Tidying up my rooms at the end of the semester, it feels like time is slipping away all too fast. I come across items related to events that feel like they only happened a few months ago, but they date back as far as 2009..
“militant atheists are just as bad as militant..”
So this is what they call ‘Islamic journalism’..Prosperity Drives Australians to Atheism
A bit bold of an Islamic news website to admit that prosperity, i.e. education, leads people to atheism, but let’s read on..
It also found that women in Australia tend to be more religious than men.
For example, Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard is herself an atheist.
The survey also found that Islam is the fastest-grown religion in Australia.
It showed that the number of Muslims grew by 40 percent in the past five years
The fastest growing religion is Hinduism which had a growth rate of 86%, not Islam.
But then they seem to acknowledge they are aware of this towards the end of the article:
Hindus also grew to 275,534 from only 148,123 in 2006.
I’m not sure if the author of the article is a blantant propagandist or simply incompetent.
As anticipated in my last post, the minor religions have continued to grow in number, but in terms of gaining proportion, ‘No Religion’ is far ahead of the competition.
Here are some detailed statistics. I have included only groups numbering at least 50,000. There may be a few minor errors, and percentages are rounded up or down.
Religions ranked by proportion in 2011 census:
No Religion: 22.303%
Uniting Church: 4.955%
Presbyterian & Reformed: 2.787%
Eastern Orthodox: 2.618%
Jehovah’s Witnesses: 0.398%
Seventh-day Adventist: 0.293%
Salvation Army: 0.280%
Latter-day Saints: 0.278%
Not Stated: 8.553%
Total Christianity: 61.144%
Total All Religions: 69.144%
Religions ranked by proportion growth since 2006 census:
No Religion: Up 3.635%
Hinduism: Up 0.535%
Islam: Up 0.500%
Buddhism: Up 0.350%
Baptist: Up 0.044%
Seventh-day Adventist: Up 0.014%
Latter-day Saints: Up 0.011%
Judaism: Up 0.005%
Pentecostal: Up 0.001%
Jehovah’s Witnesses: Down 0.009%
Salvation Army: Down 0.043%
Lutheran: Down 0.094%
Eastern Orthodox: Down 0.123%
Presbyterian & Reformed: Down 0.218%
Catholic: Down 0.531%
Uniting Church: Down 0.763%
Anglican: Down 1.617%
Not Stated: Down 3.322%
Total Christianity: Down 2.8%
Total All Religions: Down 0.3%
Religions ranked by percentage growth since 2006 census:
Hinduism: Up 86.013%
Islam: Up 39.925%
No Religion: Up 31.642%
Buddhism: Up 26.322%
Latter-day Saints: Up 14.633%
Seventh-day Adventist: Up 14.029%
Baptist: Up 11.288%
Judaism: Up 9.570%
Pentecostal: Up 8.372%
Catholic: Up 6.922%
Jehovah’s Witnesses: Up 5.831%
Eastern Orthodox: Up 3.445%
Presbyterian & Reformed: Up 0.925%
Lutheran: Up 0.329%
Anglican: Down 0.981%
Uniting Church: Down 6.132%
Salvation Army: Down 6.291%
Not Stated: Down 21.196%
Total Christianity: Up 3.664%
Total All Religions: Up 7.833%
They’ve just released the 2011 Australian Census data and I’ve taken a look at religious affiliation compared to 2006. Good news everyone, irreligion has grown by 3.6%, whilst all the major religions declined!
Here’s the results and comparison:
Catholic: 25.3% (25.8% in 2006)
No Religion: 22.3% (18.7% in 2006)
Anglican: 17.1% (18.7% in 2006)
Uniting Church: 5% (5.7% in 2006)
Presbyterian and Reformed: 2.8% (3% in 2006)
The ‘No Religion’ response has grown over a million people since 2006!
They don’t list beyond the top 5. I’m guessing Muslims and Buddhists have also grown, but it can’t be that significant, since neither accounts for at least 2.8%.
I’ll try and find the more detailed data and put it in another post.
