All entries by this author

More brawling

Aug 3rd, 2014 4:27 pm | By

It’s good to see that everyone sees the point of the joint statement and has decided to avoid the more childish ways of responding to disagreements like attacks on appearance and photoshops and caricatures and similar. Well maybe not quite everyone…

Haw haw.… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Lifestyles of the rich archbishops

Aug 3rd, 2014 12:46 pm | By

CNN notes that being a big noise in the Catholic church provides some pretty comfortable lodgings.

There’s Timothy Dolan’s cottage on Madison Avenue, for instance.

From Google

It’s 15,000 square feet. He squeezes into it with three other priests. Not too shabby, is it.

The one in Chicago for Cardinal Francis George is even nicer.

This mansion has 19 chimneys and sits on 1.7 acres of prime real estate in Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood. It’s worth $14.3 million “as is,” but the property could fetch far more, appraisers told CNN.

George, whose private quarters occupy the mansion’s top two floors, according to the archdiocese, shares the residence with two bishops and a priest.

Three nuns who care for

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



In a better world

Aug 3rd, 2014 12:10 pm | By

Meriam Ibrahim arrived in the US a few days ago.

Mrs Ibrahim flew from Rome to Philadelphia with her husband and two children, en route to Manchester, New Hampshire, where her husband has relatives and the family hope to settle.

The mayor said nice things to her there.

Her next stop was Manchester, and there were about 40 relatives and supporters at the airport to greet her, some of them chanting “Long Live America”, says the BBC’s Gringo Wotshela, who was at the scene.

He said her husband said a few words, in which he thanked the US government for its strong stance, the New Hampshire senators who worked hard to arrange her asylum and the people of Sudan for

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The sin of laughter

Aug 3rd, 2014 11:33 am | By

Channel 4 provides a bunch of pictures of women laughing in response to Bulent Arinc’s demand that women stop laughing in public.

They’re glorious pictures, all the better as a collection. What would life be without laughter??

A couple from Twitter under #kahkaha:

 

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Why did not they remove the Qur’an from the mosque before destroying it?

Aug 3rd, 2014 10:59 am | By

There’s a rather depressing piece in the Guardian by Fazel Hawramy and Mohammad Moslawi about the beginnings of resistance to ISIS in Mosul.

Iraqis living under Isis rule in Iraq, where non-Sunni residents have been forced from their homes and tens of mosques have been deemed idolatrous and marked for destruction, have started to push back against the extreme interpretation of Islam being imposed on them.

In Mosul, despite its military triumphs, Isis is losing the hearts, minds and obedience of residents who say they have had enough.

When its fighters destroyed the Nabi Jonah mosque (Jonah’s tomb) in the Iraqi city last Thursday, they failed to removed copies of the Qur’an and other religious texts. Residents treading

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



And even the obligation

Aug 3rd, 2014 10:13 am | By

Oh yes, the ever-popular Incitement to Murder as Political Dissent routine.

Knight Science Journalism’s Paul Raeburn has weighed in on the increasingly sordid Mike Adams fiasco.

He writes: An anti-GMO activist has compared some science journalists and publications to the Nazis, saying they are “Monsanto collaborators who have signed on to accelerate heinous crimes being committed against humanity under the false promise of ‘feeding the world’ with toxic GMOs.”

In the post on his Natural News blog, Mike Adams also writes that ” it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity.”

Oh. Uh. But…that’s just rhetoric, … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Strap an explosive belt to a ten-year-old girl

Aug 2nd, 2014 4:23 pm | By

But in Nigeria

A female suicide bomber killed six people at a college campus in Nigeria’s Kano city on Wednesday, the fourth time Boko Haram Islamists were suspected of using a female attacker in as many days.

The latest violence came as the government announced the arrest of a 10-year-old girl with explosives strapped to her chest in a neighbouring area.

At about 2:30 pm (1330 GMT) on Wednesday, an assailant blew herself up at a noticeboard on the campus of the Kano Polytechnic College while students were crowded around it.

Witness Isyaku Adamu said the explosion came from within the crush of students and left blood splattered on the ground, as soldiers and police scrambled to secure

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Well done Uganda’s Constitutional Court

Aug 2nd, 2014 4:03 pm | By

One piece of good news: The Pink Humanist reports that Uganda’s Constitutional Court has annulled the anti-gay legislation passed and signed into law last February.

