Archive for August, 2013

A very recent article and study was just published by the University of Rochester led by Professor Miron Zuckerman and his “decade long” studies have revealed that Atheists are generally, more intelligent than religious people.The review, which is the first systematic meta-analysis of the 63 studies conducted in between 1928 and 2012, showed that of the 63 studies, 53 showed a negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity, while 10 showed a positive one.  You can read more about this study here.

Now let me address to you a few qualms i have about not only this study, but many studies that involve topics like Atheism and Religion. First of all such studies are a major case that tends to feed into the already tense climate between the religious and non religious alike. I have heard the term before, people have refused to take me seriously in any matter because of my faith and that by default their lack of belief gives them instant credibility. This isn’t only in the case of “God discussions” but any topic in general, if people feel you are stupid enough to believe in a supposed “magical sky daddy” then don’t expect them to engage in conversation with you due to your “clear” inferior levels of intelligence. Ah, the bitter sweet taste of self righteousness! It affects us all, whether religious or not.

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According to this “Militant Atheist” religious people should make no important decisions.

This self righteous attitude has been found within the most influential of all Atheists, for example Professor Richard Dawkins, author of the best seller “The God Delusion”. When Christian debater and theologian William James Craig initially proposed a theological debate with Mr. Dawkins it was rejected, multiple times, initially because William James Craig was just not in Dawkins “league”. Very recently (August 2013) Richard Dawkins has also decided to have a go at Muslims on his twitter account by claiming “All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge“, somehow indicating a link between Muslims and stupidity, his tweet was deleted.  Essentially it is a nonsensical approach to facts, once statistics like these come on board we find that people get a superiority complex. I don’t believe in God, hence i am more intelligent than you or I believe in God hence i am a better person than you.

This irrationality though swings both ways, believe me as a Muslim some days i feel encouraged by the Quran’s statement of likening me and my ilk to be the “Best Of Creation“. (Quran 3:110). Yet moment’s i want to put myself on some pedestal and irrationally claim myself to be superior to others i come to realize that indeed 7 billion people are not alike, there are smart believers and smart disbelievers, there are kind believers and kind disbelievers and studies like this that puts one group intellectually or morally “higher” than another is debilitating to society because it not only affirms an “us vs them” mentality it actually plays along with it.

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Such “studies” only feed self righteousness from both sides.

Besides if Atheists think this study takes the cake and confirms what they’ve been assuming and suggesting all along, that indeed the religious are mentally deficient, then let us look at other studies attributed to Religion/Atheism and see what conclusions we can draw from them as well.

According to an August 2013 study by the “Just Giving” foundation, Muslims are the UK’s most Charitable people. In fact Muslims give over 3 times more charity than their Atheist counterparts. (So by this study can we conclude that Muslims are generous and Atheists are selfish and greedy?)

According to another August 2013 study conducted by the University of Illinois, it is said that Christians have a much happier outlook than Atheists, at least according to Twitter. Christians, they found, are more likely to use words like “love,” “happy” and “great”; “family,” “friend” and “team.” Atheists win when it comes to using words like “bad,” “wrong,” and “awful” or “think,” “reason” and “question,” said Ryan Ritter, one of the students behind the study. (So by this study can we conclude that Christians are happy go lucky, whilst Atheists are grumpy grinches?)

According to an August 2012 study conducted by the University of Missouri, it was said that religion is in fact beneficial in many cases to someones overall health. Those who follow a faith, regardless of which one, have enhanced well-being, which scientists attribute to their spirituality. (So by this study can we conclude that the religious are healthy, whilst atheists are unhealthy?)

According to an August 2011 survey conducted by the Gallup Poll it was found that Atheists were twice as likely as Muslims to justify the killing of innocent civilians during warfare.  (So by this study can we conclude that Muslims are peaceful whilst Atheists are war criminals?)

According to a three year long May 2011 study by Oxford University professor Roger Trigg, it has been found that religion is absolutely natural. Trigg says “There is quite a drive to think that religion is private,” he said, arguing that such a belief is wrong. “It isn’t just a quirky interest of a few, it’s basic human nature.” (So by this study can we conclude the religious follow natural law and Atheists have an unnatural, alien type view of the universe?)

According to a September 2008 study by University of Oxford shows that religion can make one more pain resistant and stronger. It reveals for the first time that religion-associated pain resistance is linked to the activation of the brain right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). (So by this study can we conclude that the religious are stronger and atheists are weak?)

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Richard Dawkins recently attempted to link religion with a lack of scientific  achievement.

So in essence ladies and gentleman i am trying to tell you that i take these studies with a grain of salt, they are far from being direct general truths because if we are to go by all of the information we must conclude that Atheists are more educated people, whilst the religious are simply better people. Well we need both “educated” and “good” people in our world hence such studies do not suddenly give me victory points in highlighting how religion is beneficial, nor does it intimidate me when studies reveal that the non religious have a high intellect, all of these studies will simply lead to one thing, the disingenuous clouded thinking of self righteousness that only causes division and a rift in our societies.

Please, do not take these studies too seriously because essentially they mean nothing. I do not care if Atheists are smarter or the religious are kinder, none of this matters to me because i fail clump a group of people into one bundle and call them a faggot (yes, a faggot means a bunch of sticks together). So whilst we have atheists in one camp cheering at one study and calling us religious folks retarded, we also have religious folk that self righteously think they are morally better people, well these “studies” support both of your stupid theories, if you wait with baited breath for the next study to prove your preconceived notion i will keep on walking and living here in reality, these statistics and studies do not matter because it does not reflect my mental framework, it is in direct contradiction to how i think and who i am.

