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Fidem Turbāre
8,559 followers -
...the non-existent atheist goddess... If you believe in me, then you have much to learn about skepticism.
...the non-existent atheist goddess... If you believe in me, then you have much to learn about skepticism.

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In this video, famous atheist Bill Maher and his guests discuss marijuana legalization, and the social and environmental problems caused by USA President Donald Trump, and also respond to Prof. Jordan Peterson's questions and concerns about the nation-wide polarizing effects politics is having on society.

Video duration: 8 minutes 50 seconds

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*** WARNING *** Some profanities ***
Famous atheist Bill Maher discusses with Dr. Jordan Peterson a variety of problems in society, such as the faulty concept of Safe Spaces, and also Political Correctness and its causes.

"[Political Correctness is] the elevation of moral posturing about sensitivity over truth."
-- Prof. Jordan B. Peterson (April 20, 2018; Real Time with Bill Maher)

Video duration: 9 minutes 35 seconds

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"Christopher Hitchens - Diana The Mourning After [1998]" by Christopher Hitchens (https://www.atheistfrontier.com/people/christopher-hitchens/).

In this video documentary, Christopher Hitchens covers the absurdities and implicit censorship borne from the mourning of Princess Diana, despite any critique being a taboo topic in a nation where freedom of expression is supposed to be supported.

Video duration: 35 minutes

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Important video: "Why do people join cults?" by Janja Lalich (+Janja Lalich) and produced by Ted-Ed (+TED-Ed).

Are you or someone you know considering joining a cult/religion, multi-level marketing scheme, or some other dubious organization? If so, then this will be a helpful video to watch because it summarizes the basics of how they operate and manipulate present and future members.

If you found this video insightful, helpful, etc., then the lesson plan (also linked from the video's description) will likely be of interest to you too: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-do-people-join-cults-janja-lalich

Video duration: 6 minutes 30 seconds

From the attached video's description...

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View full lesson: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-do-people-join-cults-janja-lalich

Today, there are thousands of cults around the world. Broadly speaking, a cult is a group or movement with a shared commitment to a usually extreme ideology that’s typically embodied in a charismatic leader. But what exactly differentiates cults from other groups – and why do people join them? Janja Lalich describes how cults recruit and manipulate their members.

Lesson by Janja Lalich, animation by Globizco.
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Important video: "Why do people join cults?" by Janja Lalich (+Janja Lalich) and produced by Ted-Ed (+TED-Ed).

Are you or someone you know considering joining a cult/religion, multi-level marketing scheme, or some other dubious organization? If so, then this will be a helpful video to watch because it summarizes the basics of how they operate and manipulate present and future members.

If you found this video insightful, helpful, etc., then the lesson plan (also linked from the video's description) will likely be of interest to you too: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-do-people-join-cults-janja-lalich

Video duration: 6 minutes 30 seconds

From the attached video's description...

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View full lesson: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-do-people-join-cults-janja-lalich

Today, there are thousands of cults around the world. Broadly speaking, a cult is a group or movement with a shared commitment to a usually extreme ideology that’s typically embodied in a charismatic leader. But what exactly differentiates cults from other groups – and why do people join them? Janja Lalich describes how cults recruit and manipulate their members.

Lesson by Janja Lalich, animation by Globizco.

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"Smells Like Teen Spirit: Millennials and Alternative Spirituality" by Scott Hogan.

This article focuses significantly on the Wicca religion.

[Caption with featured image: "Echo Chen."]

See also: https://www.atheistfrontier.com/library/theology/wicca/

From the attached article...

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Whether you think of “The Wizard of Oz” or “Practical Magic,” the symbol of the witch is widely recognized throughout western society. And whether you’re searching at Urban Outfitters for spell books and healing crystals or at Free People for love potions and tarot cards, it’s clear witchcraft and symbols of alternative spirituality are everywhere. Wicca, a pre-Christian religion, believes in and practices magic, it originated spell books and symbols that can be found being worn and used by millenials.

Why are so many young people turning to these forms of religion and spirituality in the first place? LS first-year Layla Passman has some thoughts.

“Many millennials have rejected mainstream religion so maybe they’re attracted to different ways to become spiritual,” Passman said. “Conforming to a set of rules is unattractive.”

Many people have rejected the religions they grew up following, feeling a dissonance from them due to their structures. On the other hand, religions — like Wicca — and practices — such as the use of healing crystals — are incredibly focused on the individual. These spiritualities and religions tend to be open-ended, making them attractive to a generation of people who tend to reject institutions that were established before them.

“We have to question everything being apart of this generation,” Stern first-year Nahb Babar said. “It’s like, I don’t believe in God, but I think I believe in a higher power.”

This combination of rebelling against tradition and still having a desire for spirituality have led many millennials to seek out other ways to become in touch with themselves or an abstract form of a higher power without having to subscribe to an organized religion.

However, while many are turning towards Wicca for spiritual satiation, the term witch has begun to take on a new form in popular culture.

“Witch describes powerful women,” Passman said. “A bad b-tch who doesn’t let anything get in her way.”

Recently, women have reclaimed the term “witch” as a way to celebrate and embrace feminine power. “Broad City,” a TV show popular among millennials, even uses #witchcrushwednesday to share pieces of the history of strong and powerful women on a weekly basis. While this is a positive message to promote, the idea of witchcraft has drifted into becoming a mindless trend.

“I think people think its quirky,” a Wiccan student who chose to remain anonymous said.

The intention to find spirituality has faded into the background as the appeal to cultivating a spiritual aesthetic has become more focused.