This is the title we should be seeing, but instead we have the headlines of ‘Fed ramps up economic stimulus, ready to do more’ and ‘Debt crisis: EU leaders set to announce €750bn Spain and Italy bailout deal’.
The idea that there can be a €750 billion bailout is absolutely ridiculous. It is true that the European Stability Mechanism and European Financial Stability Facility have liquidity to inject into the system, but they don’t have enough to bailout Spain let alone Italy.
A week or two ago, they granted Spain a €100 billion bailout which wasn’t enough to cut the mustard with the markets, because it was nothing more than an attempt to stem the recent bank runs in Spain. A temporary band-aid. What Spain really needed was a €300-€400 billion bailout, and that’s why within less than 2 weeks we’re seeing again talks of a further, much larger bailout - one that is simply impossible to fulfil given the recent FED announcement, and I’ll explain why.
First off, let’s start with the European Financial Stability Facility. The EFSF, before the €100 billion bailout, had €200 billion in assets. Not €250 billion as the article states, but €200 billion. And what’s worse, 12.7% of that has been pledged by Spain! So that reduces it to €175 billion, since Spain can’t bail itself out with it’s own debt.
Next we have the European Stability Mechanism. The ESM doesn’t even exist yet! It won’t be ratified until at least July. What does ‘ratificiation’ mean? Well that means that countries actually agree to it and deposit their funds. So far only 3 countries have ratified it by agreeing and depositing their funds into it. Who are these 3 financial powerhouses that will provide supposedly €500 billion? France, Greece and Slovenia. What is this, a joke?
But let’s say all the countries agree and no country goes bust in the meantime. Where does €500 billion figure come from, given that most countries haven’t even considered joining it yet? Well the figure comes from the German finance minister who speculated no less than 3 months ago that the ESM will have a ‘total capacity’ of €500 billion. This ‘capacity’ would be funded through ‘a mix of paid-in capital, callable capital and guarantees’. Note that the actual amount of paid-in capital would be just €80 billion. The term ‘guarantees’ reeks of more leverage, which means created a bigger, more unsustainable debt. And let’s consider the source on it’s merits. Do you think the German finance minister is more likely to be biased in favor of increasing the estimate perhaps? But even if he isn’t, he would have forseen the recent bank run in Spain and consequent €100 billion band-aid bailout that was granted to them. And one last thing: The contribution of Spain to the ESM is 11.9%.
If the EFSF gave out €100 billion to Spain, since the ESM hasn’t been ratified and can’t lend money yet, then it only has €75-€100 billion left. And the ESM, if agreed upon, will only have €80 billion of real capital. It’s no more than €200 billion total, which is half of what Spain needs. But let’s say they do somehow come up with enough to bailout Italy and Spain - What then? They’ll be nothing left to keep the cogs turning. Every time there is a bailout, the media tries to paint it as though it’ll be the bailout to end all bailouts.
Well if you want to see how valid these news articles are, all you have to do is look at the stockmarket. After the €100 billion bailout there was a short bounce which quickly fell into into negative growth and has been trending sideways. The stockmarket knew it was a temporary fix, but they were undecided. Why? Because there was still hope that the FED, who very much has interests in Europe, would provide liquidity through quantitative easing (making money out of thin air). That announcement was expected a few hours ago by the markets, but the FED has decided not to announce QE, and simply continue ‘Operation Twist’. Operation Twist is about keeping interest rates at nil until 2014, and it acts as a kind of stealth QE, but it’s not enough. Read the article, they say the stimulus is $267 billion, which is nowhere near the an expected round of QE which would be in the trillions.
So no help for Europe coming from the US at the present time, at least on the surface it doesn’t seem that way. For instance they’ve taken to calling loans to European banks as ‘swap lines’, which doesn’t sound partcularly important until you look it up. You can see the disappointment reflected in the markets today. Silver dipped and rose 3% within an hour for instance.
