Religion is a cultural system that creates powerful and long-lasting meaning by establishing symbols that relate humanity to beliefs and values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

19
votes
3answers
3k views

Is Easter named after the Canaanite goddess Ishtar?

According to the Richard Dawkins Foundation: Was Ishtar's symbols anything similar to the bunny and the egg? Was Easter named after Ishtar?
4
votes
1answer
240 views

Will only 10% of the New Zealand population be religious by 2050?

I have seen this episode about religion from the documentary series "Through the Wormhole" and how it is disappearing and they say that it will have only 10% theists in New Zealand by 2050. Is this ...
9
votes
0answers
278 views

Did St. Patrick rid Ireland of druids and other pagans?

I've read that the common story about St. Patrick ridding Ireland of "snakes" is actually a reference to ridding Ireland of druids and other pagans. Some sources say that he accomplished this through ...
2
votes
0answers
220 views

Did the Zohar predict 9/11?

Several websites claim that the Zohar predicted the event of 9/11 (for example, this, this, this, and this). The following quote is from the last link: On 9-11, not only the Twin Towers of the ...
7
votes
1answer
678 views

Did Soviet miners drill a hole to Hell?

This was claimed (though referred to as a hoax by one of the characters) in a recent XKCD comic: http://www.xkcd.com/1330/ Did Soviet miners drill a hole to super-hot cavern where you could hear ...
2
votes
0answers
177 views

Is it correct that only 2% of all the humans that have ever lived, were born before the time of Jesus? [closed]

In the youtube video, "Debate: Atheist vs Christian (Christopher Hitchens vs William Lane Craig" at ~59 minutes in, William Lane Craig states, The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the ...
3
votes
0answers
178 views

Can the events of the Ramayana and Mahabharata be astronomically dated to around 7300 BCE and 5561 BCE respectively?

The Ramayana is one of Hinduism's greatest epics. Nobody appears to know with certainty when the poem was composed or when the events in it occurred. However, while some scholars claim that the events ...
1
vote
2answers
381 views

Were the Jews the first to believe in monotheism?

Wikipedia suggests that Akhenaten (who died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC) was "The first claims of global supremacy of a specific god". Monotheism - Origin and development says, In the cities of ...
13
votes
1answer
476 views

Which of these deities were believed to be born on Christmas?

I got this in my Facebook timeline today and it seems to be viral Gods born on December 25th: Happy Birthday Horus (c. 3000 BCE) Happy Birthday Osiris (c. 3000 BCE) Happy Birthday ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Did Muslim immigrants rape over 300 Swedish children in seven months of 2013?

From Top Conservative News: Muslim immigrants raped over 300 Swedish children in seven months of 2013 In the first seven months of 2013, over 1,000 Swedish women reported being raped by Muslim ...
3
votes
1answer
956 views

Is Halal meat healthier to consume?

Traditionally, Muslims only eat meat that has been slaughtered and prepared according to the rules of Halal. Some people claim that leads to meat that is healthier to eat. Halal for Health ...
4
votes
0answers
183 views

Is there a negative correlation between intelligence and being religious? [duplicate]

A study The relation between intelligence and religiosity: a meta-analysis and some proposed explanations indicates that there is a relationship, with an abstract: A meta-analysis of 63 studies ...
7
votes
1answer
450 views

Has Angola destroyed all its mosques and banned Islam itself?

I'm seeing a few reports, which appear to primarily stem from this report on a site called onislam.net, which claim that Angola has destroyed (or is set to destroy) all its mosques and has banned the ...
9
votes
1answer
333 views

Does the practice known as MBP cause HSV-1 in infants?

To introduce this question, there is an ongoing lawsuit in NYC about the religous practice of "metzitzah b’peh". From the city's info page about it: Health Department investigations of newborns ...
5
votes
1answer
331 views

Did the Miracle of Lanciano turn bread and wine into flesh and blood?

The story of the Miracle of Lanciano is that, in 700 AD, a monk in Lanciano reported that: During the Mass, when he said the Words of Consecration [...], with doubt in his soul, the priest saw ...
-1
votes
1answer
342 views

Did an 'angel priest' pray for a Missouri woman trapped in a car crash?

