Dr Robert Grant, Lecturer in Philosophy at Trinity College, and Michael Nugent, CEO of Atheist Ireland, debate the merits of 'new atheism', as well as the manner in which some communicate their message.
According to even the last census, Ireland is still a Catholic country, with huge amount of people professing to believing in God.
But there is no doubt that atheism continues to gain in popularity.
Dr Robert Grant wrote an article in the Irish Times this week questioning how some atheists put forward their message, and even went so far to say that the way in which the message is sometimes coomunicated is 'dangerous'.
George Hook invited him onto the Right Hook this week along with the CEO of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent, and a lively debate ensued.
Listen to this debate at Right Hook
By Julia Llewellyn Smith, The Telegraph
When neuroscientist Andrew Newberg scanned the brain of “Kevin,” a staunch atheist, he realized that his brain operate in a significantly different way, compared with the Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns.
“He had far more activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area that controls emotional feelings and mediates attention. Kevin’s brain appeared to be functioning in a highly analytical way, even when he was in a resting state.” says Newberg.
When people speak in tongues, they’re gone, they’re in a completely altered state. But most of the time they’re normal people like us
“When people speak in tongues, they’re gone, they’re in a completely altered state. But most of the time they’re normal people like us, with jobs and children – they don’t show any sign of being delusional,” says Newberg. “Scans of their brains – when they’re ’possessed’ – show very different results to scans of Buddhist monks or Carmelite nuns in prayer or meditation. There you see increased frontal lobe activity in the areas concerned with concentration, but the speakers in tongues had decreased activity in the same area, which would give them the sensation that someone else was ’running the show’.”
According to Huffington Post, the UK government has banned the teaching of creationism as science in all existing and future academies and free schools.
Creationism cannot be taught as a valid scientific theory in any free school or academy, the government has said.
The British Humanist Association with “Teach evolution, not creationism” campaign, has been advocating for the change since 2011.
Humanists have today warned the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva that authoritarian states across the world are increasingly using blasphemy laws to assert greater control over the rights of citizens.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) representative to the Council, Amelia Cooper, highlighted the invocation of ‘blasphemy’ in the recent incarceration of bloggers in Saudia Arabia, Tunisia, Bangladesh and Mauritania, as well as the suppression of tweets and user accounts in Pakistan, which were later unblocked by Twitter following the online #TwitterTheocracy campaign. Ms Cooper demonstrated the inadequate access to justice for those accused of blasphemy, citing the arbitrary imprisonment of a Saudi lawyer and the extra-judicial murder of Pakistani lawyer Rashid Rehman as part of a broader trend of the intimidation of those working on blasphemy cases.