NSA – What does NSA stand for? The Free Dictionary

Acronym Definition NSA National Security Agency (US government) NSA Naval Support Activity NSA National Speakers Association NSA No Strings Attached NSA Network Security Appliance (Sonicwall) NSA Notary Signing Agent NSA National Security Advisor NSA Not Seasonally Adjusted NSA National Security Archive NSA National Security Act NSA National Society of Accountants NSA National Sheriffs’ Association (Alexandria, VA, USA) NSA National Security Affairs NSA No Sugar Added NSA National Stuttering Association NSA National Stroke Association NSA Network Spinal Analysis NSA National Spiritual Assembly (Institution of the Baha’i Faith) NSA Norwegian Shipowners Association NSA North Slope of Alaska NSA National Sheep Association (Malvern, Worcestershire, UK) NSA National Safety Associates NSA Non-State Actor (international relations) NSA National Scrabble Association NSA National Student Association NSA North Star Academy NSA New Saint Andrews College (Moscow, Idaho) NSA National Sunflower Association NSA National Stone Association (Washington, DC) NSA National Stereoscopic Association NSA Negative Security Assurances NSA National Steeplechase Association NSA National Sound Archive NSA National Security Area NSA NATO Standardization Agency NSA National Smokers Alliance NSA Nebraska Statewide Arboretum NSA Negotiated Service Agreement (US postal service) NSA National Security Agents (gaming clan) NSA Non-Standard Analysis NSA National Seniors Australia (est. 1976) NSA Nuclear Science Abstracts NSA Normalized Site Attenuation NSA Nashville School of the Arts (Tennessee) NSA National Storytelling Association NSA National Slag Association (Alexandria, VA) NSA Northern Study Area NSA Navy Support Activity NSA National Skateboard Association NSA Noise Sensitive Area NSA Nikkei Stock Average NSA National Shipping Authority NSA National School of Administration (China) NSA Non-surgical Sperm Aspiration NSA New Statistical Account (Reports on the conditions of Scotland, with reports on each parish, in the 1830s) NSA Nunavut Settlement Area NSA National Supers Agency (fictional from the movie The Incredibles) NSA National Safety Association NSA National Security Anarchists (hacker group) NSA National Sprint Association (UK) NSA Natuurwetenschappelijke Studievereniging Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam Physics Department student organization) NSA Nebraska Soybean Association NSA Naperville Soccer Association NSA No Smoking Area NSA National Softball Association, Inc. NSA Norcross Soccer Association (Georgia) NSA Naval Supervising Activity NSA National Singles Association (Atlanta, Georgia) NSA Navy Stock Account NSA Night Stalker Association NSA National Success Association NSA National Shuffleboard Association NSA National Software Alliance NSA No Significant Abnormalities (disease assessment) NSA Northern Slope of Alaska NSA National Service Alliance, LLC NSA Non Semi Auto (concealed handgun license; Texas) NSA Non Standard Area (of a database) NSA Nantucket Shellfish Association (Nantucket, MA) NSA National Standard Application NSA National Scout Association NSA Narrow-Slot Approximation NSA National Sentinel Audit NSA Net Sales Area NSA Node Switching Assembly NSA Nuclear Support Agency NSA Network Search Algorithm NSA Naval Systems Analysis NSA Nikkei Student Association NSA Net Sellable Area (real estate) NSA Neutron Source Assembly NSA Network South Australia (Adelaide, Australia) NSA Nichiren Shosu of America NSA Net Server Assistant NSA Norwegian Security Act NSA Nabelschnurarterie (German: Umbilical Cord Artery) NSA Narrow Slot Aperture NSA Nikkei Siam Aluminium Limited (Pathumtani, Thailand) NSA Nordic Securities Association (est. 2008) NSA Network Supported Account (Cisco) NSA National Space Agency NSA Non-Standard Auto (insurance) NSA Non-Self-Aligned NSA Network Storage Appliance (computing) NSA Need Special Assistance NSA National Supervisory Authority (EU) NSA Naczelny Sad Administracyjny (Polish: Supreme Administrative Court)

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NSA – What does NSA stand for? The Free Dictionary

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Towards a Naturalistic Spirituality | Naturalism.org

A naturalistic understanding of spirituality

The spiritual experience – the experience of meaning, connection and joy, often informed by philosophy or religion – is, from a naturalistic perspective, a state of the physical person, not evidence for a higher realm or non-physical essence. Nevertheless, this understanding of spirituality doesnt lessen the attraction of such an experience, or its value for the naturalist. We naturally crave such feelings and so will seek the means to achieve them consistent with our philosophy.

But the question for the naturalist arises: how, as someone who doesnt believe in transcendent, otherworldly connections, or in ultimate meanings or purposes, can I legitimately evoke such feelings? That is, how, consistent with naturalism as my guiding philosophy, can I find the same emotional resonance or the same sorts of consolations that my religiously or supernaturally inclined friends experience? What is spiritually uplifting about naturalism?

For naturalism to evoke spiritual states akin to those evoked by religion, the follower of naturalism must find that the conclusions of her philosophy have profound, positive psychological consequences. The conclusions must resonate with her basic human needs for connection and meaning, even though, paradoxically, naturalism tends to undercut the easy presumption of overarching purposes. What then, are some of the conclusions of naturalism, and how might they affect the person who holds them? Although the conclusions for the most part seem negative, in that they deny dearly held assumptions common to most religious views, it may be that the very act of freeing ourselves from these assumptions can generate the exhilaration and joy of freedom, of discovering a tough but liberating truth, in which uncertainty moves us in the same way that certainty does others. This is an experience which counts as spiritual, even though no spirits are involved.

Most generally, naturalism places us firmly within the natural realm, extending from quarks to quasars. The scope of this realm as depicted in our sciences is nothing less than staggering. It is a far more varied, complex, and vast creation than any provided by religion, offering an infinite vista of questions to engage us. What naturalism takes away in terms of a central, secure role for us in Gods kingdom is more than compensated for by the open-ended excitement of being part of something whose dimensions, purpose and precise nature may never be known. In accepting a naturalistic view of ourselves, we trade security for surprise, certainty for an unending, perhaps unfulfillable quest for understanding, and easy platitudes about salvation for a flexible, mature accommodation to the often difficult facts of life and death.

