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Austin Cline

Newsletter 08-12-05

By August 12, 2005

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Welcome to issue #7.32 of Free Thought Now!, the Agnosticism / Atheism site newsletter. This week we'll take a look at the claim that women shouldn't be allowed to vote, the claim that men must teach wives 'boundaries,' recent and interesting commentary on Intelligent Design, another decision upholding the Pledge of Allegiance in schools, an anti-sex priest accused of having an affair, and more.

Atheism is Based on Faith?
Often theists will try to place atheism and theism on the same plane by arguing that while theists cannot prove that god exists, atheists also cannot prove that god does not exist. This is used as a basis for arguing that there is no objective means for determining which is preferable because neither has a logical or advantage . Thus, the only reason for going with one or the other is faith and then, presumably, the theist will argue that their faith is somehow better than the atheist's faith.

Weekly Quote: Beveridge on Language
"Careful and correct use of language is a powerful aid to straight thinking, for putting into words precisely what we mean necessitates getting our own minds quite clear on what we mean." Follow the link for analysis and discussion...

Ungodly Women: Gender and American Fundamentalism
Most people realize that one of the central features of modern American fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism is a distinctive vision of gender roles both in society at large and in the family in particular. When fundamentalists are criticized, it is often on the basis of their perceived reactionary ideas about women, sex, and gender. What many may not realize, however, is these ideas aren't simply central to fundamentalism, but were in fact key to its original formation.

Women's Rights
A Disease That Should Be Eradicated

Virginia: Pledge of Allegiance Upheld
Bizarre judgment

Kansas, Intelligent Design, and Pseudoscience
Summary of recent commentary

Wives Must Be Taught Boundaries
Ohio Republican Charlie Winburn

Top Priest Had Affair with Married Secretary?
Scandal in New York

Town Bills Church for Property Taxes
Interesting arguments

Voting for Atheists
Most won't do it.


Forum Discussions:

1) Terrible Christian Songs / Hymns
"I am haunted by a number of Christian choruses learned in my childhood, some of which have terrible tunes and/or lyrics. One that's been in my head a lot recently (to my distress) is I am a lighthouse, a shining and bright house by Graham Kendrick. ... So, have any of the rest of you got any particularly bad Christian songs deserving a dishonourable mention?"

2) Conservative Atheists
"If the religious right had never hijacked the Republican party, would there be more conservative atheists?"

3) Do You Censor Your Kids?
"I came across a Christmas present I got from one of my parent's friends forty years ago. It was an anthology of Jules Verne science fiction (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the Moon). But I noted that my parents (most likely my dad) had taken a razor blade and had removed a ten page forward by the infidel Isaac Asimov. Today, there are many more channels of information. And I think it it disingenuous to regard the web as merely a big library or X-box as just another toy..."

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