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I’m Irish, of English parents. I was brought up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but am now an atheist. I remain fascinated by religion, both those similar to the one I left, and those very different, though I am more interested by the cultural context and the way people approach their beliefs than I am in the actual theology. (From this angle, Liberal Christianity and Liberal Islam are quite similar, and Conservative Christianity and Conservative Islam are quite similar.) Because I am interested in the social context and the interaction of religion and society, I often see religion at its worst, when it is trying to impose its rules on others, being intolerant and sometimes frankly bigoted. As an antidote, to remind myself that religious people are not necessarily evil, I hang around slacktivist (whose writings often attempt to answer the question, Why does the religious right tell lies all the time?) and The Slacktiverse (where people of many religious backgrounds have very civilised arguments, often about literature).

I might describe my own views as empirical materialist (see Tim Minchin: “Storm”), and my philosophy is probably secular humanist (see Tim Minchin: “White Wine in the Sun”).


Nov
19
revised Does the Bible forbid a man from dressing like a woman?
edited tags
Nov
19
revised What does this reference in the Watchtower Online Library mean?
added 1838 characters in body
Nov
19
answered What does this reference in the Watchtower Online Library mean?
Nov
13
revised Do Jehovah's Witnesses have a systematized way of finding specific types of persons?
added 27 characters in body
Nov
10
comment What is the basis for the idea that marriage requires a ceremony?
@Hello. Please don't.
Nov
6
comment Why does transubstantiation refer only to communion?
Would accept be a better word than assume?
Nov
6
revised Why does transubstantiation refer only to communion?
deleted 3 characters in body
Nov
3
revised Can a disfellowed JW marry after being reinstated?
added 53 characters in body
Oct
31
comment What is the case in favour of adelphopoiesis as a form of civil union?
Since it's a religious ceremony, in what sense could it possibly be a civil union?
Oct
31
comment How are patriotic songs used in US churches?
Related: everydayimpastoring.tumblr.com/day/2014/08/21
Oct
31
revised How are patriotic songs used in US churches?
Linked to specific blog post, rather than blog homepage.
Oct
29
comment Anglican Minor Orders?
@DJClayworth Strange accident.
Oct
29
comment Is the intent of Jehovah's Witnesses to remove Christ from their scriptures?
@Bubbles Considered by whom to be one of the best translations? The specific example you chose was a poor one, as the name Jehovah occurs many times without a good justification.
Oct
27
comment Is the intent of Jehovah's Witnesses to remove Christ from their scriptures?
I've downvoted this, not because it's necessarily a bad question, but because it's badly asked. You provide no examples, nor do you explain clearly what you're talking about. Furthermore, your grammar is terrible.
Oct
23
answered Can a disfellowed JW marry after being reinstated?
Oct
22
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Why did Jesus favor Peter, James and John more than the other disciples?
Oct
20
awarded  Notable Question
Oct
17
comment Question about the PCUSA treatment of Scriptures
Are you trying to ask about the general principles the PCUSA (and yes, you should edit your question to define that acronym, as @robertbristow-johnson says) uses to interpret scripture? Are you asking what the PCUSA believe about homosexuality, and how they support that belief with scripture? Are you asking about how the Bible should be interpreted (on either or both of the above points)? Or are you asking all of these things at once? Basically, I think your question is unclear, and hence not useful.
Oct
17
comment Question about the PCUSA treatment of Scriptures
You define inerrancy twice and infallibility not at all. I suspect that's a typo.
Oct
6
awarded  Popular Question