The Irregular Symmetry


Scott Alexander of the blog Slate Star Codex has written a post entitled Fearful Symmetry, in which he points out that the narrative of social justice advocates and conservatives are very similar in which both of them claim they are being persecuted and that feeling of persecution justifies them to act out in ways that are not ethical. But this “Fearful Symmetry” , and if the discourse of the two sides sound the same, doesn’t mean the reason behind this seeming similarity is the same thing. [Read more...]

5 Ways To Help Human Rights Activists in Theocracies


What is the best way to help people fighting for freedom and human rights in theocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia? Diplomacy or war? Pressuring the governments or making friends with them? The answer is complicated. [Read more...]

Link Roundup 6/7/2015


From B. B. King passing away to Hillary Clinton being a true liberal, from the bullshit of Popes becoming saints to Catholics blaming anyone but themselves for the weakening of their religion, from Tariq Aziz to Leo Igwe’s article on what Buhari should do, from Mugabe’s scary probable successor to lots of good stuff about Saudi Arabia, this is the newest installment of link roundups. [Read more...]

Guest-Post: Why A Nigerian Atheist Welcomes the Election of an Islamist


Today Nigeria witnessed the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which signaled a peaceful transfer of power. Ovie Olori is a friend of mine and a Nigerian atheist, 25 years, male, mechanical engineering graduate from university of Port Harcourt. I asked him to share his thoughts on the results of the Nigerian election so that we in the rest of the world can have a better understanding, and he kindly enough agreed to my request. [Read more...]

Answering Children: “Can I Draw Muhammad?”


People like the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo are the vanguards of the battle for freedom. While here at Patheos we want to host a civil friendly conversation on faith, that conversation would never take place without people bravely pushing forward the boundary of “permissible” and “acceptable” speech, people bravely breaking taboos and defiling sacred idols. I welcome our civil discussion, but I never forget that our discussion takes place next to the corpses of those who have died for our freedom to have this discussion. And that’s why you should draw Muhammad. [Read more...]

Pilgrim’s Regress: An Anti-Theist Visits a Holy Shia Shrine


Many of my friends, Muslims and atheists friendlier towards religion than me, had told me “if you just go to a holy place of worship, like Imam Reza’s shrine, you’ll see why people value religion, and your stance towards religion will be softened and you’ll understand some of its value.” So, why not and go see for myself? [Read more...]

Open-Thread: Are You an Atheist Facing Discrimination and Bullying in a Secular Country?


If you’re an atheist who has faced discrimination and/or bullying in a non-theocratic country for your atheism, please tell me, and if you want, leave a paragraph or a link to your writing below. I’m getting tired of atheists minimizing the experiences of other atheists, who tell me when I claim atheists are marginalized it’s only true about countries like Iran. [Read more...]

Guest Post: Getting Past the Cartoon of Anti-Theism


I might never call myself an anti-theist, and I know that there are stances I take which probably vary significantly from the majority of anti-theists. But this insistence on labeling all anti-theists as radicals and extremists seems wrongheaded to me and unnecessarily and unjustly puts anti-theists into a position where they can be more easily dismissed as haters, a tactic that religious people have tried to use against atheists more broadly. [Read more...]

The Armenian Genocide: Never Forget


Today is the 100th anniversary of one of the ugliest pages in history, the genocide of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman regime. It is a duty of us to recognize this genocide as the genocide that it was, and never forget it, because recognizing the crimes of the past is the first step of building a brighter future, and acknowledging the wound is the first stage of healing. [Read more...]

What Good Atheism Has Done for This Ex-Muslim?


Atheism is freedom. Atheism does not equal critical thinking, or tolerance, or a truly liberated mind. But atheism is an opportunity, an option, a potential blank slate. To me atheism means that on this Saganian spec of dust we inhabit I find my own destination and I walk my own road and all my accomplishments and all my failures are ultimately my own, no idol is my god and no lord is my shepherd . [Read more...]