That we are alive and sentient, with the capacity to form an understanding, however provisional, is the source of much amazement to the naturalist, since after all, none of what we consist of is sentient. Such amazement (and there are thousands of natural facts that can evoke it) can be the start of spiritual experience. That the stuff of our bodies came originally from the initial big bang, transmuted by stars and expelled in supernovas, seems a supremely satisfying connection to the most far flung corners (in both space and time) of the universe. This deep sense of connection forms a central aspect of spiritual feelings. The aesthetics of the natural world contribute as well, from the most sophisticated of the human arts, to the colors of Brazilian agate, to the grand structure of the great galactic wall. Best of all, though, is that naturalism shows that creation cant be tied up neatly by our understanding: we will always stand in wonder at the vastness of possibilities in nature, those realized and those unrealized, knowing that we comprehend just a fraction of what might be known, and knowing that there is no end to it. Faced with all this, the naturalist, if she is capable of letting go into a non-cognitive response, may discover feelings of profound awe, delight, and surrender, feelings typical of religious revelation but now felt in the context of a world view consistent with the most hard-edged empiricism. Although it is not widely known, the full appreciation of naturalism and its implications can be as intoxicating, perhaps more so, than any religion yet devised.

Philosophy link: Faith, Science, and the Soul.

It is easy to see that from a naturalistic perspective there cannot be any ultimate purpose to existence: as soon as any purpose is proposed, one can simply ask why that purpose should drive existence, as opposed to some other purpose. Even if God created us to glorify him and his works, we are still creatures that can ask why God himself exists. As questioning creatures, we will always be in the position of being able to second guess any overarching meaning someone attaches to the universe. In short, our intelligence guarantees that we will never rest secure in a comfortable interpretation of existence, since we can see that existence is always prior to its interpretation.

The initial psychological response to this dilemma is often the melancholy feeling that life is therefore devoid of meaning. Since we can never construe an ultimate purpose, whats the point, anyway? But on second thought, once we see the logic of the desire for ultimate meaning – that by its very nature it is an unsatisfiable demand – we can begin to laugh about it, and savor our position as a very curious one indeed. It turns out that smart creatures will never be in a position to satisfy themselves about meaning, at least of the ultimate variety. That fact itself is rather a compelling discovery about existence, one that prevents a complacent, boring acceptance of the status quo from ever setting in. There is no way things are ultimately meant to be, so existence becomes a work in perpetual progress (not towards a goal, however), whose outcome is never settled. We therefore stand perpetually surprised, curious, and wondering. We cannot easily set aside our demand for meaning, but instead of being disappointed about its frustration, we find ourselves free to play with existence (or to be its playthings, perhaps), to create local meaning in activities we find intrinsically satisfying, and get caught up in our human drama, knowing that the drama is set on a much larger stage whose dimensions may never be determined, and which exists for no reason. The direct appreciation of this “no meaning, no reason” aspect of existence can have a profound, and positive psychological impact: we are free of any confining purposes; we are free of the deadening certainty that we have a set role to play and a “correct” goal to achieve; we are liberated to be perpetually amazed at the sheer, startling fact that something exists, not nothing, and that we are part of it. Amazement, wonder and the feeling of connection are arguably central components of the spiritual experience.

A naturalistic understanding connects the human organism to the larger physical world in all respects, via genetics and environmental influences. Since we dont, on this understanding, exist as independent, immaterial agents directing our behavior from a causally disconnected vantage point, this means we dont have free will in the traditional sense. We cannot have done other than what we did in a given situation.

This means that persons are not first causes, rather they are links in the natural unfolding of the world in space and time. As much as we experience ourselves as separate egos, deliberating our fates one decision at a time, our very deliberations are entirely included in this unfolding.

This insight may at first disturb us, since we might suppose we are nothing more than passive puppets, moved at the whim of forces beyond our control. But we are not even puppets, since there is no one separate from the various forces, processes, and states that comprise the person-environment complex to be pushed around. We are, in fact, fully connected parts of the whole, identifiable as separate persons to be sure, but neither causal masters nor victims.

The psychological consequences of this realization are manifold. Without giving up the sense of our own identity and particularity (pretty much impossible, short of profound experiences of ego loss, which may themselves be of value in the right context) we feel a deep connection to the world around us, since that world is, after all, where each aspect of ourselves originates. A relaxation ensues from letting go of the illusion that we must continually “steer” ourselves through life, from realizing that our decisions themselves arise on their own out of the circumstances that constitute our body and its environment. We dont choose our character or motives from some independent vantage point; they are the creations of life and culture themselves, not the artifacts of a causally autonomous ego. Freed from the burden of being our own creators, we nevertheless dont passively resign ourselves to fate, since we understand that as creatures fully embedded in the world, our actions do indeed have causal effects which sometimes make all the difference. The naturalistic dismantling of free will frees thus connects us and liberates us: we are parts of the evolving whole that can witness the evolution and add interesting twists to the outcome by virtue of the capacities that life has given us. But since we are such parts, we can let go of the rather arrogant and ultimately disabling presumption that we stand outside creation. As Alan Watts said, You Are It, and the direct appreciation of this connectedness becomes part of a naturalistic spirituality.

Philosophy link: Free will page.

As naturalists, we understand there are few certainties, either in how life will work out, in how we are supposed to behave, or in what to believe. There is no finally correct way to be and no master plan that determines our role, either as individuals or as a species. Instead, we are part of nature which unfolds on its own, in a grand experiment to no point or purpose. For us, this experiment involves pain and pleasure, these being aspects of nature in its form (our form) as semi-autonomous, sentient beings. So despite our best efforts, life will shock us with unexpected tragedy and if were lucky, some triumphs. We cant help but act as we do, constituted as we are, but we cant, except within very broad limits, predict just what well do next, or what will happen to us. We dont know just what well think or feel or say in the very next moment, let alone the next day, week, or year.

This lack of certainty about life and its outcome adds an inevitably tragic aspect to the naturalistic stance, since things may not work out to our liking, and often don’t. But equally, it adds the element of perpetual surprise and novelty: we don’t ever know quite what’s next. Both the possibility of tragedy and the probability of surprise add their distinctive flavor to a naturalist’s spiritual experience. There is darkness as well as light, the unknown as well as the known, and the pull between them.

Another conclusion of naturalism is that the mental and physical are one, that perceptions, feelings, emotions, thoughts and the rest all consist of suitably organized matter, the brain. As much as it may seem to be the case that our mental lives constitute a separate realm, science shows that there is nothing over and above the brain, or any similarly organized system, whatever its physical makeup, that needs to be invoked to explain consciousness.

