An Ever-Shrinking Intellectual Ghetto

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 15, 2014

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

A very cool new Point of Inquiry is out, with astrobiologist Steven J. Dick discussing the impact on our civilization if we discover hard proof of extraterrestrial life.

It's the love that couldn't last even an entire news cycle. The Vatican scurries back from the nice things it said about gay people. CNN reports:

In a statement, it said the report on gays and lesbians was a "working document," not the final word from Rome. The Vatican also said that it wanted to welcome gays and lesbians in the church, but not create "the impression of a positive evaluation" of same-sex relationships, or, for that matter, of unmarried couples who live together. 

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Martin Gardner’s 100th Birthday

Access Points with Timothy Binga
October 14, 2014

October 21st, 2014 will be Martin Gardner’s 100th Birthday. “The Father of the Modern Skepticism” was a polymath, magician, skeptic and writer. His book Fads and Fallacies In The Name of Science (Dover, 1957) was the work that kicked off the modern interest in skepticism.

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After Work: the good life and post-industrial society

by David R. Koepsell
October 14, 2014

What shall we do with ourselves if entrenched and incurable unemployment results from increasing automation in goods production, dissemination, and services? What is the human prospect for the good life as work and income become distinctly different than we have grown used to?

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Here Comes the Boo-Boo Fairy

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 14, 2014

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

Gary Gutting finally snaps, interviews himself about the existence of God.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifts the stay on same-sex marriages in Idaho, and they should be good to go tomorrow morning. 

Look out, National Science Foundation. Rep. Lamar Smith is coming for you. 

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It’ll All Be Over Soon

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
October 13, 2014

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

The Vatican says it's going to be nicer to gays, and that LGBT folks have "gifts and qualities to offer" the church. While that reads kind of funny and more than a little patronizing (they find same-sex unions to have "moral problems"), they seem to be challenging themselves at least a little. Here's some context from a document signed by 200 bishops:

Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a further space in our communities? ... Are our communities capable of proving that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony? ... Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. 

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He Remains Very Clever on Ants

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

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

Malala Yousafzai (you probably know who she is already) and Kailash Satyarthi (Indian children's rights activist) are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Our legal director Nick Little guest-posts at the Alliance for Justice's website on religious rights in the context of prisons. 

Chris Stedman interviews Sikivu Hutchison about the Moving Social Justice conference taking place at CFI-Los Angeles this weekend. Kimberly Winston previews the event, at which "organizers hope to examine issues of special interest to nonwhite atheists, especially the ills rooted in economic and social inequality."

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Consume As Much As You Can

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

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

So many of you reached out to help the Ugandan humanist group HALEA after their violent robbery, and now we have an update from one of their leaders, Kato Mukasa, about the progress they're making as a result. "HALEA can now afford to dream again," he writes. It's an inspiring read.

CFI applauded the recent rulings in favor of marriage equality from the Supreme and Ninth Circuit Courts:

“Legal blockades to same-sex marriage, rooted in religious dogma and inapplicable to a modern, secular society, are collapsing all around the country,” said Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of CFI. “We offer our heartfelt congratulations to those who will be awarded their basic civil rights and the freedom to marry by this decision.” 

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‘We Can Now Afford to Dream Again’ - How You Helped Humanists in Uganda

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
October 08, 2014

This past summer, we asked you to help us lend a hand to our humanist allies in Uganda, the Humanist Association for Leadership, Equity, and Accountability. HALEA’s offices, located in the slums of Kamapala, were robbed, during which a security guard was severely beaten (and who is now recovering well, I’m happy to say), and the offices were stripped of everything of value: computers, cameras, phones, printers, microphones, power cords, media players, and more. ...

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“Bracketing” for Historical Detectives

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
October 08, 2014

For my collection of dictionaries (which also includes various related volumes such as antique spellers and other wordbooks), I recently purchased a little primer (about 3 x 4 12’’ tall) bearing no publication date. I usually pass over undated works because their use in literary investigation is therefore limited.

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Probably Quite Smart

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

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

Because one major victory for marriage equality just wasn't enough for one week, the Ninth Circuit strikes down gay marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho. Judge Stephen Reinhardt:

The lessons of our constitutional history are clear: inclusion strengthens, rather than weakens, our most important institutions ... When same-sex couples are married, just as when opposite-sex couples are married, they serve as models of loving commitment to all.

I know this will surprise you, but the Catholic Church in Ireland is uneasy about the idea of nixing the country's blasphemy law. 

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