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Take this quiz
Entered on: March 17, 2005 12:47 PM by Ross
Here's how I scored:

You scored as atheism. You are... an atheist, though you probably already knew this. Also, you probably have several people praying daily for your soul. Instead of simply being "nonreligious," atheists strongly believe in the lack of existence of a higher being, or God.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
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NEWS 264 - 20 Comments
From: Ross Entered on: March 17, 2005 1:23 PM
I find it amusing that I'm almost as close to Satanism as I am to atheism according to this quiz. Kind of ridiculous considering Satanism is hardly practicised anywhere in any organized fashion, so I can only assume the person who wrote this quiz merely attributed what they thought were "negative" qualities to certain answers and attached those to Satanism. As far as I know, for all intents and purposes, Satanism does not exist.  
And it is sort of misleading/insulting that atheism and agnosticism are lumped in as fellow "religions," when in fact atheism is strictly defined as a LACK of any religion.  
I definitely agree that as far as actual religions go, I'm closest to Buddhist. I would be shocked if it was any other way. All religions are crazy, but there are degrees. And Buddhists are probably the least crazy of the bunch.
From: Jackzilla Entered on: March 17, 2005 2:49 PM
"And it is sort of misleading/insulting that atheism and agnosticism are lumped in as fellow "religions," when in fact atheism is strictly defined as a LACK of any religion."  
Per the American Heritage Dictionary:  
Religion: 4) A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.  
Bert - How many times have you googled "creationist" or "evolution"? Yeah, you're religious. ;)
From: Ross Entered on: March 17, 2005 3:28 PM
That definition of religion is not the primary one, as you can see by the 4) next to it. In common parlance, "religion" has spiritual and theistic connotations.  
Actually, I should have said that atheism is strictly defined as lack of belief in any gods, not religion. In any case, atheism is not a religion. Could someone be religious about their atheism, though? Sure, but really don't think I am.  
To be as precise as I can be, I am what would be called a "weak atheist":

From: Jackzilla Entered on: March 17, 2005 5:19 PM
"In common parlance, "religion" has spiritual and theistic connotations."  
Well, that might be because most common people believe in a God, don't you think? Don't you want YOUR religion included in the list of religions, Bert?  
Saying atheism isn't a religion is akin to saying black isn't a color if you ask me.  
Also, note this statement at the bottom of your linked text:  
"...atheism is not synonymous with irreligion."
From: Ross Entered on: March 17, 2005 6:35 PM
Hmmm... how can I convince you that atheism is not a religion, Jack? It shouldn't be too hard, let's just think about it for a minute.  
Atheism is not a belief system. It has only one simple criteria: LACK OF belief in any dieties. Notice that it doesn't require any positive beliefs, but simply the absence of some. This difference is key. To put it plainly, does your lack of belief in the Tooth Fairy constitute a religion?  
Atheism carries with it no dogma, no ceremony, nor any other sets of principles or requirements. There are no books outlining the rules for practicing atheism correctly (as there is nothing to practice, as in a religion), no churches, no sacred artifacts or historical figures, and no universally agreed-upon atheist leaders - though sometimes religious people refer to people like Dawkins in such a way, to my knowledge no atheists do.  
And just because atheism is not synonymous with irreligion, that by no means implies that atheism is therefore a religion. It just means that you CAN be religious and atheistic at the same time (technically Buddhists fall into this category), but you certainly don't have to be. So yes, as I corrected myself above, the proper definition of atheism is lack of belief in any gods, not lack of belief in any religions. Though I happen to lack both beliefs - no gods, no religions.  
So my original complaint about the quiz still stands: atheism is emphatically NOT a religion. Again, people can adhere to atheism with "religious" fervor, but that is an equivocation on the word religion (in other words, using a different definition than the one I was, as you did above). Could you MAKE a religion out of atheism? Sure. But now you're adding beliefs on top of atheism. At its core, atheism makes no positive statements about world - it simply doesn't have enough philosophical meat to be considered a religion.
From: The Bone Entered on: March 17, 2005 6:38 PM
This quiz must be fairly accurate as I would rank the following in an order from least to most absurd.  
My score:  
Atheism 88%  
Satanism 67%  
Buddhism 63%  
agnosticism 63%  
Paganism 54%  
Islam 50%  
Judaism 38%  
Christianity 17%  
Hinduism 4%  