This non-dual conception of consciousness gives us new respect for the “merely” physical, for our bodies and our fleshly existence. In what we call our mental lives, the material world evokes a representation of itself that takes on a rich set of qualitative characteristics determined by a massively complex functional architecture. From a naturalistic perspective, there is no insubstantial essence behind or inherent in such qualities, instead they arise mutually as a system of relations and differences that the brain uses to track the world. Although it isnt literally miraculous that the world of experience just is the physical brain, it is indeed a marvel that such is the case; it is quite an astonishing fact. That every nuance of feeling and every twitch of thought is the material world at play can spark a profound experience of wonder, and provides a satisfying, unified conception of oneself: the mental and physical bound together as a natural phenomenon.

Philosophy link: Function and Phenomenology.

Naturalism disallows the existence of the soul. There is nothing about a person that survives death, so we cannot hope for a better world in the hereafter, or for reincarnation in this world. But, there is no nothingness at death, either. One is not plunged into the void, to rest there eternally. Just as we dont experience any “nothingness” before birth, neither will we experience it after death. Therefore, we need not fear death as an ending that we can experience.

How should we feel about death, then, as naturalists? Although we still have our biologically programmed fear of death to contend with, and we may regret projects unfinished or the loss that our death might inflict on others, our death itself does not concern us directly at all. But if we still dread our ending, we should keep in mind that consciousness overall does not end, since others are still alive and being born. Death and birth actually insure the radical refreshment of consciousness, and that might be construed as a good thing (although some Buddhists, for instance, would just as soon consciousness stopped arising altogether, so this view may not give them comfort).

What we dont know, at the moment of our deaths, is what will be next (although it wont be nothingness, we know that). As naturalists, death confronts us with a total cognitive impasse, an ultimate limit on what we as individuals can predict or control. We may at first reflexively recoil at this prospect, but maybe we can jump in, and give ourselves up to this ending of knowledge and control with an enthusiastic curiosity. Not that we ourselves, as this particular person about to end, can ever know whats next, but that there will be a next moment for someone, at least, we can be assured. Our last moments, then, can be ones of profound anticipation and surrender, not to the void, but to the inevitable change in which we participate that sweeps all before it.

Philosophy link: Death, Nothingness, and Subjectivity.

A corollary of being a fully integrated part of a naturalistic whole is that we cannot step outside the system to observe it. We look at the universe from a particular perspective, and even science inevitably reflects our particularly human constitution: we see what we are “designed” by evolution to see, even in our mathematics, perhaps. This means that our world views and philosophies, including naturalism itself, do not occupy a finally privileged position; they are subject to pragmatic change and improvement, and do not represent what the world might be “in itself”.

The naturalist, then, may not be as dead serious or dogmatic in how she espouses naturalism compared to how others espouse their philosophies or religions. This is another aspect, driven by naturalism, of not knowing what is ultimately the case, of being forced not to cling to any certainty. Part of the spiritual experience is to leave the realm of thought for a non-discriminative state (or at least a state in which cognitive distinctions play a lesser role). Being less attached to a particular conception of how the world necessarily is, or must be, may leave the naturalist more receptive to entering such a state. (Not that the naturalist abandons her cognitive style or preferences; such a feat is nearly impossible, short of brainwashing or drug overdose.) Fewer preconceptions about what a spiritual experience must be like, or involve in the way of dogma, make it possible for the naturalist to find wonder and enchantment in many ordinary aspects of life. The distinction between the sacred and the profane gives way to the possibility that a simple, unheralded moment might be the gateway to an immediate apprehension of connection. The here and now become primary, since there are no guarantees of a perfect truth to be attained or a salvation to come later. As much as we strive to achieve understanding, there is no final understanding to achieve (except perhaps this very insight), which means there is no point in putting off the celebration of the present, if we find we are so moved.

Philosophy link: Post-modernism page.

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Towards a Naturalistic Spirituality | Naturalism.org

Marion County, South Carolina – Wikipedia, the free …

Marion County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 33,062.[1] Its county seat is Marion.[2] The county was created in 1785 and was originally known as Liberty County. However, four years later it was renamed Marion County, in honor Brigadier General Francis Marion,[3] the famous “Swamp Fox” and a hero of the American Revolutionary War.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 494 square miles (1,280km2), of which 489 square miles (1,270km2) is land and 4.9 square miles (13km2) (1.0%) is water.[4]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 33,062 people residing in the county. 55.9% were Black or African American, 40.6% White, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 1.3% of some other race and 1.2% of two or more races. 2.4% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 35,466 people, 13,301 households, and 9,510 families residing in the county. The population density was 72 people per square mile (28/km). There were 15,143 housing units at an average density of 31 per squaremile (12/km). The racial makeup of the county was 41.69% White, 56.35% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. 1.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,301 households out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.30% were married couples living together, 23.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.50% were non-families. 25.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.60% under the age of 18, 9.70% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 85.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,526, and the median income for a family was $32,932. Males had a median income of $26,133 versus $18,392 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,878. About 18.90% of families and 23.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.30% of those under age 18 and 23.50% of those age 65 or over.

According to the 2010 U.S. Religious Census, Marion County had the highest concentration of followers of the Bah’ Faith of any county in the United States, at 5.5%.[11]

Coordinates: 3405N 7922W / 34.08N 79.36W / 34.08; -79.36

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Marion County, South Carolina – Wikipedia, the free …

New Kind of Mind: The Difference Between Libertarianism …

I typically describe myself as a libertarian anarchist. People who dont understand what either word means will essentially assume that Im doubly insane. Libertarian is a more friendly word; anarchist is generally perceived to be hostile. Libertarians are usually considered fringe; anarchists are usually considered dangerous. Yet some people, especially people who are libertarian or anarchists, view the words as essentially the same thing. Analytically speaking, it seems there should be a distinction even if the situation likens itself in many cases to a square being a rectangle, but rectangle not necessarily being a square.

Libertarianism is an ethical doctrine. It is concerned with rights. Most commonly this right is referred to as the right to self ownership which includes the right to the product of your labor. For some (probably most) libertarians, this is essentially a faith based, though not necessarily theological, concept. It is taken on faith that men are imbued with this right through nature or that that these rights are implied by the nature of truth, knowledge, existence, reason, etc. What is ironic about this faith based libertarian concept is that it is widely accepted on face value by most participants in modern (classical) liberal societies. It is conservative (not as in American Conservatives, but as in historically organized society) culture that refutes the idea of self ownership by subjecting the behavior of the individual to the enforced law of the moral majority. However, the concept of self ownership is thoroughly ignored by most in society even while they champion it as the bedrock of their modern culture of tolerance. This is because most of society is conservative and Rightist as opposed to liberal and Leftist. This betrayal of self ownership is implied by the aggression of the government that is condoned by the populace. Even commonplace policy positions in support of a state single payer health care system or a central bank or drug prohibition demonstrate the contempt the populace shows to the individual who libertarians argue should hold sole dominion over his own life. The popular opinion demonstrates a fondness for collective ownership of individuals – a collective slavery, if you will – that the scope of control over humanity extends past ones own fingertips to some degree.

