Saturday, June 08, 2013

Proof to point to!

I have been using this blog for a while to point to religion as harmful to society, harmful to our democratic structures, and to individuals.  I've tried to differentiate between the belief and the believer - that my arguments are not to point out any person as being stupid or backward mentally simply because of holding those beliefs, but that the belief itself is subject to misunderstanding, manipulation, and outright fraud in ways that are truly and openly harmful.

I know that I have been only partially successful, and will try harder in the future.

But last night, there was a wonderful experience that I must relate to you.

I host a discussion group through the Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH) that meets in my home once a month.  We have attendance of between 10 to 20 people, depending on how attractive the subject is, the time of year and how busy our usual crowd is that month.  We also have a few folks each month who come to us though the site.  Some come back, some don't.  It has been going on for around five years now, and by and large, it is considered a success.

Last night, we had a special guest come to present his findings about his sociologic studies on religion, which he has written up in a book.

The young man, Ryan T. Cragun, is an Associate Professor with the University of Tampa's Department of Socialology, and he has written a very interesting book, "What You Don’t Know About Religion (But Should)"

Instead of trying to characterize it myself, I shall treat you to the précis on his web site about the book:
What You Don’t Know About Religion (but should) is an introduction to the social scientific and sociological study of religion for non-experts. Using clear and simple statistical analyses with US and international data, Ryan T. Cragun provides the answers to these and other questions. At times irreverent, but always engaging and illuminating, What You Don’t Know About Religion (but Should) is for all those who have ever wondered whether religion helps or hurts society—or questioned what the future holds for religion.
 Professor Cragun has not only written an interesting book, but he is a fascinating speaker, and is often asked to go to various places where he delivers speeches on the subject of religion and his study of it.

If you have ever doubted my assertions of the harm religion does, is capable of doing, or how it gets twisted into such a harmful state, pick up the Professor's book.

His book is available on Amazon, and he said it will be available as a Kindle book on June 15th.

I strongly recommend his book, and also has a few videos on YouTube, one of him at the Atheists of Florida.

Go.  Listen.  Read.  Enjoy!

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