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My colleague is forced to go to Mass by the UK courts

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Atheism, Featured, Morality, Secularism | 51 comments

Yes, you heard it here. My colleague on the Skepticule podcast, Anonymous Steve, has been instructed thusly. It is just an incredible story. For those of you in Britain, such stupidity must change. Here is how Paul Orton (thanks to him for this piece), one of the hosts of the show where we do our segments, puts it, from his blog Missing God Gene. If you can help, or know someone who can, then let us know. Please spread the word, spread the link and let’s get this sorted:

What’s the problem?

Steve, a British citizen of my acquaintance, has been instructed by a British judge to attend Roman Catholic mass with his children when he has custody of them, as part of a divorce settlement.

Tory MPs must pretend not to be “atheists and gay”

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Atheism, Politics, Prayer, Religion and Society, Secularism | 2 comments

This is from The Independent, though what is equally as depressing in this day and age, is that the Bill to allow prayers at the beginning of Council meetings seems to have got through the House of Commons unopposed:

Tory James Arbuthnot comes out as an atheist, claiming MPs must pretend to be religious

A Conservative MP has said Tory MPs are under pressure to pretend they are religious and he could only confess that he was an atheist because he was standing down at the next election.

Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Atheism, Extremism, Featured, Islam, Politics, Religion and Society | 2 comments

Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.

In a string of royal decrees and an overarching new piece of legislation to deal with terrorism generally, the Saudi King Abdullah has clamped down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could “harm public order”.

“True Islam” and violent extremism

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Atheism, Epistemology, Extremism, Featured, Islam, Philosophy, Politics, Religion and Society, Secularism, Skepticism | 78 comments

I am engaged in many conversations and debates across multiple platforms on the internet. At the moment, and in general recently, I have been wrapped up in many debates with my fellow liberals. The subject has been Islam and as to whether it is in some culpable proportion responsible for the violent extremism which is taking place across the globe. From the Middle East and ISIS (incorporating a number of different countries) to France and the Charlie Hedbo events; from Nigeria and Boko Haram to Kenya and Somalia with al Shabaab, things are not looking good.

On the Skepticism of the Resurrection (part 3)

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Atheism, Biblical Exegesis, Featured, Jesus, Skepticism | 114 comments

Having looked at points 1) and 2) it is time to see if there is a more plausible explanation for the data from a naturalistic perspective than the Christian claims. Before setting out the positive case, I want to spend a little time going over some of the data from the Gospels and how they are problematic. Really, this belongs in the first post under point 1), but it sort of required its own post for reasons of length.

The Perfect Storm : Gove’s Teacher Shortage

Posted by on Jan 3, 2015 in Education, Politics | 0 comments

For those of you who are in the teaching profession, or who are interested in politics, and how Govian free market economics is trying to usurp education, then this is fascinating. It’s a tour de force, from Disappointed Idealist:

Something hideous this way comes. It’s a teacher shortage. Nothing new there, I hear you say. But this one is going to be a cracker, and it’s one which has been manufactured by Gove and his fellow travellers.