We Don’t Know, Therefore We Do Know

October 12, 2016

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

You may have heard that Glenn Beck has now endorsed Hillary Clinton, but this is not quite right. He did, however, give the go-ahead to vote for her:

It is not acceptable to ask a moral, dignified man to cast his vote to help elect an immoral man who is absent decency or dignity [Trump, obvs]. If the consequence of standing against Trump and for principles is indeed the election of Hillary Clinton, so be it. At least it is a moral, ethical choice. 

The evangelical publication World comes out against Trump (but not for Clinton):

Our call for a different Republican candidate will lose us some readers and donors. But, standing before God, we cannot say that what WORLD argued concerning a Democrat in 1998 [Bill Clinton] should not apply to a Republican in 2016. 

But joke's on you, World, because James Dobson told Louis Gohmert that Trump's a Christian now, and all that lewd talk was just him acting like a Democrat.

Al Gore returns to the campaign trail for the first time in a long time to make a lengthy, wonkish, but sincere case for Clinton and her climate plan. 

The Barna Group shows that Trump currently has support of 57% of Bible-believers, while Clinton has 61% of atheists and agnostics. 

Did you know that Harry Houdini tried to get fortune-tellers banned from operating in DC? Atlas Obscura'a Alicia Puglionesi tells the story of Houdini's four days of congressional hearings. 

The skeptic community is just finding out about the death in August of Robert Todd Carroll, a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and creator of The Skeptic's Dictionary. Susan Gerbic shares the news with remembrances from several notable skeptics. As Harriet Hall says, "If skepticism had a Bible, it would be The Skeptic's Dictionary."

CFI's Joe Nickell talks to KLCC radio about the problem with Bigfoot sightings and related claims:

All of the paranormal…flying saucers, ghosts, psychics, all of it…is based on a logical fallacy called an argument for ignorance. 'We don’t know, therefore we do know.' We don’t what left these tracks, we don’t know what that bright light in the sky was, we don’t know what made the noise in the old house, therefore we have Bigfoot, an extraterrestrial craft, and a ghost.

Well this is something: In Europe, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, created as a satire of religion, is sort of becoming, well, a religion. Kathy Gilsanan at The Atlantic:

Something funny has happened to a movement founded in large part to critique organized religion: It’s gotten organized, and has taken on both the trappings and some of the social functions of a real religion. FSM has its own iconography (the deity features, in addition to spaghetti, two meatballs and a pair of eyes) as well as a Sabbath (Friday, because “our god was faster than the other gods, and he finished with the creation of Earth earlier”). The flagship German church, in Brandenburg, features a weekly mass modeled on the Catholic celebration, but with noodles and beer in place of bread and wine. FSM officiants even conduct weddings in several countries; this year, New Zealand became the first to legally recognize these marriages.

Quote of the Day

After Alex Jones accuses the president and Hillary Clinton of being literal demons, Obama responds:

I was reading the other day, there’s a guy on the radio who apparently - Trump’s on his show frequently - he said me and Hillary are demons! Said we smell like sulfur. Ain’t that something. 

[President smells self.] 
 
Now [laughs], I mean ... come on, people
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Comments:

#1 Darcy (Guest) on Wednesday October 12, 2016 at 12:40pm

Now I know Obama is a demon, that’s just what you’d expect him to say.

#2 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday October 12, 2016 at 3:27pm

“noodles and beer”

Atheism doesn’t have noodles and beer.  Counter-offer anyone?  I may jump ship.

#3 Randy (Guest) on Wednesday October 12, 2016 at 3:31pm

So evangelicals are mostly voting for a man who is plainly the least religious candidate ever, and atheists are mostly voting for a woman who says that the president must have a personal relationship with God. 

The US voter is anything but rational.

#4 Mario (Guest) on Wednesday October 12, 2016 at 3:59pm

Yesterday, you said,” Help us advance science and reason!”

Today, you insult Al Gore.  So, I guess, let’s advance science and reason, but not in a manner that could be read as nerdish? 

Fourteen much?

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