It ruled that the bill was passed by MPs in December without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal.

Homosexual acts were already illegal, but the new law allowed for life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality” and banned the “promotion of homosexuality”.

Several donors have cut aid to Uganda since the law was adopted.

The BBC has more.

Ugandan government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said the government was still waiting the attorney general’s advice about whether to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.

He added that the ruling showed to Western donors that Uganda’s democracy was

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: You teach reason, not emotions

Aug 2nd, 2014 3:20 pm | By

Originally a comment by Brony on Vulcans can’t argue.

@ brianpansky

Accepting that our primary motives are not rational (and not even conscious) is not , however, the same as saying – as Hume did – that reason should be the slave of emotions. Indeed, if that were the case, we should abandon any hope of progress in ethics and general well-being. Fortunately we do, in fact, use reason all the time to shape our emotions. What else is psychotherapy, if not a (mostly) rational attempt to modify our emotions? What are penalties for, if not to curb some desires?

Reason is in fact the slave of the emotions because reason is software carved into existence through the emotions. … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: If you want to have that conversation, go have it

Aug 2nd, 2014 1:10 pm | By

Originally a comment by Nathaniel Frein on Public property.

@sonof: I think what Ophelia is saying in response to your #16 could be paraphrased as ‘bothering men that way is bad but doing it to women is WORSE so shut up and go away’, so apparently she is learning a lot from her new friend (Richard).

Oh do fuck off. Seriously.

You have the wide wide internet to make your point that “People in general should not have their emotions audited by others”, and instead you choose to come here and criticize one blogger for choosing to focus on a behavior that by far happens to women much more than men.

Lets have an anecdote off: I have neverRead the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Stamp out all the things

Aug 2nd, 2014 11:37 am | By

So everything good is evil, it seems.

Dangerous Minds on Facebook

Orange Church of God announces on the advertising board thingy (what do you call those things, anyway?):

SURFERS, SKATEBOARDERS, MUSICIANS, ARTISTS, VEGETARIANS, OCCUPIERS, ACTIVISTS, ADDICTS AND FORNICATORS ARE ALL GOING TO HELL!

REPENT NOW!

Seriously? Surfboarders? Skateboarders? Musicians, artists, vegetarians, activists? Going to hell? Why?

Maybe the Orange Church of God is actually just someone’s living room, and that’s a list of someone’s pet peeves. (But even then – surfing?? Why on earth? It’s so obviously fun, and it’s pretty to watch, and it doesn’t hurt anything. It doesn’t mess up anyone’s living room.)… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Ok here’s one

Aug 2nd, 2014 10:58 am | By

Here’s an example of the kind of thing that the statement Richard Dawkins and I posted last week opposes.

John ‏@JohnTheSecular
So tell me, @RichardDawkins, what is “modern art” the result of, then? Your fuckwittery?

Description: it’s a photo of Dawkins talking next to a passage in quotation marks:

“Too many so-called ‘great works of art’, from the Sistine Chapel to Bach’s Masses, were inspired by the Christ myth and therefore, despite their beauty, come from a place of anti-intellectualism and refusal to confront empirical reality.

The only pure, untainted art form left is the Japanese RPG.”

Richard Dawkins

That’s a shitty trick because it’s too plausible and people are passing it around and taking it seriously. It looks real. … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The curse of knowledge

Aug 2nd, 2014 10:32 am | By

I learned about another cognitive bias this morning – the curse of knowledge. Wikipedia explains.

The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that leads better-informed parties to find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed parties. The effect was first described in print by the economists Colin Camerer, George Loewenstein and Martin Weber, though they give original credit for suggesting the term to Robin Hogarth.

…researchers have linked the curse of knowledge bias with false-belief reasoning in both children and adults, as well as theory of mind development difficulties in children. The curse of knowledge bias reportedly decreases in degree for adults versus children, who experience exaggerated effects; however, it was also found

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Born in moral stupidity, taking the world as an udder to feed our supreme selves

Aug 2nd, 2014 10:17 am | By

The last paragraph of chapter XXI of George Eliot’s Middlemarch.

