308 comments posted · 2 followers · following 1
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - 80s Flashback: The PMRC · 0 replies · +3 points
I recall moving to Mississippi a few years ago and being shocked because the person who wrote the sex education curriculum for the public schools in the capital of the state actually came out and said that rock n' roll and rap were responsible for the state's hideous teen pregnancy rate.
I recently had a brief back and forth on Facebook with a former colleague. He's pretty much a lightweight in the intellect department, and is a devout Roman Catholic. He'd put up a link about "religious liberty" being threatened by groups being required to provide contraception coverage for employees not covered by ministerial exception. After a few passes where he ignored everything I said, being unable to answer my questions, he finally got down to his root argument: no woman has a right to contraception, because the RCC says so, so since no individual's rights are at risk, RCC affiliated groups having to provide coverage is a violation of religious freedom and unconstitutional.
As long as the religious equate religious totalitarianism with religious freedom, as long as they seek to influence public policy decisions based on nothing but religious dogma, not paying attention to them is a terrible idea.
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Anti-Bullying Legislat... · 0 replies · 0 points
On the other hand, I recognize that not everyone is as aggressive and rhetorically well armed as I was, and that peer pressure from the dominant group (as well as adults, as GM pointed out) contains power imbalances that not all youths are equipped to handle. And I think the school systems should deal with blatant cases of harassment, I just don't know how to phrase things to limit the cases in a way that I'd find legitimate.
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Idiot of the Week: Ric... · 0 replies · +1 points
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Sharia Ban Unconstitut... · 0 replies · +1 points
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Mississippi Seeks to E... · 0 replies · +5 points
This resolution is infuriating. This resolution screams, "I know nothing about my country or my country's history." This resolution is, in fact, a wonderful example of what is wrong with Mississippi, and what can happen elsewhere in the USA if we follow the same principles as the Taliban instead of the Enlightenment principles of the founding fathers of the USA.
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Sexism in the Atheist ... · 0 replies · +1 points
I'd suggest first examining civility. Yes, I'm sure many of our fellow atheists will be up in arms at any attempt to provide prescriptive standards for behavior, but I see no harm and some benefit in the atheist community supporting some of the restrictions on discourse that apply in the better venues of public intellectual discourse. Issues of power and history and perception aside, fallacious remarks (such as ad hominem attacks) should not be welcomed in the community. I do not think trying to establish ground rules for internal group discussion is the same as accommodationism.
11 years ago @ Mississippi Atheists - MS Senate Concurrent R... · 1 reply · +3 points
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Atheist Community · 0 replies · +1 points
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - I\'m Ready for Some Da... · 0 replies · +2 points
Also, in the Dark Ages we didn't have LED flashlights. We have those now, so I'm thinking we should guide ourselves, even in the dark.
11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Irrational Atheists · 1 reply · +1 points
I think it is safe to say that for many atheists (and certainly for myself) rationality and the scientific method are at the core of why we are atheists: there's just no evidence for gods. Yet science, as it happens in the real world, isn't perfect. Since scientific inquiry is conducted by human beings, there will always be screw ups and hoaxes and sellouts and errors (in addition to there always being something new to learn). Yet the scientific method is such that attempts are made to minimize those errors, with the result that science offers us the best possible understanding of reality.
The question for me comes to "realistic expectations." I know how to solve the population problem before it reaches a point of Malthusian catastrophe: we do some combination of having fewer births or more deaths. But I see no realistic way of getting to the easier route of enough fewer births to make a difference.
On the other hand, I believe there is enough consensus within the atheist community for peer review: we tend to support equality, condemn injustice. We don't always agree on how our goals play out in the real world but, then again, scientists don't always agree on how to handle anomalies that challenge parts of the theory of gravity.