A Hopeful and Non-exclusionary Delusion

February 18, 2015


The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.      

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder calls for a national moratorium on the death penalty:

Our system of justice is the best in the world. It is comprised of men and women who do the best they can, get it right more often than not, substantially more right than wrong. But there’s always the possibility that mistakes will be made. 

Ross Pomeroy at RealClearScience picks up on our statement to the media on skeptics vs. science-deniers, and backs our distinction:

A true skeptic never dismisses an idea out of hand. A true skeptic is willing to be wrong, and recognizes an echelon of evidence that will change their mindset. And most importantly, a true skeptic doesn’t only question the beliefs of others, he also questions his own. Because skepticism isn’t just about doubting things you disagree with, it’s about keeping yourself honest, open, thoughtful, and true. 

Kimberley Winston reports on the efforts of the Foundation Beyond Belief to support the favorite charities of the murdered Chapel Hill students.

Sam Harris talks about the murders and their alleged connection to atheism on his podcast. (I haven’t listened yet, but I shall.) 

Mars One, the project which I have characterized as being run on Underpants Gnome principles, picks its 100 candidates for the voyage. 

Looking to get some experience working in freethought and skeptical activism? Come let us exploit you! DAAAAAAHHHH I MEAN come apply to be a CFI intern!  

Ready to get mad? Here are some children’s books designed to be anti-vax propaganda

Freethought rapper Baba Brinkman gets reviewed in the New York Times for his Rap Guide to ReligionKylie Sturgess interviewed Brinkman for Skeptical Inquirer last year.

Narendra Modi, apparently sensing some political buyer’s remorse, declares that he will protect religious minorities from persecution. Let’s see if he does. 

Egyptian student Sherif Gaber is sentenced to one year in prison for “contempt of religion.” 

Caitlin G. Townsend reports on the movement by religious parents to get homeschooling deregulated:

The deregulation lobby is troubling, as absences of oversight provide opportunities for abusive parents to use homeschooling as a cover for deliberate isolation and educational neglect. 

Religious exemptions for everything! “I want to drive a bus!” “Are you trained and licensed to drive a bus?” “No, but I work for a church!” “No problem!!!!!” There’s a Mo Willems book here somewhere. 

How’s this for a lede that induces a reflexive “well I give up” response. Judd Legum (who was once my boss a long time ago) at ThinkProgress

An Oklahoma legislative committee overwhelmingly voted to ban Advanced Placement U.S. History class, persuaded by the argument that it only teaches students “what is bad about America.” 

This band Nightwish did an album inspired by the work of Richard Dawkins, and Hemant says their video is “just incredible,” and, like, the song’s pretty cool, but I don’t know what the hell is supposed to be going on in that video. Or why the pianist needs that hat. But I’ve been out of the professional arts for a few years now, so. 

“God bless America” announced over the intercom at a high school does not violate the Constitution. Except it does. No wait.  

Texas? 207 megachurches. My state of Maine? Zero. I win. 

Good morning, here’s a red-tailed hawk in your bedroom

Quote of the Day 

“Humanism” may be deluded about human potential but at least it is a hopeful & non-exclusionary delusion!    

* * *  

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is. 

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry 

Got a tip for the Heresy? Send it to press(at)centerforinquiry.net! 

The Morning Heresy: “I actually read it.” – Hemant Mehta