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Byzantine Paper

I wrote this paper for my Senior Seminar history class, and this is what I consider my Magnum Opus for my college experience

Crossroads: A History Of The Byzantine Empire From 721 - 1025

The Byzantine Empire began in 324, with the founding of the city of Constantinople, and continued until 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks.  The eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries were a turning point in the Byzantine Empire.  The Empire,…

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Added by Scott DeLong on April 28, 2016 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

Top Infrastructure Official Explains How America Used Highways To Destroy Black Neighborhoods

Top Infrastructure Official Explains How America Used Highways To Destroy Black Neighborhoods

It’s time for America to reckon with the role that highway projects too often play in ripping apart underprivileged communities around the country, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Wednesday at the Center for American Progress.

In the first 20 years of the federal interstate system alone, Foxx said, highway construction displaced 475,000 families and over a…

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Added by Dismal Desmond on April 27, 2016 at 10:43pm — 2 Comments

The futile search for happiness & meaning

What makes life worth living? Is it a life filled with happiness or a life filled with purpose and meaning? Is there even a difference between the two?

Think of the human rights activist who fights oppression but ends up in prison like Nelson Mandela — was he happy? Or the social animal who spends his nights (and some days) jumping from party to party—is that the good life?…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 27, 2016 at 10:40pm — 3 Comments

Part II

I recently watched a TV documentary about John Muir. The line that struck me was being out on the lake in the early evening inspires the soul. We feel part of it all, part of nature. I think that's the terrible damage religion has done to humanity. The church teaches we were created by God, and “in God's own image.” (What horseshit! When they told me that, I pictured God sitting on a toilet bowl.) They told us we're not part of nature, and in doing so did…

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Added by Rich Goss on April 27, 2016 at 5:16pm — 3 Comments

Reply to Jennifer Hancock: Atheism Can Be Satisfying Part I

The meaning of life? Stand out by the beach or a pristine forest in the deep of night and observe the vastness of it all. As Carl Sagan says, billions and billions of stars. And then you learn almost all of it is hydrogen and helium and the most common phase of matter is a liquid plasma—scary and hellish stuff.…

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Added by Rich Goss on April 27, 2016 at 5:08pm — No Comments

Atheism isn't enough - and it isn't very satisfying

I'm an atheist. Have been since I stopped being agnostic when i was a teen. I went through a 2 week existential depression and realized,  nope, don't believe and that was that. I literally cannot imagine what it is like to believe in supernaturalism never having experienced that with the exception of some dabbling with a ouiga board while a tween. 

I'm not shy about my atheism. It's part of who I am and part of my philosophical development. And that's key = it's part of my…

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Added by Jennifer Hancock on April 26, 2016 at 12:30pm — 11 Comments

Prominent Gay Rights Activist Hacked To Death

The wrong people always die in this world. I'd like to hack these extremists to death! The fucking bastards. Who do they think they are?

Prominent Gay Rights Activist Hacked To Death

Two men, including an editor of Bangladesh's only LGBT magazine, have been hacked to death by suspected Islamist extremists.

Leading gay rights activist Xulhaz Mannan and his friend were found dead in an apartment in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on…

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Added by Dismal Desmond on April 25, 2016 at 2:45pm — 2 Comments

Colorado Supreme Court Lets Ruling Against Anti-Gay Baker Stand

Good!

Colorado Supreme Court Lets Ruling Against Anti-Gay Baker Stand

The Colorado Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear an appeal brought brought by a man who refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple — upholding lower court rulings that concluded this decision was in violation of the state’s sexual orientation nondiscrimination protections.

Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop has argued that declining to sell a cake to David…

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Added by Dismal Desmond on April 25, 2016 at 1:57pm — 20 Comments

Purposeful Stupidity and Jurassic World/Park /Whatever

Last Saturday evening, I took in the last hour or so of the HBO premiere of Jurassic World, and while I have not seen the entire film, I’m not certain I have to. Jurassic World, like the original and its offshoots, is a paean to stupidity, oblivious, inadvertent, and purposeful, and the consequences it spawns. There are the predictable side elements of self-assured arrogance and presumed authority on the part of those who want to embrace the stupid, be the stupid, and the…

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Added by Loren Miller on April 25, 2016 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Court to Kansas group: ‘No, school science curriculum is not unconstitutional’

Un-fucking-believable!

