Revised version of “The threat of Hell”

This is a revision of a section of chapter 1 of the book. I was inspired to do it by a recent thread at LessWrong. And yes, it’s also a signal that I’ve gotten tired of the “blog MTWTF and only then” thing. Did anyone actually care about that? Another thing I need to address [Read More…]

Daring to state the obvious: the dark side of sacred scripture

The following is a draft excerpt from chapter 3 of my forthcoming book, Angry Atheists?: Why the Backlash Against Dawkins, Harris, And the Rest Is Silly. One of the clearest examples of religious privilege is this: no one would think it rude to describe an overt racist or tract as “hate-filled.” That’s just being accurate. [Read More…]

Bruce Schneier: get rid of secondary screenings at the airport

I had mixed feelings about Sam Harris’ endorsement of profiling at the airport. The rest of the blogosphere reaction was more uniformly negative, and when security expert Bruce Schneier wrote a rebuttal to Harris (which Harris posted on his own site), this was taken as a decisive refutation of Harris. But I think people have [Read More…]

Sam Harris on profiling

For a recent blog post on profiling, CFI’s John Shook accused Sam Harris of being a “bigoted hate monger.” The reaction in the rest of the atheist internets has been almost all negative, though not quite as harsh. Let’s have a look at what Harris said: [Read more…]

The right to say vile things

Since Taner Edis asked, I want to say that yes, I’m appalled by the Tarek Mehanna case, where a man is facing 17 years in prison for expressing sympathy with Al Qaeda and translating some Al Qaeda documents into English. Andrew Sullivan has linked to the following defense of the prosecution, which relies on citing [Read More…]

Kuwait is considering instituting the death penalty for blasphemy

Reuters: Kuwaiti lawmakers voted in favour of a legal amendment on Thursday which could make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammad punishable by death, after a case of suspected blasphemy on Twitter caused an uproar in the Gulf Arab state. [Read more…]

Taslima Nasreen on the 72 virgins thing

Okay this is old news, but I just discovered, and retweeted, a tweet by Taslima on the “Muslim men get 72 virgins in heaven” thing: “Muslim women deserve to have sex with 72 virgin men on the earth as they won’t get these things in heaven. #compensation” That is awesome. Makes me feel so much [Read More…]

Taslima Nasrin’s baffling posts on prostitution

So I’m really, sincerely not sure how to react to two recent posts by Taslima Nasrin, the latest addition to the Freethought Blogs team. The first one equated prostitution with slavery. After criticism by Greta and Natalie (as well as a relevant guest post at Crommunist’s blog), Taslima then posted this response. And I have [Read More…]

From the archives: Re-reading Sam Harris’ The End of Faith

I linked to this post the other day. It inspired a good discussion thread when originally posted; here’s hoping it does so again. PS my comment about Seoul is really weird to re-read now that I live a half-hour’s drive from the city. Sam Harris seems to catch a special kind of flak among atheists. [Read More…]