atheist news feeds
Berlin's Atheist Shoes Claims Branded Packages Go Missing When Sent ...
Atheist Shows, an independent shoe firm based out of Berlin, has been delivering their popular shoes to customers around the world for over a year now, but when they decided to use the company's name on the packing tape, shipments mysteriously ...
Face to Faith: Befriending an Atheist in Mormon Country
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation believes respect and understanding of religion is central to securing a sustained peace in the fast-moving and modern 21st entury. The Foundation works to manage the tensions arising when different faiths and cultures ...
and more »
Bro. Eddie: From atheist to 'evangelist'
Bro. Eddie: From atheist to 'evangelist'. (philstar.com) | Updated May 6, 2013 - 6:50pm. MANILA, Philippines - Bangon Pilipinas' standard bearer Eddie Villanueva has been known first as founder of the fundamentalist Christian group Jesus is Lord ...
It is not easy being an Atheist
I think that the majority of the population thinks that atheists have become atheists because of some sort of “hardship” where they thought god let them down, or that they are just doing it to get attention. I admit that there are probably a few of ...
Sam Harris: The Problem with Atheism.Tucson Citizen
all 2 news articles »
The Times (subscription)
Islamists riot over 'atheist' Government
The Times (subscription)
About 200,000 activists from Hefajat-e-Islam, many from remote villages, marched into the capital and were confronted by police in front of the main mosque. One said: “This Government does not have faith in Allah. This is an atheist Government, we will ...
36 killed in Dhaka as Islamic militants clash with policeTelegraph.co.uk
'Atheists must be hanged': Raw video from Islamist street clashes in BangladeshWashington Post (blog)
Hardline Islamists and Bangledesh police clash over anti-blasphemy law ...God Discussion (blog)
Examiner.com -The Nation
all 198 news articles »
Atheist and LGBT communities see organized action
LSU The Reveille
From the third annual Louisiana Queer Conference to the Bayou State's first secular convention, the University's LGBT and atheist students saw an increase in organized action within their communities on campus this semester. The University's Atheists ...
In comments on PZ’s “divorce” post, Antiochus Epiphanes sez:
Skepticism™ the movement and skepticism, the practice of thinking critically, shouldn’t be conflated. The latter is no great intellectual achievement and should be in the skill set of grade schoolers. That it isn’t may be the motivation of the former, but we shouldn’t expect any intellectual advances to emerge from the movement, because what it’s doing is necessarily remedial.
I wholeheartedly agree with the above, and a couple years ago it struck me that skepticism (small-’s') is essentially a form of basic intellectual hygiene, something that everyone is capable of to varying degrees and something that everyone should do.
“Kind of like brushing your teeth,” it occurred to me back then, and ever since I’ve quietly replaced references to Skepticism Writ Large with “Tooth Brushing” in my mind.
Though it might seem to trivialize skepticism to compare it to brushing your teeth, that’s not at all what I intend. Brushing your teeth is incredibly important. Most people don’t do it diligently enough, and when they do many of them get it wrong. Failing to engage in proper dental hygiene can shorten your life significantly — not only can bad teeth consign you to somewhat less healthy diets, but gum disease and heart disease have been conclusively linked. And not brushing your teeth has certain social ramifications too, not to mention a likely legacy of personal discomfort.
So dental hygiene is crucial for proper health, and while we can rely on experts for some advanced treatment the responsibility is on each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own teeth.
Skepticism is to the intellect as brushing is to teeth. Sometimes we need expert assistance, but the only way it really does us any long term good is if we engage in the practice of mental hygiene as a habit, preferably after each bout of consuming something that might cause problems down the road, whether it’s a bag of chips or an article in the New York Toast.
As A.E. says in the above-blockquoted blockquote, that’s pretty basic stuff. We really ought to learn the basics of each at around the same time in our lives. Basic doesn’t mean unimportant, as I’ve said, and there’s nothing at all wrong with devoting a substantial portion of your life campaigning to educate people who aren’t quite where they should be in their hygienic practice. People concerned with better tooth-brushing have associations and conventions. They devote a lot of time to the topic, some of it paid (and likely quite well, depending on location) but some of it on a volunteer basis spurred by their personal commitment. Again, much like skepticism.
But I’m not aware of too many people who describe themselves as “toothbrushers.” Dental hygiene seems to be something that even its most fervent advocates do, not something that they are. There seem to be no videos on YouTube by users with names like W0ndert00th decrying other Toothbrushers for getting Toothbrushing wrong, diluting Pure Toothbrushing, or threatening to destroy the Toothbrushing Movement.
