Questions tagged [religion]

Use this tag for questions about religious practices. Do not ask questions about religious beliefs, though. Those are off-topic and there is no tag to use.

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96
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6answers
20k views

Are there officially pronounced “no-go” Islamic zones in France?

In this Hannity interview on Fox News on 9 January, 2015, American author Robert Spencer said that: So in France they have set up - the French government lists on a public web-site -751 no-go areas,...
80
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5answers
10k views

Are most terrorists Muslim?

Those arguing for more profiling quite frequently claim that while not all Muslims are terrorists, most terrorists are muslim. Is there data to show that more than 50% of terrorists attacks can be ...
67
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1answer
15k views

Have Islamic prayers been introduced into Ontario public schools while Christian ones have been removed?

Recently I saw one of those chain letters circulating that made a number of lurid claims that looked suspect for me. Here's the first such claim: Islamic prayers have now been introduced into ...
66
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3answers
19k views

Did Moses live?

Moses is, arguably, the most significant prophet in Judaism and is credited with leading the enslaved Jewish population out of Egypt and into the promised land. Aside from the Torah, are there any ...
60
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1answer
35k views

If American churches paid taxes, how much revenue would that generate?

A recent Cracked.com photoplasty contest produced this image: Is this image correct? Would taxing churches generate that much money, and would that much money be enough to cover food stamps and house ...
59
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4answers
6k views

Is there any explanation for a near-death experience?

One idea I used to hear a lot about was that when people are near-death and saved by medical science that they sometimes see "a light at the end of a tunnel" in a vision. Today I read about an ...
59
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3answers
65k views

Claimed similarities between Jesus Christ and Horus and other Gods

The 2007 conspiracy theory film Zeitgeist: The Movie (Website, Watch online, Wikipedia Entry) states in Part I "The Greatest Story Ever Sold" that major points of the story about Jesus Christ's birth,...
58
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3answers
6k views

Are human beings naturally predisposed to believe in God?

My girlfriend sent me this article from the Telegraph. This is an excerpt: Led by two academics at Oxford University, the £1.9 million study found that human thought processes were “rooted” to ...
50
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3answers
7k views

Is Christianity responsible for the scientific method?

I've heard at least a few times now from apologists that Christianity is responsible for science. For some examples: From a commercial for the site, Catholics Come Home (video LINK that opens right ...
50
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3answers
24k views

Are a high percentage of scientists atheist?

When I was an engineering student, I had many friends who were atheist, or otherwise became so as the years progressed, including myself. Because I grew up with a religious background, I tend to ...
47
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2answers
5k views

Do atheists commit far fewer crimes?

According to a post by latimes.com, "How secular family values stack up": Atheists were almost absent from our prison population as of the late 1990s, comprising less than half of 1% of those ...
45
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1answer
26k views

Did a survey of conservative Christians show 85% would disown their child if they turned out to be homo sapiens?

This Facebook post, attributed to the The Atheist Advocate, says: We polled over 10,000 conservative Christians "What would you do, if you discovered that your child was a homo sapien?" ...
44
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5answers
7k views

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

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 women ...
43
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3answers
14k views

Did Einstein as a student debate with his professor about God and Evil?

There has been numerous videos online claiming that Einstein as a student had a debate with an atheist professor about God. I read the text version of this story in forums and via hearsay, but I just ...
42
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7answers
44k 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 ...
41
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2answers
3k views

Does prayer help to heal?

It's not hard to find claims like these in the media or on the web from time to time. Is there any scientifically verifiable evidence that prayer (in addition to appropriate medical/surgical ...
41
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2answers
6k 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, ...
41
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2answers
90k views

Did Mahatma Gandhi say “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians."?

I have widely heard that Gandhi has said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Is there any evidence of this? Where is this recorded?
41
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1answer
2k views

Did Harold Camping profit from his false prediction that the world would end?

We all joke about it but there's probably lots of people that took him seriously. Now that the world hasn't ended, many are claiming he is a fraud and a con man. Did Harold Camping or his Family ...
40
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2answers
56k views

Is there a place in the world where two oceans meet and they don't mix?

This picture is currently being spread virally: Some Muslims were saying that this is mentioned in the Quran where it is said: He has set free the two seas meeting together. There is a barrier ...
39
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1answer
5k views

Is xenoglossy a scientifically verified phenomenon?

It has often been said that people can speak in languages that were not formerly known to them. Arguably the most often recited example of this is in the context of demonic possession. For example, ...
36
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1answer
3k views

Do atheists have a better knowledge of religion than theists in the United States?

A Pew Survey from 2010 seems to indicate that this could be the case, with the atheist/agnostic group outscoring all others on a 32-question quiz of religious knowledge. Obviously, this lone survey ...
35
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3answers
5k 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?
35
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1answer
8k views

Is this 90 year old mummy “not dead, just meditating”?

Here is a news headline so unusual it can't be true: Buddhists claim mummified monk is 'not dead, just meditating' Senior Buddhists say a mummified monk found preserved in Mongolia last week ...
35
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2answers
3k views

Did fewer Jews die of the Black Plague because of ritual washing?

