Jimmy Quit, Jody Got Married

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 21, 2015

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

2015's last Cause & Effect newsletter came out Friday, chock full of skepto-secular goodness. Go see. 

Georgetown University's Arjun Sethi publishes a piece at Al Jazeera America criticizing Saudi Arabia for using terrorism as an excuse to torture and execute, only to have the piece removed by Al Jazeera, which "did not intend to offend Saudi Arabia." Heaven forbid. (The Intercept republished Sethi's piece anyway.)

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Always Looking For That Other Cheek

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 18, 2015

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

Let's just put it this way: Michael De Dora kicked some serious butt for pluralism at the White House yesterday. The Know Your Neighbor campaign, designed to foster better understanding and dialogue between those of differing beliefs, was launched yesterday, and even just from the live stream I could tell that people were heartened by Michael's sincere expressions of his and our commitment to freedom of religion, expression, and thought. I'm a little surprised not to have seen more coverage of the event itself (I mean there were more powerful PR folks than myself pimping the event), but I'm hoping to see more today. At any rate, the Catholic News Agency highlighted Michael's remarks. You can watch the event here, and Michael appears on the second panel.

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Animation script - for comments please

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
December 17, 2015

Here's a short animation script - for comments please.

Some suppose reality is divided by a veil. On this side of the veil is the natural, observable world. Beyond the veil lies another realm - of ghosts and spirits, angels and demons, and of course gods. These beings are supposed to inhabit an unobservable, supernatural realm that science can't touch...

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Lend Me Some Sugar, I Am Your Neighbor

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
December 17, 2015

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

THIS IS A BIG DEAL: CFI has been selected to join a coalition of faith-related groups for a campaign aimed at increasing understanding among people of differing beliefs: the Know Your Neighbor Campaign. Today at 1pm ET, CFI's Michael De Dora will be at the campaign's kickoff event at the White House. You can watch the live stream here. Importantly, CFI is the only group in the coalition to represent the secular/atheist/skeptic/"nones" perspective, and we're honored to do so.

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Haunting Tales: Folklore or—?—

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
December 16, 2015

I am often struck by how careless are the writers of those endlessly proliferating articles and books promoting belief in ghosts and hauntings.

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Stolen, Polished, and Candied

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

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

At last night's GOP debate, there was a lot of argument about things like banning Muslims, killing the families of terrorists and ISIS members, and carpet bombing. And while a lot of the arguments against such things were grounded in constitutional issues, treaties, and whether or not these things made us "safe," I don't think I heard anyone say anything like, "We shouldn't do those things because they are really wrong and immoral." Just bad tactics. Alas.

Tom Gjelten at NPR reports on the religious right's desire to paint secularism as a "religion" in order to undermine church-state separation. (CFI's firm position is that secularism -- secular humanism in particular -- is absolutely not in any way a religion.)

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Sun-Suckers

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

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

Stephen Law, our CFI–UK provost (because of course he deserves a fancier title than "director"), has two new pieces up. One is at Aeon magazine, where he explores why people are "remarkably prone to supernatural beliefs and, in particular, to beliefs in invisible agents." And at the CFI blog, he offers five ways atheists and the religious might find ways to constructively discuss their differences. Among them, he suggests that honesty is the best policy:

I for one would much rather understand what my intellectual opponent really believes about me than have them disguise it. After all, if a Christian really believes that, as an atheist, I am hell-bound, they surely have a moral duty to warn me.  

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Follow-up on a Ghost Investigation

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
December 14, 2015

I occasionally am contacted by people who have read my books and articles or seen me on TV and have follow-up questions. Here is a recent e-mail I got that touches on the practical aspects of ghost investigations. 

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How should the religious and atheists approach each other in discussion? Five morals.

The Outer Limits with Stephen Law
December 14, 2015

Conclusion of a forthcoming chapter in a book (editor by others) on this theme.

 

 

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Perceive Something Threatening

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

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

CFI's Michael De Dora is the guest on the Friendly Atheist Podcast - I haven't listened yet, but I assume he didn't embarrass us or anything. 

195 countries sign on to historic climate change accords in Paris, promising to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Ensaf Haidar says her husband Raif Badawi is on a hunger strike, and tweets: “I call on his majesty King Salman to pardon my husband. Please unite my children with their father."

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