From The Daily Mail: The riddle of the 'angel priest': Holy man appeared from nowhere to pray with trapped girl and rescuers in traffic accident, told them she would be OK and then vanished ...
23
votes
0answers
941 views

Has anyone ever spoken in a language they did not know?

It has often been said that people supposedly possessed by malevolent spirits can and do regularly speak in languages they do not know. In fact it is one of the four criteria typical for "demonic ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the story of a divine miracle at Mt. Sinai, witnessed by a national audience, unique among cultures or religions?

There is a claim, made by Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen in his books (such as Permission to Receive) and lectures (such as here), that the story of a divine miracle at Mt. Sinai (the revelation of God) ...
-7
votes
2answers
2k views

Does Deutronomy 22:13-21 say that non-virgin wives will be executed? [closed]

From Tumblr and Funnyjunk "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Did the Ancient Egyptians use twenty-sided dice?

Ancient d20 die emerges from the ashes of time Many centuries before Dungeons & Dragons was even a glimmer in the eye of Gary Gygax, ancient Egyptians were rolling a d20 die. Metropolitan ...
19
votes
5answers
13k views

Is Islam banned in Japan?

I noticed some people posting and reposting bold statements online that Japan is (the only) country that banned Islam. I searched a bit and found out that there are some mosques and muslim societies ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Does going to church add up to 3 years of life expectancy?

According to the New York Times: ONE of the most striking scientific discoveries about religion in recent years is that going to church weekly is good for you. Religious attendance — at least, ...
35
votes
2answers
3k views

Are atheists barred from holding public office in Texas?

I saw the following claim in B3ta newsletter #574 (possibly NSFW), under "US Postal Service hates Atheists". Awful, but then Atheists are not allowed to hold public office in six US states, ...
1
vote
0answers
216 views

Is Jesus a disciple of Budha [closed]

I have heard that Buddha preceded Christ by approximately 500 years and that it may have been possible for the teachings of Buddha to have reached the ears of the young Christ and inspired his ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the South Park episode “Trapped in the Closet” accurately depict the beliefs of Scientology?

The South Park episode Trapped in the Closet contained a dramatized explanation (you can skip the first 50 seconds) of the beliefs of Scientology. The video contains in the bottom the disclaimer: ...
-1
votes
3answers
491 views

Does this creation model conflict with modern science? [duplicate]

Does this timeline, loosely based on the Bible, conflict with what the Bible or modern science teach about the age and order of the universe? Creation Timeline Table From the Moment of Creation to ...
0
votes
1answer
764 views

Is a religious upbringing psychologically damaging to a child? [closed]

On his web-site in 2006, noted skeptic and atheist Professor Richard Dawkins wrote: Odious as the physical abuse of children by priests undoubtedly is, I suspect that it may do them less lasting ...
3
votes
1answer
640 views

Is the “Reader voices strong opinion on atheists” letter a hoax?

I've seen on Facebook the following image being shared: Letters to the Editor Reader voices strong opinion on atheists It's time to stomp out atheists in America. The majority of ...
12
votes
1answer
972 views

Did a banned treatise claim Leonardo da Vinci converted to Islam?

I found this to be strange, if not absurd: Morteza Khalaj Amirhosseini, the author of the book "Leonardo Da Vinci's Drawings", went on to say that the book presents a complete biography of Da ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Do Christmas celebrations have these diverse non-Christian origins?

This image from Truth Saves is a little tongue-in-cheek but it makes claims to the real origins of several modern Christmas related traditions such as the tree and carols. You don't need to ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Can Tummo yoga practitioners withstand extreme cold?

I have heard, and seen in TV, that many gurus do meditation in the Himalayas, without wearing any garments. An example is Tummo which is a meditation method from Tibetan Buddhism. It's been claimed ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Was Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism) a convicted con-man?

I frequently hear claims that Joseph Smith was a convicted con artist. While looking into this, the claim is usually in reference to being driven from New York for taking money to find some treasures ...
12
votes
1answer
526 views

Is this movie an accurate representation of secret Mormon rituals?