The other form of libertarianism holds that libertarianism is a desirable ethical standard because it results in the most beneficial outcomes. Consequentialists do not operate on faithful assumptions about the nature and rights of men. Their considerations are directed towards a scientific standard that observes and deduces that greater degrees of self ownership and liberty result in a flourishing of society in terms of wealth and culture. While not completely comfortable throwing myself into either category (since I do believe in Divinely granted human rights to self ownership), I probably fit best in the consequentialist camp.

The libertarian principle of non-aggression simply is a means of asserting the premise of self ownership. The non-aggression principle states that one may/should not use coercive physical force to violate the self ownership of any other person. The principle clearly understood merely asserts that all actions should be voluntarily untaken. Likewise, toleration is a key characteristic of libertarian ethics. Libertarians are not required to approve of the actions of others, but, so long as those actions are non-coercive, persuasion is the only ethical outlet for change. The use of force is illegitimate for libertarians. Only the initiation of such force justifies the use of force and only as retaliation. What is clear is that libertarians oppose government. Government is any actor, individual, or collective that negates the liberty of self ownership – any entity that claims control over another person or persons. Libertarians generally concede the necessity of institutions that may seek to prevent violations of liberty in advance through the use of defensive tactics. The purest and most cogent form of libertarianism is anarchistic because the existence of a State requires the involuntary submission to pay for the monopoly services of that State, an obvious violation of liberty.

Anarchism has nothing to do with rights or ethics. The concept of philosophical anarchism may, but that is very similar if not the same as libertarianism. Anarchism is a political concept that promotes ideas hostile to the State. The State can essentially be viewed as a self enforcing monopoly with power over a specified although possibly indefinite region. Because governing institutions are most effective at depriving individuals of liberty, they are well equipped to claim dominion over and submission to itself, while aiming to protect itself from competition. The most effective tool at the disposal of a State or a government that wishes to obtain or maintain Statehood is propaganda which to reinforce its Laws through pop justification. Statist institutions maintain their monopoly through force and through the repeated demonization of competing government and defensive services. Usually, States will seek to expand their role from just that of a governing body to one of greater scope ie education, health care, postal services, etc. States are emblematic and self-reinforced by their governing AND governed classes. In monarchy, a single person is put in charge of the lawmaking process. In oligarchy, a few people decide the laws. In aristocracy, the wealthy decide the laws. In a democracy, the law is decided by the majority of people. Anarchism is opposition to all of this. Fundamentally, anarchism is a strain of political anti-authoritarianism that regards the authority of the State governing class as illegitimate. Anarchists seek the abolition of the political State and its resultant law in lieu of a new order of organic law.

The confusion between anarchy and chaos is fair to a degree. With the abolition of the State, the law would be the natural outcome of community, market, and physical dominance. However, this does not distinguish it from the State at all. The society that approves the will of the State determines the legitimate scope of the State. Furthermore, the rule of the State is enforced strictly through physical dominance. In an anarchist society, one could act anti-socially to any degree he pleases and can get away with, but it is unlikely in civil society that he would last very long. The fear that these people would run rampant is unwarranted. The benefits of cooperation discourage anti-social behavior. The cooperative aspects of society have been learned and evolved into to deal with anti-social behavior. So, any man exposing the world to tyranny would not likely have long before voluntary and contractual coalitions of people were to fight back. Even if this were not the case, the pro-State assumption that anti-social, and in this sense I mean both malevolent and incompetent, people will not infiltrate the State apparatus is false. In fact, the opposite is true. The State apparatus, not existing on a competitive level to help ensure quality and customer satisfaction, involves the gradual usurpation of power by the anti-social (of course assuming the originators of the State were not themselves anti-social). The cohesive force in anarchist society is contract and cooperation for mutual benefit. In other words, anarchist society promotes the thriving of the market by leveling the playing field, increasing transparency, and reflecting the demands of society over State.

An interesting way to view the anarchist struggle is to envision a society of political ladders of power. Statist leaders attempt to climb these ladders to gain power and oversight. Anarchists shake the ladders and expose as phony the pretense under which Statists argue they had a right to become lawmakers instead of market participants in the first place. As the evolution of Statism takes hold and the justifications for it become more broad, the privilege of Statism extends to a larger base of people, starting as monarchist and culminating in democratic. Anarchists are there the entire time to shake the ladders and challenge the idea there should be ladders at all.

In summation, libertarians promote voluntary human interactions as morally imperative or advantageous. Anarchists oppose others holding dominion over them. Libertarianism is the liberation of all individuals from the authority of society. Anarchism is the liberation of self from (political) authority. A (pure) libertarian is an anarchist, but an anarchist is not necessarily a libertarian.

Next Up: Why I Am First and Foremost an Anarchist and Less of a Libertarian

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New Kind of Mind: The Difference Between Libertarianism …

What one of the anti-vaccination movements least favorite doctors discovered about Jesus

By Rachel Marie Stone April 13 at 9:46 AM


Dr. Paul Offit was pretty sure that religion was harmful to children.

But while writing his newest book on medicine, the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine was surprised by Jesus.

Offit says he always had moderate respect for religion but started to doubt when, as a young attending physician, he saw five children die within 10 days during an outbreak of measles in Philadelphia in 1991. At the center of the epidemic were children who were unvaccinated in accordance with their parents radical brand of Christian belief.

A professor of pediatrics and vaccinology at the University of Pennsylvania, Offit has been branded as Dr. Proffit by anti-vaccination activists. In previous books, he has defended vaccinations, challenged the now widely discredited autism-vaccine link and sharply criticized the alternative medicine industry. When he published Autisms False Prophets in 2008, he didnt go on book tour because had received death threats.

[How the U.S. went from eliminating measles to a measles outbreak at Disneyland]

Having seen children die because of their parents religiously-motivated neglect including the use of religious exemptions to vaccination, Offit began to read and to appreciate new atheist writings, including books by Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. As he began writing his new book, Bad Faith: How Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine, he assumed that he would arrive at similar conclusions: that religion was too often the culprit in preventable deaths, and that it was best left behind.

