No Religion? Here Are 7 Types of Non-Believers

image courtesy of University of Birmingham

No Religion? Here Are 7 Types of Non-Believers (Alternet)

“Catholic, born-again, Reformed, Jew, Muslim, Shiite, Sunni, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist…religions give people labels. The downside can be tribalism, an assumption that insiders are better than outsiders, that they merit more compassion, integrity and generosity or even that violence toward “infidels” is acceptable. But the upside is that religious or spiritual labels offer a way of defining who we are.  They remind adherents that our moral sense and quest for meaning are core parts of what it means to be human. They make it easier to convey a subset of our deepest values to other people, and even to ourselves. 

For those who have lost their religion or never had one, finding a label can feel important. It can be part of a healing process or, alternately, a way of declaring resistance to a dominant and oppressive paradigm. Finding the right combination of words can be a challenge though. For a label to fit it needs to resonate personally and also communicate what you want to say to the world. Words have definitions, connotations and history, and how people respond to your label will be affected by all three. What does it mean? What emotions does it evoke? Who are you identifying as your intellectual and spiritual forebears and your community? The differences may be subtle but they are important.”

Fun, useful list, with helpful breakdowns, citations, and examples! (I like lists.)

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The Mammoth Cometh

The Mammoth Cometh

“Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.”

First of all, don’t let the title distract you. This is not really an article about mammoths, although they are discussed. If anything, it’s about a man and his love for the extinct bird, the passenger pigeon (pictured above), and the lengths he and other scientists are willing to go through to resurrect this and other extinct species. It’s called “de-extinction,” and it’s not just a Michael Crichton fantasy.

The length of the article really allows the reader to get an in-depth look into the history and the science, and it also does a good job analyzing both the pros and cons of bringing an extinct species back to life. Get ready to use your brain; I think you’ll enjoy it.