Blog Archives for September 2011

Happy International Blasphemy Rights Day

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
September 30, 2011

Happy International Blasphemy Rights Day! There are thousands of ways to commemorate this day—almost as many as there are prophets who have claimed the title of messenger from the gods.

11 Comments

End the Silence: Join Us at the Reason Rally

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
September 29, 2011

The Reason Rally will take place on March 24, 2012 on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Here are some reasons you should join me and the thousands of other atheists, agnostics, and humanists who will be there.

1 Comment

Irish “Spontaneous Human Combustion”? Blarney!

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
September 27, 2011

In a classic instance of faulty logic—what is known as "an argument from ignorance"—an Irish coroner has proclaimed "spontaneous combustion" as the cause of death of a 76-year-old man, Michael Faherty, whose body was found extremely burned at his home in Ballybane, Galway. Although his remains were found lying "with his head closest to an open fireplace," fire officers nevertheless concluded that that blaze was not involved! They did not explain how they had ruled out the obvious source of the ignition (BBC News Online, September 23, 2011).

3 Comments

The Humanist Case against Capital Punishment

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
September 24, 2011

Humanism stands for a social ethics of equality, individual human rights, justice for everyone, and government that defend their citizens. Therefore, humanism cannot support the death penalty.

24 Comments

Reaction to Faster Than Light Claims Expose Anti-Skeptic Myth

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
September 23, 2011

 The scientists and researchers who are skeptical of the new faster than light claims are not skeptical because accepting that Einstein was wrong about something would lead to a nervous breakdown, or that their whole worldview would crumble beneath them, or that they would have to accept that science doesn't know everything. The reason scientists are skeptical is because the new study contradicts all previous experiments. 

7 Comments

International Blasphemy Rights Day 2011

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
September 22, 2011

So Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of Salman Taseer, has confessed to the murder. We were hardly in suspense. Prior to his formal plea in court, Qadri had boasted of his killing Taseer. In the minds of many Pakistanis, he had reason to be proud—Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, had proposed changes to Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws. Allowing insults to Islam? Unimaginable. When Qadri was first brought before a court in January, he was showered with rose petals.

2 Comments

“The Debt” (A Nickell-odeon Review)

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
September 21, 2011

The Debt is a riveting thriller about Mossad secret agents David, Stefan, and Rachel, who are played—in scenes of 1966 and 1997—by two sets of actors.

Center for Inquiry Continues to Push President Obama on Federally Funded Discrimination

Democratic Discourse with Michael De Dora
September 20, 2011

A coalition of 56 organizations, including the Center for Inquiry, has written Obama asking him to stop allowing religious organizations to discriminate against federally funded employees on the basis of religion.

3 Comments

Skeptic Daniel Loxton’s Evolution Book Wins Canadian Award

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
September 17, 2011

 "Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be," by Junior Skeptic editor Daniel Loxton, won the 2010 Lane Anderson Award in the young reader category for a book published in the field of science and written by a Canadian.

1 Comment

Without God There Is No Joy?

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
September 13, 2011

As many of you are aware, CFI is currently running an ad campaign in several cities (Grand Rapids, Niagara Falls, Durham, and Washington, D.C.). This is the second phase of the “Living without Religion” campaign we launched earlier this year. The reaction to this campaign, both pro and con, demonstrates why this campaign is needed.

47 Comments

Take a Trip on the Freethought Trail

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
September 13, 2011

A Council for Secular Humanism project highlights the rich radical-reform history of the region surrounding the Ingersoll Birthplace Museum.

Varieties of Domesticated Religions and Smart Secular Strategies

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
September 12, 2011

Is there any such thing as “The Secular Strategy”? It’s doubtful that there’s one single tactic for advancing secularism, considering the realities of today’s religious pluralism.

The Ultimate Faith-based Initiative, Ten Years On

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
September 09, 2011

Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Rivers of ink, actual and virtual, have already been spilled about it. But I'd like to add one perspective that, on my view, has not been represented nearly enough.

19 Comments

“Contagion” Film Review—Now With 20% More Anti-Vaxx Conspiracy!

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Ben Radford
September 08, 2011

The new thriller Contagion has an ensemble cast, including Jude Law as a conspiracy theorist anti-vaccination blogger. 

2 Comments

Outlaw-Imposture Syndrome

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
September 07, 2011

The targets of impostors are not only the noted but the notorious also. Numerous persons have claimed that they were an erstwhile presumed-dead outlaw, like Jesse James or—the latest target—Butch Cassidy. So similar are the features of such cases that they define what I now call the Outlaw-Imposture Syndrome.

Religious Arrogance and the 9/11 Cross

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
September 07, 2011

The planned placement of a cross-shaped piece of metal (hereinafter “the cross”) in the museum portion of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum has gained quite a bit of attention lately, including legal attention in the form of a lawsuit brought by our friends at American Atheists. Some of the attention has been generated by vigorous disagreement among nonbelievers about whether placement of the cross in the museum would be an Establishment Clause violation and should be opposed. The answers are “probably not, not with this Supreme Court” and “yes.”

5 Comments

Only Domesticated Religion Can Work With Democracy

It’s Only Natural with John Shook
September 05, 2011

Religion in the wild is poisonous to democracy. Domesticated varieties claim they invented democracy. Only naturalism can really make democracy work.

2 Comments