Maryam Namazie Frequently Publishes Misrepresentations about Iranian Politics


It happens often that Iranians who have lived outside Iran for decades or less portray a very misleading and dishonest picture of Iranian politics. Maryam Namazie is one of the worst offenders. She basically gives voice to a narrative that is not only false, but dangerous if people were to believe it. This narrative is that there is no difference between reformists and fundamentalists, and what Iran needs is a revolution that overthrows the regime, and that when that revolution happens, a secular democratic utopia is just around the corner. But those factions are not the same and a revolution might be very disastrous for Iran. Her position in the atheist movement should not enable her to speak about Iran. Because her views are inaccurate and dangerous. [Read more...]

Guest Post by Farah Shah: The Negative Meaning of Tolerance

This was originally a comment on my blog post “Real Tolerance Is Not Understanding: Or Why Empathy Is Cheating” by my friend Farah Shah. I felt it significantly added to my point, so I asked her permission to publish it as a guest post. “I mean, say, that really were the case and all LGBTQ (or most of them) across the board preferred a more “casual-sex” type of lifestyle over “commitment”, how would that actually justify societies not granting them the same rights as everyone else? How would justify looking down on them with condescension?” [Read more...]

Real Tolerance Is Not Understanding: Or Why Empathy Is Cheating


It’s no big deal to tolerate what is the same as you. Finding ways to convince yourself that others are the “same” is cheating. It’s also no big deal to tolerate what you understand. Understanding is cheating. It’s no big deal to tolerate what you empathize with. Empathy is cheating. You only win the tolerance game if you tolerate what is different, what you don’t understand, what you can’t empathize with. [Read more...]

Link Round-Up 11/7/2014

From the philosophical concept of Qualia to the validity of the concept of gay pride, from Michael Sata leaving the world and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trying to return to it, from poet bandits to Christopher Nolan, and of course the ever present star of link round-ups the terrorist group IS, this is the new installation of link round-ups! [Read more...]

GOP Overtake of Senate: What Does It Mean for Iran Negotiations?


The Republicans completely defeated the Democrats in Midterm elections, and the GOP took over the Senate as well and that means that Mitch McConnell will become the Majority Leader of the Senate. This is especially bad news considering that United States is right now negotiating with Iran as part of the P5+1 to solve the nuclear issue peacefully and diplomatically. Maybe if the Congress wants to pass a new sanctions bill after January 3rd, it’s very likely that the Senate will have the 66 votes to bypass Obama’s veto. Harry Reid was one of the few allies Obama had on this issue, and he used his leadership position to help the diplomatic approach.We know that McConnell will do no such things, and this in itself will make the situation worse. [Read more...]

An International Perspective: Americans, Please Vote Tomorrow

Tomorrow American Midterm elections are held. It seems that in spite of dissatisfaction with the current leadership, the Republicans are going to easily hold the House and also gain the Senate, and based on most reports that I read this is mainly because of gerrymandering and low turn-out. However, living in Iran in the tyrannical system of the Islamic Republic I has taught me that voting always helps and not voting always makes things decidedly worse. Boycotting elections has never made anything better, and Americans need to learn from this international experience and vote. [Read more...]

Blue Cheer: Underrated Legends

Kaveh Mousavi has discovered a new favorite band, Blue Cheer, an audacious and radical band predating Led Zeppelin and wants to share his love for them. [Read more...]

The Debate about Teaching Religion to Children Is Actually a Debate about Religious Hegemony

If you don’t already know, we have begun a debate about teaching religion to children. Wendy Thomas Russell talked about using a neutral language to talk to children about religion, and then I write a post which disagreed with her on just that, using a language which is not neutral about religion. This caused both Wendy and [Read More...]

Teaching Critical Thinking to Children Doesn’t Mean Treating Religion as Valid

The debate on the question of teaching children about religion continues, with me answering some points about critical thinking and tolerance and clarifying some. [Read more...]

Why I Will Teach My Children that Religion is Nonsense

I’ve seen many atheists talking about teaching religion to their children, and it usually involves not teaching them about religion, or some kind of complex way of teaching children about religion without indoctrinating them. Now, I’m here to offer my humble suggestion: just tell them that it’s bogus and move on. [Read more...]