Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Wish I Wrote That!

The message doesn't change but the messenger does and this young lady is nothing if not inspirational. Please enjoy her youtube vids. This woman has also been threatened and even suspended on complaints for this video. The fundies will scream bloody murder over free speech unless its someone else trying to exercise it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moses Is Going To Be Cheesed!

The Christians are praying before the golden calf ...again!

Don't they remember what happened the LAST time?

Blogs, blogs, blogs, blogs...

Edge Foundation, Inc., was established in 1988 as an outgrowth of a group known as The Reality Club. Its informal membership includes of some of the most interesting minds in the world.

The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society.

Try it. You might like it! Clicky...

Unfortunately theres no RSS feed so we can't subscribe.

November 20th 2008 Shhhh!

The next meeting of the Sudbury Humanists Association is Thursday November 20th in the Canadian Hearing Society on Paris. Bring a donation to pay for the room and try to remember we have to be quiet for the Meditation Group down the hall. There really needs to be much less laughing and having fun. I mean really! We're atheists! We have no reason to live!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Don't tell anyone! The rest will want it too!

It has been frightening to watch the infiltration of religious fundamentalism into the UN and the supposed addition of complimentary Muslim Human Rights. Tarek Fatah has made a courageous polemic against separate and 'complimentary' Islamic Human Rights. The OIC are trying to enact into the law of the world courts a situation where their Shariah law not only has to be respected but enforced. Keep it up and the religious right in North America will want the same thing and then atheists will be forced to watch them argue over which invisible friend takes precedence.

Sudbury Humanists Pub Night!

Hello,Everyone, Our social gathering will be on Wednesday, Nov 5 at Little Montreal on Elgin St. starting around 7, but come later if you can't make it by 7.

Parade of Whackloonery

This is an absolutely frightening video of some incredibly deluded people. A perfect example of how you can dress up ancient mysticism with pseudoscience thus coming up with some really smart sounding ways to believe anything.

Thanks to Steve Drisdelle for the link.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Let the Voice of Reason Be Heard

From the desk of Joan Pella:

The following letter was published today
in the Intelligencer, Belleville, Ontario.

Re "Honouring Morgentaler a disgrace" (September 25), I wonder how Louise Donahue would feel if someone close to her were experiencing an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. Human compassion alone means that the option to terminate a pregnancy must be available to those who want it.

Ms. Donahue and others who believe as she does might be interested to know that one of the first abortions performed by Dr. Morgentaler was on the daughter of a prominent anti-abortionist. The girl was terrified to tell her father she was pregnant.

Dr. Morgentaler put his freedom and his career on the line for what he believed. The fact that he eventually won means that he must have had a lot of moral right on his side. Perhaps Ms. Donahue and company would do well to remember the words of the bible she professes so much to believe in, the part about looking to the beam in her own eye before she worries too much about the motes in the eyes of others.
I and many other Canadians are proud that this country has at last honoured Dr. Morgentaler with the Order of Canada. He has done so much to protect the lives and health of Canadian women. One has to wonder just what people like Louise Donahue, who write such intolerant letters, are thinking.

Bill Broderick, Chair
Quinte Humanist Association

This is the type of letter which can make our voices heard as rational Humanists. I do not think that anyone can change the mind of a person who accepts a religion's dicta as absolute, but there must be some people out there who are thinking. By taking part in this sort of activity in numbers, we are also letting people who may feel excluded from the large, loud and visible "Faith society" that there are others;they are not alone. In addition, numbers are important to religious leaders and the appearance of many non-religious arguments based on reason and from human compassion may challenge them eventually) -or, as I have seen for myself when I witnessed a Pentecostal argumental performance on the existence of God (their God), retreat even further in the irrational acceptance of their holy book as "proof".-which certainly may be further than some of their faithful would like to go. Didn't our opposition parties influence the humane changes to our access to medical treatment and old-age and other mutual support ? And what is a powerful religious institution but a political force?

Joan P.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Idiocy Is International!

From the Desk of Joan Pella.

Dear friends,

This verdict caused outrage all over the world: In November 2005 the Italian
judge Luigi Tosti was sentenced to seven months' imprisonment and suspended
from all official duties for a year because he refused to perform his
official duties under the crucifix. The intention behind this is to push
through the continuing validity of a law passed by Mussolini's Fascist
government from 1926 that prescribes the presence of crucifixes in
courtrooms, thereby approving a blatant violation of the Italian
constitution. In February 2008 the sentence of imprisonment was lately
increased to 12 months.

Thousands of people and numerous organizations across the world have signed
their names to demand:

*Get rid of Mussolini's crucifix decree once and for all! Acquit Luigi

Now the proceedings have reached their crucial phase: the appeal against
Tosti's sentence is taking place before the highest Italian court, the Court
of Cassation in Rome, on *18. November 2008*. Let us do everything we can to
make sure this day does not become a fatal precedent for a Papist Europe!

