Pathetic Little Pamphlet

November 14, 2013

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

Ron Lindsay reconsiders the notion that Greece v. Galloway plaintiffs' attorney Doug Laycock threw atheists under the bus in his argument before SCOTUS. Not so much thrown, says Ron, but "bumped." Still, the bus.

CFI joins a coalition of 125 civil rights, religious, and community-based organizations to ask the DOJ to investigate Muslim profiling by the NYPD.

Tim Maudlin at Aeon: Though the universe seems fine-tuned, we are mere accidents. 

Video of the excellent presentation from Maryam Namazie is now up at the Women in Secularism website.  

Mariah Blake at TNR exposes the mess that was once the formidable cult-empire of Reverend Sun Myung Moon

Herb Silverman touts the charitable work of nonbelievers, and asserts that the Lone Ranger was probably a deist. 

Pennsylvania legislators are tackling really important issues, like requiring schools to display "In God We Trust" in classrooms to "promote history." 

Brian Pellot reports on a summit in Scotland between nonbelievers and theists, and the good news was "the high level of civility and respect all parties showed."

After arrests, Britain may prosecute its first case against perpetrators of female genital mutilation. 

Wow, here's a thing - a discussion between Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss and Massimo Pigliucci on the limits of science. 

College lecturer in India who had his hand chopped off by radical Islamists for saying something or other about Muhammed is acquitted of "hurting religious sentiments." Well I'm sure that's a consolation. 

Looks like the AHA may have spooked a South Carolina elementary school from its association with an Evangelical conversion program. Hive fives, y'all.

When the Qatari government accuses someone of trying to harvest a child's organs for profit, you may want to be skeptical.  

Rafael Cruz, father of Texas senator Ted Cruz, is a real class act. Here's a taste of what he thinks of atheism:

[It] leads us, when there are no moral absolutes, leads us to sexual immorality, leads us to sexual abuse, leads us to perversion and, of course, no hope. No hope! 

Fake psychic in Florida (of course) scams a victim out of over $100k to lift a curse. 

Chris Mooney (who I feel like I've heard of before, but can't quite remember where) says we're too politically polarized in the US for even Carl Sagan to have moved the needle on climate change.  

Quote of the Day

Danish church minister Manu Sareen, arguing for a repeal of the country's blasphemy law:

No one would dream of, for example, making it punishable to call the Danish constitution a 'pathetic little pamphlet', even though it would be considered a mockery of all the people who believe in Danish democracy. 

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#1 David (Guest) on Friday November 15, 2013 at 9:22am

Chris Mooney wrote “The Republican War on Science,” which is on my to-read list.

#2 SocraticGadfly (Guest) on Monday November 18, 2013 at 5:38pm

I’d say Lindsay is now off by just 150 degrees instead of 180. socraticgadfly.blogspot DOT com/2013/11/galloway-v-town-of-greece-legal.html

#3 SocraticGadfly (Guest) on Monday November 18, 2013 at 5:44pm

Mooney’s overrated, especially in his own mind, and “Republican Brain” is pop neuroscience. Liberals, especially if their first allegiance is to the tribalism of the Democratic Party, are just as liable to motivated thinking as conservatives. Latest example? Obamiacs claiming that the federal exchange website is buggy not primarily due to crappy software but due to DDoS attacks by tea partiers.

The Pop Neuroscience part? Most of the factors Mooney claims primarily drive conservatives to motivated reasoning are vaguely defined, first. Second, they may be caused by “nurture” rather than “nature,” especially anxiety-related issues, and therefore have little to do with political reasoning. And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He does so much motivated reasoning himself that I have a blog tag called “Pulling a Chris Mooney.” socraticgadfly.blogspot DOT com/2012/10/whats-wrong-with-chris-mooneys.html

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