It’s a Vexing Time

April 29, 2013

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

CFI boss Ron Lindsay was the guest on Jamila Bey's Sex, Politics, and Religion radio show to talk about the free speech crisis in Bangladesh. Our protests on this issue are scheduled to take place this Thursday!

Christian Post has its own reporting on the groups' different choices to protest last week or postpone to this week in the wake of the building collapse. 

Missouri public radio reports on the protests that were held at Missouri University. 

CFI-Portland will host friend-of-the-blog Peter Boghossian on May 12

Oh hey, we have new interns to abuse! Welcome Monica Harmsen and Harrison Hopkins to the CFI outreach team. 

Atheist "Sunday Assembly" in the UK is kicked out of the old church they'd been using. 

A big thing I missed on Friday, so obvious for inclusion that you should begin to doubt the utility of the Heresy: Prospect magazine readers' poll calls Richard Dawkins the world's top thinker, with Stephen Pinker, Peter Higgs, and Daniel Kahneman among the runners-up.

Eve Tushnet at The American Conservative says critical thinking is over-emphasized (!) and there should be more practice in faith-leap-taking. 

NYT profiles Dutch professor Diederik Stapel, perpetrator of a whole mess of academic fraud

David Baggett at First Things criticizes the positions of our own John Shook, as well as Frans de Waal:

. . . in the debate about moral foundations, classical theism can account for the full range of moral truths in need of explanation, without watering them down or subtly replacing them with functional analyses—from intrinsic goodness to categorical oughtness to genuine moral agency.

The New Yorker looks at the debate as to whether psychiatry is science or just sciencey (as Sharon Hill might put it).

New study shows that atheists still get nervous when they, even in jest, "ask" God to do horrible things. 

Also, atheists may not be as susceptible to the benefits of mental health treatments:

The researchers point out that people who believed in a god, or were affiliated with a religion, were also more likely to believe their psychiatric treatment was credible and to expect positive results. 

Turkish pianist, convicted of blasphemy for some tweets, is going to be retried due to "procedural flaws" in the first trial. 

Secularists in Turkey have taken a lot of crap lately, but you do NOT mess with their beer

The Sun reports that a bunch of girls have converted to Islam to acquire Justin Bieber tickets. But are they true beliebers in Allah? (See what I did there?!?!?) 

Anthony Gottlieb at More Intelligent Life argues that the best possible philosophy is Hume-anism. (Oh man, I am on a ROLL!!)  

John Paulk, Christian "ex-gay" poster boy, apologizes, recants, becomes ex-ex-gay.

Gary Marcus in the New Yorker on the scientists who use science to get to faith

The Mormons are okay with the Boy Scout's weird gay scout compromise. 

I don't know why this is necessary, but Seth Rogan will be making a Bigfoot cartoon

Baby in Florida who went without vaccination dies from whooping cough

Josh DuBois says DC is not as godless as you think

Pope Francis to the world: Chill out, please

Forget cake-or-death. What about cookies-or-your-soul

This guy took valuable real estate from the Little Caesar's guy. For Jesus.

Farrakhan vs. Glenn Beck!

Quote of the Day  

Salman Rushdie in the New York Times:

It’s a vexing time for those of us who believe in the right of artists, intellectuals and ordinary, affronted citizens to push boundaries and take risks and so, at times, to change the way we see the world. There’s nothing to be done but to go on restating the importance of this kind of courage, and to try to make sure that these oppressed individuals — Ai Weiwei, the members of Pussy Riot, Hamza Kashgari — are seen for what they are: men and women standing on the front line of liberty. How to do this? Sign the petitions against their treatment, join the protests. Speak up. Every little bit counts.

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Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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