Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Which to believe?

Jun 25th, 2014 4:06 pm | By

Here’s an epistemological puzzle. What’s the right way to be a skeptic when it comes to thinking about a possible psychopath? I don’t mean a serial murderer or anything, but a more everyday kind of psychopath – you know, no conscience, compulsive lying, good at manipulation, persuasive, charming, successful.

You know a number of people who suspect that X is a psychopath of that type. You too know X and have always found X charming and persuasive.

What’s the skeptic thing to do? To doubt the people you know? Or to doubt your own sense of X? As a good skeptic, you know that people can be charming and persuasive and still be psychopaths, but you also know that not … Read the rest

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



It says a lot about the reality of freedom

Jun 25th, 2014 11:34 am | By

Melissa Davey in the Guardian reports on the aftermath of the cancellation of Badar’s FODI talk.

A Sydney-based Muslim speaker has said the public outcry that prompted the Opera House to cancel his lecture called Honour Killings Are Morally Justified reveals the “extent and depth” of Islamophobia in Australia.

Does it? Or does it just reveal the extent and depth of opposition to “honor” murder in Australia? Which would be a good thing.

Badar said people had jumped to conclusions about his views before he had a chance to speak.

“Things were assumed and outrage ensued,” he said. “That is the way Islamophobia works. The assumption is ‘we know what the Muslims will say’. This a very instructive case

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Potential participants

Jun 25th, 2014 10:50 am | By

CAFE is in the news again – the Canadian Association for Equality, you know, founded by Justin “not THAT Justin” Trottier, formerly the ED of CFI-Canada. Why is it in the news again? Because it’s been discovered that it cited women’s rights organizations on its application to the Canada Revenue Agency for charitable status, which it got.

…when the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE), a self-described “men’s issues” organization, applied to the Canada Revenue Agency for charitable status last year, it listed the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), Egale Canada, and Status of Women Canada as potential participants in its “regular panel discussion series” on women’s and men’s issues. The CRA granted CAFE charitable status in … Read the rest

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The accused is the oriental other

Jun 24th, 2014 6:12 pm | By

Here is the cached version of the page for Utham Badar’s (now canceled) talk at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney.

For most of recorded history parents have reluctantly sacrificed their children—sending them to kill or be killed for the honour of their nation, their flag, their king, their religion. But what about killing for the honour of one’s family? Overwhelmingly, those who condemn ‘honour killings’ are based in the liberal democracies of the West. The accuser and moral judge is the secular (white) westerner and the accused is the oriental other; the powerful condemn the powerless. By taking a particular cultural view of honour, some killings are condemned whilst others are celebrated. In turn, the act becomes a

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Honor killings are peachy keen

Jun 24th, 2014 5:36 pm | By

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney has canceled a talk by an Islamist from Hizb ut-Tahrir titled ‘Honour Killings Are Morally Justified’.

Cue outrage; what about free speech?!

Is that a legitimate worry? Is it bad for free speech to not host a talk titled ‘Honour Killings Are Morally Justified’?

Sydney-based Muslim speaker Uthman Badar, from Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, was to give the speech, titled ‘Honour Killings Are Morally Justified’ at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in August.

However, the event sparked an angry response on social media and talkback radio, and drew strong condemnation from two New South Wales Government ministers.

The state’s Minister for Women, Pru Goward, and the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Victor

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In an imaginary afterlife

Jun 24th, 2014 4:41 pm | By

Here we have Michael Nugent going head to head with Robert Grant who wrote that terrible article in the Irish Times, on the radio program News Talk.

It’s slightly shocking, because as I mentioned, Grant is a philosophy tutor at TCD, yet he repeatedly and consistently draws wild conclusions from what Michael says that simply are not there – and surely if there’s anything a philosopher should know better than to do, it’s that.

The presenter is torture to listen to, frankly, because he sounds as if he’s slobbering the whole time, plus he’s silly. (The ten commandments ffs!)

A takeaway from Michael:

[Religion] hides its testability in an imaginary afterlife and therefore it never gets the reality check

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Time and size do not exist for the law of attraction

Jun 24th, 2014 4:10 pm | By

Thanks to James Croft I’m now aware that there’s such a thing as a Facebook page for The Secret. What is The Secret? Some positive thinking “you can get rich by fantasizing about it” book or movie or brain implant. Anyway whenever you have an impulse to dive into a source of Modern Absurdity, it’s right there for your viewing pleasure.

