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Fighting Post-Truth -
If the word “schadenfreude” did not already exist, it is at this point that progressives probably would have had to invent it … except for the fact that we are all in the same boat—or soon will be—and cannot afford to indulge in the feeling of self-righteousness. Even if you are prepared to deny the facts, they have a way of asserting themselves. When the water creeps up on their $5 million houses or their businesses are affected, people will eventually listen. But does this mean that ...
zblaze Mar 18, 2018 Mar 18, 2018 00
LINK Toward a New Theology of Foreign Policy -
FTA: One can support Israel’s right to exist and US defense commitments to its ally while condemning Israel’s illegal colonial expansion into the West Bank and unconditional US support of it, whether motivated explicitly by religious nationalism or otherwise. Perpetuating conflict rooted in the competing religious narratives of the Abrahamic religions is a formula for disaster.
zblaze Aug 28, 2018 Aug 28, 2018 22
A Certain Uncertainty: Brookings Holds Discussion on Recent Iranian Protests -
Furthermore, the protests have highlighted the harm inflicted on religion by Iran’s total lack of church-state separation. “There is a sentiment among Iranians to reject everything this government stands for. That includes the Islamic Republic… they reject Islam itself,” Bahari warned, noting a cultural shift towards irreligiosity and Zoroastrian revival among Iranians fed up with the Islamist government. Iran’s increasing reliance on force to suppress dissent can only further damage ...
zblaze Jan 14, 2018 Jan 14, 2018 00
LINK Roe v. Wade Is under Threat: What Will We Do About It? -
FTA: If (or when) the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is overturned, the responsibility to regulate abortion care will fall to the states. And many states are already taking action in anticipation of that reversal. Last month Arkansas became the most recent state to pass a “trigger law”—a bill that automatically outlaws most abortions the moment Roe v. Wade is overturned. The bill, SB 149, passed the state House of Representatives 72 to 20.
zblaze Mar 18, 2019 Mar 18, 2019 00
LINK The Owner of - 'Truth' and 'Fact Checking' Website (Used by Facebook and Paid Off by Monsanto) Is In Court + Could Be Shut Down For Lying.
This is an old story that has just made it into the mainstream media.. Snopes has long been a source of half truths and investigation held up as 'absolute fact' by those who themselves don't bother to do their own research into controversial topics and now it is finally becoming clear that it is far from being run by those with the utmost integrity.
zblaze Apr 5, 2018 Apr 5, 2018 33
LINK Satanist Sues Chicago for Religious Discrimination Over His Pet Pig “Boarphomet” | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos
FTA: Will any of these lawsuits go anywhere? I don’t know. But these lawsuits show the slippery slope of religious accommodation. When religious beliefs are given special privilege in the legal system — like when a Christian baker can refuse to service same-sex couples because doing so would violate his conscience — the courts can’t write someone off just because his beliefs are weird. The claims must be investigated on their merits provided Mayle has legal standing. It’s always ...
zblaze Sep 30, 2018 Sep 30, 2018 11
LINK Black atheists matter: how women freethinkers take on religion | Big Think
As the black atheist Sincere Kirabo posits of BLM: ‘There’s a social activist movement underway continuing the unfinished business of the Civil Rights movement era. Want to make a difference? What we need is grit and involvement in the struggle, not a tribe satisfied with the empty promises of scriptural white noise. Please, for the sake and love of our own futures: abandon your fabled white messiah. Wake up. We are our own salvation.’
zblaze Apr 18, 2018 Apr 18, 2018 00
LINK 54% of Trump Voters Believe Christians Are The Most Discriminated Religious Group
So these polls continue to offer some mixed messages about our country. On the one hand, there are still plenty of ignorant viewpoints on social issues by many people in our country. But there are also plenty of people who are resisting the president at every turn. I’m not sure Trump will make it four years, but if we keep fighting, hopefully we will not have to deal with him for another term.
zblaze Aug 1, 2018 Aug 1, 2018 33
How to Celebrate Darwin Day in 2018 -
What are your plans to celebrate the originator of the biological theory of evolution? Not much is listed for the West Coast, guess I'll have to hold my own celebration. YAHOOOOOO!
zblaze Jan 14, 2018 Jan 14, 2018 00
On the Hill: How Arcane Senate Rules Saved the Johnson Amendment (For Now) -
MacDonough ultimately ruled that the language within last month’s tax reform bill, which would have weakened the Johnson Amendment, did not comply with the rules of reconciliation, which is the process by which a bill can be approved by a simple majority without the threat of a filibuster. As the language weakening the Johnson Amendment did not have a budgetary impact, which is required for any bill to be considered under the reconciliation process, MacDonough advised that the language be ...
zblaze Jan 14, 2018 Jan 14, 2018 00
LINK 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms - Houston Chronicle
It's not just a recent problem: In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.
