I Mean, Jesus. God. Oh, God.

March 9, 2015

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

Oliver Laughland and Saad Hammadi at The Guardian have a wonderful piece on Avijit Roy and what he meant to people around the world, which includes a look at his conversations with our own Michael De Dora.  

Tristram Korten at the Miami Herald reports that officials at the Florida (of course) Department of Environmental Protection were instructed by their higher-ups at the Office of General Counsel not to use the terms "climate change," "global warming," or even "sustainability" in any of their materials. 

Joe Biden says denying climate change and humans' role in it is "almost like denying gravity." Well I can't see gravity, can I Joe??? Hmmm???? 

Joe also comes down on Ben Carson's "prison means the gay is a choice" comments with what the Christian News Network calls "blasphemy." 

I mean, Jesus. God. Oh, God. I mean, it's kind of hard to fathom, isn't it? 

CFI partners with the AHA to submit an amicus brief on the Supreme Court's big same-sex marriage case, and our own Nick Little makes the point that the only reason to deny same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide would be a reliance on religion and tradition, and that just doesn't fly. 

Saudi Arabia releases a nonsensical statement railing against the rest of the civilized world for having the gall to question its treatment of Raif Badawi. 

Aw, peddlers of science denial and pseudoscience are worried about Google's efforts to filter out lies, hoaxes, and wrongness. Poor guys.

This job is an adventure, but like, where I'm mostly sitting. Read all about the adventures of the much-more-exciting CFI community from the past fortnight with the latest edition of our newsletter Cause & Effect.

Boko Haram pledges its allegiance to ISIS. Well GREAT. That's just great.

Oh, and speaking of dangerous alliances, California chiropractors join forces with anti-vaxxers to oppose a bill that would remove belief-based exemptions from vaccinations.

She does archery, kung fu, and she was an animator on The Simpsons. Probably best for archery hoaxers not to mess with Anna Maltese.

Joe (Nickell) knows Shrouds. CNN? Well... 

The Satanic Temple wants Clark County, Washington to add E Pluribus Unum, adorned with various faith (and non-faith) groups' iconography, to their "In God We Trust" sign. 

Pair of fake-psychics are busted in Colorado after scamming over $36,000 out of clients. 

But guys, these psychics predict that the snow is largely over! AMAZING HOW COULD THEY KNOW THAT. Oh wait it's almost April that's why. 

Self-described "visionary" Zoltan Istvan is running for president and talks about merging transhumanism with Christianity and I dunno. 

Quote of the Day  

This is interesting. Nancy Ellen Abrams, from her book excerpted in Salon:

Having no spiritual life at all is like never really falling in love. Developing a spiritual bond with a fantasy is like falling in love with someone who will never love you back. But developing a spiritual bond with the real universe is like falling in love with someone who is already in love with you. 

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Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

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Comments:

#1 SpiderHugger on Monday March 09, 2015 at 10:54am

It’s not just “peddlers of science denial and pseudoscience” who should be worried about efforts to establish the Gospel of Truth, as decreed by Google. Here in Silicon Valley we’ve led the charge for net neutrality, which among other things means the conveyors and collectors of online information don’t get to exalt some “truths” and bury others. Skeptics should care about efforts to promote certain truths—as determined by the majority—and conceal others. What part of a robust, First Amendment debate don’t you get? Is it the part about letting a thousand flowers bloom, even the noxious ones? The part about free speech being a disinfectant? Or do you just trust giant, anonymous companies more than you trust the public?

#2 Randy on Thursday March 12, 2015 at 9:25am

Abrams: “the chance to redefine God is actually in our hands”

Sorry, but no.  God is a name, and the thing it refers to is defined by the Bible.

If you want to invent something else, at least do the work of giving it a name.

“Developing a spiritual bond with a fantasy is like falling in love with someone who will never love you back. But developing a spiritual bond with the real universe is like falling in love with someone who is already in love with you.”

Exactly wrong.  Fantasies love you back, unconditionally.  The universe, in the form of other life, is actively trying to kill you.  That’s when it’s not simply ignoring you as it erupts, for example.

#3 Randy on Thursday March 12, 2015 at 9:31am

“Boko Haram pledges its allegiance to ISIS. Well GREAT. That’s just great.”

Apparently Al Qaeda is the big loser here.  I don’t see that it affects us in any particular way.  They’ll continue being extremely bad and dangerous people slaughtering boys and raping girls, and our representative governments will continue to do nothing but ‘tut tut’ at them.

#4 Randy on Thursday March 12, 2015 at 9:33am

“Aw, peddlers of science denial and pseudoscience are worried about Google’s efforts to filter out lies, hoaxes, and wrongness. Poor guys.”

Are you really that comfortable handing over the keys to “truth” to a corporation known for censorship?

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