atheism, baptist, bibles, civilization, dan barker, debate, diversity, ecklund, education, fatwa, interfaith, interview, iowa, lds, life, mormons, muslims, oppression, podcast, religion, right-wingers, science, SOCAS, westboro
Are there Any Atheistic Religions?
Can an Atheist Be Part of Any Religion?
Is Interfaith Dialogue Worth The Trouble?
Interfaith dialogue is a mainstay of modern interfaith relations. It is touted as a way to bring communities together and find common ground. I’m not sure I could find many theists who would say, “Yeah, interfaith dialogue is a bad thing.” No one says that, at least not openly. But is it true that interfaith dialogue is always helpful? [Read more]
The Stakes in Inter-Religious Relations
Those who follow this blog may have noticed a recurrent theme in the discussions. It is a disagreement over whether religion is primarily a personal path that each individual pursues with whatever resources or companions are amenable, or a community endeavor that requires some level of exclusive devotion and commitment to a community. [Read more]
A Visit with Mormons
The last time a pair of Mormon missionaries knocked on my door (two years ago), I was not in the mood. I shortly told them that I had a religion already and I was very happy with it. They asked if I would tell them about it and I declined, suspecting that they were not going to be truly listening or learning anything about Hinduism. [Read more]
Fatwa forbids Muslims from living on Mars
Clerics claim a colony on Mars would be unIslamic. Muslims are forbidden from living on Mars according to a recent ruling (fatwa) issued by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE), a group of imams in the United Arab Emirates. [Read more]
Is the Hijab a Symbol of Diversity or a Symbol of Oppression?
Coca-Cola’s America the Beautiful ad on Super Bowl Sunday aimed to be a celebration of diversity, showcasing the many ethnicities that make up our modern social fabric. Right wing pundits jumped on the ad as a symbol that White Christian America is under assault. Not surprisingly, the Left reacted by praising and sharing the ad all the more because Right wingers hated it. [Read more]
…and some other news and views…
Iowa university hotel removes Bibles after protest from state-church watchdog
Des Moines, IA, United States (4E) – A hotel run by Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames is removing Bibles in all its guest rooms after a complaint from a foundation advocating the separation of church and state. [Read more]
Science Denial Can’t be Cured by Education
A recent LA Times op-ed by Pat Morrison addressed important similarities between creationists and anti-vaccine advocates, both of whom affect the collective intellectual and physical health of those around them due to their rejection of scientific evidence. Though it is an important point, it only scrapes the surface of larger issues surrounding pervasive skepticism and the borrowing of scientific authority. [Read more]
Elaine Ecklund is still pretending that science and religion are compatible
For years, sociologist Elaine Ecklund has made a career at Rice University by surveying religionists, scientists, and religious scientists, and twisting her survey data to show that science and religion are compatible. Science are “spiritual,” she says, and there are surprisingly more religious scientists than we think. (Go here to see the many posts I’ve written about her devious ways of spinning her data.) And she has pretended that her agenda is neutral: that she has no overt objective. After all, a sociologist must assume the mantle of objectivity when doing such surveys. But I suppose that’s hard when one is funded by the John Templeton Foundation, as is Ecklund. Templeton, after all, wants certain results. [Read more]
Life on Earth was nothing but slime for a ‘boring billion’ years
During the middle years of Earth’s history (1.8 billion to 800 million years ago), evolution stagnated. Life remained as little more than a layer of slime for a billion years. This period has become known as the “boring billion” years. [Read more]
Evaluating the Risk of Events That Could End Civilization
Every so often, Seth Baum heads out to meet Inés García, a video director and actress, at her Manhattan apartment. While he’s there, he helps out in whatever way he can — holding a microphone for hours on end, carrying heavy equipment and running to the local computer store to get an extra memory card for the camera. [Read more]
Thank You, Westboro Baptist
This past Saturday afternoon, members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church arrived at the University of Missouri to protest the coming-out of Michael Sam, the Tiger defensive end, SEC defensive player of the year, and promising NFL prospect. The WBC was greeted by an extensive line of students, physically blocking the demonstration as part of the “Stand with Sam” counter-protest. Here as elsewhere, the ugliness of WBC activism was met with beautiful opposition, offering a poignant example of how speech may self-regulate in a free society. [Read more]
Mormon secrets, Mormon lies
Business Insider ran a story Sunday about the rise of Mormon-themed anonymous online confessions. Such confessions aren’t exactly new—see this blog which attempts to gather all of the Mormon-themed Postsecret admissions in one place, or this Pinterest page where people have collected highly personal Mormon memes—but they seem to be gaining steam. [Read more]
Dan Barker Radio Interview
KBXL Radio FM 94.1 (Boise, Idaho)
(FFRF Co-President Dan Barker was interviewed by Matt Slick, a Christian apologist.)
SKEPTICALITY EPISODE 226
In this episode of Skepticality, Derek sits down with Jeremy Steele, author of the new book Taboo: The Questions You Aren’t Supposed to Ask. Jeremy is not only an author and skeptic, he is also a practicing Methodist Pastor. Derek discusses what led a man of devout faith to be such a strident skeptic, and how his skeptical themed book came to be.