Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
Elle the Humanist is an exciting new project being crowdfunded on Kickstarter. Elle Harris is already the author of Wonderful Earth (and the sister of Bailey “Stardust” Harris), but Elle the Humanist is taking a different direction. Rather than focusing on the wonders of the physical universe, this new book explores the moral universe from – as the title hints – a humanist perspective. I haven’t read the book yet myself, but it’s been getting rave reviews from previewers. Humanism and humanist ethics really don’t need to be complicated ideas, but it takes a special voice to really explain them in terms that younger children can grok. Elle sure looks like she may be the voice we’ve been waiting for. The Kickstarter ends next week, so if you want to make a pledge and reserve yourself a copy or two, you’d better hurry!
The story of Noah’s Ark is a fascinating fractal of inanity. The deeper you investigate it, the more ridiculous it becomes. And of course, even if you manage to get through the whole of the story without stretching credulity past the snapping point, there’s still the aftermath to explain.
We didn’t really need the pandemic to reveal the stupidity of the “justifications” for Québec’s religious accessories ban; it was already obvious to everyone not performing the ouroboros anal head-insertion acrobatics necessary for attempting to convince themselves and everyone else that they aren’t really just xenophobic bigots. But reality can be cruel to the self-deluded, so here we are, with the bill not even a year old, forced to watch the ban enthusiasts fall over themselves trying to backtrack over their own bullshit while pretending not to notice the stink. We’re also forced to watch a supposedly “secular” province caught with its legislative pants down, and having to deal with the fact that they now have to ask people who enter a government facility if the mask they’re wearing is “secular” or not… and if not, then forcing them to remove it… and then forcing them to put on a “secular” mask instead. As always, The Beaverton captures the absurdity perfectly; almost every sentence in this piece is acerbic satire gold. If I’m sounding a bit smug about all this… well yeah, because I fuckin’ told you so; I didn’t predict exactly this scenario, but I’m-a put on my hipster hat here and point out that I explained how this could go sideways long before it was mainstream.
I realize people groan when the “Hitler card” gets played, but Hitler actually presents an absolutely fascinating problem for religious morality. Not just for Christianity, either, because one can easily imagine a scenario where Hitler was of a different religion (and one can easily find analogous scumbags in just about any religion). And I’m not referring to the rather infantile accusation that you see so many atheist “thinkers” make, that boils down to: “Hitler was a Christian, thus Christianity is bad, nyah, nyah, nyah!” No, there’s a whole field of plays one could make to challenge religious morality, using Hitler as a basis or focal point. Consider, for example: What if Hitler sincerely believed he was doing the right thing, but was just mistaken? Now, here’s where apologists will try to dodge, saying, “but he would know in his heart that he was wrong!” But, really? Really? I mean, has it never… ever happened that a believer did something they thought was virtuous and in line with God’s will, only to find out later they were mistaken? For example, donating to some charity helping poor kids in some third-world country… only to find out later the charity was a front, and they were actually financing the drug trade, and filling the coffers of the warlords using child soldiers that were the whole problem the believer was trying to solve to begin with. Should a believer be condemned to Hell… for being mistaken? And there’s so many more angles to approach from! For those who believe that all you need to do to get to Heaven is “ask Jesus into your heart”… well, does that mean that Hitler could get to Heaven, but he six million Jews he killed can’t?
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