We are all of us born in moral stupidity, taking the world as an udder to feed our supreme selves: Dorothea had early begun to emerge from that stupidity, but yet it had been easier to her to imagine how she would devote herself to Mr. Casaubon, and become wise and strong in his strength and wisdom, than to conceive with that distinctness which is no longer reflection but feeling—an idea wrought back to the directness of sense, like the solidity of objects—that he had an equivalent centre of self, whence the lights and shadows must always fall with a certain difference.

Morality requires educated feeling. It’s never a … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Spreading faster than efforts to control it

Aug 2nd, 2014 9:54 am | By

The WHO says Ebola is spreading faster than efforts to control it. That’s not good. We need it to be the other way around.

But it’s difficult. Poverty makes it more difficult. Poverty means lack of infrastructure, and that makes it more difficult.

Analysis: David Shukman, BBC science editor

Friday’s summit should provide the kind of international co-operation needed to fight Ebola but the battle against the virus will be won or lost at the local level. An over-attentive family member, a careless moment while burying a victim, a slip-up by medical staff coping with stress and heat – a single small mistake in basic hygiene can allow the virus to slip from one human host to another.

The

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Simon and David

Aug 1st, 2014 5:14 pm | By

Simon Davis talks to David Futrelle of Confused Cats Against Feminism and We Hunted the Mammoth (formerly Manboobz).

There’s a catharsis in saying “You know what? Your argument is based on ignorance. We’ve tried to explain this. We’re just gonna respond with a picture of a cat.” When you get into these discussions with these guys online, it becomes just like quicksand. Because you feel like you’ve fallen into this realm of “Wait a minute. The sky is blue, right?” It’s also just sort of nice to present something that I think the opponents of feminism just don’t know how to handle or don’t know how to react to. So when they see the cat pics, they can’t go into

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Tap that latent brainpower

Aug 1st, 2014 4:02 pm | By

So, cool idea for a movie – if we used 100% of our brains we could eat a mountain for breakfast, and memorize The Tale of Genji while brushing our teeth, and get from Seattle to Stockholm in a single bound. Except that we couldn’t, because we already do, and we can’t.

The fact is, people use all of their brains. Brain imaging research techniques such as PET (positron emission tomography) scans and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) clearly show that the vast majority of the brain does not lie unused. Although certain activities may use only a small part of the brain at a time (for example, watching reality TV shows), any sufficiently complex set of activities will

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: Stop the ”Witch Slapping” Bishop Oyedepo from Preaching in London

Aug 1st, 2014 10:52 am | By

Guest post by Leo Igwe

UK authorities should take measures to stop controversial Nigerian pastor, David Oyedepo, from bringing his witch hunting ministry to Europe. Oyedepo with his Pentecostal church the Winners Chapel and his own fleet of private jets is reputedly the richest pastor in Nigeria. Oyedepo is scheduled to preach at the European Winners Convention to be held in London in August. There are numerous reasons why the UK authorities should not allow him to feature at this event. Here are just a few.

Not too long ago, Bishop Oyedepo assaulted a girl at one of his ministration events in Nigeria. He accused the girl of being a witch. But the girl denied this saying she was a … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The Great Cause

Aug 1st, 2014 10:19 am | By

Christina Hoff Sommers seems to have only one thing to say. (She’s a hedgehog not a fox.) That thing is: feminism sucks!!

A sample from her Twitter output.

Christina H. Sommers @CHSommers · Jul 29
It’s not the patriarchy, but third-wave feminism, that undermines young women’s freedom. Great read by @ashtenthinks http://www.pocketfullofliberty.com/third-wave-feminism/

There are rules of evidence & anyone worth taking seriously must abide by them–including feminists.@LadyGirlPerson @GodDoesnt @ashtenthinks

Wash Post & TNR just had weak posts on gender pay gap. For high-powered thinking on topic, check out these 2 guys. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303532704579483752909957472

Due process has no lobby. Republicans & Dems do the bidding of gender warriors. Not a word about falsely accused. http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/235449362 …

Malicious and dishonest headline
alert!

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Or there’s Confused Bird Against Feminism

Aug 1st, 2014 10:02 am | By

Birds Rights Activist knows.
Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)