Marginalized Groups, Civility, Privilege, and What Replaces Religion: An Interview with James Croft

I just finished having a great conversation with James Croft of the blog Temple of the Future for this week’s episode of The Camels With Hammers Show. There is a special announcement related to James’s blog at the end of the interview. We had some technical difficulties so the interview took the form of two parts.

In the first video we talked primarily about my stance in favor of civility. I have in recent months controversially argued that members of marginalized groups shouldn’t embrace using abusive language as a routine method of fighting oppression. I decided to run these views by James, who is himself gay and a vigorous activist for both atheist and gay causes.

In the second video, James answers my questions about whether people with social privilege can ever learn enough about out-group experiences in order to offer critical suggestions to members of marginalized groups or whether an epistemic privilege stemming from marginalization can be absolute. Then the rest of the video is spent discussing questions about controversies in the atheist community related to how to relate to religious people and how atheists can go about meeting people’s needs that most people presently turn to religion for–without turning atheism into a religion itself.

Click on the title of this post to see the videos! [Read more...]

James Croft on Humanist Values, Opposing Religion, and Supporting Gay Marriage as Sacred

James Croft will be on the Camels With Hammers Show on Sunday morning at 10am EST. In this post, I put up two excellent speeches he gave this year. In one he explains how Humanists historically have, and in the future can, play a special role as moral reformers. In another he attempts to give a morally and politically influential speech–and succeeds. Along with the videos, I quote an illuminating section of an interview I conducted with him last summer. [Read more...]

The New York Times Called Those Who Brought What Were Essentially Blasphemy Charges Against Pussy Riot “Victims”

A few months ago, I signed up to give automated monthly donations to Amnesty International when I was told about how appallingly small their donations from America were. It is because of their advocacy on issues like this one that they need the support of all people committed to the principle of secularism worldwide: [Read more...]

“How a Bill(ionaire) Becomes a Law(maker)

Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

How Will The 2012 U.S. Presidential, Congressional, and Local Elections Affect You Tangibly?

What are the most tangible, specific effects that the upcoming U.S. elections this November might have for your life. Which of your rights do you hope or worry will be affected and how specifically will this alter the course of your specific life–not just potentially, but actually, if they are? And will your career be [Read More...]

Arrested For A Mean Tweet?

If this is all the relevant information, this English arrest seems unjust to me: After coming fourth in the men’s synchronised 10m platform diving event on Monday, the 18-year-old from Plymouth received a message telling him he had let down his father, Rob. Rob Daley died in May 2011 from brain cancer. A 17-year-old boy [Read More...]

Is Religious Circumcision of Male Infants Morally Defensible?

Last month a court in Cologne, Germany ruled against allowing the circumcision of children too young to give consent. CBS News summarized the facts: a German court ruled that circumcision infringes on a child’s right to be protected from bodily harm. The regional court in Cologne said that circumcision went against the “fundamental right of [Read More...]

Why The Needs of Gay Kids Deserve Special Attention in Anti-Bullying Legislation

There is a major piece of anti-bullying legislation which will soon be up for a vote in Ontario, Canada. In the legislation, kids in Ontario Catholic schools will be protected from repeated aggressive behavior that occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the pupil and the individual based [Read More...]

Penn Jillette vs. President Obama on Drugs

The personally drug free Penn Jillette takes Obama to task for his cavalier attitude towards our country’s authoritarian drug laws and the draconian penalties associated with them: Do we believe, even for a second… that if Obama had been busted for marijuana, under the laws that he condones, would his life have been better? If [Read More...]


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