zblaze Feb 17, 2019 Feb 17, 2019 22
Airman, husband hire attorney after wedding picture used in poli - WSMV News 4
Morgan said that's why he was shocked to see a political attack ad mailer featuring a wedding picture of the couple with Gayle Jordan, who's running for State Senate District 14. Jordan officiated the wedding. The mailer features the picture. Above it, it says, "Liberal Gayle Jordan will 'destroy the fabric of American society.' Take her word for it." The picture was lifted from Jordan's Facebook page without permission. Both of the men's faces are blurred, but Morgan said their faces can...
zblaze Mar 13, 2018 Mar 13, 2018 00
LINK Anti-vaccine reviewers target children’s books on Amazon - The Washington Post
“All of a sudden,” she said, “I had one-star reviews.” Anti-vaccination reviewers tried to sink the book's rating in a coordinated, 48-hour campaign a month before Hanukkah. Reviewers called her story “extremely disturbing and franky inaccurate” and repeated falsehoods about “vaccines that are not at all safe.” Years of careful scientific study have thoroughly disproved any link between autism and vaccines, including the one for measles, mumps and rubella. The 1998 ...
zblaze Apr 18, 2018 Apr 18, 2018 00
LINK How conservative Christians are responding to the Kavanaugh allegations.
FTA: To say that Christian conservatives supported the Kavanaugh nomination does not go far enough in capturing their enthusiasm. It wasn’t just that Kavanaugh was a solid pick—reliably conservative, with a record of skepticism on Roe v. Wade—but that the nomination was a kind of payoff. “It is, of course, the reason why so many evangelicals supported Trump in the presidential election,” Karen Swallow Prior, an English professor at Liberty University, told NPR in early September. Prior...
zblaze Oct 1, 2018 Oct 1, 2018 33
LINK Systematic Classification of Life - ep35 Euarchontoglires - YouTube
AronRa Published on Oct 20, 2018 My wife, Lilandra asked me to do this series, based on our first interaction--back when she was a creationist. I often say that phylogenetic taxonomy is the strongest argument for evolution. After we talked about a couple dozen clades, she was convinced, and suggested I do something similar for the public.
zblaze Oct 20, 2018 Oct 20, 2018 00
LINK What is Faith - YouTube
AronRa ♥ Published on Jul 31, 2019 Believers try to pretend that their erroneous assumptions of subjective evidence mean their faith is not in independent of evidence, despite every definitive source always saying that it is.
zblaze Aug 6, 2019 Aug 6, 2019 11
LINK Dr. Christian List — Why Free Will is Real: Response to Harris, Coyne, and Other Determinists - YouTube
FTV: Philosophers have argued about the nature and the very existence of free will for centuries. Today, many scientists and scientifically minded commentators are skeptical that it exists, especially when it is understood to require the ability to choose between alternative possibilities. If the laws of physics govern everything that happens, they argue, then how can our choices be free? Believers in free will must be misled by habit, sentiment, or religious doctrine. Why Free Will is Real ...
zblaze May 24, 2019 May 24, 2019 00
LINK 143 - The Keys to the Mind
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Derren Brown about his work as a “psychological illusionist.” They discuss the power of hypnosis, the power of expectations, the usefulness of Stoic philosophy, and other topics.
zblaze Nov 25, 2018 Nov 25, 2018 00
Religious 'nones' could shake up American politics — but many roadblocks stand in their way | Deseret News
However, secular activists in America are still a long way from that result, and they need to target their outreach better if they hope to get there, Campbell said. He estimates that only around one-third of the religiously unaffiliated are "actively secular" and able to be drawn into a recognizable voting bloc. "We speak of the religious 'nones' or the unaffiliated population as though they're one large group," he said. "But there is a very clear divide within that population." Actively ...
zblaze Mar 13, 2018 Mar 13, 2018 11
Germany’s Catholic Church counts its many financial blessings – Handelsblatt Global
A Handelsblatt investigation has revealed that the Catholic Church collected €6 billion ($7.1 billion) last year in taxes — a new record. Although more than 2.2 million Germans have formally deregistered from the church since 2000, the robust domestic economy has been a godsend. According to calculations by Handelsblatt, Germany’s 27 dioceses are sitting on a fortune of at least €26 billion, likely making it Europe’s wealthiest Catholic institution aside from the Vatican itself.
zblaze Jan 16, 2018 Jan 16, 2018 11
LINK 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest | National Geographic
Ton of photos. The lightning and Rhinos is my favorite, so far.
zblaze June 23, 2019 Jun 23, 2019 11
LINK Photos of the Week: Sky Glider, Ice Swimmer, Cave Basketball - The Atlantic
I liked the pygmy hippos♥
zblaze Aug 25, 2019 Aug 25, 2019 22
The Museum of the Bible Is a Safe Space for Christian Nationalists
Given the theologico-political goals of its founders and patrons, it isn’t hard to see that the location of this museum was an act of symbolic and practical genius. If you’re going to build a Christian nation, this is where you start. That’s why Cindy Jacobs, a leading figure in the fast-growing world of charismatic Christianity, and a featured speaker at the Revolution 2017 event in December, described the museum as “God’s base camp.” There, in the auditorium of the museum, Ms. ...
