Not Helping

February 16, 2015

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

More killing over free expression and, yes, cartoons. The Economist:

On Saturday afternoon, one person was killed and three police officers wounded when a gunman opened fire on a free-speech debate at a Copenhagen cafe hosted by a controversial Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks. Hours later, a Jewish man was killed and another two police were injured near a synagogue.  

Michael De Dora takes a serious look at the polarized responses to the Chapel Hill murders, making the case that the atheist can learn from the tragedy, without having to own it.

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Knuckleheads and Visionaries Alike

February 13, 2015

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

Today marks three years for me at CFI! I've had plenty of time to become jaded, like I've done at most of my other jobs (though in college when I worked at Blockbuster, I started jaded, so that doesn't count), and I still remain inspired and driven by the mission, character, and ethos of CFI and its people. In other words, you're going to have to drag me out. 

The New York Times covers our statement to the media on the difference between deniers of climate science and science-accepting skeptics (a.k.a. us). Justin Gillis writes:

The climate scientists see themselves as the true skeptics, having arrived at a durable consensus about emissions simply because the evidence of risk has become overwhelming. And in this view, people who reject the evidence are phony skeptics, arguing their case by cherry-picking studies, manipulating data, and refusing to weigh the evidence as a whole. 

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The Vast Majority Simply Don’t Care

February 12, 2015

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

Michelle Boorstein at the Washington Post looks to our own Ron Lindsay, as well as Sam Harris, to weigh in on the tension between atheism and Islam, in the wake of the horrific murders in Chapel Hill.

Elizabeth Stoker Bruening at The New Republic aims a somewhat accusatory admonition at "New Atheists":

Because it is more critical of religion than introspective about its own moral commitments, it assumes there is broad agreement about what constitutes decency, common sense, and reason. Yet in doing so, New Atheism tends to simply baptize the opinions of young, educated white men as the obviously rational approach to complicated socio-political problems. Thus prejudice in its own ranks goes unnoticed. 

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The Capacity to Do Good

February 11, 2015

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

Horror of horrors, as three young people in Chapel Hill, Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, all Muslim, are gunned down by a single monster of a human being. My heart is breaking as I type this for their friends and families. You will no doubt have heard that the alleged shooter at some point professed his support of "atheism" as some kind of cure-all for violence around the world, which is just stupid.

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You Can Be On the Toast

February 10, 2015

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

Like me, you may be a soulless slab of animated meat. If you're not sure, check out the latest Point of Inquiry, where Josh Zepps talks to Julien Musolino, who wants us all to let go of the idea of the existence of a soul. 

Highly recommended today, CFI-Los Angeles's Jim Underdown picks apart a reading by fake-psychic Rebecca Rosen to show just how arbitrary her "powers" are (and it's a nice little bit of comeuppance after their meeting on the Dr. Phil show in 2012). 

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Breed at Will and Abuse the Planet

February 09, 2015

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

First things first: Catch up on the previous fortnight of CFI activity with the latest Cause & Effect newsletter.  

Now this is unexpected: Reportedly, Prince Charles intends to intervene on behalf of Raif Badawi when he visits with the Saudi royal family, something by all accounts President Obama wouldnot do. (This is all oddly ironic, given our usual feelings toward Charles as a major proponent of alt-med.) 

Here, activists act out a mock-flogging to protest the treatment of Badawi.

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Lest We Get On Our High Horse

February 06, 2015

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

Did you get your sticker yet? Sign up at the Keep Health Care Safe and Secular website, and get your two free "Vaccinate" stickers. If you put one on your bumper, it might inoculate you against Rob Schneider. Because what are viruses good at? MAKIN' COP-PEEEES!

Meanwhile, legislators in California are looking to end the personal-belief exemption for parents who don't want to vaccinate their kids. 

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He Doesn’t Look a Day Over 199

February 05, 2015

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

What's the best possible way to spread the word about the importance of getting vaccinated? Stickers, of course! So as part of our Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign, we're offering a FREE sticker saying "Protect yourself. Protect others. Vaccinate." to everyone who wants one. And just because we're nice people, we're throwing in a second sticker for you to give to a friend. Check it out, get your pro-vaccine propaganda, drive Jenny McCarthy nuts, and help us get the word out on Facebook and Twitter, and heck, why not, on Google+ too. 

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One Ring to Fool Them All

February 04, 2015

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

There's been some clarification on various politicians' beliefs about vaccines. Some thought the bit about the president in 2008 talking about the (fictional) vaccine-autism link was taken out of context. I don't think so. Here's what he said:

We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.

Now, I thought it was obvious that the "This person included" was referring to someone who was not him, someone who had that belief...

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Measles Are the New Black

February 03, 2015

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

Everything is coming up measles! Measles are busting out all over! Measles are the new black! Point of Inquiry this week has the one and only Paul Offit to talk about the measles crisis and the anti-vax movement that fanned its flames. 

So, you're looking at the field of potential 2016 presidential candidates, and you think, well the first criteria should be that the person I support is not, like, entirely wrong about something as serious and indeed obvious as the necessity of vaccines. And then you see, wow, Chris Christie is hedging on vaccines...

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