Contributions

An Important Announcement from CFI President Ronald A. Lindsay
January 21, 2016

News

“I am delighted to tell you today that the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has agreed to merge with the Center for Inquiry and that their executive director, Robyn Blumner, will be the new CEO of the combined organizations, which will work under the name of the Center for Inquiry.”

Addressing Two Dogmas on Prostitution
August 17, 2015


Back in May, I promised (threatened, some might say) to write a few blog posts on issues where I think too many humanists base their views on preconceptions, preconceptions that in some instances border on dogmas in the sense that they are resistant to conflicting empirical evidence. I’m a bit behind schedule, but this is my second post in that series.

I’m not saying you’re vengeful; you’re just deficient in empathy
May 26, 2015


So I wrote a blog post the other day the principal point of which was to argue for the proposition that it is not enough to be correct in your conclusion on a policy issue. How you arrive at your conclusion is also very important. I used the dispute over the death penalty as an illustration. A blogger vigorously objected to my post. In so doing, he confirmed the relevance of the point I was making.

Questioning Humanist Orthodoxy: Introduction to a Series
May 18, 2015


About ten days ago, I wrote an essay for Huffington Post on the death penalty, in particular, focusing on how some of those who oppose the death penalty support imprisonment in a supermax facility as a supposedly more humane alternative—a position I find logically dubious if not hypocritical. The recent decision of the Dzhohkar Tsarnaev jury to sentence him to death made me think about this issue again. It also made me think about how humanists all too often commit the cardinal intellectual sin of many of the religious. That is, they hold certain principles as beyond question. This is not a good thing.

We Should Not Evaluate Teachers Based on Student Test Scores
April 15, 2015


We at the Center for Inquiry don’t typically address how best to evaluate teacher performance, but we are an educational institution. Moreover, we’re an institution that is committed to basing public policy on sound science. Using student test scores to determine teacher pay or whether a teacher should retain a job is a policy not based on science, but rather politics and deceptive intuitions.

Hemant Mehta Did Not “Endorse” a Hate Forum
April 9, 2015


As I’ve announced, I’m leaving CFI in December. Wish I could say that in the seven years I’ve been with CFI as president, the level of discourse in the atheist/skeptic community has improved. But I can’t say that. If anything, it may have become worse.

Resignation Announcement
March 23, 2015


I have informed the board of directors for the Center for Inquiry that I will be resigning my position as president and CEO on December 31, 2015.

Pope Francis: About Your Mother
January 15, 2015


Pope Francis has given his opinion on the controversy surrounding Charlie Hebdo’s continued sharp criticism and sarcasm regarding religious beliefs. The pope has stated that there should be limits to free expression. In particular, one should not “insult the faith of others.” He analogized criticism of religious beliefs to someone cursing his mother, saying that such a person “can expect a punch.”

Pope Francis is wrong.

Islam, Religious Dogmatism, and Terrorism
December 19, 2014


Recent terror attacks in Pakistan, Nigeria, and elsewhere have renewed discussion of whether it’s appropriate to use terms such as “Islamist” or “Islamic terrorist” to describe the perpetrators of such attacks. Some say that these terms unfairly denigrate and stigmatize the majority of Muslims who reject terrorism.