zblaze Jan 15, 2018 Jan 15, 2018 00
LINK How RE teachers see religion – and why it can be bad for pupils
FTA: It is wrong, for example, to imagine that terrorists have always “twisted” their religion from its “true” form. They follow a nefarious, destructive form of religion, but it is still religion. To imply otherwise presents young people with a view that doesn’t fully reflect how they experience religion in contemporary society – where it can motivate great acts of kindness, but also atrocities.
zblaze Jan 12, 2019 Jan 12, 2019 22
How the Loss of Critical Reasoning is Harming America -
It bled over into the idea that as an American I am absolutely free to ignore science, expertise, and reason to believe what I feel to be true. That happened over hundreds of years. Then another part of it, certainly relevant to the election and presidency of Donald Trump, is the degree to which a more benign blurring between fiction and reality—entertainment—has affected us. Entertainment values and show business have seeped more and more into American life, whether it’s in the press, ...
zblaze Jan 25, 2018 Jan 25, 2018 11
LINK David Mitchell Doesn't Understand Atheism (And Neither Do Agnostics) - YouTube
Like I've said before, "If you are an agnostic you are also an atheist."
zblaze Apr 12, 2018 Apr 12, 2018 11
LINK Photos of the Week: Denver Longhorns, Camel Shaving, Hero Pups - The Atlantic
It takes a while to load, but I think it's worth it....
zblaze Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019 11
Why we are supposed to trust the consensus of a field that is based on experts who refuse to read their own peer reviewed literature and never actually respond to it, is still not explained. Yet “we should always believe the consensus” is his ...
Hurtado claims “this is why the view has no traction among scholars”: “It’s not because scholars are gullible or lazy. The view just doesn’t stand up to critical scrutiny.” Yet, all Hurtado demonstrates is gullibility and laziness. He just trusts things he hasn’t confirmed; I caught him making several claims that are demonstrably false, and that he’d know were false if he bothered to check. And he is too lazy to go and read the actual literature to know if it’s sound. Even ...
zblaze Dec 14, 2017 Dec 14, 2017 22
LINK BBC - Future - Are we close to solving the puzzle of consciousness?
FTA: From these axioms, Tononi proposes that we can identify a person’s (or an animal’s, or even a computer’s) consciousness from the level of “information integration” that is possible in the brain (or CPU). According to his theory, the more information that is shared and processed between many different components to contribute to that single experience, then the higher the level of consciousness.
zblaze Apr 5, 2019 Apr 5, 2019 11
LINK Jordan Peterson’s Bullshit
FTA: Peterson does not speak for what is “normal.” His jargon of authenticity — that he is just a simple academic fighting for truth amid so much political correctness and censorship — masks his authoritarian ideas. He calls Marxism a “murderous ideology,” but his paranoid and conspiratorial politics are hard to distinguish from the alt-right’s denunciations of cultural Marxism. Indeed, the line between Peterson’s authoritarianism and Richard Spencer’s paleo-Nazism is a blurry ...
zblaze June 20, 2019 Jun 20, 2019 55
Trump’s Islamophobia is having an unexpected result – ThinkProgress
“As someone who witnessed a demonstration at the airport upon returning from international travel, and as a Muslim, I was moved to tears. It reminded me why I am an American,” Zonneveld said. “The overwhelming push-back by non-Muslims, individual Americans who were untouched by the travel ban, and yet demonstrated in numbers, and with states and civil liberty organizations filing suites, reminded others: it is un-American and ‘not cool’ to discriminate. I believe for those on the ...
zblaze Jan 16, 2018 Jan 16, 2018 11
LINK Fighting a God - Dark Matter 2525
zblaze Sep 29, 2018 Sep 29, 2018 00
LINK Photos of the Week: Norway Surf, Monkey Drummer, Underwater Offense - The Atlantic
Please enjoy.♥
zblaze Oct 9, 2018 Oct 9, 2018 11
LINK 146 - Digital Capitalism A Conversation with Douglas Rushkoff
anuary 16, 2019 In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Douglas Rushkoff about the state of the digital economy. Douglas Rushkoff is the host of the Team Human podcast and author of Team Human as well as a dozen other bestselling books on media, technology, and culture.
zblaze Jan 17, 2019 Jan 17, 2019 00
Reason-and-religion atheism agnosticism nonreligious church-state
Before the Church began to claim its doctrines were fully based on reason it had long demonized evidence-based investigation of existence. The switch came soon after ancient Greek skeptical philosophy disturbingly re-emerged in the West around the 15th century after a millennia of dormancy following the collapse of the Roman Empire. As far back as the 5th century, Catholicism pioneer St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) had damned reason as “the disease of curiosity … which drives us to ...
zblaze Feb 8, 2018 Feb 8, 2018 55
LINK Photos of the Week: Hudson Yards, Birdman Rally, Cat Yoga - The Atlantic
Please enjoy
zblaze Mar 24, 2019 Mar 24, 2019 11
LINK The 10 Weirdest Science Stories of 2018
FTA: Crows can do some pretty amazing things. They use tools. They can solve puzzles. They also, sometimes, have sex with their dead. Scientists placed a dead crow on the ground and watched how other crows reacted. Some mounted the corpse, and...well, you get the picture. It's not clear why the crows were getting busy with the recently deceased, but it may have been a confused response mingling aggression with sex.
