Confronting State-Sanctioned Religious Violence: A Statement to the UN Human Rights Council

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
March 11, 2015

On Monday, March 9, I arrived in Geneva, Switzerland to represent the Center for Inquiry at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which is ongoing through March 27. Spread out over the past two days, March 10 and 11, the Council has hosted an Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, on his latest annual report, "preventing violence committed in the name of religion."

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Homeopathetic

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 11, 2015

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

Yesterday, freethought writer Rafida Bonya Ahmed, wife of murdered writer Avijit Roy, chose the Center for Inquiry to deliver her first public statement after she survived the attack that her husband did not. We are honored to share her story. She calls the attack "a crime not only against a person, but against freedom of speech and humanity." Bangladesh news outlets are focused on the part of her statement in which she says, "While Avijit and I were being ruthlessly attacked, the local police stood close by and did not act."

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Has Science Buried God? My opening statement from today’s debate

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
March 10, 2015

Here's my opening statement from today's debate with Christian evangelist and debater Peter Payne in Trondheim, Norway today.

In one of his online resources Peter Payne says, and I quote:

"The net of scientific method, namely the net of hypothesis and experimental/observational test, is unable to demonstrate either the truth or falsity of the Christian faith, for it is simply the wrong kind of net to capture what is relevant."

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Existential(ish) Threats

by David R. Koepsell
March 10, 2015

The bilateral Cold War is over, and the dominant model for containment of nuclear weapons can no longer work. A multilateral world demands a new strategy, one in which we must yield the monopoly over nuclear weapons in order to achieve their ultimate elimination. A game theoretic model helps show that the current monopoly is unstable, and if we don't alter our approach we risk continuing an unstable and dangerous balance of terror. Eliminating nuclear weapons must be our ultimate goal to prevent our destruction as a species, and we should embrace new policies to achieve this before it's too late.

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We’re Moving Backwards

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 10, 2015

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

On a brand new Point of Inquiry podcast, Josh Zepps talks to foreign policy journalist Eli Lake about the difficult topic of Islam and violent extremism. 

Check in on all the activity of CFI-On Campus with the latest Campus Inquirer

Sam Harris interviews Dr. Nina L. Shapiro, a pediatric otolaryngologist (which I had to look up to know that that means "ear and throat doctor"), about the anti-vaccine movement and why so many people are afraid of them.

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I Mean, Jesus. God. Oh, God.

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 09, 2015

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

Oliver Laughland and Saad Hammadi at The Guardian have a wonderful piece on Avijit Roy and what he meant to people around the world, which includes a look at his conversations with our own Michael De Dora.  

Tristram Korten at the Miami Herald reports that officials at the Florida (of course) Department of Environmental Protection were instructed by their higher-ups at the Office of General Counsel not to use the terms "climate change," "global warming," or even "sustainability" in any of their materials. 

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Tradition Can’t be a Reason to Discriminate: Our Brief to the Supreme Court on Same-Sex Marriage

by Nicholas Little
March 06, 2015

Yesterday the Center for Inquiry filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the Court should reverse the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled that there was no right under the United States Constitution for gay and lesbian individuals to marry in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky. In order to prevent the Court being swamped with briefs, lawyers for the couples seeking the right to marry requested that groups file joint briefs. To facilitate this, the Center for Inquiry joined with the American Humanist Association to submit their arguments.

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CNN’s “Finding Jesus”: Disingenuous Look at Turin “Shroud”

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
March 06, 2015

The ongoing, six-part series Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery— which began on Sunday, March 1—represents CNN’s run-up to Easter. By a coincidence of a financial nature, the series co-appears with a book of the same title by religion writers/filmmakers, David Gibson and Michael McKinley. The first episode of the TV series (but curiously the last chapter of the book) was about the “Shroud” of Turin. Easter after Easter, this alleged burial cloth of Jesus is trotted out like a ghost story at Halloween, typically with the same shoddy standards.

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I Am So Tired of Hearing About Your Doubts

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 06, 2015

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

Joining forces with our pals at the American Humanist Association, CFI has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court for the big Obergefell v. Hodges same-sex marriage case. A snippet from our release:

“The Supreme Court is poised to make a historic decision, potentially extending the protections and benefits of marriage to all Americans,” said Nicholas Little, Legal Director of CFI. “If they affirm the right of same-sex couples to marry, they will have made truly momentous advancements for equal treatment under the law, secular government, and even the fundamental human need for love and companionship.”  

It's not just us. In fact, a titanic alliance of almost 400 super-corporations including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Comcast, Levi's, Nike, Proctor & Gamble, Wells Fargo, United Airlines, and more file their own joint brief in support of marriage equality. I bet ours is better, but good on you guys.

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Will People Die? Probably.

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
March 05, 2015

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

67 Members of Congress sign on to a letter to the Saudi king, urging him to release Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu al-Khair. CFI is one of 17 organizations endorsing the letter.

The New York Times editorial board weighs in on the murder of Avijit Roy:

Bangladesh’s government needs to do far more to protect writers and to send a clear message that it will not allow free speech to be silenced by murder. 

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