This Week in Religion 2017-11-05

Image Credit: Pixabay.

“There are reasons to be skeptical of The Way of the Future, a newly incorporated American religion that worships artificial intelligence as “the Godhead.”

It has no church, no worshipers, no doctrine, no scripture, and no rituals. But Anthony Levandowksi, the multi-millionaire engineer who secretly founded it in 2015, and today serves as president and CEO, has a track record of predicting and capitalizing on the future, as he did for example in the self-driving car industry.

The Way of the Future, a non-profit religious corporation in California, says its purpose is “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society,” according to records obtained by Wired magazine.”

Source: http://nationalpost.com/news/world/all-hail-the-godbot-in-silicon-valley-artificial-intelligence-isnt-just-king-its-literally-a-new-religion.

“Does freedom of religion extend to the Charter-protected right to have spiritual places or spiritual beings important to those beliefs protected?

No, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled this week in a decision that has offended many Indiginous communites.

On Thursday, the high court dismissed an appeal by the Ktunaxa Nation that would have blocked development of a B.C. ski resort in Jumbo Glacier Valley.”

Source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorials/1517387-editorial-supreme-court-explains-charter’s-limits-on-religion.

“OTTAWA — In a landmark freedom-of-religion case, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a massive ski resort development in southeast British Columbia can go ahead despite a claim by a First Nation that it violates sacred land.

The decision clarifies a boundary on the Charter right to freedom of religion, establishing that the government does not have a duty to protect an object of religious beliefs. Instead, the duty is to protect the right to hold such beliefs and to practice those beliefs in worship.

“In short, the Charter protects the freedom to worship, but does not protect the spiritual focal point of worship,” the decision says.”

Source: http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/in-key-freedom-of-religion-case-supreme-court-sides-with-b-c-government-over-ski-resort.

“Is religion violent?

It’s a common question that arises when discussing religion, politics and world crises, particularly apparent terrorist attacks of the type that played out in New York City on Tuesday.

Islam in particular is branded as a violent faith, but others argue Christianity deserves the same assessment.

But behind the question is a whole host of problems, and so it isn’t surprising some scholars suggest that classifying any religion as violent is problematic and unreliable.

As a scholar of religion, I also question whether calling oneself “religious” really says anything meaningful about one’s identity. Given the diversity of religious groups, the term “religion” is not only extremely general, but it has a long history.”

Source: http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/challenging-the-notion-that-religion-fosters-violence.

“TORONTO — Doctors say Shalom Ouanounou is brain-dead, and has been for over a month after suffering a cardiac arrest.

His family, devout orthodox Jews who do not believe that neurological demise equals death, insist the 25-year-old is still alive.

On Wednesday, the Toronto residents launched an unprecedented court case against a hospital, doctors and coroners that could overturn the way end of life is handled in Canada.

Citing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, they are pressing for an exemption from the brain-death declaration for patients whose religion does not accept the concept.”

Source: http://nationalpost.com/news/toronto/orthodox-jewish-family-asks-court-to-rescind-brain-dead-sons-death-certificate-because-faith-wont-accept-hes-deceased.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Base

 

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