zblaze Jan 11, 2019 Jan 11, 2019 11
Atheists are under threat: discrimination against non-religious people increases -
Research center Pew Research estimates that by 2060 the number of unaffiliated people (this includes atheists, agnostics and those who do not consider themselves followers of any particular religion) will be approximately 1.2 billion people (now there are 1.17 billion). Although, according to the same forecast, this group will not grow as fast as the number of believers. “Currently, the disbelievers-they are the third largest group of the population from the standpoint of religious belief, ...
zblaze Feb 24, 2018 Feb 24, 2018 66
How US death penalty capital changed its mind - BBC News
"The death penalty wouldn't have survived in America if it weren't for evangelical Christians," notes Shane Claiborne, a prominent Christian activist and best-selling author. "Where evangelical Christians are most concentrated is where the death penalty survives." But, Mr Claiborne notes, younger evangelicals in states like Texas are increasingly embracing a pro-life interpretation that goes beyond the confines of the abortion debate to also include the likes of the Black Lives Matter ...
zblaze Feb 20, 2018 Feb 20, 2018 00
LINK Reflexology Hand And Foot Charts (Free) - Herbs Info
zblaze Oct 14, 2018 Oct 14, 2018 00
Photos of the Week: Dancing Noses, Olympic Jumps, Analog Astronauts - The Atlantic
zblaze Mar 5, 2018 Mar 5, 2018 00
LINK The Comics Section: Letterboxes & Blue Waves -
zblaze Aug 20, 2018 Aug 20, 2018 00
LINK Science Uprising: A New Case Against the New Atheists Comes to YouTube
The outright fallacies are numerous in this video. See how many you can spot. []
zblaze June 23, 2019 Jun 23, 2019 11
LINK 30 Years After the Rushdie Fatwa, Europe Is Moving Backward – Foreign Policy
FTA: despite the unanimous rhetorical support for free speech after Charlie Hebdo, blasphemy bans have become more firmly anchored in some parts of the continent in recent years. In a recent case, the European Court of Human Rights even reaffirmed that European human rights law recognizes a right not to have one’s religious feelings hurt. The court based its decision on the deeply flawed assumption that religious peace and tolerance may require the policing rather than the protection of ...
zblaze Jan 17, 2019 Jan 17, 2019 44
LINK Waking Up Podcast 145 - The Information War | Sam Harris
N this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Renée DiResta about Russia’s “Internet Research Agency” and its efforts to amplify conspiracy thinking and partisan conflict in the United States. Renée DiResta is the Director of Research at New Knowledge and Head of Policy at the nonprofit organization Data for Democracy where she investigates the spread of malign narratives across social networks. She regularly writes and speaks about the role that tech platforms and curatorial ...
zblaze Jan 3, 2019 Jan 3, 2019 00
LINK The death of Christianity in the U.S. – Baptist News Global
The beauty of the gospel message — of love, of peace and of fraternity — has been murdered by the ambitions of Trumpish flimflammers who have sold their souls for expediency. No greater proof is needed of the death of Christianity than the rush to defend a child molester in order to maintain a majority in the U.S. Senate. Evangelicals have constructed an exclusive interpretation which fuses and confuses white supremacy with salvation. Only those from the dominant culture, along with their...
zblaze Mar 29, 2018 Mar 29, 2018 00
LINK Pope meets with Mormon leadership in Rome to dedicate temple - Religion News Service
FTA: Nelson and the 14 elders who make up the leadership of the church, widely known as the Mormons, are in town for the dedication Sunday of their new temple. The lush complex features an oval-shaped marble house of worship crowning a hilltop and a visitor center featuring a larger-than-life marble statue of Christ surrounded by smaller statues of the apostles.
zblaze Mar 30, 2019 Mar 30, 2019 55
LINK Nigeria’s undercover atheists - Vanguard News Nigeria
"There are several stories from folks living in fear for their lives because they don't believe in some deity. This is just one of them." FTA: Bala attracted media attention in 2014 after being admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Kano by his parents when they found out he was atheist. He says his father and uncles held him down for 30 minutes and forced him to take medications given by the psychiatrist, who told him “everyone needs God”.
zblaze Mar 5, 2019 Mar 5, 2019 11
LINK Churches Fight Atheist Lawsuit that Could Result in $1B in Taxes on Church Leaders | CBN News
For nearly six decades, religious leaders have enjoyed a housing tax exemption from the IRS. But one atheist organization says no more. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is fighting to strip that tax break in a move that would mean churches across the country would be socked with almost $1 billion in new taxes. Supporters say the provision, known as the "parsonage exemption," allows pastors, rabbis and others to live in the communities they serve.
zblaze Apr 23, 2018 Apr 23, 2018 00
LINK Harvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution? | TED Talk
From The Video: Medical ethicist Harvey Fineberg shows us three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving completely, to evolve naturally -- or to control the next steps of human evolution, using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, better. Neo-evolution is within our grasp. What will we do with it?
