The Course of Reason

Broadening (Losing?) Our Focus in the Skeptic Movement

July 30, 2011 Samuel Shore

There's a great post over at The Friendly Atheist's blog this morning where Hemant talks about his experience being on the "Diversity in Skepticism" panel at TAM 9. Apparently, the conversation became particularly focused on the diversity of skepticism present at meetings. The crux of the discussion was, as he put it, "If we truly advocate skepticism, and we want to apply it to all areas of life, then why do we always seem to limit our conversations to the paranormal or science? Why don’t we ever talk about the Drug War, or Gun Control, or Abortion, or the entire panoply of topics for which there’s available data and plenty of false information spread about them?" Hemant concludes that the movement has much to gain from bringing skeptics uninterested in our current focus into the fold.

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Pastor Defends Spousal Rape, Upsets Everyone

July 29, 2011 Stephanie Van Dyk

Here's something that will make you choke on your drink. So put it down and take a breath first.

The following was published in a local Alaskan paper. It was written by Pastor (pastor!) Ron Hamman, writing about a case of spousal rape:

"The next question we need to ask is to whom does the body belong? While in our day of feminism it is asserted that a woman’s body is her own. Biblically speaking, this is only true prior to marriage..."

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CFI Student Leadership Conference Videos!

July 28, 2011 Cody Hashman

From June 23-26, secular student leaders from North America traveled to the CFI–Transnational headquarters in Amherst, NY, for the 2011 Student Leadership Conference. There were many informative and inspiring talks ranging from high school activism to the controversial topic of interfaith participation. A few of the talks were videotaped and CFI is now making them available for the public to view. The following are the first three video to be released and include a high school panel featuring the new Volunteer High School Outreach Coordinator, Jessica Alhquitst, among other high school acivists. The remaining two videos are by Skepchick founder, Rebecca Watson, and law professor, Dan Kahan.

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ISSA Freethought Library Update!

July 27, 2011 Rebecca Tippens

It's been two weeks, and ISSA's Freethought Library has more than doubled in size! Sure, that means we now have nine books instead of four, but progress is progress! I'd like to thank those who've donated thus far... This is, of course, for a great cause -- arming our members with the most fundamental atheist arguments, facilitating productive discussion and promoting further inquiry. In short, we need to keep these freethinkers freethinkin'! Get it? Got it? Good.

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UNIFI is Good Without God in Vinton

July 26, 2011 Michael Dippold

Residents of Vinton, Iowa are still recovering from a storm that tore through their small town two weeks ago. It brought winds upwards of 130 miles per hour that destroyed buildings, rolled cars, and uprooted trees. I was shocked by how much damage a relatively quick wind storm could do after surveying the damage for myself on my way into town. Luckily, there were not many injuries, and no deaths to the best of my knowledge.

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