighting God” Silverman makes a stop in Basel. Presentation in English with simultaneous translation.

Saturday, 07.11.2015 – Until 23.00 clock from 19.00

Hörsaal 1 – Pharmazentrum

Klingelbergstrasse 50

4056 Basel

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Sonntag, 08.11.2015 – Until 18.00 clock from 14.00

Zentrum Karl der Grosse

Kirchgasse 14

Zürich 

Bangladesh: Murder of secular activist and writer Avijit Roy

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is sickened and appalled to hear that secular blogger Avijit Roy has been murdered in Bangladesh a few hours ago.

“Abhijit Roy lives in America and so, it is not possible to kill him right now. He will be murdered when he comes back.”

These were the words of an Islamist activist referring to Avijit (or Abhijit) Roy early last year. The man making the threat, who is well-known to the authorities, has repeatedly and openly talked about wanting to see secular and freethought writers dead, and those under threat have complained that authorities have ignored his threats and incitement, despite his credible links to Islamist extremists and similar murders taking place.

Tonight, IHEU joins with freethinkers and humanists from Bangladesh in calling for an end to this fatal appeasement of death threats by the authorities in Bangladesh.

Avijit Roy was a well-known writer, founder of the freethought blogging platform Mukto-Mona, which he described to IHEU as “an Internet congregation of freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, atheists, and humanists of mainly Bengali and South Asian descent”. He had previously provided IHEU with analysis around the arrest and threats against “atheist bloggers” in Bangaldesh in 2013.

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The Freedom of Thought Report is an annual survey on discrimination and persecution against non-religious people in countries around the world. The latest report is available free to download.

In 2012 the report covered discrimination against the non­religious in 60 countries. In 2013 it covered every independent country, as well as introducing a rating system to assess the status of the country. In 2014 the report has been extensively expanded and revised, with most countries entirely re­written from the ground up, and with the ratings criteria expanded to include some measure of social discrimination.

We believe it is important to document discriminatory national laws and state authorities which violate freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression. As well as affecting the overtly nonreligious, such as atheists and Humanists, such systemic discrimination also often affects the religious, in particular minorities and non­conformists, and the unaffiliated (those who hold no particular religion or worldview­level belief).

Systemic, legal discrimination can include such things as established state churches (resulting in religious privilege), religious instruction provided without secular ethical alternative classes in schools, through to severe punishments such as prison for crimes of “insulting” religion, or death merely for expressing your atheism.

The Freedom of Thought report details highlighted cases of individuals who have been targeted, usually for expressing their non­religious views, or for promoting secularism (church­state separation, religious neutrality) or for criticising particular religious institutions or ideas. The report also includes some individual cases where religious people, usually in a minority situation, are persecuted under similar laws in circumstances which closely reflect or feed into abuses against the nonreligious, such as when they are targeted by laws against religious conversion or blasphemy.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has undertaken to publish this annual report in order to contribute toward several purposes.

  • Leveraging criticism against countries on human rights grounds. In the days after the first report was published, the election of Mauritania and the Maldives to the vice­presidency of the UN Human Rights Council was criticised, their inclusion in the Freedom of Thought report cited as evidence of their human rights failures. Mainstream media in countries which were criticised in the report, for example Indonesia’s Jakarta Globe, not only covered the launch but were prompted to look in particular at the country’s freedom of religion or belief violations.
  • Highlighting individual’s stories. The report includes verified cases of violations again individuals. This serves to coney how bad laws can affect people, as well as corroborating those individual’s cases in a human rights context. On this site we provide resources and a walk­through of the United Nations complaints mechanism for people whose rights may have been violated.
  • Opening up discussion of persecution against the non­religious more generally. Around the publication of the report our representatives discussed the issues in article and live appearances and we worked to ensure that mainstream media reported on the publication (e.g. Reuters, Washington Post). The news was also taken up by citizen journalists (e.g. Examiner.com), popular general interest sites (e.g. Slate.com) and many widely read special interest blogs (e.g. Friendly Atheist).

Afghan atheist to get asylum in Britain on religious grounds

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

An Afghan man is understood to have become the first atheist ever to secure asylum in Britain on religious grounds. His case was accepted by the Home Office on the basis there was a risk he could face persecution in Afghanistan for having rejected Islam.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/afghan-atheist-to-get-asylum-in-britain-on-religious-grounds-9057286.html

WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: First Ever Report on The Rights and Treatment of Atheists and the Non-religious in Every Country in the World

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

A new report launching today, Tuesday, examines every country in the world for legal discrimination and human rights violations which specifically affect atheists, humanists and the non-religious.

  • Atheists can face death sentences for apostasy in twelve state
  • In 39 countries the law mandates a prison sentence for blasphemy, including six western countries
  • The non-religious are discriminated against, or outright persecuted, in most countries of the world

The “Freedom of Thought” report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, IHEU, found widespread discrimination by governments in every region. (An inaugural edition in 2012 contained 60 countries; the 2013 edition has been expanded to cover every country.)

Full report: http://freethoughtreport.com/download-the-report/

No God, not even Allah

Friday, June 28th, 2013

In a handful of majority-Muslim countries atheists can live safely, if quietly; Turkey is one example, Lebanon another. None makes atheism a specific crime. But none gives atheists legal protection or recognition. Indonesia, for example, demands that people declare themselves as one of six religions; atheism and agnosticism do not count. Egypt’s draft constitution makes room for only three faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.: http://www.economist.com/news/international/21567059-ex-muslim-atheists-are-becoming-more-outspoken-tolerance-still-rare-no-god-not

Florida: first public monument in the United States dedicated to atheism

Friday, June 7th, 2013

A small city in heavily Christian northern Florida is about to become home to the first public monument in the United States dedicated to atheism.

Florida members of American Atheists, a national advocacy group, plan to erect a 1,500-pound granite display in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, Fla., next month, opposite a controversial year-old display of the Ten Commandments outside the same courthouse.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/atheist-monument-starke-florida_n_3368319.html

US: Reading Dawkins in a cabin

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Religion in public life: Atheists complain about free Bibles in the wilderness: http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21578664-atheists-complain-about-free-bibles-wilderness-reading-dawkins-cabin

BBC HARDTalk: Daniel Dennett

Monday, April 8th, 2013

HardTalk’s Stephen Sackur talks to philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett. He’s been described as one of the four horsemen of the new atheism, along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens. Professor Dennett has written powerfully and extensively against religion by deploying evolutionary theory to argue that religion has outlived its usefulness and serves as nothing more than a block on human thought and understanding of the universe. Dennett’s world view is based on the proposition that there is no grand design, no higher purpose beyond life itself.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ht

What happens at an atheist church?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

An “atheist church” in North London is proving a big hit with non-believers. Does it feel a bit like a new religion? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21319945