zblaze Apr 14, 2019 Apr 14, 2019 00
LINK That's Just How It Was Back Then - YouTube
DarkMatter2525 Published on Nov 23, 2018 Jeffery and God argue about a speech made by Ben Shapiro. Like many apologists, Shapiro tries to reconcile a timeless god's uncanny resemblance to an ancient culture. Is it because an all-powerful God needed to accommodate His own creation, or simply because the culture created the god?
zblaze Nov 24, 2018 Nov 24, 2018 00
Salon Retracts Article Criticizing Bible; It Didn’t Meet “Editorial Standards” – Friendly Atheist
Do you guys remember when I posted this article??? From this article; She talked about how having multiple authors (because “God” didn’t write it) led to “two different creation myths, three sets of Ten Commandments, and four contradictory versions of the Easter story.” She explained the possible forgeries, the mixing of literary genres, the possible mis-translations, and the numerous examples of “inside baseball” that made sense to the writers but not necessarily to people ...
zblaze Feb 20, 2018 Feb 20, 2018 00
LINK Graphic Novel Review: Altered Boys Vol. 1: The Book of Billy -
FTA: Altered Boys frames the ongoing ecclesiastical abuse scandals in such a highly personal way that the reader can feel the passions of its characters seeping through the pages. Like the best of the genre, it invites us to question ourselves as moral agents and challenges our notions of justice.
zblaze Sep 16, 2018 Sep 16, 2018 00
Pro-Trump Pastor: ‘Thou Shalt Not Have Sex With A Porn Star’ Doesn’t Apply Here | HuffPost
Jeffress, who has been a guest in the Trump White House, has a history of inflammatory comments. Last year, he said NFL players who kneel to protest racial injustice should “be thanking God” they haven’t been “shot in the head.” He also said Trump has God’s support if he wants to “take out” North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He’s also directed intolerant rants against gays, Muslims, Catholics, Mormons and more. He is the head pastor of the First Baptist Dallas megachurch.
zblaze Mar 12, 2018 Mar 12, 2018 00
Pruitt tapes revealed: Evolution's a 'theory,' 'majority' religions under attack - POLITICO
Republicans in Congress defended Pruitt, saying his religious beliefs should factor into how he does his job. "All of us are people of faith and obviously influenced by our faith and the role it played in our life … and continue to play in our life on a daily basis," said Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees EPA. "It’s a part of who we are." Sen. Jim Inhofe, a fellow Oklahoman, said Pruitt's faith does and should play a ...
zblaze Mar 21, 2018 Mar 21, 2018 22
LINK The Comics Section: Revisiting Commandments and Laugh to Keep from Crying -
zblaze Sep 7, 2018 Sep 7, 2018 00
LINK The Beast in the Shadows Behind Religion | James Haught
FTA: Human sacrifice. Jihad holy wars. Torturing and burning women as “witches.” Massacring religious minorities such as Jews, Anabaptists and Baha’is. Castrating small boys to keep their voices golden for castrati cathedral singing. Suicide bombing to murder “infidels” of rival faiths or no faith. Killing “blasphemers” who question supernatural dogmas. Torturing “heretics” to make them admit deviant beliefs, then burning them at the stake. Civil wars between opposing ...
zblaze Mar 13, 2019 Mar 13, 2019 00
Cardinal George Pell's barrister: loud, socially progressive and an avowed atheist
Pell and Richter certainly make an odd couple. Richter is a Jew, Pell is a Catholic: Richter is loudly leftwing and socially progressive. Pell is a mirthless arch-conservative who once claimed that homosexuality was more dangerous than smoking. An early campaigner for reproductive rights and drug law reform, Richter has built a career around confronting power and challenging authority. Pell is authority incarnate, a high priest in one of the most powerful institutions in the world; one, ...
zblaze Feb 20, 2018 Feb 20, 2018 00
LINK The Humanist Dilemma: Family Friends with a Side of Salvation -
FTA: Recently, their sixteen-year-old daughter, the same age as our daughter, decided to become a missionary. She seems to have chosen our girl to practice on. My daughter says every time we get together, her friend asks her if she has accepted Jesus yet, and my daughter tells her she hasn’t and doesn’t plan to. Although that seems to dampen the discussion until the next time, it’s making my daughter uncomfortable, and she has started to avoid getting together with this girl. Over the ...
zblaze Sep 9, 2018 Sep 9, 2018 11
LINK Will convert for evidence.
zblaze Mar 29, 2018 Mar 29, 2018 00
Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z
So what has led to this precipitous falling off? Barna asked non-Christians of all ages about their biggest barriers to faith. Gen Z nonbelievers have much in common with their older counterparts in this regard, but a few differences stand out. Teens, along with young adults, are more likely than older Americans to say the problem of evil and suffering is a deal breaker for them. It appears that today’s youth, like so many throughout history, struggle to find a compelling argument for the ...
zblaze Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018 11
Atheist Kicked Out of MO Town Meeting After Criticizing “In God We Trust” Sign – Friendly Atheist
This one pissed me right off!! From the article; She explained the history of the phrase. She told them why it excluded the non-religious people in the community. And she also pointed out that she’s heard these complaints from several people in the area but that they were fearful of speaking out in public — that’s why she was doing it on their behalf. Mayor Nick Guccione responded by essentially dismissing her criticism because she was the only person they had ever heard speaking out ...