The increasing level of bullshit and reassurance in these news articles indicates to me that things are starting to get out of control, especially when you look at the recent response to the bank runs in Spain. They can’t ratify the ESM quick enough to keep up. Preventative measures are increasingly turning into reactionary ones, and I think soon they may not just have the time left for all the necessary legal proceedings, as bailouts become daily or weekly necessities rather than monthly ones. Have you noticed the sudden the sudden shift in emotion they’ve been pushing in the media? Up until a week ago it was all about hope for swift and final solutions, now we see figures like President Obama come out saying ‘None of them are going to be a silver bullet that solves this thing entirely … in the next week or two weeks or two months’ or others supposedly more knowledgable than us about these matters that it ‘may not be resolved for years’ or even in this decade.
Rejection of abiogenesis, evolution and asexual reproduction preceeding sexual reproduction (‘mate’):
”O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women.” (4:1)
Rejection of homosexuality as natural behaviour in animals, despite the fact that homosexuality has been observed as occuring naturally in over a thousand species:
“Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you? Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk.” (7:80-81)
Claims that the appearance of God to Moses sent a mountain crashing down, a violation of the natural laws of physics, and made even more absurd by the fact that Moses supposedly survived the event:
”when his Lord revealed (His) glory to the mountain He sent it crashing down. And Moses fell down senseless.” (7:143)
Claims that humans think in their breasts rather than their heads:
”Lo! now they fold up their breasts that they may hide (their thoughts) from Him.” (11:5)
Claims that bees eat fruit, which they don’t:
”And thy Lord inspired the bee, saying:…eat of all fruits” (16:68)
Claims the sun sets in a muddy spring:
”He reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring” (18:86)
Claims earthquakes are not natural disasters that occur according to the laws of nature, but events caused by God to evoke fear in humans:
“O mankind! Fear your Lord. Lo! the earthquake of the Hour (of Doom) is a tremendous thing.” (22:1)
Claims humans are created from ‘dust’, ‘a drop of seed’, ‘a clot’ and ‘a little lump of flesh’ - and that this revelation should erase our doubts concerning the Resurrection:
“O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you.” (22:5)
Claims that no animal has more than 4 legs, even though every insect has 6 legs, and also claims that humans aren’t animals (otherwise it would contradict the last quote):
“Allah hath created every animal of water. Of them is (a kind) that goeth upon its belly and (a kind) that goeth upon two legs and (a kind) that goeth upon four.” (24:45)
Claims that hail comes from mountains, and that hail isn’t in fact a natural process that occurs in the atmosphere of the earth:
”He sendeth down from the heaven mountains wherein is hail” (24:43)
Claims that the Earth is stationary:
”Is not He (best) Who made the earth a fixed abode” (27:61)
Claims the Sun orbits the Earth:
“He hath subdued the sun and moon to service. Each runneth unto an appointed term.” (35:13)
Claim is repeated:
“It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit.” (36:40)
Claims that there are no asexual species:
“And all things We have created by pairs, that haply ye may reflect.” (51:49)
Claims that testicles don’t produce semen, it’s somewhere ‘between the loins and ribs’:
“So let man consider from what he is created. He is created from a gushing fluid That issued from between the loins and ribs.” (86:7)
“The Quran, virtually on every page, is a manifesto for religious intolerance.”
“I invite those who haven’t read the Quran to simply read the book. Take out a highlighter and highlight those lines that counsel the believer to despise infidels, and you will find a book that is just covered with highlighter.” - Sam Harris
The following is a mere 10% of the total number of quotations referring to unbelievers (all in the same manner as you’ll soon find out). There are 114 chapters in the Quran, I’ve only taken quotations from 2 chapters as you can see by the references.
