Trigger warnings are more important than spoiler warnings, so why are they more controversial?

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This post originally appeared on my new website, which you should check out.A few fair warnings: First, I’m about to discuss events from two recent episodes of this season’s Game of Thrones, “Unbowed, Unbent Unbroken” and “The Gift.” Second, I’m also going to discuss graphic depictions of rape. Those who aren’t up to speed with the show or who might be triggered by depictions of sexual violence may want to proceed with caution.Sansa Stark, the oldest living daughter of Eddard Stark, was a … [Read more...]

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Chris Stedman on MSNBC: “This is a really good thing, and I think people of faith should agree”

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My good friend and founder of this blog, Chris Stedman, was on the Melissa Harris-Perry show yesterday morning to discuss the recent pew data showing a rise in the religiously unaffiliated (now up to 23% of the American public). Stedman was joined by Reverend Samuel Cruz, Christopher Hale from Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Kelly Brown Douglas, an episcopal priest and a professor of religion at Goucher College."What do you think is going on with this decline, particularly … [Read more...]

My review of Dan Ariely’s new book, “Irrationally Yours”

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Dan Ariely was kind enough to hook me up with a review copy of his forthcoming book, Irrationally Yours (which you can preorder on Amazon).It changed my life. … [Read more...]

My review of Lisa Miller’s “The Spiritual Child”

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My latest for The Daily Beast went up this morning. Nothing will protect our children like a well-developed sense of spirituality, argues Columbia University psychologist Lisa Miller in her new book, The Spiritual Child.Readers inclined towards skepticism are met with an impressive round of statistics connecting early spirituality to lower rates of what Miller calls the “big three dangers of adolescence”—depression, substance abuse, and risk taking.While Miller shows a vibrant command of … [Read more...]

From the archives: the vanguard fallacy and embattled purview

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I've stumbled on another great piece, this one by friend of the blog, Marcus Mann:A lot has been written lately on sexual assault and Islamophobia within organized atheism, and I’ll leave it to those better educated, well-versed and with more personal experience regarding those issues to comment on them. My point is more general and perhaps more obvious: a group that perpetuates the idea that they are being cornered, or that they are at war, or that disunity of voice portrays weakness which m … [Read more...]

From the archives: are we “getting” Islam?

More forgotten content from the archive, based on a comment by Sean Faircloth: It's worth noting that I largely agree with Faircloth here, but the small bit where we disagree matters a lot and largely colors our respective attitudes towards Islam. There's a subtle shift in Faircloth's language throughout the piece, and I think this is rather emblematic of this difference. Faircloth says: If liberals can – with great vitriol – condemn the Christian Right (as they do constantly), then liberals ca … [Read more...]

From the archives: Humanism as community, not philosophy

Another post I stumbled on and liked: I think Humanism works best as a community label, not a philosophical label. It strikes me as a potentially effective banner for political organization and social action, rather than a description of specific moral commitments. Otherwise, if we entangle Humanism with, say consequentialism, what of sympathetic members like me who might have strong consequentialist tendencies but ultimately lean Kantian? We can try to convince each other out of bad moral … [Read more...]

Remember when Sam Harris said religion was worse than rape?

There have been some issues on Patheos involving image use and attribution. Now that NPS is on Patheos, what images we're allowed to use is different---we generate (very, very modest) ad revenue, so we can't use images that are for noncommercial use only. This means I've been going through all of our old posts that well predate me to make sure we're all good in that department (because if we get sued then it's me, not Patheos, that is fucked).The upside, though, is that I've been finding some … [Read more...]

From the archives: the case for affirmation and accommodation

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NonProphet Status goes much further back than my involvement. I've been looking through our archives and stumbled on this great piece by Andrew Lovley. It seems like the accommodationist debate has popped back up in recent months, and this is a thoughtful and relevant take to add to return to:Generally speaking, the attitudes that shape the interactions between atheists and theists are characterized by mistrust, mockery, and vilification. Yet these attitudes do nothing to further our cause … [Read more...]

Why men don’t touch each other anymore

via the art of manliness

I've been thinking about friendship and male intimacy for a few years now, prompted by a talk I saw as an undergrad and further developed by reading Catholic writers like Patheos's Leah Libresco and Eve Tushnet (I've always liked to read Catholic writing on friendship; I suspect it's because they trace their views through Aquinas to Aristotle, but this is admittedly a bit outside my expertise). My latest for The Daily Beast on the topic went up this morning. Men don’t touch each other anymore, a … [Read more...]