Like a Diamond in the Sky

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 20, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

The decibel level of the demands for Saudi Arabia to cease its punishment of Raif Badawi is getting much louder (and to think we were struggling to get anyone to care just a few weeks ago). 18 Nobel laureates appeal to their peers in Saudi Arabia to speak out, and eight U.S. Senators wrote to King Abdullah. At the end of last week, Raif's punishment was postponed, and his case was put up "for review" by the Saudi Supreme Court. I told Iain Thomson at The Register:

It's hard to believe that they would have referred the case for any reason other than responding to the sudden international pressure over the case. ... The attention is there, that's great, but pressure needs to be more forceful. 

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William Lane Craig and ruling out an evil God by observation

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
January 18, 2015

Here is a post for the philosophers of religion amongst you. Can we rule out an evil god or creator on the grounds that the world is not nearly good enough? Of course we can. But then why can't we similarly rule out a good god on the grounds that the world isn't nearly evil enough?

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Podcast of me discussing ‘Does Humanism Need God?” with Angus Ritchie is now available

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
January 17, 2015

Atheists 'saw off the branch on which Humanism sits', argue the authors of a report by Theos, Britain's leading religious think tank. The Case for Christian Humanism argues we atheist humanists should be Christians.

Podcast of me discussing this report with author Angus Ritchie now available on itunes: Unbelievable? (Premier Christian Radio) 'Does Humanism Need God?' presented by Justin Brierley. It will also be up here later today.

THEOS respond directly to my post below here.

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Scholars the World Over, Abandon Your Studies!

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 16, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

It's Religious Freedom Day.

The second round of floggings for Raif Badawi were to take place today, but due to his medical condition, it is reported that the next lashings have been postponed so he can heal from the first lashings. Ali Rizvi goes on CNN to lend his personal perspective to the story. 

This footage of press speaking to a State Department representative about this is not encouraging, as she asserts, "We're not in the business of demanding things." But she does support your right to make a snowman, so there's that.

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Pope Francis: About Your Mother

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
January 15, 2015

Pope Francis has given his opinion on the controversy surrounding Charlie Hebdo's continued sharp criticism and sarcasm regarding religious beliefs. The pope has stated that there should be limits to free expression. In particular, one should not "insult the faith of others." He analogized criticism of religious beliefs to someone cursing his mother, saying that such a person "can expect a punch."

Pope Francis is wrong.

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Free Speech Absolutism: “Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant”

by David R. Koepsell
January 15, 2015

The proper tool to fight offensive speech is better speech, and we must resist the temptation to rein in speech with which we disagree or take offense because the tools we employ can be used to censor free inquiry in ways we might not anticipate.

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And I’ll Form the Head

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 15, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

Like a skepto-humanist Voltron, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism have officially merged with CFI to form one, unified Center for Inquiry. No longer three corporations, Devastator-like we have assembled into a single gestalt beast, one single organization. And I'll form the head. (No I won't.)

Right-wing media "watchdog" group NewsBusters unloads its clumsy snark on us for our statement to the media asking that climate change deniers not be referred to as skeptics...

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Terrorism

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
January 14, 2015

 

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Nobody Photoshops Angela

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
January 14, 2015

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

Several outlets are publishing Charlie Hebdo's latest cover image, including us ('cause that's how we roll) and the Washington Post. The New York Times didn't, but their public editor says they should have:

The new cover image of Charlie Hebdo is an important part of a story that has gripped the world’s attention over the past week. The cartoon itself, while it may disturb the sensibilities of a small percentage of Times readers, is neither shocking nor gratuitously offensive. And it has, undoubtedly, significant news value. 

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14 Smart Questions for Caricaturist Celestia Ward

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
January 13, 2015

In 2014 I attended a caricature conference in Reno, Nevada. Among a ballroom full of ridiculously talented artists from around the world I happened to meet Celestia Ward, a caricaturist who’s also a skeptic. Naturally, I had questions for her. 

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