Last night Nonie Darwish, one of the favorite ex-Muslims of Fox News, visited campus. She gave a strange talk. Part of was sensible enough, such as the bits where she pointed out the seriously illiberal aspects of Islamic law, with examples of everyday atrocities from countries where sharia has significant influence on laws and policies. … Darwish talk
Here’s an interesting (and fun) idea: FFRF’s Out of the Closet Virtual Billboard Campaign. Take a few minutes to add to the visibility of nonbelievers.
I’ve just finished Herbert London’s America’s Secular Challenge: The Rise of a New National Religion. It’s a standard theocon screed, so there’s nothing new to it. It manages to sound both pompous and petulant, but that’s not unusual with these sorts of books. What bothered me, however, was the author. The book is a hack … Theocon intellectuals
David Brooks is one of the very few conservative commentators I can read without retching. He offers dispassionate, reasoned argument unlike the screeching, foaming rants of Michelle Malkin (I think she should be tested for rabies), and he has nothing of the tinfoil-hat paranoia of Glenn Beck (Sha-na-na-na. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye.). I like Brooks’ … Brooks on “The Book of Mormon”
The University of Kansas Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics is putting on a two-day festival May 6-7th. The first annual ReasonFest features a debate between Dan Barker and John-Mark Miravalle on “Does God Exist?” and a full day of secular speakers including Darrel Ray, Tom Clark, Hemant Mehta, James Underdown, and Annie Laurie Gaylor. … “ReasonFest” in Lawrence, KS
The first US national election I got to vote in was 1988. I was disgusted with Reagan, and worried about the 1980s incarnation of the religious right. So I voted Democratic, and they lost. In the 1992 presidential elections, I voted Democratic again. I was now thoroughly sick of the American right wing. The Democrats … To hell with the Democrats
The New Scientist reports on a British imam (prayer leader) who is in hot water in his religious community because he defended evolution as being compatible with a non-literally interpreted Quran. A few notes: I would guess that Usama Hasan defends a version of guided evolution—intelligent design through common descent. Even watered-down compromises like guided … British imam in trouble for defending evolution
One thing I appreciate about more conservative varieties of supernatural belief is that it is, sometimes, false. Oh, ordinary religion has plenty of vagueness, indeterminacy, and various unclarities of meaning. But it also has enough anthropomorphism, allegedly historical stories, and similar linkages to ordinary cognition that, with some work, it can be patched up to … Can it add up?
I don’t consider the Intelligent Design movement of much intellectual interest anymore. It remains, however, fascinating from a political and cultural point of view. So, make what you will about this latest political flap. The ID movement has brought some influence to bear on a usually well-respected philosophy of science journal, Synthese. Brian Leiter describes … Brian Leiter on boycotting Synthese
Victor Reppert and I have had a long series of exchanges (thirty five years) dating back to when we were both graduate students at Emory University. I do not think that we would come to agreement even if we were granted another thirty five years to debate, but I am determined at least to get … The Problem with Metaphysical Naturalism (According to Victor Reppert)