Top item on the page right now:

Time and size do not exist for the law of attraction. It is as easy to heal a pimple as a disease. The process is identical; the difference is in our minds. So if you have attracted some affliction to you, reduce it in your mind to the size of

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A system of open discrimination

Jun 24th, 2014 3:41 pm | By

Fintan O’Toole tells a story of priest-ridden Ireland and slightly less priest-ridden Belize.

In 2003, the Catholic diocese of Toledo fired a primary school teacher called Maria Roches because she was pregnant, not married, and therefore in breach of an obligation to live by “Jesus’s teaching on marriage and sex”. Ms Roches sued the diocese and the case went to the supreme court. The church cited, in support of its right to fire Roches, the 1985 Irish High Court case of Eileen Flynn. Ms Flynn was fired from her job at the Holy Faith school in New Ross for living with a man to whom she was not married. Judge Declan Costello sided with the nuns. He found, among

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Francis dispatches

Jun 24th, 2014 12:26 pm | By

The pope is such a comedian. Independent Catholic News (there’s a joke right there) reports his latest joke.

On Saturday morning the Holy Father received participants in the International Congress organised by the Department of Law of the Maria SS Assunta University of Rome (LUMSA) and the School of Law of the St John’s University on the theme: “religious freedom according [to] international law and the global conflict of values”, held in Rome on 20 and 21 June. Francis remarked that the theme of religious freedom has recently become the subject of intense debate between governments and the various religious faiths, and added that the Catholic Church, has a long history of supporting religious freedom, culminating in the Vatican

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You’re free, you can go! Haha just kidding

Jun 24th, 2014 11:59 am | By

Yesterday Meriam Ibrahim was released from prison. Hooray! Now all they had to do was get the hell out of Sudan. They got to Khartoum airport. Hooray!

There she was re-arrested and thrown back in the slammer.

Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman released from death row in Sudan on Monday, was arrested with her husband and two children at Khartoum airport on Tuesday as the family attempted to leave the country.

Agents from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) detained the family just 24 hours after Ibrahim was released on the orders of the appeal court.

Her lawyer, Elshareef Mohammed, who was with Ibrahim at Khartoum airport at the time of the arrest, said more than 40 NISS officers

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Half the children housed in the institution died in 1925

Jun 24th, 2014 10:52 am | By

Imagine an orphanage where news that the mortality rate for the last year was 19% was good news. That was the mother and baby home in Pelletstown in Dublin in 1930.

While fatalities had undeniably fallen, the fact remained that 66 – or almost one in five – of the 336 children housed in Pelletstown died in the year to March 31st, 1930.

Half the children housed in the institution died in 1925, with a measles epidemic cited as the explanation for the high death rate. The following year, more than a third died. The death rate rose to 42 per cent in 1927 before falling to under 20 per cent in 1930.

Between 1924 and 1930, 662 children

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Inappropriate for viewers

Jun 24th, 2014 9:47 am | By

The anti-abortion fanatics have succeeded in dragging the abortion discussion way the hell over in their direction, so that even in places where you can have one you’re still regarded as scum for doing so. NBC refuses to run an ad that mentions it.

NBC turned down ads for the new movie “Obvious Child” because it deals with abortion, sources tell Page Six.

The A24 Films release stars former “SNL” star Jenny Slate as a Brooklyn comic who gets pregnant after a one-night stand and elects to have an abortion.

Other networks “had no problem airing an ad that included the word ‘abortion’ in it,” a source said, adding the film’s distributor “wasn’t trying to purchase ads during ‘Today’

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At first he was sympathetic

Jun 24th, 2014 9:16 am | By

Still? Still? The same old thing, so the same you could write it in your sleep?

This time it’s in the Irish Times and it’s written by a tutor of philosophy at Trinity College Dublin, Robert Grant.

Have the first three fresh sparkling original paragraphs:

The New Atheists – Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens – have become immensely popular in the past decade through a series of blistering attacks on religion.

While their starting point was the lack of scientific evidence for God’s existence, they quickly expanded their target to argue that religion is the “root of all evil” in the world. Far from being tolerated, religion should be banished. It obstructs the progress of the human race;

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A ferocious attack on media freedom

Jun 23rd, 2014 6:14 pm | By

Amnesty International reports a horrible development.

