You Have No Right Not to Reincarnate

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 11, 2014

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

Last night, CFI-DC presented an event with Sam Harris, in conversation with the Washington Post's Michelle Boorstein. Here's our boss Ron Lindsay with Harris at the event. Kimberly Winston at RNS has a look at his new endeavors into secular spirituality.

Today, Harris posts his thoughts on the religious angle to the threat of ISIS:

Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgment that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas—jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy—reliably lead to oppression and murder? It may be true that no faith teaches people to massacre innocents exactly—but innocence, as the President surely knows, is in the eye of the beholder. Are apostates “innocent”? Blasphemers? Polytheists? Islam has the answer, and the answer is “no.” 

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At Best a Sputtering Engine

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 10, 2014

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

Stephen Law, provost of CFI-UK, has started a new blog here at CFI's Free Thinking site, "The Outer Limits." Go see! 

Tonight, Sam Harris comes to CFI-DC for an on-stage interview by Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post. I am jealous I cannot be there. Josh Zepps recently interviewed Harris for Point of Inquiry, and then got another shot at him for HuffPost Live.

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Are Religious Rights and Freedoms Being Trampled?

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
September 09, 2014

Some religious people suppose that certain laws or rules that bind others should not bind them. They should be exempt on religious grounds. So, for example, in the UK a Christian employee of an airline claimed she should be exempt from a company dress code that prevented her from publicly displaying a crucifix. Christian hoteliers have maintained they should be exempt from anti-discrimination laws requiring that they not refuse same-sex couples double rooms. In the US, a photography company has argued that it should be exempt from the law requiring it offer the same services to same-sex couples as other couples wanting their occasion filmed.

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Of Gender, Language, and Clarity: A Rebuttal (Guest Post)

by Sarah Kaiser
September 09, 2014

This is a guest post by Amy Frushour Kelly, coordinator of CFI-Long Island. 

In his September 2, 2014 blog post, Tom Flynn argues against the use of the singular “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun. He reasons that “[w]hether an individual is cisgender, is transgender, or occupies any intermediate point on that spectrum, the person in question remains an individual -- that is, unitary. Whatever gender identification you, the reader, might embrace, there's only one of you. ... The problem is that adopting a plural pronoun to denote a single individual invites just such misinterpretations.” Tom goes on to explain his point: the nonspecificity of a formerly plural pronoun to denote a singular.

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The Madness Will Know No Bounds

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 09, 2014

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

Dead bodies! Burning bodies! Decaying bodies! And secular funerals! It's all the corpse you can stand on the latest episode of Point of Inquiry, with guest Caitlin Doughty of "Ask a Mortician." 

CFI's Ed Beck posts at the Keep Health Care Safe and Secular blog about the efforts of the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (which is as pro-woo as it sounds) to lobby for inclusion in the Affordable Care Act:

Every snake-oil salesman with a slip from their particular state will be the equivalent of a surgeon with an M.D. The madness will know no bounds except for the bank accounts of patients, whose premiums will be driven higher by these wasteful insurance requirements. 

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RIDDLEculous V

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
September 08, 2014

More funny riddles with a science/critical-thinking angle.

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Review of Jesse Ventura’s “American Conspiracies”

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
September 08, 2014

One verifiable fact I learned in the first few pages of Jesse Ventura's book American Conspiracies is that Ventura believes he's a hardcore, no-bullshit truth teller. He's bravely willing to stand up and tell it like it is, to cut through the lies, myths, and misinformation surrounding some of America's most cherished myths.

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Susan Jacoby and an Ingersoll Letter

Access Points with Timothy Binga
September 08, 2014

During the recent Ingersoll Conference here at CFI, I was able to show-off many of the amazing artifacts that we have here as a part of CFI and the library collections. I was able to bring one such artifact to the attention of Susan Jacoby after her lecture, one that I see on an almost daily basis.

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Those Who Can’t Help But Sin

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 08, 2014

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

Did you check out Cause & Effect on Friday? No? That's crazy, but I'm not offended. You're only hurting yourself. Go check it out now, catch up with the past fortnight of CFI community activity, and then come back here. I'll wait. 

Kuwaiti blogger Mohammed Al-Ajmi was held for a week on blasphemy charges, says Reporters without Borders.  

Egypt reportedly arrests seven men who too part in a same-sex wedding for "incitement to debauchery."

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No Excuse for “Hot in Cleveland”

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 05, 2014

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

Michael De Dora has a full update on the case of Raif Badawi, who will soon have his horrific sentence inflicted upon him. 

Columbia Journalism Review gives cover-story treatment to Elise Andrew of "I Fucking Love Science" Facebook fame, but Nadia Drake at Knight Science Journalism says questions about accuracy and issues with attribution by Andrew make this kind of coverage problematic.

You and I and everyone you know, and well, every species from other worlds we're ever likely to know, live in a huge sector of the universe known as Laniakea

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