Discipline, Tradition, and Freedom

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Today I am making a guest appearance on my dear friend Kaveh Mousavi’s On the Margin of Error blog. He interviewed me about liberty. He asked 7 questions. Here is my answer to one of them: Kaveh Mousavi: Do you think critical thinking is important for a truly free society or person? Can we be free [Read More...]

10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against Bans on Shari'a Law

Andrew Cohen highlights and explains key sections of a ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (which you can read in full here) that considers attempts to outlaw all  use of international law in legal judgments in the United States and which places special emphasis on outlawing considerations of Shari’a law as any [Read More...]

Maryam Namazie Attacks Shari'a And Defends Muslim Immigrants Against The Far Right

A great lecture and Q&A my estimable Freethought Blogs colleague Maryam Namazie: . An important excerpt from the Q&A: Look, George Bush says he attacked Iraq for women’s rights and I’m a women’s rights campaigner, but I don’t believe him. It’s possible that a politician will say something, that they’ve done something for a reason and, [Read More...]

Is The Use of Pepper Spray Torture?

Yesterday digby discussed various cases of the use of pepper spray to argue that it is obviously torture. Is it torture? If it is torture but in some cases it could foreseeably prevent an altercation with greater likelihood of long term physical damage could it be justified nonetheless?  Is it only unjustified when applied to non-violent [Read More...]

Why Clergy Rightfully Have No Place At A 9/11 Memorial (Or Any Civic Ceremonies)

Some clergy have been upset that they were explicitly excluded from today’s ceremonies about 9/11. I alluded to this, with a link where you can read more, in the following critical remark yesterday: some [are taking] the opportunity [of 9/11's tenth anniversary] to selfishly feel aggrieved because their religion and its pseudo-authority and pseudo-comforts are neglected. [Read More...]

Free Speech Wins, Supreme Court Rules Westboro Baptist Church Has Right To Picket Funerals

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy An earlier report on the heartbreaking consequences of the Westboro Baptist Church’s recklessly malicious, yet clearly Constitutional, free speech: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy No atheist in the world does—or ever could do—as much to damage [Read More...]

The Religious Conservative’s False Choice: “Big Brother” Or “Heavenly Father”

In an e-mail to me, Caroline proposes thought provoking reasons for non-believers to encourage (or at least to not actively discourage) religious beliefs: It would also be nice if people would carry out actions in good conscience of just being decent human beings rather than in fear of reprisal in the afterlife, but as there [Read More...]

Thin-Skinned Author Sues Book Reviewer For Damaging Her Reputation With Bad Review

Apparently in France the legal concept of defamation treats attacks on honor as a form of assault. Karin N. Calvo-Goller, an Israeli author, is taking a German book reviewer to court in France over a four paragraph long negative review on Global Law Books, a New York Web site associated with The European Journal of [Read More...]

Innocent Woman Tased

Is it always excessive force to taser someone who is not posing a serious physical risk to others? Your Thoughts? [Read more...]


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