zblaze Feb 18, 2018 Feb 18, 2018 00
The Wisdom of Reza Aslan’s God: A Human History -
As he relates in the history of Israel’s “first successful experiment with monotheism,” such an evolution might also come about as the result of a “profound disruption” to preexisting belief systems. The elements of such a disruption are on the verge of combustion in the Middle East now, where three nuclear states—the US, Russia, and Israel—warily maneuver around each other in Syria. Iran, now one year away from becoming a nuclear state, is preparing a military campaign to ...
zblaze Dec 17, 2017 Dec 17, 2017 11
LINK Animal Agriculture's Battle against Clean Water -
FTA: Kupale Ookala provided proof that wastewater from the dairy farm traveled downstream to the community of Ookala, where it polluted their waterways and ultimately ended up in the ocean. Records regarding this activity begin as early as 2014, when the Hawaii Department of Health confirmed that the dairy farm contaminated local streams as a direct result of neglectful operational practices including poorly maintained feces lagoons, burying dead cows in a gulch that flows into local waterways, ...
zblaze Jan 19, 2019 Jan 19, 2019 11
Is Psychology a "Self-Correcting" Science?
Why is this important? One of science’s great claims to special status and credibility is that it is “self-correcting” – i.e., that when new data comes in showing something that conflicts with scientific conclusions, scientists supposedly change their conclusions. Except that, too often, they do not, at least not very easily. The accepted scientific wisdom does change, but usually because new scholars take up the correction, not because the old guard “self-corrects.” Think I am ...
zblaze Dec 17, 2017 Dec 17, 2017 00
Trump's HHS Rule Allows Religious Doctors to Refuse Care - The Atlantic
There isn’t a good count of either how many doctors harbor religious objections they’re not able to act on, or of how many patients get denied services by religiously objecting doctors. The most typical way medicine and religion tend to collide, these experts say, was for the sixth of all U.S. patients who are treated by Catholic health systems. Some of these hospitals don’t provide certain types of contraception, abortion, or assisted suicide. But those are hospitals, not the individual ...
zblaze Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018 00
Kevin Swanson Warns That God May Destroy America Over 'The Shape Of Water' | Right Wing Watch
Earlier this year, extremist anti-LGBTQ pastor Kevin Swanson voiced his disgust over the existence of the film “The Shape Of Water,” fuming that it represented “the end of civilization as we know it” because it promoted “cross-species mating” in direct defiance of the Bible. Now that the film has won Oscars for best picture and best director, Swanson has returned to warn that God may destroy America because of it.
zblaze Mar 12, 2018 Mar 12, 2018 00
LINK FL Democrat Introduces Bill Requiring Public High Schools to Offer Bible Classes | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos
FTA: Kirk Bailey, political director of the ACLU of Florida, says that his group is watching this bill. “There are acceptable ways to teach about the Bible: schools can teach comparative religion classes or about the Bible’s relationship to literature, art or music. However, it is exceedingly difficult to do so in a constitutionally permissible manner,” Bailey said. “Ultimately, parents, not the government, should be in charge of religious education. To ensure one faith is not ...
zblaze Jan 20, 2019 Jan 20, 2019 33
LINK 148 - Jack Dorsey
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jack Dorsey about how he manages his dual CEO roles at Square and Twitter, the role that Twitter plays in journalism, how it’s different from other social media, what makes a conversation healthy, the logic by which Twitter suspends people, the argument for kicking Trump off the platform, Jack’s practice of meditation, and other topics.
zblaze Feb 7, 2019 Feb 7, 2019 00
Roy Moore goes back to supporters asking for money to battle sexual abuse accuser in court |
Roy Moore previously had a legal defense fund while refusing to move a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, despite a court order demanding he do so. That legal defense fund was later converted to the Foundation for Moral Law, which provided him more than a million dollars in compensation while the foundation employed multiple members of his family, including his wife as director. LMAAO
zblaze Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018 00
Feminists have slowly shifted power. There’s no going back | Rebecca Solnit | Opinion | The Guardian
It happened because the test case in California went before what appeared to be a conservative judge – federal judge Vaughn Walker, appointed by George Herbert Walker Bush – who had been in the closet himself at the time of his appointment, but was gay, and whose own attitudes toward his orientation must have evolved as the culture around him evolved. He found in favor of marriage equality and set up the case to be clear and thorough when it reached the supreme court. When judges rule on ...
zblaze Mar 12, 2018 Mar 12, 2018 00
LINK China and Europe stand out on world map of atheism
FTA: The relatively low scores for atheism don’t necessarily mean that religion has an unassailable position - far from it. Many places have very high scores of 'non-religious' people. However, that category is broad enough to encompass both believers who think of themselves as non-fundamentalist, non-believers who feel the need to obfuscate their disbelief, and anyone in between.