Bad Faith is full of stories of needless deaths: the children of Jehovahs Witnesses dying for lack of a blood transfusion, the children of Christian Science believers dying for lack of antibiotic treatment and the infants of ultra-Orthodox Jews dying or suffering brain damage after being infected with herpes from unsanitary ritual circumcision.

Most states allow religious exemptions to vaccines and permit parents to claim a religious defense if their child dies from a treatable disease.

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What one of the anti-vaccination movements least favorite doctors discovered about Jesus

Steve Nelson: Religious Freedom Claims Take the Cake

The excitement over religious freedom in Indiana and Arkansas was near ecstatic. Such fervor over cakes, flowers and pizza! A fine phrase, albeit a bit trite, characterizes the various iterations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act: a solution desperately seeking a problem.

The solution sought by Indiana and Arkansas (and other states) legislators is clear: Protect the much-beleaguered faithful from the constant liberal assaults on their religion. The problem is that there is no problem. And therein lies the rub. Whether one believes any particular legislative solution wise, there first must be a religious freedom problem to correct.

And there is not. This issue has been a public relations triumph for the religious right. Even the name of the bill is pure politics: Religious Freedom Restoration Act implies a loss of religious freedom that must be legislatively restored. Such a loss never occurred. If anything, the principle under insidious attack in America is secularism.

I could understand legislation that protected religious freedom if: Christians were being prevented from going to church; stopped from crossing themselves before free throw attempts; fired for wearing a crucifix; or jailed for singing Christmas Carols on Main Street. I could also understand religious freedom legislation if the faithful were being constrained from doing actual Christian things: addressing poverty; loving thy neighbor as thyself; doing unto others as wishing would be done unto them.

I could really understand the need for religious freedom legislation if any religious folks were being compelled to do something prohibited in their faith tradition: orthodox Jews forced to eat bacon; Catholic women required to take birth control pills; Muslim women made to wear bikinis in public.

But how does baking a cake or delivering flowers or pizza prevent or inhibit religious expression? The baker might have a good argument if prevented from reciting the Lords Prayer while frosting the cake. The pizza maker might well object if told to remove her crucifix when delivering the pizza to Adam and Steves wedding reception. But I fail to see the repression of religious freedom in the expectation of a business providing service to everyone.

Even the Hobby Lobby decision makes more sense than this. While I find Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court position constitutionally untenable, there is at least the idea that indirectly providing birth control is to be vaguely complicit in an act that violates the conscience. Of course, this reasoning carried to a logical conclusion would relieve me of paying taxes, as I deeply object to the various wars waged on my dime, but logic has no place at this table.

The parallel to Hobby Lobby reasoning would be if the baker were expected to deliver condoms with the cake or the florist were expected to deflower the groom. But the connection between the provision of service and the violation of values in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not even up to the Hobby Lobby standard, and that is a very low bar indeed.

This recent flurry of legislative and judicial activity has been the religious rights tactic all along. They complain and litigate when children cant pray every morning in public school, as though that is a repression of religious expression, notwithstanding the unfettered right of the child and family to spend nearly all waking hours, outside of school, in fervent prayer if they wish. They insist on placement of the Ten Commandments in public spaces as though there is simply no other location available for demonstration of fidelity to God. The religious already have God on currency and in the speeches of nearly every politician. Legislative sessions begin with prayer. The Pledge of Allegiance, under God and all, is mandatory in almost every school in America. Yet its not enough for them.

Heres the truth: Those behind the various religious freedom laws are bullies. They are not fighting desperately to preserve their own religious freedom. They have, and have always had, complete freedom to practice their faith as much as they wish, without interference from anyone.

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Steve Nelson: Religious Freedom Claims Take the Cake

Text of Narendra Modis address to UNESCO

Director General, Madam Bokova,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am truly honoured to address UNESCO.

I feel specially privileged to visit this great institution in its 70th anniversary year.

This milestone reminds us of a fundamental achievement of our age: for the first time in human history, we have an organization for the entire world the United Nations.

And, through the sweeping change of these decades, through many challenges of our times, and the great progress of this era, the organization has endured and grown.

There have been doubts and skepticism. There is need for urgent reforms.

But, for the nations that came together at its birth; and, for three times as many that joined it later, there is one unshakeable belief:

Our world is and will remain a better place because of the United Nations.

It is this faith that has given birth to so many of its institutions that deal with every aspect of human challenges.

Excerpt from:

Text of Narendra Modis address to UNESCO

Faith aids healing process, Duke doctor says


For more than half his life, Larry Hester has been blind.

“It was a rather devastating blow at the age of 33,” Hester said of learning he had retinitis pigmentosa. “From that point forward, I resolved that it was not going to be what I don’t have, but what I do have. And what I do have is a very strong faith in God.”

But with the help of doctors at Duke University Medical Center, Hester partially regained his eyesight in October 2014 with the help of a bionic implant that helps him once again “feel more visually connected,” explained Dr. Paul Hahn, an assistant professor of ophthalmology.

The procedure involved implanting a sensor in his retina that communicates wirelessly with a pair a glasses that pick up images with a small camera. When the glasses send the images back to the implant, it stimulates Hester’s retina, which transmits information to his brain so that he can perceive patterns of light.

“The surgery was about four hours long and there was a microchip planted in my left eye, along with a ring with electronics on it,” Hester explained of the procedure on Sept. 10, 2014. “Oct. 1 was when they actually turned on the device, and that’s a pretty special time.”

His full vision hasn’t been restored, but he can make out the silhouette of most things.

Looking at WNCN’s Eileen Park, Hester said, “I’ve zeroed in and I’ve scanned — I see your facial, I know where your face is. I can reach out and touch, and I’ve never been able to do that before.”

Before the implant, Hester said he could “see no light at all.”

Hester believes it was the skill of the surgeon and the developers of his bionic eye that gave him new sight. But he credits his faith in God and his Christian beliefs just as much for what he calls “nothing short of a miracle.”

Continued here:

Faith aids healing process, Duke doctor says

Backlash against religious freedom laws helps gay rights in Indiana, Arkansas

What began 20 years ago as a bipartisan drive to protect the rights of people to follow their faith against an overbearing government erupted this week into a divisive dispute over gay rights and religious freedom.

And the fracture can be traced back to two recent moves by the Supreme Court that set up an unusual legal crosscurrent between liberals and conservatives.

By overturning a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, the court set in motion a string of rulings across the nation that voided state laws banning same-sex marriage. By this June, a majority of justices is widely expected to legalize gay marriage nationwide.

