Contra de Botton: Religions Are NOT To Credit With Universalistic Humanistic Values

Alain de Botton’s chapter on community in his book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion is filled with half-baked thinking. After one-sidedly disparaging modern social life from numerous selective (and sometimes specious) angles, he goes on to model really effectively how not to try to learn from religion (Kindle Location 189): [Read more...]

The Brothel Next Door

So, last night there were news trucks on my block as I arrived home. Turns out that a few doors down a woman was running a brothel. I had no idea. [Read more...]

No, You Can't Call People Sluts.

Ever since Rush Limbaugh tried to slut-shame a law student for testifying at a forum hosted by Congressional Democrats about the medical needs that contraception serves, I had wanted to go through all Limbaugh’s remarks and detail the millions of ways they were awful for the morally obtuse. But I kept thinking, no, it’s just too [Read More...]

Why Misogynistic Language Matters

In response to the vileness of Rush Limbaugh giving Physicalist pause about whether to consume any right wing media (even out of concern for rational fairness), Bret asks: I’m curious: do you see how conservatives verbally address women as more offensive than their stance on pretty much anything else, from their treatment of the poor [Read More...]

Religious Privilege and Grievance-Based Catholic Identity Politics on Full Display

In a column last week, Melinda Henneberger criticized the Obama administration’s refusal to exempt the Catholic Church from requirements it provide for its employees health insurance which would cover birth control at organizations it runs which have secular functions. The column is an extraordinary exemplification of religious entitlement, identity politics, and anti-secular, anti-democratic demands for [Read More...]

"Should Catholic Employers Be Exempted From Paying For Health Insurance Covering Contraception?"

If you were reading Camels With Hammers regularly before we made the move to Freethought Blogs, you would have frequently been treated to the long, insightful, and vigorously argued comments of my friend Mary. Mary is a Roman Catholic and is politically liberal in many (but not all) respects. We met when I was a [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...]

Emma Goldman's "The Victims of Morality"

In reply to my dialogue which I posted this morning examining what I perceive to be immoralism’s important contributions to moral thinking and its inevitable limits, a reader sent me to investigate Max Stirner and Emma Goldman. I may have something to say about Stirner in the future if time permits. But for now I [Read More...]

Mississippi Voters Reject "Personhood" Amendment

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi voters Tuesday defeated a ballot initiative that would’ve declared life begins at conception, a proposal that supporters sought in the Bible Belt state as a way to prompt a legal challenge to abortion rights nationwide. The so-called “personhood” initiative was rejected by more than 55 percent of voters, falling far short [Read More...]


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