Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

The hyenas are prowling

Mar 14th, 2014 5:03 pm | By

Good job, Hemant.

Kristine Kruszelnicki of course is the “secular” anti-abortion rights person who wrote that guest post at Friendly Atheist.

 

Kristine Kruszelnicki shared a link

Justin Vacula just wrote to congratulate me on being PZ Myer’s “Witch of the Week”. I get to be trashed on PZ’s blog for the second time. Yay! (Free publicity at least?)
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/12/an-atheist-can-be-pro-life-only-by-lying-about-the-science/

Of course he did. He is worried about disunity among the atheists.… Read the rest

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The most vulnerable members

Mar 14th, 2014 1:25 pm | By

I’m looking into “Secular Pro-Life” now, having not done so before. They are repulsive. Their rhetoric is religious in its exaggeration and its coerciveness.

Like:

For five years, Secular Pro-Life has united people of every faith and no faith to fight for the most vulnerable members of our human family.

That’s religious bullying via sentimentalism. “Vulnerable members of our human family” is religious language for a developing fetus.

I’m sure they think they’re secular, I’m sure they aren’t officially religious, but their rhetoric is saturated in religiion, whether they’re aware of it or not.

They reported on their tabling at the 2012 American Atheists convention. (Yes. Sigh.)

Kelsey: One elderly woman looked me in the eye and said

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Invisible because incorporated

Mar 14th, 2014 12:26 pm | By

Another review of Rebecca Goldstein’s Plato at the Googleplex, this time at NPR, by Marcelo Gleiser.

(Don’t forget, she’s a speaker at Women in Secularism 3, a mere two months from now.)

The man who gave us philosophy as we know it is back, walking among us, going to TV talk shows, visiting Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., having his brain examined by a naïve reductionist neuroscientist, engaging with our current struggles.

For this we must thank Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s inventiveness and intellectual courage. Her bookPlato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, has just been published to rave reviews by people such as philosopher Colin McGinn. Goldstein’s goal is clear: to show

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Preconditions

Mar 14th, 2014 11:40 am | By

James Croft has a new entrant in the #UpForDebate who gets to talk about abortion rights how many decades do we have to keep discussing whether women get to have bodily autonomy wars.

A couple of years ago he took part in such a debate, and realized while it was in process that it was basically a sham and he shouldn’t have agreed to do it. It was not a pleasant moment.

What I had failed to realize, despite my weeks of preparation, is that my ability and willingness to enter into a space of “debate” around the issue of abortion is a manifestation of privilege. What you are wiling to debate – what is effectively “up for discussion” –

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Actual people with personalities, characters, wishes

Mar 14th, 2014 9:57 am | By

A striking thing that Gilliel said in a comment on Greta’s post Having a Reasonable Debate About Abortion yesterday:

And here’s another thing that’s been driving my blood pressure up and I will bold the beginning so that people

READ THIS:

I have been pregnant three times which resulted in two kids. My first pregnancy turned Wahoonie-shaped around week ten and I needed an abortion (which is never counted as an abortion-abortion, but as a reasonable medical intervention because reasons. Probably because I suffered enough since I actually wanted to be pregnant very much). I had two wonderful kids afterwards.

To act as if the death of that embryo was somewhat comparable to one of my children, actual people

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Up for debate 3

Mar 13th, 2014 6:17 pm | By

Is Genocide always such a bad idea? #UpForDebate

Why not punish serious crimes by flaying people? #UpForDebate

Let’s totally rethink our position on torture. #UpForDebate

How about euthanasia for disabled people? That would save a few bucks. #UpForDebate

Immigrants. Shouldn’t we just enslave them? It was their idea to come here, after all. #UpForDebate

The US should invade Iceland. It’s just lying there, begging for it. #UpForDebate

We need serious tax reform. No tax at all on people with incomes over $200,000. Let everyone else pay for it. #UpForDebate

Dentists should be allowed to torture every 11th patient, just for laughs. #UpForDebate… Read the rest

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Another conception of rights

Mar 13th, 2014 4:57 pm | By

Our new blogger Kaveh Mousavi mentioned in a conversation the infuriating “arguments” he gets from fellow Iranians about the hijab. What are they? He listed them.

