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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”).


Sep
30
awarded  Explainer
Sep
30
revised Why was Jewish High Priest commanded to have a golden plate inscribed “Holiness to the Lord”?
Tidied grammar. Rewrote title. Retagged.
Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Sep
9
awarded  Popular Question
Sep
6
comment What is the Difference Between ROCOR-MP and ROCOR-A (ROCA)
The first sentence is off too, as it doesn't attempt to answer the question, merely to point out that an answer has been put together in the comments.
Aug
30
awarded  Yearling
Aug
19
comment Looking for red letter bible in database format
@bracketsage. I believe that format is a form of SGML, once memorably described as "XML's weird older brother".
Aug
19
comment Looking for red letter bible in database format
I'm not sure what that last link is supposed to be. It appears to be a DDG search result page for the Polish character Ł. Besides the fact that "the third search result" is unlikely to be stable over time, I'm not sure why we're supposed to be looking at a search for Ł. I suspect you copied and pasted the wrong link. Why not link to the article directly, rather than to a search results page?
Aug
1
revised Why are the books of the Protestant Bible in the order that they are in?
Slight tweaks to grammar.
Jul
29
revised Does God want things? What are some of the things He wants, and how did we find out?
added 210 characters in body
Jul
28
awarded  Enlightened
Jul
28
awarded  Nice Answer
Jul
23
reviewed Reject suggested edit on Why isn't the virgin birth of Jesus mentioned in all of the gospels?
Jul
23
comment What do Christians mean by “holy”?
Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/84837/1696.
Jul
23
revised What do Christians mean by “holy”?
Tidied some grammar. Tidied attribution. It appears that the Meyers Großes Konversationslexikon is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. Changed link to point directly to entry.
Jul
23
awarded  Strunk & White
Jul
21
comment Do people who commit “major” sins after accepting Jesus go to Heaven?
What the flip is a "heart sin"?
Jul
16
comment How comparable are the concepts of the Teaching Magisterium in the Catholic Church and the Jehovah's Witnesses view of their Watch Tower society?
Oooh. Interesting. And I'm afraid I don't have an answer.
Jul
2
awarded  Curious
Jul
1
revised What is the English monarch's current relationship to the Church of England?
added 10 characters in body