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Category Archive: critical thinking

Jun 20 2013

Abused meme roundup: “Witch Hunts”

In light of the recent furore* over CFI’s bafflingly vacuous response to Ron Lindsay’s behaviour, some prominent members of the freethinking community have decided to pull back their participation in an organization that they see as not adequately representing their values. Some have even gone so far as to encourage others to do the same. …

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Jun 17 2013

Colour blind, deaf, and dumb

Right now, as you read this, some well-intentioned white kid on the internet is posting a link to this video. In it, the actor Morgan Freeman states that the way to solve racism is to stop talking about it. Specifically, Freeman says that if the host stops seeing him (Freeman) as “a black man”, then …

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May 29 2013

Religious Islam vs. Political Islam

There’s one final point I need to explore before I launch into a longer discussion of the events of last month, and that’s a debate I had in the comments about the difference between Islam as a religion and Islam as a political force. The former refers explicitly to Islam as I have described it …

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May 29 2013

Is criticism of Islam racist?

No. Now let me explain why it’s not that simple. In any dispute among atheists (or non-atheists) about Islam, the chances are pretty good that someone will make some kind of off-side claim about what “Muslims” do or do not believe, or that we need to curb the civil liberties and human rights of Muslims …

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May 28 2013

Islamic criticism vs. Islamophobia

The freethinking community periodically finds itself in the paroxysms of indecision and self-recrimination for its inability to consistently address a simple question: what is the difference between “criticism of Islam” and “Islamophobia”? Whenever we seek to draw attention to atrocities committed in the name of Islam, we are caught in a firestorm of criticism on …

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May 28 2013

Lessons to be learned from the Boston tragedy

I have just returned from a trip to Boston. These posts have been waiting for a while to publish, and this is as good a time as any. Over the past month*, I have repeatedly found myself in the odd position of defending Islam and Muslims from fellow atheists. As an atheist, I am certainly …

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May 13 2013

Islamophobia, a discussion

More Harris Crap

Depending on who you read or listen to, either Islamophobia simply isn’t real, or it’s not as pervasive as people think it is, or sometimes it’s a legitimate criticism, but it’s often used incorrectly to shut down someone legitimately criticising Islam, or¬†else it’s just some word (without any legitimate meaning) that people use to shut …

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Apr 16 2013

Possibly foreign

As you’ve no doubt heard from countless media sources, two devices exploded yesterday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing two and wounding dozens. No group or individual has claimed responsibility for what appears to be an attack. I am trying to cage my language as much as possible here, for reasons I …

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Apr 10 2013

“Accidental” racism and intentional brilliance

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows what my position is on “intent” when it comes to things like racism and misogyny. Intent lies on an orthogonal axis to racism – someone doing something¬†intentionally racist just adds bad intent to bad action. If we are of the opinion that racism is harmful in and of …

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Apr 09 2013

Rose DiManno, rape culture ambassador

I had an MRA show up in the comments yesterday. In between the bluster and the self-aggrandizing and the laughable talking points, he did manage to slip in the kernel of an actual point (I know – nobody was more shocked than I was). He reminded me of the claim that I made a couple …

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