I've frequently heard the claim that fewer Jews died of the Bubonic Plague than their Christian neighbors in the Middle Ages because Jews took regular ritual baths (mikva) and ritually washed hands ...
34
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1answer
4k views

Are atheists strongly underrepresented in US prison communities?

This popularly referenced survey gives statistics about the number of atheists in US prisons. It suggests just 0.21% of the prison population is atheist. There are more scientologists! This is ...
33
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3answers
4k views

Did Muhammad exist?

What contemporary historical records of the existence of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, exist or are known to have existed at some point?
32
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4answers
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Does the Talmud say, “The Jews are called human beings, but the non-Jews are not humans. They are beasts.”?

According to the Radioislam.org (pro-Palestinian site) page Jewish Racism towards Non-Jews as expressed in the Talmud, the Talmud contains the following verse: "The Jews are called human beings, ...
32
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2answers
6k 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 ...
31
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2answers
5k views

Is Idaho forcing pastors to conduct same-sex weddings or face penalties?

According to this article from "ADF" and this in the Washington Post, the city of Coeur d'Alene is requiring the Knapps, an ordained couple, to conduct same sex weddings or face penalties for ...
31
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1answer
3k views

Is the religious population declining?

Different groups argue that the numbers of religious people are either shrinking or growing, often depending on which group they are from. One example of the shrinking religious viewpoint is the ...
30
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2answers
4k 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: ...
30
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1answer
3k views

Are non-religious people smarter than religious people?

There are quite a few studies that confirm this, the most recent one: http://onefuriousllama.com/2011/09/11/another-study-links-intelligence-to-lack-of-religiosity/ Are non-religious people smarter ...
28
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2answers
3k views

Are there no atheists in foxholes?

As Merlin Mann once said, There are no atheists in foxholes and firmware updates. Okay, scratch the firmware part, but you see the core sentiment expressed quite commonly. I've never fully ...
27
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1answer
4k 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 ...
27
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1answer
10k views

Did any satanic cult ever commit organised ritual murders or sacrifices?

In Manhattan Beach, CA in 1983 members of the McMartin family were accused of a variety of abuse charges against the children in their care. It was reported that the children: "were ...
26
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3answers
3k views

Does the Torah-encoded age of the universe match science?

Dr. Gerald Schroeder published an article in Aish.com about the age of the Universe and the Jewish bible: So the only data I use as far as Biblical commentary goes is ancient commentary. That ...
26
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2answers
7k views

Are men “wired differently” so that they “can't control themselves”?

It seems like such an obviously false claim, but I keep running into the claim that men are "Wired differently" than women and therefore can't control their lust. The claim in conversation was "...
26
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2answers
2k views

Is there systemic sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests?

Is there a systemic relationship between Catholic priests and sexual abuse of children? I ask because I grew up in Newfoundland, which was at the time engrossed in the abuse at Mount Cashel ...
25
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1answer
6k views

Do the majority of Americans take the Noah's ark story from the Bible literally?

From Most Americans take Bible stories literally: An ABC News poll released Sunday found that... ...Sixty percent believe in the story of Noah’s ark and a global flood This claim is often repeated,...
25
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2answers
3k views

Has the Quran (the recitation) been preserved since Muhammad?

Islamic scholars claim that Quran's preservation is the one of the most miraculous aspects of Quran. In fact, a major reason for muslims to believe in the Quran was the preservation of Quran, which is ...
25
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1answer
1k views

Did people blaspheme deliberately to be tried in the Medieval European Inquisition courts instead of other secular courts?

On the Wikipedia page about "Criticism of the Catholic Church", there was recently (though removed by an editor since this question was asked) a little paragraph about the Medieval European ...
24
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1answer
7k 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 ...
23
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4answers
2k views

Are religious people happier?

This video discusses the idea that religious people are happier. Are there: any sources that support or contradict the claims? any scientific papers that address the issue?
23
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1answer
2k views

Are secular/atheist adults less vengeful, nationalistic, militaristic, authoritarian and more tolerant?

From: How secular family values stack up Many psychological studies show that secular grownups tend to be less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian and more tolerant, ...
23
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2answers
1k 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 ...
22
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2answers
1k views

Are there any psychological benefits from participating in a religion?

I have a friend who told me that one of the reasons why he participates actively in his religion is because praying helps him get through tough times in his life, mainly because he can believe that ...
22
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1answer
3k views

Do the Salvation Army policies discriminate against homosexuals?

I have seen several articles and read several blogs stating that the Salvation Army is "homophobic", and that they actively discriminate against gay and lesbian people: The Salvation Army does not ...
21
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5answers
4k 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 this "The Veracity of Torah" lecture on TorahCafé), that the story of a divine ...
21
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2answers
10k views

Does a miracle of spontaneous “holy fire” occur in a Jerusalem church every year?

Has there been any scientific investigation into the nature of Holy Fire, to either clearly debunk it or be determined inconclusive (thus allowing for a margin of plausibility)? Patriarch Diodoros ...