At the same time, the Supreme Court ruled in another case last year that the family owners of the Hobby Lobby craft-store chain had a religious-liberty right to refuse to offer contraception coverage for its employees.

So while the marriage ruling opened the door for expanded protections for gays and lesbians, the Hobby Lobby decision offered new tools for those opposed to such moves.

Conservatives applauded the 5-4 Hobby Lobby ruling, which was based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by President Clinton in 1993. The law originally aimed to protect the Amish, Native Americans and others whose religious practices ran afoul of local or state laws says the “government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”

But the court’s conservative majority defined “person” to include profit-making companies. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking for the liberal dissenters, called it a “decision of startling breadth” that gives “commercial enterprises, including corporations” a right to ignore laws that conflict with their owners’ religious views.

Armed with the Hobby Lobby ruling and concerned that their statewide bans against same-sex marriage were in danger, conservative lawmakers in Indiana, Arkansas and other states adopted their own versions of the federal religious-freedom law.

Some conservatives hoped the 1993 law would protect religious-minded individuals and businesses from legal mandates on gay marriage that they said would violate their faith. The most commonly cited example was a religious baker who did not want to be forced to make a cake for a gay wedding.

Using the Hobby Lobby precedent, some states broadened the scope of the federal religious-liberty law which dealt with conflicts between the government and individuals and defined a protected person to include a business, company or corporation. That small change created a large concern.

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Backlash against religious freedom laws helps gay rights in Indiana, Arkansas

'Going Clear' on Scientology: Inside the Church Popular in Hollywood

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Power Players

While it boasts of membership from Hollywoods A-list, including Tom Cruise and John Travolta, the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology remain largely a mystery to onlookers. But a new HBO documentary claims to expose the church’s secrets through accounts of former members.

Much like the faith it seeks to demystify, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has spurred a wave of controversy in the wake of its explosive allegations about life inside the church, its practices, and its deceased founder: Science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard.

Author and journalist Lawrence Wright, who wrote the book upon which the film is based, sat down with Power Players at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C., for a discussion on the belief system and founding origin of Scientology.

The idea is that it’s a step-by-step ladder to spiritual enlightenment, and if you follow the techniques … you will purge your mind of fears and neuroses, Wright explained. Then, you’ll be enlisted in this cause, which is to clear the planet, to save the planet and keep it from destroying itself.

In the film, former members of the church explain how the introductory principles of the techniques initially drew them to the religion. But in progressing up the ladder to spiritual enlightenment, one former member — Academy Award-winning film director Paul Haggis, who spent 35 years in the faith — recalls being presented with a head-scratching theory about the origin of the Earth.

They gave him a locked briefcase, which he lashed to his wrist, and went into a room that was locked. And then he opened up the briefcase, and inside — in Hubbard’s handwritten script — is the story of the origin of the universe, which is the Xenu story of a galaxy far, far away, back in time, Wright said.

People were shipped on airplanes … dropped in volcanoes and blown up with hydrogen bombs.

It was a turning point for Haggis. Paul read it, and thought, What? Wright recalled. It occurred to him that this is an insanity test, and, If I say I believe it, they’ll think I’m insane and kick me out, but it turned out that that wasn’t true.

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'Going Clear' on Scientology: Inside the Church Popular in Hollywood

What atheists want you to know

Story highlights Atheists point to Internet as one reason some Americans are losing their faith For many atheists, the scariest thing about coming out is the loss of community, Greg Epstein says Biggest misconception about atheists is that they are a threat, says pastor

CNN’s documentary, “Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers,” tells the story of a number of people who put themselves in that group — and the stigma they’ve faced.

“Stan Bennett” is a minister in a small town, but he no longer believes in God. He’s actively searching for other employment so he can leave behind the job he’s known for more than 30 years. He knows he’s going to come out as an atheist one day, but he’s not ready yet. (He is a closeted atheist, so CNN concealed his identity).

Jerry DeWitt knows how Stan feels. DeWitt spent 25 years as a Pentecostal preacher in the evangelical South, but a few years ago he lost his faith. He still preaches, but he now speaks before a congregation of atheists.

David Silverman is the firebrand head of American Atheists, a group formed in the early 1960s that now has more than 5,000 members. He wears his atheist badge with pride, and his “in your face” tactics have made him a legend in the atheist world.

Greg Epstein is the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and author of the best-selling book, “Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe.” He’s also the executive director of The Humanist Hub, which connects nonreligious community programs in the Boston area and beyond.

After the documentary aired, CNN asked this group some of the tough follow-up questions about atheism. Their answers have been edited for brevity and clarity. The opinions expressed below are solely those of each speaker.

Bennett: Little by little, we are growing up. It’s more difficult for people to stay in their religious cocoons away from the rest of the world. Higher education, travel and the Internet all contribute to our awareness of a bigger world with bigger concepts than the cultural superstitions in which we were raised.

DeWitt: One word: Google. The questions have always been at hand, but now the answers are within our grasp.

Silverman: Religion is factually wrong. As a result, religion lives on ignorance of facts. The reason people are giving up on mythology is the Internet, and the access to information it represents. When religion can exist in a bubble, the lies it pushes cannot be challenged. But when there is a wealth of information at the fingertips of every believer, those lies can be refuted easily, from multiple sources and multiple perspectives. This is why religion is waning, this is why it will continue to wane and this is why it is waning primarily in millennials who are most likely to spend lots of time on the Internet.

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What atheists want you to know

Watch: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Says Religious Freedom Law 'Absolutely Not' a Mistake

Transcript for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Says Religious Freedom Law ‘Absolutely Not’ a Mistake