So, everything now depends on the international public not showing itself to
be weary but to act! This is what we must do:

Let us all now renew our demand before the crucial date by writing to the
Italian Court of Cassation:

*Reverse the sentence passed on Judge Luigi Tosti, which violates the
freedom of religion and the obligation on the part of the state to religious
neutrality guaranteed by the Italian constitution and instead favours the
decree made by a Fascist government! *

*Acquit Luigi Tosti! *

Please send your politely formulated letters of protest to the following
address (and please send a copy to us if possible):

Corte di Cassazione
Sesta Sezione Penale
Palazzo di Giustizia
Piazza Cavour
00193 ROMA (RM)

(Fax: + 39 6688 3400)

File No. (make sure to include this in your letter!): *R.G.n. 2007/03482400*

Further information on the Luigi Tosti case:

With Voltairian regards

Birgit Linz

Replace crucifix with the 10 Commandments and this case looks eerily familiar. Unfortunately the credulous won that one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Feed Your Head!

Some Podcasts of Interest to Freethinkers - Greg Stott
(enter these titles into the search box in iTunes Store on your iTunes browser)

All in the Mind
The Amazing Show starring James Randi
American Freethought
Astronomy Cast
The Atheist Experience
* Atheist Nation
Atheist Talk – Audio
Bad Astronomy
Bad Science
Best of Natural History Radio
* The Better Atheist
Big Ideas
Bill Moyers Journal Podcast / PBS
Books and Ideas Podcast
Brain Food
The Brain Science Podcast with Dr. Ginger Campbell
CBC Radio’s Ideas: How to Think About Science
CBC Radio: Quirks & Quarks Complete Show
CBC Radio: The Best of Ideas
CBC Radio: The Best of the Sunday Edition
CBC Radio: White Coat, Black Art
Center for Public Integrity: Podcasts
The Course of Reason – new for Center for Inquiry college freethinkers
* Developing a Philosophy of Life
Discovery Channel Video Podcasts
Dogma Free America
Ecogeeks: Science Video Podcast
* Ethical Quandaries Podcast
Ethics Bits –
* Ethics Matters
Everyday Ethics
Evolution discussion with Richard Dawkings, Steve Jones and Lewis Wolpert
* Existence is Wonderful Audio
The Exquisite Truth
Freethought Radio
The Good Atheist
Great Lives
Great Speeches in History
Hubblecast Full HD
Humanist Network News
* Hunger Truth Podcast
In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg
The Infidel Guy Show
* The Inoculated Mind – Mindcast
* Intellectual Icebergs
* Introduction to Philosophy – Philosophy 100
Irrelevant Astronomy HD
* Jesus People
Joy of Living Creatively: Tapping your innovation and imagination


If you aren't afraid after watching this you aren't paying attention.

Best Lunch In A Long Time!

Today I had the great honour of sitting with two very fascinating people. One was Charles Ramcharon, a Professor of Biology at Laurentian University, and Greg Stott, a Professor of Geology also at Laurentian University. With company like that do you think that creationism had a chance? In fact, it didn't have a prayer.

What transpired was a most enjoyable lunch that hopefully will be the begining of a cooperative venture between the Sudbury Humanists Association and the Laurentian Free Thinkers. Our shared experiences brought to mind a passage from the Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan. Unfortunately Carl appears to have been prophetic.
Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

Hopefully together we can beat back the darkness of ignorance if only in our little corner of the world.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tolerance vs. Respect

I was reading Pharygula today about assisted suicide and a bill in Washington for which the Catholic Church is fighting against. And it pissed me off!

When is the church going to realize that there is a difference between tolerance and respect? We tolerate the kid that gets off the short bus but we don't respect his opinion. We tolerate the religionist but we don't respect his irrational thinking. We can tolerate someone else's right to choose the manner of their life's end but we don't have to respect their enforcing that view on others.

This dogmatic nonsense gives the religionist reasons to hate. Now someone who doesn't believe in the right kind of imaginary friend and what someone else thinks that imaginary friend said is now entitled to an infinity of conscious torment which translates to an excuse for the despicable acts the church propagates today. They are trying to legislate their beliefs and that should neither be tolerated nor respected.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And All The People Said...

Dear Mr. Dion,
For the first time in my voting life of 62 years, I had decided to vote Liberal.In order to defeat Mr. Harper's bid for more power over this country, I had decided that your party was the best alternative.I respect you and also respect Bob Rae.
You two men were my main reason for making this choice.As for you, I have read much of your written work as it has been appearing in newspapers and I believe you to be an honest man, with integrity and a strong moral base.
However, as a secular Humanist, dedicated to equal civil rights of all members of this society,with no special privilege or taxpayer-generated capital given to any religious or ethnic group, I have had to revise my choice of vote.
I cannot ever condone the gift of my taxes or anyone's to a religious group of any stripe.Any law-biding organization which or person who has been harrassed, threatened or physically attacked by others in this country should be serviced as the need arises by the law enforcement mechanisms which we have in place. This must include all citizens, not only the religions, and if we need to inject more of our tax money into this need, it is required for us to do so to be a civilized nation.
If you should retract this offer, or better yet, make it applicable to all citizens and citizen groups regardless of religious affiliation it would be a step towards having a civilized nation.
I would certainly swing my vote back to your party for this election if you were to do this.
Respectfully yours,
Joan Pella

Friday, October 3, 2008

WE Made the Big Time!

Out own resident political/religious wingnut David Popescu has made the most unholy pages of Pharyngula. Wish I could say Popescu's opinion was rare but at least the other candidates has the fortitude to speak out against this man's ignorance and bigotry. Politicians standing up against hate speech is less rare north of the border.