It’s a trivial exercise coming up with ways in which the practice of skepticism is important in daily life. People who work in the sciences constitute one large, obvious example. As someone who writes about environmental issues and is beset by not only the whole chemtrail and HAARP crowd but also non-comprehension of basic math and science, skepticism is something I find opportunities to use every hour of my life. The same was true when I worked as a landscaper and as an (accidental) IT person. Directed at my own feelings and motivations, it’s helpful in getting through troubles in interpersonal relationships. It helps keep me from buying sugar pills when I have a cold. It’s crucial practice.
But I have to confess that for the last couple of years, every time I hear someone announce that they’re A Skeptic™ as though no further explication is necessary, this is how my brain parses that. Tell me what you actually do with your skepticism, and I may well be really interested. But claiming that the practice itself is enough to define you? Call me skeptical.
I showed you the trailer, now I have to show you some of the concept art.
It’s playing in Morris, too! I think I’m going to have to take time out once I get back home to see Iron Manatee either Monday or Tuesday night.
Answers to Atheist's 'questions'
Atheists deny this possibility. Persons who have come to other realities from rational thinking and the experiences of the passing of time, some are called "persons of a religious nature", though in fact, they are simply "thinking people." , not all of ...
He asked to interview me for a documentary he’s doing. I agreed because I knew exactly what he was going to ask me…and I was right, there were no surprises at all.
He started by asking me for evidence of evolution. I tried to explain the evidence for speciation in sticklebacks, but he asked if they were still fish, and when I said they were, he said that didn’t count because they didn’t become a different “kind”, like a dog becoming a cat. So I told him that doesn’t happen in a single lifetime, and that carnivores diverged over 60 million years ago. I suggested he look at fossils, but he rejected that, because he wanted “observable” evidence, and anything that happened millions of years ago isn’t observable. So I said it was, too — fossils and molecular evidence are observable.
So the usual creationist run-around, where he defines what evidence he’d find acceptable by rejecting historical evidence as nonexistent, and contemporary evidence as too trivial.
Then he tried the usual stunt: “Are you a good person?” “Yes.” “Have you ever told a lie?” “Yes, but that a person has flaws doesn’t make them a bad person. The overall estimation of an individual’s character is not determined by one mistake.” And then he dropped the whole line of discussion.
It was as pointless as I expected. I think I managed to frustrate his usual line of patter, which was the best I could hope for anyway.
Hey, lots of people were taking pictures of the two of us. Send them to me, so I have a memento!
That’s Jessica Ahlquist dueling Margaret Downey with a banana in the foreground; the far less interesting event in the background is Ray Comfort asking me about evolution. (Photo by Kent Martin.)
Also, some of you in the comments are psychic. Yes, I mentioned Lenski’s experiment to him: “they’re still just bacteria”. I also explained to him that “just a fish” is meaningless, that we humans are derived fish. He thought that was all weird.
Thanks, Jamy Ian Swiss, you’ve opened my eyes and I will no longer consider myself a “skeptic”. I am a scientist, and from the talk he gave tonight (which was pretty much exactly the same as his TAM talk, except for the additions where he called me stupid and a liar), it is clear that “scientific skepticism” is simply a crippled, buggered version of science with special exemptions to set certain subjects outside the bounds of its purview. In addition, its promoters are particularly sensitive to having their hypocrisy pointed out (that, by the way, is what triggered his outburst — you’d have to be stupid or a liar to think that skepticism gives religion special privileges.)
But what else can you call this logic? Skepticism has no sacred cows! Except that skepticism only addresses “testable claims”. By the way, the existence of gods is not a testable claim.
That’s a pretty explicit loophole by definition.
I was also annoyed by the skeptic movement’s appropriation of the term “scientific” all over the place…except that it’s a “science” that doesn’t make use of accumulated prior knowledge, that abandons the concept of the null hypothesis, and that so narrowly defines what it will accept as evidence that it actively excludes huge domains of knowledge. It’s toothless science that fetishizes “consumer protection” over understanding.
So don’t call me a “skeptic”. I’ll consider it an insult, like calling a writer a stenographer, a comedian a mime, a doctor a faith healer, a scientist a technician. I’m out.
It was an incredibly repellent talk that was not improved in the past year, but only made uglier and more grotesque. He ignored all of my previous criticisms, answering them only by yelling louder. I coulda gagged at the end when he piously announced we all ought to be fighting together for the cause of reason…after an hour of caricaturing atheists as ignorant and smug posturing of “scientific skepticism” as the great good virtue.
Earlier tonight I spent 15 minutes getting interviewed by Ray Comfort. That was a far more pleasant experience than an hour of listening to Jamy Ian Swiss.
Bleh. And then the hotel bar was closed early.
Atheist group wants to join with community
The Albany Herald
James Gillham, president of Albany Georgia Atheists, said his organization wants only to provide a social network for other “free thinkers,” and to dispel misconceptions and prejudices about atheists and agnostics. The two and a half year old group has ...