Governor Mike pence joins us. Good morning. Thank you for joining us. Thank you, George for the opportunity. Was it a mistake to sign this law? Absolutely not. The religious freedom restoration act was signed into federal law by bill Clinton more than 20 years ago. And it lays out a framework for ensuring that a very high level of scrutiny is given anytime government action impinges on the religious liberty of any American. After that, some 19 states followed it, adopted it. After last year’s hobby lobby case, Indiana properly brought the same version that then state senator Barack Obama voted for in Illinois before our legislature. And I was proud to sign it into law last week. But look, I think — I understand that there’s been a tremendous amount of misinformation. Misunderstanding around this bill. I’m just determined, I appreciate the time on your program, I’m just determined to clarify this. This is about protecting the religious liberty of people of faith and families of faith across this country. That’s what it’s been for more than 20 years. And that’s what it is now as the law in Indiana, George. One of the problems people point out is your civil rights laws don’t include sexual orientation as a protected class in Indiana. And some supporters of the bill, who aed with you as you signed the bill, Eric miller wrote, it will protect those that oppose gay marriage. Christian bakers, florists, and photographers should not be punished for refusing to participate in a homosexual marriage. So this is a yes or no question. Is advance America right when they say a forest in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without threat of punishment? The purpose of this bill is to empower, and it has been for more than 20 years, George, this is not speculative. The purpose of this legislation, the law in all 50 states in our federal courts, and it’s the law by statute or court decisions in some 30 other states, is very simply to empowers when they believe that actions of government impinge on their constitutional first amendment freedom of religion. A lot of people across the country. Looking at obamacare, hobby lobby cases feel their religious freedom is being impinged upon. The freedom at the federal level, all the state who is visit, are about addressing that. This is not about discrimination. This is about empowering people on government overreach. Your supporters say it would. So, yes or no, if a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana? George, this is where this debate has gone, with misinformation. It’s just a question, sir, yes or no? Well, there’s been shameless rhetoric about my state and about this law and about its intention. All over the internet. People are trying to make it about one particular issue. And now you’re doing that, as well. The issue here, the religious freedom restoration act has been on the books for more than 20 years. It does not apply, George, to disputes between individuals unless government action is involved. In point of fact in more than two decades, the religious freedom restoration act has never been used to undermine anti-discrimination laws in the country. I’m just bringing up a question from one of your supporters talking about the bill right there. It said it would protect a Christian florist. Against any kind of punishment. Is that true or not? George, look. The issue here is, is tolerance a two-way street or not? I mean. There’s a lot of talk about tolerance in this country today, having to do with people on the left. And, but here, Indiana steps forward, to protect the constitutional rights and privileges of freedom of religion. For people of faith and families of faith in our state. And this avalanche of intolerance poured on our state is outrageous. You’ve been to Indiana a bunch of times. You know it. There are no kinder, more generous, more welcoming, more hospitable people in America than in the 92 counties of Indiana. Yet, because we stepped forward for the purpose of recognizing the religious liberty rights of all the people of Indiana, of every faith, we suffer under this avalanche for the last several days of condemnation and it’s completely baseless. Governor, I — I completely agree with you about the good people. I think people are getting tired of it, George, I do. Tolerance is a two-way street. So when you say tolerance is a two-way street, does that mean that Christians who want to refuse service, or people of any other faith who want to refuse service to gays and lesbians, that’s legal in the state of Indiana? That’s a simple yes or no question. George, the question here is, is if there is a government action or law that a individual believes impinges on their freedom of religion, they have the opportunity to go to court, just as the religious freedom restoration act, that bill Clinton signed, they would have the opportunity to go to the court, go to court and the court would evaluate the circumstances under the standards articulated in this act. That’s all it is. And when you see these headlines about Indiana licensed to discriminate in Indiana. And it just — I’m telling you, George, it is a red herring. I think it’s deeply troubling. To millions of Americans, and frankly, people all across the state of Indiana, who feel troubled about government overreach. This is not about disputes between individuals. It’s about government overreach. And I’m proud that Indiana stepped forward. And I’m working hard to clarify this. We’re reaching out to business leaders. I’m pleased to be on your show speaking across the country on this. We’re determined to make it clear that what Indiana has done here is strengthened the foundation and the constitutional religious rights for our people. It sounds like what you’re saying is people are able to use their religious freedom for their defense. Let’s try to get to the clarification. You’re talking about a fix. One thing people are talking about is adding sexual orientation as a protected class under the state’s civil rights laws. Will you push for that? I will not push for that. It’s not on any agenda. It’s not been an objective of the people of the state of Indiana. It doesn’t have anything to do with this law. I mean — George. Bill Clinton signed the religious freedom restoration act in 1993. I remember that. Then state senator — I bet you do. Then state senator Barack Obama voted for it in the state senate of Illinois. The very same language. But Illinois does have the protections in their state law. This isn’t about — well — this isn’t about individual rights or preferential rights for. It says that everyone has the right to the highest level of review if they feel that the government has impinged upon their religious liberties. That gets to the second possible fix. I really believe, George, that it is — it has been breath taking to many in Indiana, me, included, the fact that Indiana joined some 30 other states and all 50 states in our federal courts by cre — by enacting the religious freedom restoration act. And yet from people who preach tolerance every day, we’ve been under an avalanche of intolerance. I’m not going to take it lying down. The CEO of Angie’s list is putting his expansion plans on hold in your state. Because of this law. Let me goat another possible fix. I think this — I really believe that is a result of — I mean, I’ve been in touch with corporate leaders, both outside the state. I’ve been in touch with mark Emmert at the ncaa. We’ve been doing our level best to correct the gross mischaracterization of this law that has been spread all over the country by many in the media. Some of the media coverage has been shameless and reckless and the online attacks against the people of our state, I’m not going to stand for it. That may be. We’ve tried to be responsible. Let me try to get to this clarification. One suggested fix would be that this chapter does not publish or eliminate a defense to a claim under any federal, state, or local lair protecting civil rights or preventing discrimination. Is that the kind of clarification you’re talking about? George, look. We’re not going to change the law. Okay. But if the general assembly in Indiana sends me a bill that adds a section that reiterates and amplifies and clarifies what the law really is, and what it has been for the last 20 years, then I’m open to that. But — we’re not going to change this law. It’s been tested in courts for more than two decades on the federal level. In some 30 states. It represents a foundational protection for individuals. I got to tell you, George, there’s a lot of people in this country concerned about government overreach into their religious liberty. I’m one of them. I stand with them. And we’ve defended them in Indiana. We’ve made sure the courts in Indiana have used the highest standards. The same standards that are in the federal courts in the religious freedom restoration act. This is about protecting the liberty of every Hoosier of every faith. Do you think it should be legal in the state of Indiana to discriminate against gays or lesbians? George. A yes or no question. Come on. Hoosiers don’t believe in discrimination. I mean, the way I was raised in a small town in southern Indiana, you’re kind, you’re caring, you’re respectful to everyone. Anybody that’s been in Indiana for five minutes knows that Hoosier hospitality is not a slogan, it’s a reality. People tell me, I went to your state, people are so nice. This is not about discrimination. This is about protecting the religious liberty of every Hoosier of every faith and we’re going to continue to work our hearts out to clarify that to the people of Indiana and the people of this great country. Yes or no, should it be legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians? George, you’re following the mantra of the last week online. And you’re trying to make this issue about something else. What wi what I’m for is protecting, with the highest standards in our courts, the religious liberties of hoosiers. I signed the bill. We’re going to continue to explain it to people that don’t understand it. If possible, we’ll find a way to amplify what this bill really is in the legislative process. I stand by this law. It was an important step forward when bill Clinton signed it in 1993. It’s an important step forward to keeping the promises of our bill of rights and the first amendment and our Indiana constitution. I’m proud that Indiana’s adopt the religious freedom act. Governor pence. Thank you for your time. Let’s get a reaction from

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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Watch: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Says Religious Freedom Law 'Absolutely Not' a Mistake

Are Americans losing their religion?

