Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

Normally when a preacher is laying their hands on you, it’s not to cure your gullibility.

  • [] Muslims in Quebec City finally get land for burials

    The mayor of Québec City steps up and offers land to the group that was denied land in a vote rigged by bigots last week.

  • [] Don’t outlaw hateful speech, counter it: Editorial

    A lot of people are concerned about the hate speech charges laid against Mississauga bigot Kevin J Johnston, and concern is good. We should always be wary about laws that restrict free expression, and we should always watch very carefully to ensure they are not abused. But just because we need to be cautious about hate speech laws doesn’t mean they are not appropriate in some cases. Brain-dead assertions like that we should “counter” the violent, ignorant, and incoherent rhetoric from people like Johnston are completely detached from the reality of the situation; this is not a “discussion” between sane people and Johnston’s ilk, and there is nothing we can say that will make Johnston’s hateful bullshit any less appealing to the kind of people who lap this shit up… and sometimes act on it.

  • [] Canadians avoiding debate on role in war on terror: Steven Zhou

    We talk about it so rarely that it’s understandable that most Canadians forget, but we’ve been deeply embroiled in the “war on terror” since the Bush era. Then suddenly comes the news of one of our snipers making a record shot in what was supposed to be a non-combat operation to wake us up to the fact that questions need to be asked. We beat the Taliban, then it’s al Qaida we have to fight. We beat al Qaida, then it’s Daesh we have to fight. Now we’re beating Daesh, and it’s time to stop and reflect. Are we really “winning” this “war” on terror with our military operations? Or perhaps, as most experts recommend, might out efforts be better spent not on fighting extremists, but rather on fighting the ideologies behind the extremism?

  • [] Are kids ever too young to learn about philosophy?

    Philosophy gets a bad rap from certain anti-intellectual voices in the atheist movement, but at its heart it’s really about critical thinking. And that’s what’s being taught at this camp for kids, which is a good thing, because there’s sorely little critical thinking skills taught in the normal school curriculum.

  • [] Canadians unclear on definition of “GMOs”, but want mandatory GMO labeling anyway

    The title pretty much sums it up, but understates it. there’s an amusing/disappointing revelation in there about just how clueless Canadians really are about what GMOs are.

  • [] “Faith Healing” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

    Does the Lord also provide a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed double-blinded randomized controlled trials to confirm that the miracle is not just a product of chance?

  • [] Respecting Rights? Measuring the World’s Blasphemy Laws

    The USCIRF has released a report on blasphemy laws throughout the world. Naturally Canada is still on the list (because while a bill has been tabled to repeal the law, it hasn’t actually passed yet due to Parliament going on summer break). But at least we can take comfort knowing that not only are we the 9th lowest score (we could probably be lower except our law requires imprisonment, not just a fine), we get a special mention as the only country in the world whose blasphemy law contained adequate the [sic] statutory language limiting the governmental authority’s ability to interpret the meaning of the word “blasphemy.” So… yay?

  • [] What Happens When An Anti-Muslim Internet Personality Begins To Face Consequences

    Everyone is understandably curious about exactly what it was Johnston said or did that is warranting the hate crime charge. We won’t know until either Johnston or his defence team goes public with the truth, or the trial starts. But until then, this very detailed profile of Johnston gives some insight into the kind of person we’re dealing with. In addition, it releases information about the multitude of other things Johnston is being charged with, sued for, or accused of… and they’re all pretty horrifying things. “Free speech” advocates, maybe this dude isn’t the horse you want to hitch your wagon to.

Canadian Atheist’s Weekly Update depends on the submissions of readers like you. If you see anything on the Internet that you think might be of interest to CA readers, please take a minute to make a submission.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. “But just because we need to be cautious about hate speech laws doesn’t mean they are not appropriate in some cases”

    I disagree. Hate speech laws are never appropriate. They are never applied against the hate you approve of, and are basically used as a tool to beat one’s political opponents.

  2. “Philosophy gets a bad rap from certain anti-intellectual voices in the atheist movement, but at its heart it’s really about critical thinking”

    Uh no, it certainly is not. It all depends which branch of philosophy you’re looking into, and which approach is being taken. I assure you, critical thinking (or indeed “thinking”) is optional in philosophy.

    It’s not the anti-intellectual who disparage philosophy (by which I refer to the institutional structures and the people supporting them) but rather the intellectuals.

    This field has almost nothing to show for all its blathering. It can’t tell us what is right. It can’t tell us what we are. It can’t even tell us THAT we are.

    Certainly the metaphysics and epistemology are important as means to go from nothing into science. But that is effectively where it ends.

    I’m not even comfortable saying that philosophy is where a person should learn about argumentation. These days, that role now falls to computer science.

  3. “just how clueless Canadians really are about what GMOs are”

    Gee, it’s almost as if people knew what things had GMOs in them, they might be more educated on the issue just from the experience of eating them.

  4. “maybe this dude isn’t the horse you want to hitch your wagon to.”

    I hitch my horse to nobody. Free speech is for everyone.

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