From: Ross Entered on: March 17, 2005 6:37 PM
Ha! I'm way more Satanic than you, Bone. I'm gonna drink your blood, beyotch!  
But come on: surely agnosticism is a more reasonable proposition than Satanism in your mind?
From: The Bone Entered on: March 17, 2005 6:40 PM
Yeah, that one slipped my notice.
From: Ross Entered on: March 17, 2005 6:50 PM
I think from least to most absurd, my list would be the following, while noting that this is not really a fair comparison, as per my comments above:  
Atheism/agnosticism - tie, depending on your definitions  
Islam/Judaism/Christianity - tie  
Scientology - had to throw that in as the dumbest of all known religions.  
So yeah, pretty much the same as you, though it's interesting that the quiz ranked me higher in Judaism than Paganism.  
Also although I technically think that Hindusim is dumber than the big three religions (worshipping cows and reincarnation is arguably nuttier than anything they do), I tend to like it more since it seems to generally spawn fewer strong adherents in the modern age.
From: The Bone Entered on: March 17, 2005 7:00 PM
You know Satanists are crazy because they worship Satan. However, their practices are fairly rock solid. Here's an example of their 11 rules for everyday living:  
I Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.  
II Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure that they want to hear them.  
III When in another's lair, show him respect or else do not go there.  
IV If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.  
V Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.  
VI Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the person and he cries out to be relieved.  
VII Acknowledge the power of magic if you have used it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.  
VIII Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.  
IX Do not harm little children.  
X Do not kill non-human animals unless attacked or for your food.  
XI When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.  
Other than the crazy bit about magic - it makes sense to me.
From: Ross Entered on: March 17, 2005 8:04 PM
I guess you're right - thanks for the education.
From: Swerb Entered on: March 18, 2005 11:54 PM
My results:  
atheism 79%  
Satanism 71%  
Paganism 71%  
agnosticism 50%  
Buddhism 50%  
Judaism 29%  
Christianity 17%  
Islam 13%  
Hinduism 0%  
I thought I'd rank higher on the agnostic scale, but I do believe some of the quiz questions were a tad "loaded."  
I've actually done some reading on Satanism, and the basic idea behind it is "do as thou wilt." That statement is generally qualified with something akin to "unless it harms others" or "unless it's unjust" (I'm paraphrasing, and probably oversimplifying it). But there are a few different "forms" of Satanism, one started by Aleister Crowley, who was renowned for his "magic" rituals and liberal sexual ideals, and then the modern Church of Satan, which was founded by Anton LaVey, and is a bit more practical, although mired in silly "goth" imagery. My interpretation is that Satanism is called "Satanism" mainly for shock value and political purposes, and it doesn't necessarily require a belief in the basics God/Devil dynamic of Christianity. A lot of it crosses over with Paganism, especially when you're talking about Wicca and other nature-worshipping religions... which, to my ears, "worshipping" nature in some degree isn't that wacko, because what I've learned by reading Dawkins is that the natural world is an amazingly powerful, reasonable force.  
Magic, on the other hand, is utter horseshit. I don't think anyone here would disagree.  
While this quiz is inarguably interesting, what bugs me is how everything must be lumped into a category. Sure, I guess I align myself with atheism, but I think part of atheism (and this totally jibes with Bert's definition above) is not wanting or feeling the need to label one's belief system. It's like saying an atheist isn't a "spiritual" person... I believe I'm "spiritual" because, by my own definition of the word, I have a healthy curiosity about how and why the world works, and a desire to understand it to the best of my ability.
From: Creeko Entered on: March 21, 2005 11:27 AM
Look at me - I like satan. You can all go to hell!  
Satanism 83%  
atheism 67%  
Paganism 50%  
agnosticism 38%  
Judaism 33%  
Buddhism 25%  
Christianity 21%  
Islam 13%  
Hinduism 4%
From: The Bone Entered on: March 21, 2005 4:06 PM
You evil little fucker!
From: Swerb Entered on: March 21, 2005 11:48 PM
I dunno, I think anybody who got more than 0% Hinduism is fucking wacko. :)
From: Swerb Entered on: March 23, 2005 2:29 PM
Here's something infuriatingly ignint (ignint = ignorant, but even MORE so) I ran aross on the news wire at work:  
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) ? IMAX theaters in several Southern cities have decided not to show a film on volcanoes out of concern that its references to evolution might offend those with fundamental religious beliefs.  
?We?ve got to pick a film that?s going to sell in our area. If it?s not going to sell, we?re not going to take it,? said Lisa Buzzelli, director of an IMAX theater in Charleston that is not showing the movie. ?Many people here believe in creationism, not evolution.?  
The film, ?Volcanoes of the Deep Sea,? makes a connection between human DNA and microbes inside undersea volcanoes.  
Buzzelli doesn?t rule out showing the movie in the future.  
IMAX theaters in Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas have declined to show the film, said Pietro Serapiglia, who handles distribution for Stephen Low, the film?s Montreal-based director and producer.  
?I find it?s only in the South,? Serapiglia said.  
Critics worry screening out films that mention evolution will discourage the production of others in the future.  
?It?s going to restrain the creative approach by directors who refer to evolution,? said Joe DeAmicis, vice president for marketing at the California Science Center in Los Angeles and a former director of an IMAX theater. ?References to evolution will be dropped.?  