Story highlights Atheists point to Internet as one reason some Americans are losing their faith For many atheists, the scariest thing about coming out is the loss of community, Greg Epstein says Biggest misconception about atheists is that they are a threat, says pastor

CNN’s documentary, “Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers,” tells the story of a number of people who put themselves in that group — and the stigma they’ve faced.

“Stan Bennett” is a minister in a small town, but he no longer believes in God. He’s actively searching for other employment so he can leave behind the job he’s known for more than 30 years. He knows he’s going to come out as an atheist one day, but he’s not ready yet. (He is a closeted atheist, so CNN concealed his identity).

Jerry DeWitt knows how Stan feels. DeWitt spent 25 years as a Pentecostal preacher in the evangelical South, but a few years ago he lost his faith. He still preaches, but he now speaks before a congregation of atheists.

David Silverman is the firebrand head of American Atheists, a group formed in the early 1960s that now has more than 5,000 members. He wears his atheist badge with pride, and his “in your face” tactics have made him a legend in the atheist world.

Greg Epstein is the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and author of the best-selling book, “Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe.” He’s also the executive director of The Humanist Hub, which connects nonreligious community programs in the Boston area and beyond.

After the documentary aired, CNN asked this group some of the tough follow-up questions about atheism. Their answers have been edited for brevity and clarity. The opinions expressed below are solely those of each speaker.

Bennett: Little by little, we are growing up. It’s more difficult for people to stay in their religious cocoons away from the rest of the world. Higher education, travel and the Internet all contribute to our awareness of a bigger world with bigger concepts than the cultural superstitions in which we were raised.

DeWitt: One word: Google. The questions have always been at hand, but now the answers are within our grasp.

Silverman: Religion is factually wrong. As a result, religion lives on ignorance of facts. The reason people are giving up on mythology is the Internet, and the access to information it represents. When religion can exist in a bubble, the lies it pushes cannot be challenged. But when there is a wealth of information at the fingertips of every believer, those lies can be refuted easily, from multiple sources and multiple perspectives. This is why religion is waning, this is why it will continue to wane and this is why it is waning primarily in millennials who are most likely to spend lots of time on the Internet.

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Are Americans losing their religion?

New Xulon Title Ties Science and Spirituality in a Concise Format

Seminole, FL (PRWEB) March 27, 2015

Within the pages of his new book, Faith & Belief Are the Heart’s Keys: Unlock & Soften Your Heart to Set it Free and Live! ($15.99, paperback, 9781498426893; $7.99, e-book, 9781498426909) Daniel Soto will explain the undeniable harmony between science and religionspecifically within Bible-believing religions. His writing comes as a result of many years of dedicated research, and it exists to explain that the truth in the Bible can be validated with science. The text points out that the Scriptures carried wisdom thousands of years ago and those that believed saw something more to life and the physical world.

This information can truly awaken people to opening their eyes and understanding the mechanics of life as the scientific evidence is provided for those that need it, states the author. The approach is different and unique as I explain though my own examples some of the pitfalls we all face, including recent current events that should make people seek out truth to understand the facts.

Having been extremely curious about both science and religion from an early age, Daniel Soto has continually searched and researched for answers throughout his life. He began with a Catholic education that continued until midway through high school when he left for public school. In college, the author was proficient in math and science, and felt there had to be a connection. Daniel began looking at different religious and spiritual programs. As he studied, he realized how similar certain ideas were to what he had learned from Catholic education, resulting in his return to the Bible.

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Communications, is the worlds largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 12,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order Faith & Belief Are the Heart’s Keys: Unlock & Soften Your Heart to Set it Free and Live! through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. The book is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.

Media Contact: Daniel Soto Email: fabheart.book(at)gmail(dot)com

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New Xulon Title Ties Science and Spirituality in a Concise Format

CNN correspondent opens up about faith

Story highlights Kyra Phillips became a born-again Christian as a teen She attended a Christian college, but left after her sophomore year Phillips says she now considers herself a seeker of spiritual enlightenment

I was a bit of a rebellious child. My mom might tell you differently, but I never saw that as a bad trait. I felt that if I questioned authority, fought for the underdog, battled for the things that people told me were impossible, I would be different. Change the world maybe. That same rebellious spirit also led to things that definitely were not good for me, like hanging with the wrong crowd and getting into the type of trouble that I would rather not put in print.

Kyra Phillips

That’s when I “found God.”

I became a “born-again” Christian when I attended a Young Life camp in high school. My home life wasn’t exactly going swimmingly, and this group really embraced me. I loved the Christian notion of community, giving back, praying for others and making friends that cared more about doing good than getting drunk, smoking pot and having sex. I opened my arms to Jesus and fully embraced Christian morals and principles. I decided that I was going to be “that good girl” and go on to do great things.

Kyra Phillips, third from right, would attend beachside Bible studies as a college student.

I started off at Westmont, a beautiful Christian college nestled in the heart of Santa Barbara, California. What a safe place that was. It was also extremely nurturing. The professors dedicated bountiful amounts of time to our individual spiritual development, and regularly prayed with us. My peer group was all about what ministry you signed up for, not what sorority you were rushing. We lifted each other up, had intimate sunrise Bible studies on the beach and spent hours hanging out with friends, talking about how to lead a godly life.

As glorious and fulfilling as all that appeared, two years into college, the world became much larger to me. More complex, diverse, intellectually and spiritually challenging. It became the world of church, religion and faith versus the world of ideas, cultures, and philosophies. I found myself more drawn to Carl Jung than the book of Corinthians. A good friend gave me a book, The Myth of Certainty. It posed these questions:

“Do you ever feel somewhat schizophrenic about the relationship of your faith to the rest of your life? Do you find yourself compartmentalizing different aspects so that tensions between them are minimized?”

The answer to all of these for me was: yes.

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CNN correspondent opens up about faith