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Religion: source of conflict or peace?

Religion: source of conflict or peace?



My slides for a talk on 'Religion: Source of Conflict or Peace?"

My slides for a talk on 'Religion: Source of Conflict or Peace?"



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  • Bloggers arrested
  • Atheism addresses belief, agnosticism addresses knowledge
  • One of the least trusted minorities in the worldOne laboratorystudy found that people gave lower priority to patients with atheist or agnostic views thanto Christian patients when asked to rank them on a waiting list to receive a kidney(Furnham et al. 1998). Other surveys have found that most Americans would not votefor non-religious presidential candidates
  • Conservapedia article Mr. Bibby's research suggests that as religiosity declines, we start to travel blind -- and society pays a price. Religious affiliation, apparently, has a civilizing function. We become socialized at church. The fear, then, is that as we separate ourselves from these institutions, social harmony could suffer.
  • Think of earlier headline slide – if these groups had mutual respect for differing groups, would some of these stories have happened?

Religion: source of conflict or peace? Religion: source of conflict or peace? Presentation Transcript

  • Is Religion aSource of Conflictor Peace?Atheism – Rebekah Bennetch
  • Religion in the headlines• Beheadings in Papua New Guinea for sorcery• Women arrested for wearing men‘s prayer shawlsat Jerusalem‘s Western Wall• Muslim Brotherhood backlash against UNdeclaration on women rights• French religious right promises to spill bloodover gay marriage push• Second Child Dies After Parents Use Prayer, NoMedicine
  • My talk:• My story• What is atheism?• How are atheists viewed in society?• How can we have peace?
  • My story
  • WHAT IS ATHEISM?What do you think of when you hear someoneidentify as an atheist?
  • I am an atheist agnostic• An atheist:• a = ―without‖• theos = ―deity‖• An agnostic:• a = ―without‖• gnosis = ―knowledge‖
  • But I’m also …• A humanist• A ―none‖• A daughter / mother / wife / neighbor / friend• A former believer• A concerned citizen• A feminist• An ethical person
  • Untrustworthy―It‘s pretty shocking that we get the samemagnitude of distrust towards atheists simplybecause they don‘t believe [in God],‖ said theresearcher, who is himself an atheist. ―With rapists,they‘re distrusted because they rape people.Atheists are viewed as sort of a moral wild card.‖―Atheists can not be trusted: Religious people rank non-believersalongside rapists, study‖ National Post, November 30, 2011
  • Outsider―[Atheists] offer a glaring exception to the rule ofincreasing social tolerance over the last 30 years …It seems most Americans believe that diversity isfine, as long as every one shares a common ‗core‘of values that make them trustworthy—and inAmerica, that ‗core‘ has historically beenreligious,‖ says [researcher]Edgell."Atheists identified as America‘s most distrusted minority, according tonew U of M study," University of Minnesota, March 20, 2006.
  • A Challenge:Name one ethical statement made, orone ethical action performed, by abeliever that could not have beenuttered or done by a nonbeliever.Christopher Hitchens. ―An Atheist Responds‖Washington Post, July 14, 2007
  • A Challenge, part 2:Now think of a wicked statement made,or an evil action performed, in the nameof religious faith.
  • A move to peace―The experience of people who have comeinto deep dialogue with those of other faithsis that it more deeply enriches one‘s sense ofoneself.‖Diana Eck
  • Where to start:1. Have respect for individual religious ornonreligious identity.2. Build mutually inspiring relationships.3. Commit to common action for the commongood.from ―From Story to Action: Tips for Bridging the Religious –Nonreligious Divide.‖ Interfaith Youth Core, 2012.