The Power of Skepticism: Why Doubt is a Virtue

At a TEDx event in Lehigh City (Pennsylvania), George Hrab gave a wonderful speech about why skepticism is such a valuable quality:



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A New Novel with a Black Atheist Character Explores an Overlooked Aspect of the Jonestown Massacre

If you’re not familiar with the Peoples Temple church in Jonestown, Guyana, you may have at least heard of its leader, Reverend Jim Jones. And you almost certainly know the phrase explaining how the 900-some members committed mass suicide: They literally “drank the Kool-Aid” (or at least a powdered drink laced with cyanide).

75% of those victims were African-American, a fact that often gets under-reported in accounts of the tragedy. Author Sikivu Hutchinson — who also wrote Moral Combat and Godless Americana — has just written a novel about three (fictional) women and their paths to the church as a way to describe the lives of the victims. It’s called White Nights, Black Paradise (Infidel Books, 2015):



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Port Neches (Texas) Mayor Defends Cross in Public Park, Saying He’s Ready to Fight Atheist Group

A couple of days ago, I posted about the Christian cross at the Port Neches RiverFront Park in Texas.

The symbol is obviously religious and has no business being there. And just because it went up several decades ago is no reason to keep it in place. That’s why the Freedom From Religion Foundation got involved.

Yesterday, there was a vigil held in the park by those who want the cross to remain in place. That’s fine. They have a right to parade their ignorance. But it’s appalling that the town’s mayor, Glenn Johnson, showed up to defend government promotion of Christianity:

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Some Jehovah’s Witnesses Think Putting a French Flag on Their Facebook Pics Violates Their Faith

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a rule requiring political neutrality. That means they “do not lobby, vote for political parties or candidates, run for government office, or participate in any action to change governments.”

Okay, fine, whatever. But in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, a lot of people on Facebook have been France-ifying their profile pictures, overlaying vertical blue, white, and red stripes on their images.

One pro-JW group on Facebook (though not an official one) is torn apart by this. As if showing solidarity with the victims by using the French flag violates their random religious rule:



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Sam Harris Responds to Paris Attacks: “There Are No Surprises Anymore”

Sam Harris published a podcast yesterday in the wake of the Paris attacks. It builds off of an essay he wrote last year called “Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon,” but very little has changed since then.



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