Peace, Salam.

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I have created a short list of my favourite photos that i have spotted on the internet that have left me all warm, fuzzy and restored my faith in humanity. Indeed this daily pattern called life and the repetitive cycle of our mundane doings makes us oblivious to the many wonderful facts around us, we are human and that is amazing- if we let it be. Unfortunately i had trouble finding the original sources to many of these photos, if you are the photographer or know of him/her please let me know for full credit or removal.

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Balloons or War?

Scene 1: Balloon Boy in Afghanistan: When we think of Afghanistan all we really could picture is a war torn nation riddled with “terrorists” and “extremists”. In this street scene in Kabul, amongst the chaos is a young boy selling balloons, even if he doesn’t sell one he at least add so much life and colour to an otherwise uninspiring scene.

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Sheep rescue in Norway

Scene 2: Daring Mission in Norway: The swell was huge and a curious sheep had got swept away by unsuspecting waves. These two men, who are by no means officials of any sorts supported each other on the algae riddled rocks and rescued this sheep being battered on the rocks.

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Who needs arms to surf?

Scene 3: Surfing without arms and legs: Meet Australian man Nick Vujicic who is 29 years of age. Born without arms and legs this man is a living and breathing example of never giving up. Despite his severe setbacks he still gets out there and surfs away, this inspiration is also the author of a biography and self help book.

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Primate and a Mate.

Scene 4: Primate Piggy-back: Little is known about this particular photograph, but considering the habitat for Gorillas is being destroyed at an alarming rate we are seeing rescue efforts in not only saving their trees but also saving the poor primates left frolicking the scarce forest floor.

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Ramadan Offering

Scene 5: Neighbourly love: In a world that is riddled with Muslim suspicion and condemnation stories like these are never seen besides on the empty quarters of the internet. Considering it currently is Ramadan 2013 i thought i’d share this kind offering from a Muslim neighbour inviting others to break fast at his home.

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Live suicide prevention.

Scene 6: Successful suicide prevention: In this scene taken in 2005 at the infamous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, we see police officers attempting to speak Kevin Berthia out of suicide. It took over an hour but eventually Policeman Kevin Briggs convinced him not to do it. 8 years later Mr. Berthia is happily married with two children and in 2013 he had a reunion with the policeman that essentially saved his life.

2011 in Pictures (9)

Interfaith Protection

Scene 7: Coptic ring of Protection: 2011 was a tumultuous time for Egypt, civil unrest left much suspicion in the air but the people united at Tahrir Square and beyond to unite against a government most did not agree with. In this scene Christians form a protective ring around hundreds of Muslims who are in prayer. Muslims later returned the favour by acting as human shields outside a Coptic mass during Christmas. #hope!

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Brotherhood & Kitties.

Scene 8: Brotherhood and Kitties: This undated photo rings very similar to the photo taken above in Norway, though perhaps in less dangerous conditions. These brothers enact in some form of teamwork and rescue a cat that is stuck in some disgusting sewerage, bravo to you lads.!

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Racism? What’s that?

Scene 9: We’re not born racist: This warm and fuzzy photo taken in the United States in an elementary school really highlights an indisputable fact. Racism doesn’t exist in children, this corrupt free acceptance and tolerance is short lived for many people,  but when we can grasp such a genuine moment, enjoy it for the beauty that it is.

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Really, don’t quit your day job!


Scene 10: Spidermans new day job:
Bostons Children hospital put up a massive surprise for its many terminally ill children. This recent good deed occurred July 2013 and put a smile on the dial of many children who idolize their favourite superher spiderman. The window cleaners dressed in costume, waved at kids and swung around, making many sick kids day.

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Borders no Barrier.

Scene 11: Border is no Barrier: In this emotional scene we see two brothers, one of them clearly distraught and saddened. Why? His brother (in the bus) lives in North Korea and the man left  behind lives in South Korea. Recently South Koreans who had to move to the North in the 1950’s were allowed to revisit their South Korean Families and clearly for some, goodbye was too much.

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Black Saturday Inspiration

Scene 12: Black Saturday Inspiration: The Black Saturday Bushfires in Australias state of Victoria struck in 2009 and were a devastating blow to the environment and numerous communities affected by it. 173 deaths and 5000 structures destroyed it was hard to find hope, but this photo is that light. A firefighter gives a drink to a dehydrated and exhausted Koala rescued in the fire.

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Gone but not forgotten

Scene 13: Gone but not Forgotten: Inspiration is not always happy, hope doesn’t always come with satisfying circumstances. The above scene is evidence of that. The destruction and chaos caused by the 2008 cyclone Nargis off Burma/Myanmar is captured in this depressing moment a man realizes everything that he had, is now gone.

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Sky’s the limit.

Scene 14: The Sky Is the Limit: In this undated photo taken at a Korn concert in Moscow, Russia. We see crowd surfing to the ultimate degree. Friends and strangers of this young gentleman who is clearly feeling the music lift him up for the ultimate sounds and views, his face says it all really.

There you have it ladies and Gentlemen, i really hope you enjoyed my personal choice of the 14 most inspiring photos online. Sure there are others but i tried to keep the variation going. Photos like these are important to realize our role within humanity and the impact we can have on society, now rug up, go to bed and feel good about yourself :).

Peace, Salam.