zblaze Sep 7, 2018 Sep 7, 2018 00
LINK The ‘King’ of Shambhala Buddhism Is Undone by Abuse Report
Late last month, a former Shambhala teacher released a report alleging that the Sakyong had sexually abused and exploited some of his most devoted female followers for years. Women quoted in the report wrote of drunken groping and forcefully extracted sexual favors. The report said that senior leaders at Shambhala — an organization whose motto is “Making Enlightened Society Possible” — knew of the Sakyong’s misconduct and covered it up.
zblaze July 24, 2018 Jul 24, 2018 11
PROOF Religion Compromises Moral Judgement (Dan Barker) - YouTube
zblaze Dec 17, 2017 Dec 17, 2017 00
The Babylon Bee's Top Ten Books Of 2017
You’ll Buy Any Stupid Trash I Put Out, Won’t You, You Dumb Suckers — Joel Osteen: In perhaps the most important work of the year, Joel Osteen lays out an iron-clad case to millions of readers that they will undoubtedly continue to buy any and all stupid, meaningless, mind-numbing, gospel-diluting, Jesus-disrespecting trash he puts out, in bulk, without so much as a second thought. “I spread this hair-thin Christian veneer on it, smack my huge smile on the front cover, and collect my $15...
zblaze Dec 17, 2017 Dec 17, 2017 11
The Humanist Dilemma: When Should a Student Come Out as an Atheist? -
As for your extended family: You can’t live your life on pretense just to keep everyone happy. You don’t have to tell them anything about your faith unless you want to, and if they learn the truth regardless—well, it’s the truth, whether or not they choose to accept it. If your family really does reject you, move on (but remain open to reconnecting if and when they are ready to respect your views). You are doing nothing wrong and everything right.
zblaze Mar 7, 2018 Mar 7, 2018 44
Tom Nichols, "Death of Expertise" author, is profiled | Harvard Magazine
From the beginning, discussion of The Death of Expertise was inextricably bound up with Donald Trump. The book appeared less than six months after the upheaval of the 2016 election, and barely three months into the new presidency, and it seemed to have been composed with Trump in mind: a man, Nichols wrote, who quoted The National Enquirer as a reliable source of news, traded in conspiracy theories, and remained willfully and persistently uninformed about basic issues of public policy. Nichols ...
zblaze Mar 12, 2018 Mar 12, 2018 00
LINK Photos of the Week: Distorted Queen, Toad King, Gladiator - The Atlantic
zblaze June 16, 2018 Jun 16, 2018 11
Elif Shafak: The revolutionary power of diverse thought | TED Talk
zblaze Jan 7, 2018 Jan 7, 2018 00
LINK Teach the REAL controversy - YouTube
AronRa Published on Sep 8, 2018 I often hear creationists saying we should "teach the controversy", meaning they want their apologists to mislead and deceive children so that they'll distrust or reject science. I say we should teach the controversy, so that students know what it's really about, that some people just want to believe in fantasy over fact. This was my presentation to Marshall Secular Students in Huntington West Virginia. I should point out that my plane was delayed so long that...
zblaze Sep 16, 2018 Sep 16, 2018 00
LINK Andrew Seidel: The Founding Myth - YouTube
TheThinkingAtheist Streamed live on May 10, 2019 Andrew Seidel is author of the new book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American ([]. He speaks with Seth Andrews and takes listener calls.
zblaze May 13, 2019 May 13, 2019 00
Systematic Classification of Life - ep23 Mammaliformes - YouTube
AronRa Published on Feb 17, 2018 Here is the link to the full playlist: [] My wife, Lilandra asked me to do this series, based on our first interaction--back when she was a creationist. I often say that phylogenetic taxonomy is the strongest argument for evolution. After we talked about a couple dozen clades, she was convinced, and suggested I do something similar for the public. If you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.
zblaze Feb 20, 2018 Feb 20, 2018 00
LINK Connect : Server Error 500
06/07/2019 6:00 AM PDT 2019 Annual Conference - Day 1 Live streaming now
zblaze June 7, 2019 Jun 7, 2019 00
LINK Photos of the Week: Hovercraft Racing, Mud Wallow, Balls of Fire - The Atlantic
zblaze Sep 17, 2018 Sep 17, 2018 00
Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump’s Environment Pick: Fossil Fuels Ended Slavery, CO2 Is Good for You
We’re all used to the “fox guarding the henhouse” phenomenon in this administration: a longtime opponent of public schools heading the Education Department, a man who made his name suing the Environmental Protection Agency now heading it, and on down the line. So it’s not surprising that White has spent her career taking money from ExxonMobil and the Koch network and spouting nonsense about how fossil fuels ended slavery, emit “plant nutrients,” and, of course, do not contribute to ...
zblaze Feb 8, 2018 Feb 8, 2018 00
LINK Humanist Voices in Verse: Stephen Perry -
zblaze Apr 16, 2018 Apr 16, 2018 00
LINK First Annual Atheist Day with Aron Ra - YouTube
I just love this guy! ♥ AronRa Published on Mar 26, 2019 March 23 2019 was the first ever Atheist Day, and I was part of the celebration going on at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The idea was suggested by Atheist Republic and has since become a thing. Video recorded by Alan Kozeluh and Lilandra Ra.