The first one: I say, I believe a woman should be able to have a choice in the matter of her own dress. They say, but, what if your own mother and your own sister chose to go on the street without the proper dressing code? This argument is repeated in all manners of sexual liberty, including porn. They are then genuinely amazed that I’m not convinced by this. They genuinely think that I would NEVER even consider letting my own relatives go out in the streets not covered up.

The second one is

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More up for debate

Mar 13th, 2014 1:32 pm | By

Everything should be up for debate, right? It’s the hallmark of an open society. Nothing should be off the table – that way tyranny lies.

So. Why shouldn’t bigger stronger people just take what they want when they can get away with it? #UpForDebate

Why shouldn’t bigger countries invade smaller countries and take all their wealth? #UpForDebate

Why shouldn’t rich people work poor people to death? There are always more poor people. #UpForDebate

Why shouldn’t companies make their workers operate in whatever conditions happen to occur? Why bother with safety regulations? If some workers die, others will take their place. #UpForDebate

Why shouldn’t companies sell whatever product they can? It’s the customer’s job to figure out if the products are … Read the rest

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Up for debate

Mar 13th, 2014 1:00 pm | By

It’s a hashtag – #UpForDebate. A few random samples -

Maybe #atheists aren’t fit parents. We should remove their children. #UpForDebate#atheistdudebros

#UpForDebate You knew there was a chance that you would get carjacked. Now just relax and enjoy the ride.

#UpforDebate The healthcare you receive should be dependent on what you’re wearing at the time of injury.

Men work dangerous jobs, which means more injuries & greater cost to employers. They should be paid less to compensate. #UpForDebate

I think if I heard some solid evidence on the positives of dog fighting I could be convinced. #UpForDebate

I can think of a few.

What was so bad about the Vietnam war anyway? Why did … Read the rest

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But then there’s the woo aspect

Mar 13th, 2014 12:48 pm | By

For the sake of completeness though, I’ll point out that David Gorski has pointed out that Murthy has connections to “complementary and alternative medicine.”

What worries me about Dr. Murthy is his connection to so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), otherwise known these days as “integrative medicine.” My skeptical antennae started twitching when I saw that Dr. Murthy has been serving on the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Healthsince 2011, along with Dr. Dean Ornish. (Come to think of it, it’s disturbing that President Obama would have appointed Ornish to such a committee.) Also on the council is Janet R. Kahn, PhD, who is described as a having been a “Faculty Preceptor

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How dare a potential Surgeon General defend public health?

Mar 13th, 2014 12:04 pm | By

Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General is, strange to relate, not a fan of injuries and death caused by guns. What an eccentric view, especially for a Surgeon General. Surely a right-minded SG should think of guns as healthy toys.

MSNBC reports on this surprising medical anomaly.

Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, is now facing a difficult confirmation for defending public health by pushing for measures that would reduce gun violence in America.

Last week on a vote of 13-9, Murthy’s nomination passed through the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. But his path forward to full confirmation is now under assault from the National Rifle Association, which penned a letter strongly opposing Murthy as Surgeon General.

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More more more of a guy thing

Mar 12th, 2014 5:21 pm | By

What about “ban bossy”? I’m not sure it was a great idea to choose the word “ban” as part of a meme or hashtag or campaign. But the idea behind it? Well yes. I see more reason every day to think that the culture is just godawful for girls and women; that it’s just saturated in ragey misogyny, contempt, patronizing ideas about some kind of inborn need to be drowned in pink fluff for the first ten years, fear, loathing, disgust, hostility, and dismissal.

Sheryl Sandberg and Anna Maria Chávez talked about it in the WSJ a few days ago.

Behind the negative connotations lie deep-rooted stereotypes about gender. Boys are expected to be assertive, confident and opinionated, while girls

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Plato in a panel discussion at the 92nd Street Y

Mar 12th, 2014 4:29 pm | By

Colin McGinn reviews Rebecca Goldstein’s Plato at the Googleplex in the Wall Street Journal. It’s a pity they chose Colin McGinn of all people, but oh well.

Plato is brought marvelously to life, and, as a welcome corollary, philosophy is vindicated against what Ms. Goldstein aptly labels the “philosophy-jeerers”—those who rashly claim that philosophy has no intellectual substance or future in this scientific era.

Philosophy-jeerers should read some Rebecca Goldstein. Seriously.

