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Links With Your Coffee - Saturday

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  • Skepchick: Critical Thinking at its FinestOne of my regular stops. Try it you'll like it.

  • Dear God, Stop Brainwashing Children | CommonDreams.org
    Let us now put our hands together and pray. O God, we gather here today to ask you to free our schoolchildren from being forced to go through this charade every day. As you know, O Lord, because You see all, British law requires every schoolchild to participate in "an act of collective worship" every 24 hours. Irrespective of what the child thinks or believes, they are shepherded into a hall, silenced, and forced to pray - or pretend to.

  • Acronymization Labs: Some Stuff You Might Not Know About Gambling For A Living

    It's the little things.


  • Obama is Spock: It's quite logical | Salon Arts & Entertainment
    Our president bears a striking resemblance to the rational "Star Trek" Vulcan whose mixed race made him cultural translator to the universe.

  • Ode to Fresh Faces

    A Republican makeover


  • Language Log » The pig named ‘pig’

  • Zogby poll: 52% of Americans support legalization of pot - Boing Boing

  • Obama Weakens National Day of Prayer ? | Center for Inquiry

    Sometimes the fun is in the comments to a post:

    the ‘Interfaith Alliance and Jews on First sent a letter this month to President Barack Obama asking him to declare that the National Day of Prayer is for Americans of all faiths - and even for nonbelievers’.“

    OK…

    And did these groups also declare that “Hair gel is for Americans of all hair styles—and even for bald people”?


  • Matt Taibbi - Taibblog - Religion, agnostics, and the cure for baldness - True/Slant
    First of all, why is that no professor alive can make it ten feet from his front door without sticking an a priori into a sentence? Is there some kind of subterranean lair where academics are beaten with whips and clubs until they learn to write alliterative book titles (”Pus, Primates, and Pessimism: Jane Goodall’s Descent into Septic Shock”) and lard up perfectly good sentences with epistemological catch-phrases? Weird. As for the actual argument, it’s the same old stuff religious apologists have been croaking out since the days of Bertrand Russell — namely that because science is inadequate to explain the mysteries of existence, faith must be necessary. Life would be meaningless without religion, therefore we must have religion.

    But this sort of thinking is exactly what most agnostics find ridiculous about religion and religious people, who seem incapable of looking at the world unless it’s through the prism of some kind of belief system. They seem to think that if one doesn’t believe in God, one must believe in something else, because to live without answers would be intolerable.


  • Tristram Hunt on how Engels polemic against injustices resonates today | Books | The Guardian
    Engels's polemic against the injustices of rising capitalism that he witnessed in 19th-century Manchester continues to resonate powerfully around the world 150 years after it was written, argues Tristram Hunt

  • World Science Festival Redux «
    In the end, all these dialogues can do is make the participants walk away thinking, “Aren’t we fine fellows? We’ve engaged the other side. And maybe they were pretty good fellows too.” But nothing substantive is accomplished. As for the listeners, well, these are like debates between creationists and evolutionists. (Most scientists now recognize that these latter debates are futile.) There is simply no time to cover substantive points, and each side is preaching to its choir anyway. As Steven Weinberg said, “I’m in favor of a dialogue between faith and science, but not a constructive dialogue.” I would go further and say that there’s really not much point in any dialogue or “conversation.” Let us publish and speak about our side; let them publish and speak about theirs separately. Eventually a winner will emerge. Indeed, it’s emerging now, as the proportion of nonbelievers rises in our country. I have no doubt that, within a century or so, this country will become as secular as Europe is now.


 

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