The Morning Heresy 9/21/12: Criminalize This

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 21, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Another day of troubling developments concerning the perilous position in which free expression finds itself around the world.

The EU, OIC, Arab League, and African Union release a joint statement [PDF] condemning the "Innocence of Muslims" video and "religious hatred that constitutes incitement to hostility and violence," without calling for specific measures. The OIC on its own, however, is re-upping its calls for criminalization of blasphemy.

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The Morning Heresy 9/20/12: Placate the Barbarians

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 20, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Lots of commentary and news today regarding blasphemy, freedom of speech, and the protests around the Muslim world. 

Sam Harris on the response of the U.S. government, and secular liberals generally, to the violence and rage over The Innocence of Muslims:

Either our government is unwilling to address the problem at hand, or the problem is so vast and terrifying that we have decided to placate the barbarians at the gate. . . . The freedom to think out loud on certain topics, without fear of being hounded into hiding or killed, has already been lost. And the only forces on earth that can recover it are strong, secular governments that will face down charges of blasphemy with scorn. No apologies necessary. 

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The Morning Heresy 9/19/12: Fret and Vex at Folly

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 19, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

To all you one-eyed, peg-legged, hook-handed, parrot-shouldered Pastafarians out there, happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

In response to several calls from international leaders for binding international anti-blasphemy laws, CFI released a statement warning against the folly of such a course.

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The Morning Heresy 9/18/12: Cupcake Rage

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 18, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Rebecca Watson begins a petition on behalf of Alber Saber, the Egyptian atheist blogger arrested for running an atheist Facebook page, and recalls the drive for Alexander Aan:

A few months back, freethinkers campaigned to free Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan, resulting in a failed petition and a lot of soul-searching from secular organizations trying to figure out how to do better next time. If you read the comments on that last link, you’ll see a whole bunch of atheists who were very angry that someone was pointing out that the atheist community completely failed to help someone in great need. I’m hoping those folks have as much energy to devote to getting angry over the arrest of yet another young atheist 

Now go sign and share the damn thing

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After Atheism

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
September 17, 2012

The question should not be "What follows from Atheism" but rather "What leads after Atheism".

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The Morning Heresy 9/17/12: The Vast Chasm

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 17, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

 

Most of the news today, folks, is about the protests and mob violence ostensibly in reaction to hurt religious feelings. A lot of the commentary is rather surprising, and much of it disappointing. 

Reacting to the spreading violence and unrest across the Muslim world, UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay says the right thing, and then the wrong thing, decrying violence as a response to religious offense, and then reminding us that those giving offense could be in legal trouble.

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The Morning Heresy 9/14/12: Fatuous and Smug

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 14, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Businessweek looks at the prospects for atheist merchandising, and how business around the movement is evolving beyond tchotchkes.  

I interview friend-of-the-Heresy Sharon Hill on the topic of her CSICon presentation, and she offers me (and all of us) some very useful advice about conversing with the less-than-skeptical...

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Helping the Truth Get its Shoes On: Sharon Hill and the Long Slog of Skepticism

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
September 13, 2012

Sharon Hill has been helping folks discern flim-flam from fact for going on two decades now, exposing “sciencey” sounding nonsense in all manner of formats. She’s a regular contributor to Skeptical Inquirer and the CSI website, she’s the impresario of Doubtful News, a one-stop shop for clarity in a very polluted media landscape, and she’s on the panel of the new Virtual Skeptics video podcast.

Inspired by her upcoming presentation at CSICon 2 in Nashville next month, CFI’s Paul Fidalgo talked to Sharon about what makes her tick, how we can process the implausible claims made in the modern news media, and how to talk about it with friends and family when they seem to be buying the hype.

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Public Figures Who Lie About Sports Achievements

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
September 13, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan recently lied about running a marathon in under 3 hours, but he's not the first to exaggerate sports achievements.

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The Morning Heresy 9/13/12: More Pills Than There are Atoms in the Universe

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 13, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Things remain ugly amid the violence, protests, confusion, and absurd statements surrounding the events in Egypt, Libya, and now Yemen (oh, and Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia).

Foreign Policy has the background on the infamous tweet that made everyone think (including me) that the US government was beginning its response to the attacks with a condemnation of free speech. (It wasn't - the tweet from the US embassy in Egypt was written before the attacks and was meant as a diplomatic "cool your jets" message of sensitivity.) 

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