The conviction today of three Al Jazeera English journalists accused of “falsifying news” and belonging to or assisting the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt is a ferocious attack on media freedom, said Amnesty International.

The three journalists – Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, all considered by Amnesty International to be prisoners of conscience – were sentenced to seven years in jail. Baher Mohamed received a further three years on a separate charge of possessing a bullet shell. They have been detained since 29 December 2013.

“This is a devastating verdict for the men and their families, and a dark day for media freedom in Egypt, when journalists

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Unless a parent can show religious reservations

Jun 23rd, 2014 5:48 pm | By

One island of reason in the typhoon of anti-vax nonsense:

In a case weighing the government’s ability to require vaccination against the individual right to refuse it, a federal judge has upheld a New York City policy that bars unimmunized children from public school when another student has a vaccine-preventable disease.

Citing a 109-year-old Supreme Court ruling that gives states broad power in public health matters, Judge William F. Kuntz II of Federal District Court in Brooklyn ruled against three families who claimed that their right to free exercise of religion was violated when their children were kept from school, sometimes for a month at a time, because of the city’s immunization policies.

I’ve said it before – I hate … Read the rest

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So it turns out that they’re all about us after all

Jun 23rd, 2014 4:46 pm | By

The rest of that video. It’s not as bad as the first 15 minutes, in fact some of it is ok, like the part about the Civil Rights movement and the fact that atheists and socialists were told to sit down and shut up because the movement had to appeal to the mainstream, because strategy is complicated; the result is that they’ve been written out of the history, as have women.

But the part from 14:30 to 15:34 is still on the Dear Muslima, and it’s kack.

What is faced by women and men under Islamicist [sic] is far greater than the discomfort of some inappropriate sexist remark. We have to recognize different adversities. Recognizing these differences does not mean,

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Shut up because Taliban

Jun 23rd, 2014 1:22 pm | By

What is the point of saying things like “What is faced by women and men under Islamicist [sic] is far greater than the discomfort of some inappropriate sexist remark” or “Dear Muslima”?

What can possibly be the point of it other than to tell local feminists to shut up because things are much worse farther away?

That’s why so many people went ballistic over “Dear Muslima” in the first place. That’s where the Deep Rifts started – with that one bullying comment, which may have been written by Cornwell herself.

Cornwell is aware of that. She is aware of the deep rifts. I know this because she wrote to me on the subject via Facebook direct messaging to say so … Read the rest

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“Far greater than the discomfort of some inappropriate sexist remark”

Jun 23rd, 2014 12:47 pm | By

Lordy – I’m surprised again. I’m so easily surprised – I must be very naïve.

In watching the UN video I saw the list of other CFI videos, and in the list I saw the videoof Robin Elisabeth Cornwell’s talk at Women in Secularism 2. I missed that talk because of having to catch a plane, so I’ve started watching it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDwkY7pw3HM

You know, there’s a theory that it’s Cornwell who wrote Dear Muslima, and that Dawkins just posted it so that it would be as if god had posted it (and so it turned out). This video could be Exhibit One for that claim.

At about 11:45 she gets onto the subject of “victimhood.” She talks about pop culture … Read the rest

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Saudi Arabia tries to silence CFI at UNHRC

Jun 23rd, 2014 11:07 am | By

It’s what it says. Center for Inquiry representative Josephine Macintosh tried to read a statement about Raif Badawi and Saudi violations of human rights at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council and the Saudi representative keeps interrupting to try to make her stop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CakI_sn30xgRead the rest

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LA Women’s Atheist and Agnostic Group NEXT WEEK

Jun 23rd, 2014 10:44 am | By

The first meeting of the Los Angeles Women’s Atheist and Agnostic Group (LAWAAG) is a week from tomorrow at CFI-LA, which I know exactly where it is because I’ve been there. You know where Barnsdall Park is, in East Hollywood? It’s across Hollywood Boulevard from that.

Our group meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm at  The Center For Inquiry, Los Angeles. Along with regular monthly meetups, the group also organizes art, activism and outreach projects and works towards building community and support for women without faith.

In order to foster a safe space that acknowledges and can focus on the specific issues women encounter and deal with in a secular community, we currently only accept members

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