You Have No Right Not to Reincarnate

September 11, 2014

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

Last night, CFI-DC presented an event with Sam Harris, in conversation with the Washington Post's Michelle Boorstein. Here's our boss Ron Lindsay with Harris at the event. Kimberly Winston at RNS has a look at his new endeavors into secular spirituality.

Today, Harris posts his thoughts on the religious angle to the threat of ISIS:

Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgment that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas—jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy—reliably lead to oppression and murder? It may be true that no faith teaches people to massacre innocents exactly—but innocence, as the President surely knows, is in the eye of the beholder. Are apostates “innocent”? Blasphemers? Polytheists? Islam has the answer, and the answer is “no.” 

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At Best a Sputtering Engine

September 10, 2014

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

Stephen Law, provost of CFI-UK, has started a new blog here at CFI's Free Thinking site, "The Outer Limits." Go see! 

Tonight, Sam Harris comes to CFI-DC for an on-stage interview by Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post. I am jealous I cannot be there. Josh Zepps recently interviewed Harris for Point of Inquiry, and then got another shot at him for HuffPost Live.

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The Madness Will Know No Bounds

September 09, 2014

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

Dead bodies! Burning bodies! Decaying bodies! And secular funerals! It's all the corpse you can stand on the latest episode of Point of Inquiry, with guest Caitlin Doughty of "Ask a Mortician." 

CFI's Ed Beck posts at the Keep Health Care Safe and Secular blog about the efforts of the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (which is as pro-woo as it sounds) to lobby for inclusion in the Affordable Care Act:

Every snake-oil salesman with a slip from their particular state will be the equivalent of a surgeon with an M.D. The madness will know no bounds except for the bank accounts of patients, whose premiums will be driven higher by these wasteful insurance requirements. 

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Those Who Can’t Help But Sin

September 08, 2014

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

Did you check out Cause & Effect on Friday? No? That's crazy, but I'm not offended. You're only hurting yourself. Go check it out now, catch up with the past fortnight of CFI community activity, and then come back here. I'll wait. 

Kuwaiti blogger Mohammed Al-Ajmi was held for a week on blasphemy charges, says Reporters without Borders.  

Egypt reportedly arrests seven men who too part in a same-sex wedding for "incitement to debauchery."

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No Excuse for “Hot in Cleveland”

September 05, 2014

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

Michael De Dora has a full update on the case of Raif Badawi, who will soon have his horrific sentence inflicted upon him. 

Columbia Journalism Review gives cover-story treatment to Elise Andrew of "I Fucking Love Science" Facebook fame, but Nadia Drake at Knight Science Journalism says questions about accuracy and issues with attribution by Andrew make this kind of coverage problematic.

You and I and everyone you know, and well, every species from other worlds we're ever likely to know, live in a huge sector of the universe known as Laniakea

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Obsolete in the Opinion of Some

September 04, 2014

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

Kimberly Winston at RNS writes about the atheist community's loss of Vic Stenger, the "fifth horseman," and includes reaction to his death from our boss Ron Lindsay. 

If you have $600,000,000 lying around, you might want to direct it to what is now an out-of-control Ebola outbreak

Speaking of outbreaks, California parents are keeping their children from getting vaccinations at terrifying rates. 

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Something People Love to Ignore

September 03, 2014

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

Sam Harris is the guest on our podcast Point of Inquiry, talking to Josh Zepps about transcendence and other "spooky phenomena" regarding consciousness. It's great. 

Ron Lindsay's article on fixing the Pledge of Allegiance hits HuffPo

CFI's David Koepsell writes about skepticism and humanism as endeavors rather than positions:

When we become rigid, close our eyes and minds to possibilities, and take skepticism as a stance rather than a project or method, we do little more than adopt a belief system just as questionable as any religious one.  

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Pseudonymous Novelist, Pseudonymous Novelist, Pseudonymous Novelist

September 02, 2014

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

Aaaand we're back. My sincere thanks to Ed Beck, Lauren Becker, and Stef McGraw for holding down the heretical fort while I was away. They were great.

The skepto-atheosphere lost one of its giants. Physicist Vic Stenger, author of numerous books including God: The Failed Hypothesisdied last week at age 79. Here's part of what our boss Ron Lindsay had to say:

One thing I liked about Vic was his lack of pretense and posturing. He didn’t trim his arguments — or his beard — to please others. He was interested in determining the truth. Period. What others thought of his occasionally rumpled look or his refusal to soft-pedal his arguments was a matter of indifference to him. We’ll miss both his intellect and his intellectual integrity. 

More bad news: Raif Badawi's sentence of 10 years and 1000 lashes has been upheld by a Saudi appeals court

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Conga Lines for Xenu

August 29, 2014

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

(Note: Paul is on vacation. Today's guest Heretic is Ed Beck.)

For swindling citizens there, a Quebec “clairvoyant medium” has been charged with fraud—and sorcery. 

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But he’s really serious about converting to Islam

Bang Showbiz/Gannett

August 28, 2014

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

(Note: Paul is on vacation, or at least that's the rumor he's been spreading. Today's guest Heretic is Stef McGraw.)

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has announced that it is presenting the Robert P. Balles Annual Prize in Critical Thinking to Dr. Paul Offit. For those unfamiliar, not only has his vaccinology and immunology work saved countless lives, but he's taken to fighting against the alternative medicine movement with his book Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine. 

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