[See attached article for the remaining paragraphs...]

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"Converting to Buddhism as a Form of Political Protest: Low-caste Indians are leaving Hinduism en masse—partly to stick it to their prime minister" (Shirasgaon, India) by Krithika Varagur (+krithika varagur).

Shouldn't that be "Peaceful Political Protest?" After all, Buddhism is a much better candidate by far for the "religion of peace" moniker than Islam is.

[Caption with featured image: "A conversion ceremony in Shirasgaon, India, in 2018."]

From the attached article...

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SHIRASGAON, India—More than 500 low-caste Hindus filled the Veera Maidan, an open field at the edge of a dusty Maharashtra village, on a recent Sunday night. Neighbors openly gawked from porches as the throngs of people filed in, many dressed in symbolic white saris and kurtas. Under floodlights, they chanted: “I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna who are believed to be incarnations of God nor shall I worship them. … I do not and shall not believe that Lord Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu. … I shall hereafter lead my life according to the principles and teachings of the Buddha.” Instantly, there were 500 new Buddhists in India.

The converts had been Dalits, those from India’s lowest Hindu castes, formerly known as “untouchables.” They joined Ambedkarite Buddhism, a movement founded a half-century ago by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a Columbia University-educated lawyer who drafted India’s constitution. Ambedkar was born a Dalit, and he saw the Buddha as a radical social reformer who created an outlet from the rigid Hindu caste system. Today, as inter-caste tensions rise under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose party is affiliated with right-wing Hindu nationalists, low-caste Indians are continuing to find the appeal in Ambedkar’s message.

Dalits make up nearly 20 percent of the Indian population—and many of them are angry at Modi’s government. Last week, hundreds of thousands of them flooded the streets nationwide, protesting ongoing discrimination against them. But their mistreatment within society was rampant even before Modi’s BJP took power in 2014. Between 2007 and 2017, crime against Dalits increased by 66 percent and the rape of Dalit women doubled, according to the National Crime Record Bureau. And now Dalit anger—which manifests in regular protests, strikes, and social media furor—stands to make a major impact on India’s national elections next year.

Perhaps that’s why Modi is trying to win them over—not only as voters, but also as potential party members. The prime minister has been sending Buddhist monks out on the campaign trail and has even attracted some Buddhist politicians to his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He’s also been publicly praising Ambedkar.

In 1954, Ambedkar wrote a “blueprint” for the spread of Indian Buddhism in which he recommended printing a compact “Buddhist Gospel” like the Bible and “a ceremony like Baptism” for converts. In 1955, he founded the Buddhist Society of India. In 1956, he publicly converted to Buddhism alongside half a million others. Six weeks later, however, he died.

One of his descendants, Rajratna Ambedkar, became the Society’s president three years ago. In response to growing demand, he has vigorously rebooted its program of mass conversions. “Almost every day now, mass Buddhist conversions are taking place across India,” he told me. After helping convert 500 people in Shirasgaon last month, for instance, he woke up early the next morning to drive to the city of Surat, where he converted another 500 people that night.


Still, in a country of over 1.2 billion people, the number of registered Indian Buddhists remains tiny at about 8.4 million. About 87 percent of them are Ambedkarites or converts, and the rest are ethnic Buddhists in the Himalayan provinces or Tibetan refugees who followed the Dalai Lama to India. But accurate statistics on Buddhist converts are hard to find because many are not registered as such on the census.

“Often the [census] surveyor doesn’t even ask about religion once he hears a Hindu-sounding name,” said Shiv Shankar Das, a former researcher at Jawaharlal Nehru University who has studied the neo-Buddhist movement. Modern Ambedkarites hope to change this: “We are trying to convince the Indian government that we are not Dalits anymore, not part and parcel of Hinduism,” said Rajratna Ambedkar.

Ambedkarite Buddhism is an increasingly popular option for dissatisfied Dalits because converting from Hinduism to Islam or Christianity is now illegal in several states. Buddhism is considered a “sub-sect” of Hinduism in Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which is a useful loophole for conversion—and a hindrance, because it’s a major reason why the Hindu establishment doesn’t fully recognize Buddhist identity today. Over the course of Indian history, Buddhism has been uneasily absorbed into the Hindu fold, with some arguing that Buddha was really an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. This is a fiercely contested notion, one that converts to Ambedkarite Buddhism specifically pledge to reject.

[See attached article for additional photographs, and the remaining paragraphs...]

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"Buddhist group demands separate religion status" (India).

Buddhists making demands? That was ... unexpected.

[Caption with featured image: "Buddhism: For representation."]

From the attached article...

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A conglomeration of Buddhist organisations has renewed its demand to get constitutional status of separate religion to Buddhism. "The Buddhist should be accorded the status of separate religion by amending article 25 (2) (b) of the Constitution as per the recommendations of Justice MN Venkatachaliah Commission. Ours is a totally separate religion having different set of principles and rituals," said Mukund Khaire, national convenor of the All India Action Committee for Buddhist Law (AIACBL). The conglomeration plans to go for a sit in from April 23 to 25 and then launch a countrywide agitation from April 26.

Khaire said, "According to the census, our population is about 84.5 lakh but actually it is close to 4 crore as many people despite following Buddhism get reflected as Hindus. This means we are more than Christian and Sikhs and deserve to be treated as a separate religion." Refusing any political motives behind the move, Khaire added that if the Sikhs, who were considered to be in Hindu fold, can get the status of separate religion and if Jains also can, then why not us, the Buddhists?

[See attached article for the remaining paragraphs...]
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