As for the Disbelievers…Theirs will be an awful doom. (2:6-7)
In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie. (2:10)
Guard yourselves against the Fire prepared for disbelievers, whose fuel is of men and stones. (2:24)
Those of you who broke the Sabbath…Be ye apes, despised and hated! (2:67)
Believe ye in part of the Scripture and disbelieve ye in part thereof?…they will be consigned to the most grievous doom. (2:85)
The curse of Allah is on disbelievers. (2:89)
They have incurred anger upon anger. For disbelievers is a shameful doom. (2:90)
Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers. (2:98)
We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them. (2:99)
For disbelievers is a painful doom. (2:104)
Would ye question your messenger as Moses was questioned aforetime ? He who chooseth disbelief instead of faith, verily he hath gone astray from a plain road. (2:108)
Beautified is the life of the world for those who disbelieve; they make a jest of the believers. But those who keep their duty to Allah will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. (2:212)
Theirs in the world is ignominy and theirs in the Hereafter is an awful doom. (2:114)
Whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they who are the losers. (2:121)
As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire - a hapless journey’s end! (2:126)
Those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of men combined. They ever dwell therein. The doom will not be lightened for them, neither will they be reprieved. (2:161-162)
Slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter…Such is the reward of disbelievers. (2:191)
Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. (2:216)
The disbelievers, they are the wrong-doers. (2:254)
As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities….Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (2:257)
Those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. (3:4)
Those who disbelieve…they will be fuel for Fire. (3:10)
Those who disbelieve: Ye shall be overcome and gathered unto Hell (3:12)
Those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah…promise them a painful doom. (3:21)
Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. (3:28)
Allah loveth not the disbelievers (3:32)
As for those who disbelieve I shall chastise them with a heavy chastisement in the world and the Hereafter; and they will have no helpers. (3:56)
Believe not save in one who followeth your religion (3:73)
Allah will neither speak to them nor look upon them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He make them grow. Theirs will be a painful doom. (3:77)
Those who disbelieve, and die in disbelief…Theirs will be a painful doom and they will have no helpers. (3:91)
O ye who believe! Take not for intimates others than your own folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you (3:118)
We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve…Their habitation is the Fire (3:151)
Those who disbelieve…theirs will be a shameful doom (3:178)
Those who disbelieve…their habitation will be hell (3:196-197)
They have not been taken out of context. If anyone believes this to be the case, I encourage them to look up the verses themselves - that is why I included the verse numbers.
I challenge you to point out just one verse I have taken out of context and explain the real context which justifies it.
It is made lawful for you to go in unto your wives on the night of the fast (Ramadan)…So hold intercourse with them and seek that which Allah hath ordained for you (2:187)
They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. (2:222)
Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will (2:223)
Men are a degree above them. (2:228)
Call two witness from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand, then a man and two women (2:282)
As for those who accuse their wives but have no witnesses except themselves; let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (24:6)
Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females (4:11)
Unto the male is the equivalent of the share of two females (4:176)
As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them (4:15)
Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. (4:34)
If…ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it. (5:6)
Tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness (24:31)
It is those who disbelieve in the Hereafter who name the angels with the names of females. (53:27)
“Respect the human being, because if not your brother in religion, he is your brother in humanity. ” - Ali Ibn Abi Taleb
Hah, then why can’t a muslim woman marry a non-muslim man?
Skepticism is my nature
Freethought is my methodology
Agnosticism is my conclusion
Atheism is my opinion
Humanitarianism is my motivation
(Reuters) - The government and central bank will flood Britain’s banking system with more than 100 billion pounds ($155.43 billion), seeking to pump credit through an economy struggling to escape recession under the “black cloud” of the euro zone crisis. (Link)
Or in other words, more money printed to starve off the end of the Euro, with the debt being lumped upon the private sector (i.e. the British taxpayer).
A few minutes ago I was wrapping up a 1/2oz .999 gold coin so I could put it in a discrete place away from a theive’s intuitions. As I was wrapping it up, the coin slid out of the wrap, hit the floor and broke out of it’s capsule. After a brief heart attack I carefully picked it up by the edges and put it back into it’s capsule (only a part of the rim had broken off), then worryingly checked it over for scratches. By some miracle this piece of soft gold didn’t recieve any scratches at all however, even under a magnifying glass.
At least I only have to get a new capsule, but now I’m feeling fairly bitter that my initiative to protect my wealth has led to losing money, possibly as much as $12 for a new capsule.
EDIT: On the upside though, I think it’s the first time I’ve actually touched pure gold!
Never, ever, eat pop rocks with a sore throat
tOday, a mAn told mE about gOd.
goDD is pPerfEct.
U can nevEr understAnd gGod, but U can alwAys trust hIMM.
bbut Men R nOt perfect.
U may understAnd a man, but you can nevErr trust hIm.