October 7, 2015
The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
This will be the last Morning Heresy you ever read, which will be one of the last things you ever do, because the world is ending today, according to the eBible Fellowship, whatever the hell that is.
The commissioners of Blount County, Tennessee have voted 10-5 not to seek God's mercy, avoiding his divine wrath over gay marriage. If only they'd listened to the eBible Fellowship, now we're all screwed.
MinnPost quotes us in its coverage of the new California 'right-to-die' law, which of course will be irrelevant after today, when we all die whether we want to or not.
Stephen Law analogizes religious schools with hypothetical "political/ideological" schools to show just how crappy of an idea they really are. Of course, if more of us had gone to religious schools, maybe the world wouldn't be ending today.
Bill Cooke shows up at the CFI blog to give some props to the UN, which, as problematic as it is, has had some important wins. Though I wonder when they're going to address the world population about its impending demise.
Scheduled for November 13 & 14 at CFI HQ in Amherst, NY: A cool weekend conference called "X-Phi: How Can We Use Science to Study Philosophical Questions?" Don't bother signing up, though. The HQ won't even be there after the world incinerates today.
Raif Badawi is honored as the International Writer of Courage and PEN Pinter Prize winner.
Meanwhile, hardliner clerics in Saudi Arabia urge "jihad" on behalf of ISIS against the Syrian government, Russia, and whoever else they don't like.
The latest episode of my podcast (soon to be my former podcast as all podcasting, along with all life, ends) Thinkery is up, where Brian and I talk about how little we think of ourselves.
Speaking of podcasts, if you're into the tech-pundit space, you might be interested in the latest episode of Reconcilable Differences, where John Siracusa and Merlin Mann talk about their different opinions regarding faith, religious stereotypes, and "annoying atheists." Oh, and Clever Hans, too.
Hey Pakistan is really lightening up, as a Supreme Court justice says that criticizing the blasphemy law is not itself blasphemy. Whoa, there, guys! Slow down that freight train of progress!
Poland, however, just ruled its own blasphemy law constitutional:
Andrzej Wróbel, a justice of the Constitutional Tribunal, said that religious criticism is acceptable, only if it’s devoid of abusive, insulting or degrading opinions. The tribunal said it is necessary to punish such offenses, because the public debate about religion must be conducted in a cultured and civilized manner.
While CFI has no position on candidates for president, one such candidate did say something that, you know, is relevant to our interests in its wrongness:
Smithsonian shows how the sightings of the Loch Ness Monster may be explainable by the crazy shapes of waves.
If we become secularists when we face a radical Islam that is the farthest thing from secularist, when we can't unite with our friends in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian community to espouse a set of values that is the true way for human beings to conduct their lives and live their lives, we will be in a very severe crisis point ... The sense of right and wrong that comes from the great religions is something the West should begin to pay attention to and not continue to drive towards a totally secular society.
Quote of the Day:
Alison Gopnik solves her midlife crisis with the search for David Hume's Buddhist connections. (It's from a great article that Ron told me I had to read.)
Until Earth is annihilated today, of course. Solve that, Hume.
Here’s Hume’s really great idea: Ultimately, the metaphysical foundations don’t matter. Experience is enough all by itself. What do you lose when you give up God or “reality” or even “I”? The moon is still just as bright; you can still predict that a falling glass will break, and you can still act to catch it; you can still feel compassion for the suffering of others. Science and work and morality remain intact. Go back to your backgammon game after your skeptical crisis, Hume wrote, and it will be exactly the same game.
Original image by Shutterstock.
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