From: Ross Entered on: March 23, 2005 3:48 PM
Yeah, here's what the guy on Pharyngula had to say about that:  
I think what we ought to do is get a list of those theaters that reject movies that mention evolution and strip the word "science" from their name. Make it a big ceremony?ranks of people in white lab coats standing at attention, the directors called out and publicly humiliated, burly guys with sledgehammers smashing the theater's marquee, and at the end, everyone formally turning their backs on the object of shame.
From: Ross Entered on: March 28, 2005 9:27 AM
I'm currently reading "Why I am not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell - the dude is sweet as hell. It's actually a collection of speeches and essays he wrote on the topic of religion and the book is named for the first one. Anyway, I found that the entire first essay is available online here, I recommend it, it's quite good:
From: The Bone Entered on: March 29, 2005 12:09 AM
At least the judicial system is still in decent working order:  
DENVER - The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday threw out the death penalty in a rape-and-murder case because jurors had studied Bible verses such as "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" during deliberations.  
On a 3-2 vote, justices ordered Robert Harlan to serve life in prison without parole for kidnapping 25-year-old cocktail waitress Rhonda Maloney in 1994 and raping her at gunpoint for two hours.  
The jurors in Harlan's 1995 trial sentenced him to die, but defense lawyers discovered five of them had looked up Bible verses, copied them down and talked about them while deliberating a sentence behind closed doors.  
The Supreme Court said that "at least one juror in this case could have been influenced by these authoritative passages to vote for the death penalty when he or she may otherwise have voted for a life sentence."  
Assistant District Attorney Michael Goodbee said prosecutors were reviewing the ruling and could ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider or could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  
During oral arguments before the Supreme Court last month, defense attorney Kathleen Lord said the jurors had gone outside the law. "They went to the Bible to find out God's position on capital punishment," she said.  
Prosecutors had argued that jurors should be allowed to refer to the Bible or other religious texts during deliberations.  

From: Swerb Entered on: April 1, 2005 9:47 AM
Here's an interesting article about the IMAX volcano movie thing, written by Roger Ebert... it doesn't say anything we don't already know, but he actually refers people to the talkorigins website!


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