zblaze Mar 31, 2019 Mar 31, 2019 00
LINK The Comics Section: The Devil, the Flood, and the Child -
zblaze Oct 18, 2018 Oct 18, 2018 11
Waking Up with Sam Harris 109— Biology and Culture
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Bret Weinstein about the moral panic at Evergreen State College, the concept of race, genetic differences between human populations, intersectionality, sex and gender, “metaphorical truth,” religion and “group selection,” equality, and other topics.
zblaze Dec 20, 2017 Dec 20, 2017 44
LINK Photos of the Week: Underwater Restaurant, Holi Colors, Wonderland Eurasia - The Atlantic
Have fun!
zblaze Mar 31, 2019 Mar 31, 2019 11
LINK If you knew everything, could you predict anything? A thought experiment | Aeon Videos
FTA: In this video from Wi-Phi or Wireless Philosophy, the English philosopher Richard Holton, formerly of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and now at the University of Cambridge, outlines the two problems often used to argue that free will doesn’t exist. The first says that, if the laws of physics are fixed, all our choices must be predetermined. The second holds that, with enough computing power and knowledge about how the Universe works, someone could theoretically peer into the ...
zblaze Jan 8, 2019 Jan 8, 2019 22
LINK Priest’s sex with teenage boy was ‘consensual’ says Vatican | Barry Duke
FTA: The Vatican’s apparent attempt to discredit and downplay the charges against McCarrick raises a “big red flag,” said Voris, who asserted: The Vatican is more concerned with cover-up than the truth. Many are thinking that all of this is just one huge smoke screen. He added: Rome has no real concern about this issue, too easily adopts a ‘blame the victim approach,’ and is content to treat this scandal as just an ‘American thing’ that will be forgotten soon ...
zblaze Jan 22, 2019 Jan 22, 2019 77
A GOP Congressman Gave Trump a Literal Bag of Prayers After the School Shooting – Friendly Atheist
Over the weekend, Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) delivered a bagful of thoughts and prayers to Donald Trump, presumably as a response to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. (I think this is now the official GOP response to all mass shootings.)
zblaze Feb 20, 2018 Feb 20, 2018 11
LINK A Brief And Bitter History Of Being Atheist In Modern Egypt - Worldcrunch
FTA: The issuing of legal documents like marriage certificates and death certificates, as well as things like child custody and inheritance, are all determined based on Egypt’s personal status laws, which are faith-based and subject to religious dictates from Al-Azhar and recognized churches. Therefore, anyone who is not officially affiliated with one of the three Abrahamic religions is likely to experience difficulties regarding such matters.
zblaze Jan 7, 2019 Jan 7, 2019 00
Parody Marriage Bill is a Joke -
The purpose isn’t just to outlaw marriage equality. The bill goes further in legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ people. The Wyoming bill includes this language: “The state of Wyoming shall no longer enforce, recognize, or respect any policies that treat self-asserted sexual orientation as a suspect class because such policies constitute nonsecular state action.” The South Carolina bill contains the same language. Essentially, that would outlaw anti-discrimination protections for LBGTQ...
zblaze Mar 3, 2018 Mar 3, 2018 00
LINK Little Hell on the Prairie -
Walking into the restaurant, I knew we’d made a bad choice. The hostess greeted us with indifference, which isn’t especially odd in a small town inundated with outsiders seeking a slice of American history. But what did unnerve me were the silent stares from the locals as we were guided to our booth. Not even a hint of a smile passed across anyone’s face despite my attempt at a warm welcoming glance in every direction. In fact, most diners looked down, avoiding all eye contact. The real...
zblaze Feb 12, 2019 Feb 12, 2019 77
118 - The View from Trumpistan A Conversation with Preet Bharara
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Preet Bharara about President Trump and the Russia investigation.
zblaze Feb 28, 2018 Feb 28, 2018 00
Male Escort Exposes 36 Gay Priests in File Sent to Vatican Containing Explicit WhatsApp Chats and Erotic Photos
The large file contains explicit WhatsApp messages, erotic photos and other evidence, but none of the 40 priests and seminarians were accused of pedophilia or having sexual relations with minors. "We're talking about sins, not crimes," Mangiacapra said. The dossier is the latest in a string of sex scandals that have rocked the Italian church and Vatican. Last month, an Italian court issued a 14-month suspended sentence to a Vatican tribunal judge for sexual molestation and possessing child...
zblaze Mar 14, 2018 Mar 14, 2018 11
LINK The Comics Section: Apostates and Simple Facts -
zblaze Sep 16, 2018 Sep 16, 2018 00
Cardinal George Pell Appears in Court Over ‘Historical’ Sexual Abuse - The New York Times
Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking official, arrived at a Melbourne court on Monday for the start of several weeks of hearings to determine whether he will face trial on charges of “historical sexual offenses.” Police officers lined the sidewalk, as a large contingent of the local and international journalists and members of the public watched the cardinal enter the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. The slow-moving case — charges were filed in June — will be ...
zblaze Mar 9, 2018 Mar 9, 2018 11
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