Do many atheists pray to God, just in case?

Answer by Cyril Klopper:

My wife was in a serious car accident. The hospital called me to rush over because her condition was critical. Her neck was broken and the vertebrae had begun pressing on the spinal cord. She was dying.

When I saw her she was scalped and bleeding from deep cuts all over her body. The neurosurgeon told me he would try his best but that her spine was probably inoperable.

For a split second I wished there was a god I could pray to. My wife means everything to me and I would do anything for her. But I didn't pray.

The surgeon and his team did manage to save her in the end. Sure, she looked like Frankenstein's monster for months thereafter and even today, 4 years after the accident, she still has discomfort and her x-rays look like the T800 from Terminator. But she can walk. She can jump. She can do just about everything she could before the accident.

Praise be to science! Hallelujah! Take it to the mountains, brothers and sisters! For were it not for the splendid works of man, my wife would surely have died.

Do many atheists pray to God, just in case?

Can atheists point to any mostly or entirely secular societies where people are living in harmony and peaceful prosperity without the nee…

Answer by Rick Thorne:

Yes, absolutely:

Japan
Norway
Canada
Denmark
Australia
New Zealand
France
Germany
Finland
Sweden

You know – pretty much the most peaceful and prosperous countries on earth all have high levels of atheist or "no religious affiliation" citizens – all listed among the happiest, healthiest, and most crime-free nations in history.

Now: can you point to a single theocracy on earth – nay, in the history of our species – that wasn't oppressive?

Can atheists point to any mostly or entirely secular societies where people are living in harmony and peaceful prosperity without the nee…

Why do many atheists want to get married while they don’t believe in religion, which some religious people believe is fundamentally a par…

Answer by Ernest W. Adams:

Marriage is a governmental institution that confers certain legal rights. It has nothing to do with religion.

Why do many atheists want to get married while they don't believe in religion, which some religious people believe is fundamentally a par…

Who would win in a rap battle between Eminem and Kanye West? Why?

Answer by Bobby Fatemi:

Eminem would win in a rap battle against Kanye West
To those that don't really know much about either, this question might not have as obvious an answer as people think.

Often in a rap battle, there is no prep time, and everything is a freestyle. Meaning you have split seconds to decide what you should say next. Eminem has many advantages over Kanye West that suggests he would win in this hypothetical rap battle. 

Experience in Battle Rapping- Advantage Eminem
One of Eminem's strongest talents is battle rapping. This is how he was discovered. He battle rapped his way to a record deal.

Jimmy Iovine, CEO of Interscope Records, requested a demo tape of Eminem's after he placed second at the 1997 Rap Olympics (freestyle competition). Eminem had also won Wake Up Show's "Freestyle Performer of the Year" award, helping him acquire a record deal.

Kanye West on the other hand, first became known as a producer. His talent is putting together tracks that sound amazing. Only later did he become a 'studio rapper'. A studio rapper is what I call someone who needs a paper, pen, and preperation to tell a story through their raps. Because of the prep time needed to produce studio songs, comparing quality of rap songs between the two is largely irrelevant when trying to determine who would win a rap battle.

This should be enough to end the debate, but I will continue..

Lyricist- Advantage Eminem
Eminem is a pure lyricist. If you can ignore all the controversy and sometimes grotesque imagery, no one can really deny that he is a genius of a wordsmith. Eminem grew up perfecting his ability to rhyme (he was publicly free-styling at 14 years old). Half of what it takes to win a rap battle is how well you can rhyme, and In my opinion, Eminem spends most of his time worrying about the words, and Kanye spends most of his time worrying about the music.

Likability over Kanye West – Advantage Eminem
The other half of what it takes to win a rap battle is how well you can win over a crowd. If this is a street rap battle (as opposed to a structured competition), the crowd determines the winner, and I'm sure we can all agree that Kanye West is (perceived to be) kind of a jackass.

None of this is an argument that Eminem is a better rap artist. It is simply that he is a better battle rapper.

To put it into perspective, Tupac Shakur, who many consider the greatest rap artist of all time (I especially hold this view), was most known as a studio rapper. Even though he was a good free-style rapper, he didn't often engage in rap battles, and I grudgingly admit that there are plenty of rappers that could beat him in a freestyle competition.

Who would win in a rap battle between Eminem and Kanye West? Why?

Why is it that the rap / hip hop music scene is dominated by black people and rock is dominated by white people?

Answer by Mark Charles:

Assuming you mean guitar oriented rock music as opposed to pop music, I think there are a few reasons:

  • In order to be a working musician, a lot of money has to be put up by someone to get a record made and to support a couple of tours. This sponsor obviously wants a return on his/her money, which typically means supporting acts similar to acts that have sold in the past. In rap, that has meant that it was even tough for Kanye West to get a deal even though he is black because he hadn't sold drugs. In rock, it is the same. It may cost over $100K to kick start someone's career so sponsors are looking for good bets.
  • Over time, I would expect to see more white rappers. In the early 90's, no one would have thought a middle class kid that had no street cred could sell hip hop records and along came Kanye. Five years ago no one would have thought someone from Canada could sell hip hop records and along came Drake.  As actual street cred becomes less important, someone will figure out how to market a good white rapper and then there will be several.
  • With regards to black people in guitar based rock bands, there are some out there right now (TV on the Radio). They aren't well known perhaps because they don't typically make the pop charts but in my opinion, most guitar bands struggle to get on the pop charts.

Why is it that the rap / hip hop music scene is dominated by black people and rock is dominated by white people?

Why did Straight Out of Compton change the story about Dre getting out of his contract — by suggesting that Jimmy Iovine was responsible…

Answer by Jon Mixon:

For the same reason that Dr. Dre's abuse of women, Eazy-E's drug use and MC Ren's lyrical efforts were all left out: The film is a work of fiction, rather than of historical fact.
 
Introducing Suge Knight beyond being the background character that he was in the film introduces a lot of unpleasantness to what was a surprisingly "feel good" film. Knight's antics would have been seen as being as troubling on film as they were in real life. Additionally, since Knight has a history of being very litigious, it's likely that the filmmakers would have been sued had they placed Knight's role into starker relief than they did.
 
Finally and most troubling: There weren't enough "White faces" in the film. Hollywood cannot tell a story involving other races without throwing in a few White people (usually Americans) into the mix to make certain that it will appeal to White audiences. Enhancing Iovine's role at the expense of Knight's allowed for the filmmakers to do this and avoid potential litigation from Knight.
 
Anyone seeking the true history of N.W.A. and the people who were in there orbit really need to read the various articles written by the newspapers and music magazines at the time. The film lacks both historical accuracy and  credibility and should only be viewed as the work of fiction that it is.

Why did Straight Out of Compton change the story about Dre getting out of his contract — by suggesting that Jimmy Iovine was responsible…

What conditions in the Bronx/Brooklyn and South Central LA contributed to the rise of hip-hop art/music/culture? How relevant were the es…

Answer by Gopal Rao:

Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree is one of the better examinations of this subject that I have seen, although I'm not sure it addresses specific cultural circumstances in depth to the same degree that it explores specific character profiles.

What conditions in the Bronx/Brooklyn and South Central LA contributed to the rise of hip-hop art/music/culture? How relevant were the es…