In the hidden-camera clip BEHIND THE VEIL: Never-Before-Seen Footage of Secret Mormon Temple Rituals we supposedly see never-before-seen footage of secret Mormon Temple rituals. A longer version of ...
8
votes
0answers
303 views

Are the Claims of Edward Carpenter (and others) historically accurate regarding the Zodiac and biblical interpretation?

In Edward Carpenter's, "Pagan & Christian Creeds : Their Origin and Meaning" one of the claims is made that the golden calf story in Exodus is allegorical due to the astrological turning of the ...
7
votes
0answers
290 views

Is prophet Mohammed's “Last Sermon” an accurate translation?

The poorly-cited Wikipedia article states: The Farewell Sermon (Arabic: خطبة الوداع‎, Khuṭbatu l-Wadā), also known as Muhammad's Final Sermon or The Last Sermon, was delivered by Muhammad on ...
5
votes
0answers
259 views

African Pentecostal Witch Hunting Guide real?

I found this online: "The African Pentecostal Church's Guide of Inquisitions of Witches and Magicians in the African Continent - 1989 (Translated from the Swahili Manuscript of the late Bakari Sudi ...
6
votes
0answers
763 views

What is the historical evidence that the Prophet Muhammad existed?

What contemporary historical records of the existence of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, exist or are known to have existed at some point?
9
votes
1answer
8k views

Does putative Islam convert, Robert Guilham, exist?

A widely broadcast story on Islamic sites claims that a Jewish genetics expert from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine converted to Islam as a result of scientific evidence supporting the Quran. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the Bible (Christian and Hebrew) the first one to suggest that the Earth is a sphere?

This website claims that the bible is the first to suggest that earth is a sphere way before the Greeks. A literal translation of Job 26:10 is “He described a circle upon the face of the waters, ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Does the Quran advise men to beat their wives if they disobey them?

I found this post on Reddit in which it is mentioned that the Quran advises men to beat their wives if they do not obey them. This is a quote from the link: Surah 4:34: "Men are in charge of ...
5
votes
3answers
606 views

Does Gallup assume people answer honestly in their creationist vs. evolution polls?

A recent Gallup poll claims that 46% of Americans believe : God created human beings pretty much in their present form within the last 10,000 years or so It seems to me possible that, when asked ...
3
votes
3answers
902 views

Do the key Abrahamic holy books claim that their god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent?

The claim that the Abrahamic god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent is popular among theologians, practitioners of Abrahamic religions and atheists alike (I am referring to the idea of god, ...
-2
votes
1answer
163 views

What does “more likely to be disbelievers” mean in this article? [closed]

With reference to this article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-brain/201204/religion-and-reason My question is, when the experimental group turned out to be composed of more disbelievers ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Was Jesus crucified?

Assuming Jesus was a real person, it is a generally accepted fact that he died on a cross. On the other hand, Jehovah's Witnesses are of the belief that the crucifixion of Jesus is a mistranslation ...
15
votes
0answers
2k views

Do Wiccan energy balls exist?

I have friends who are Wiccans. I've always been a skeptic. Besides crystals, orbs, spells, potions and other things, they have what they call "energy balls". Here's how they build that "energy"1: ...
18
votes
1answer
5k views

Is atheism the fastest growing “religion” in the history of the United States?

First of all, yes, atheism isn't a religion. Taking from the Wikipedia link, atheism is defined as Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Penn Jillette ...
12
votes
1answer
485 views

Does the name of Easter derive from a goddess called Eostre? [closed]

As I write this, the Easter holidays are just beginning. In their honour, I have a question about Easter: I've widely heard that the name of the festival has its roots in its pagan origins, and ...
14
votes
0answers
530 views

Was there an organized early Jerusalem church?

In the period between AD 30 and AD 70, many historians claim that there was an Early Jerusalem Church active and preaching in Palestine. The mainstream historical narrative can be found in this pdf. I ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Did George Bernard Shaw convert on his death bed?

I've seen this quote floating around all over the place. It's often used in popular Christian-lite reading (see the first page of the Google Books search for the quote), but is it true? I have never ...
15
votes
2answers
635 views

Have 98% of Catholic women used birth control?

An NPR article on the debate about contraceptive coverage makes the following claim: In fact, 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control at some point in their lifetimes. Is this claim true? ...