“Plato at the Googleplex” consists of chapters of scholarly discussion followed by fictional accounts of Plato appearing in various contemporary venues. Thus we see Plato at Google headquarters on a book tour, Plato in a panel discussion at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, Plato as a consultant to

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Don’t break something laughing

Mar 12th, 2014 3:48 pm | By

Via Unearthed Comics via the Facebook page Science-facts – such a funny cartoon. So, so, so funny. The cartoonist is Sara Zimmerman. So, so, so, so funny.

Credit Unearthed Comics

Ya. Hilarious.… Read the rest

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By consistently listening

Mar 12th, 2014 2:55 pm | By

The Onion - Man Who Treats Women With Respect Asked What His Secret Is.

Commenting upon his seemingly effortless ability to interact with all kinds of women, friends of local financial analyst Matt Brownlow, a man who regularly treats members of the opposite sex with respect, reportedly asked the 28-year-old Monday what his secret is. “You just seem to have such a way with women—what’s your trick?” friend Alex Stegman inquired of the considerate man who sustains healthy, meaningful relationships with women by consistently listening to them and not treating them as utilitarian instruments for male gratification.

Hahahahahahahahasob.

 … Read the rest

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Manufactured ignorance

Mar 12th, 2014 12:02 pm | By

This is a subject that has always interested me – agnotology, the study of the cultural production of ignorance.

It’s a rich field, especially today when whole industries devote themselves to sowing public misinformation and doubt about their products and activities.

The tobacco industry was a pioneer at this. Its goal was to erode public acceptance of the scientifically proven links between smoking and disease: In the words of an internal 1969 memo legal opponents extracted from Brown & Williamson’s files, “Doubt is our product.” Big Tobacco’s method should not be to debunk the evidence, the memo’s author wrote, but to establish a “controversy.”

Bullshitting for profit and to protect the profits – and bullshitting about life and death, at … Read the rest

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The social in social justice

Mar 12th, 2014 10:39 am | By

We hear a lot – a LOT – about how “social justice” aka atheismplus aka feminism & anti-racism & LGBT rights & trans rights & animal rights and fill out the list as you like, is a distraction, is divisive, is “drama,” is attention-whoring, is whatever label you want to use by way of saying it has nothing to do with atheism or skepticism or secularism or free inquiry.

There are ways that’s true, if you look at both parts of the equation very narrowly and literally. It is of course perfectly possible to be both an atheist and an aggressively misogynist shithead. If we didn’t know that a priori we would certainly still know it empirically, because we’ve encountered … Read the rest

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The laws limiting the age of marriage are unIslamic

Mar 12th, 2014 10:03 am | By

Dawn reports that a meeting of The Council of Islamic Ideology in Islamabad on Tuesday ruled that the laws related to minimum age of marriage were un-Islamic and that children of any age could get married if they attain puberty.

At the conclusion of two day meeting, Chairman CII Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani noted that the laws related to marriage too were unfair and there cannot be any age of marriage.

However, he explained that there were two segments of marriage – nikah and ruksati, while nikah could be performed at any age.

“Even the minors can have nikah but that has to be executed by the guardians,” chairman CII said adding, “But ruksti could be executed only after attaining

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A chance to air their nostalgia

Mar 12th, 2014 9:37 am | By

Emily Bazelon at Slate takes a look at some of the more…eccentric far-right arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood briefs against the Obamacare rule that employers must provide contraception coverage as part of their health care plans.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, the companies whose suits the Supreme Court will hear later this month, have been careful to frame their objections narrowly. They’re not refusing to pay for all birth control. They just don’t want to fund “items” like the morning-after pill and the IUD, which they say effectively cause abortion by preventing a fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterus. Many scientists say that’s not true. But the companies are trying to take a limited, reasonable-minds-may-differ

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A woman’s request for abortion cannot be treated as a lottery

Mar 11th, 2014 2:36 pm | By

In better news, however – on March 7 the Council of Europe’s Committee of Social Rights ruled that conscientious objection cannot stand in the way of women receiving the reproductive healthcare services guaranteed by Italian law.

The milestone decision on conscientious objection and abortion delivered by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Social Rights is welcomed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN). IPPF EN lodged a collective complaint[1] against Italy which stated that the weak regulation of health personnel’s conscientious objection violates the right to health protection. IPPF EN is pleased to announce that the claim has been successful – and in time for Saturday 8th March, which is International Women’s Day.

The Committee’s decision

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