The non-religious show slow steady growth in the UK

Headlines of the British Social Attitudes Survey (BSAS) for 2016 were released this week showing the growth of non-religious. (1) The media has covered them widely. Those responding ‘no-religion’ to the question on religious affiliation were 52.8% of the interviewees (weighting corrected). This is the highest figure reported by the BSAS since it started in 1983. The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey shows an even higher figure of 58% non-religious. (2)

BSAS: UK 1980 - 2030: growth of non-religious

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Covering your Internet tracks

The ‘Covering your Internet tracks’ post was written by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) (updated December 2017) and is aimed at people that find themselves in need of greater security, privacy and anonymity (SPA) for their electronic communications.

The CEMB article suggests a host of tools to increase SPA including use of Signal private messenger from Signal.  PCMag UK (November 2015) reviews the Signal Android app rating it ‘Excellent’:

“Signal is the easiest way to send encrypted messages on Android. It’s a complete replacement for your existing SMS app letting you send unencrypted messages to non-Signal users, and even make encrypted VoIP calls. It’s the best secure messaging app we’ve tested.”

PCMag UK says:

“There are few apps that can claim an endorsement from Edward Snowden, but Signal Private Messenger is one of them.” Praise indeed!

Another tool recommended by CEMB is Orbot about which PCMag UK says in their roundup of 100 best Android apps of 2018:

“Tor is probably more famous for providing access to the so-called Dark Web, but it also provides a useful way to connect to the internet while keeping your movements private.  Working with a special browser, Orbot connects you to Tor within seconds.”

CEMB talk about Keepass password manager which PCMag UK in June 2016 rates as ‘Good’.

Personally, I use Dashlane for secure passwords. Dashlane was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by PCMag UK in November 2017.  Dashlane requires at least eight characters, including at least one digit, one lowercase letter, and one uppercase letter.

SPA Summary by CEMB

“On mobile devices, secure communication is of the utmost importance. Install the free open-source application SIGNAL on your smartphone. There is also a version of Signal available for desktop computers. Phone encryption and periodic clearance of search and location histories are advised. Set a strong passphrase and the remote lock, locate and erase feature.

On computers, many tools can be installed but some websites like OTR can be accessed by any modern browser. Check your browser’s privacy and security settings and schedule it to clear your entire cache and history (especially when your browser is closed) periodically. Limit your cached web content to 0MB and enable tracking protection. Ensure you sign up to a DIME-compliant email service. Updating your DNS / Router settings is highly recommended. Harden your social media privacy settings (SECURE FACEBOOK or FACEBOOK PRIVACY) by placing your associates in distinct groups and setting their permissions accordingly, or better yet try to keep your presence on social media to a minimum. Remember to log out of every site you have logged into when you are done. Be aware that an increasing quantity of your personal information, contacts, views, habits and locations can be scraped from your online presence and sold to third parties. If this point is of particular concern, consider using MASTODON.

Hopefully the information detailed here will help you cover your internet tracks more effectively and assure your personal safety.”


Link to CEMB article. Accessed 7th January 2018.

Child indoctrination help for ex-Christians by Drs. Darrel Ray & Marlene Winell

The September 2017 Church of England survey reveals the extent of childhood indoctrination in Britain. So Atheism UK has compiled this post about child indoctrination help by Dr. Darrel Ray of Kids Without Gods and Dr. Marlene Winell of Journey Free: Recovery from Harmful Religion.

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Childhood indoctrination / socialisation of pre-school toddlers creates up to two-thirds of British Christians says survey

A Church of England survey this week reveals the staggering extent of  childhood indoctrination / socialisation* in Britain. The survey shows that nearly two-thirds of all British Christians become Christian when they were still toddlers at 0-4 years old. (1,2) Seventeen out of twenty Christians become Christian when children or teenagers, only one in twenty when adults.

* h/t Matt Sheard comment about socialisation 19/9/17.

Whilst half of Brits are Christian, four in ten don’t belong to any religious group. Almost six in ten  of 19-24 year olds are non-religious.

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Street Epistemology: Challenging Religious Faith

What is Street Epistemology?


Epistemology is a branch of philosophy. It is concerned with the theory of knowledge (Wikipedia). The Street Epistemology (SE) method typically involves a 10-minute discussion. The discussion is between an SE practitioner (a Street Epistemologist) and someone who believes in God (or another supernatural belief). Initially, the religious person often gives several reasons for their belief in God. But the underlying reason usually comes down to ‘faith’. SE allows people to reflect on how they arrived at their deeply-held beliefs.

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