Court to Kansas group: ‘No, school science curriculum is not unconstitutional’

Thwarting a Kansas group comprised of parents and students that opposed the state’s adoption of a national science curriculum, a federal court has upheld a lower court’s ruling on a case…

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Added by Dismal Desmond on April 25, 2016 at 7:17am — 4 Comments

Blowing themselves up for raisins, not virgins

I heard this well-documented etymological error explained again on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show, which told me that a lot of well-informed people aren't aware of it, and I wanted to be sure that my fellow heretics are.

Armies of crazed, angry young Muslim men, who never had a job, an education, or a date, are blowing themselves up every day because they expect a paradise of 72 virgins, but the holy text uses a word that could very likely mean "raisins," which makes sense -- fruit was…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 24, 2016 at 9:30pm — 7 Comments

Why it is so difficult to love 'Science' but learning it is imperative

Since its inception, Science has been a thorn in the side: incessantly inconvenient, calculatingly cold, and questioning of one's deeply held beliefs ( Regarding God, soul, afterlife, astrology, homeopathy & 101 other pseudo-sciences). It disregards personal feelings.



But that's not the worst of it.



Science is the reason why Earth is no longer at the center of the Universe. We humans used to be so significant. Everything revolved around us until Science and it's… Continue

Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 24, 2016 at 12:11pm — No Comments

Principles upon which I stand

I endeavor to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures faithful to reason.

My cause of action exists in the pursuit of justice over laws and institutions that exploit, manipulate, and dominate.

My body is inviolable, subject to my will alone.

My feelings are mine, alone. 

I respect the freedom of others,…

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Added by Joan Denoo on April 23, 2016 at 6:02pm — 3 Comments

What happens when we die?

From the beginning of human history people have wondered about death. It is not uncommon for young children to ask their parents, "what happens when we die?"

Of course we all either consciously or subconsciously know what really happens when we die. The answer of course is that we are dead. It is right there in the word. Unfortunately, people have a…

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Added by V.N.K.Kumar on April 23, 2016 at 4:42am — 3 Comments

Creationism Debunked by Science and Reason

This text was initially prepared under the title "An Atheist Critique of Pandeism" for inclusion in Pandeism: An Anthology, (John Hunt Publishing, 2016).  The critique applies equally to creationism in general.



It will also be published as a free mini-ebook (4800 words) available at Amazon and other online booksellers.  Announcement of publication will be made by the Reason Revolution on Twitter…



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Added by DAN DANA on April 22, 2016 at 5:30pm — No Comments

“The Faith of Christopher Hitchens” …In Which I Read Snake Oil

I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t the fate of prominent atheists to end up with Christian apologists for spokesmen. Okay, I don’t literally believe in fate (either), but let’s just say the pattern is starting to look a little too common.

Read more here.

Added by Dan Wall on April 21, 2016 at 7:51am — 1 Comment

The Horrors of Alabama’s Unregulated Religious Day Cares

If you need yet another reason to believe that Christian privilege in the US is a threat to children, then read on. When will this insanity end?

The Horrors of Alabama’s Unregulated Religious Day Cares



These days, the phrase “religious liberty” …

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Added by Dismal Desmond on April 20, 2016 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

The Evil We Do Lives After Us

I just watched Roman Polanski's “The Pianist”. Now, being Polish, my mother ran a Polish restaurant on Kent Avenue across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the war, I was aghast at the brutality and cruelty perpetrated on my mother and father's family in Krakow and Warsaw, respectively. A fuckin' horror, just about the lowest levels of human depravity and sadism ever experienced.

To me, the immortal Shakespeare was the greatest writer in human history. The movie reminded…

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Added by Rich Goss on April 20, 2016 at 12:36pm — 14 Comments

A “Strange” World or the World We Live In?

A long time ago, I was something of a fan of Marvel Comics, and among my favorites was Doctor Strange. By way of introduction, Steven Strange started out as a medical doctor who was forcibly introduced to the idea that objective reality as we know it was only one such reality, that there were others which had the potential to interact with ours, both for good and for ill. Figuratively slapped in the face with this revelation, Strange set about to learn all that he could about this new…

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Added by Loren Miller on April 13, 2016 at 9:15am — 6 Comments

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