Vote Now for the New Humanist Bad Faith Awards 2009

Extract from the New Humanist Magazine

Who should win the 2009 Bad Faith Award?

The time has come. For months now, nominations have been pouring in for those most deserving of our prestigious Bad Faith Award, presented each year to the person deemed to have made the most outstanding contribution to the cause of un-reason.

Last year saw a runaway victory for erstwhile US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (oh those halcyon days, when she was a mere election and a heart attack away from the nuclear codes). Of course, Palin was always a front runner in that contest (Bad Faith, that is), but this year’s poll may well be more closely contested. Drawn from nominations we’ve received online, by email and by post, as well some of our own based on another year of tackling the forces of irrationalism in the pages of New Humanist, here’s the shortlist, in alphabetical order, of the 10 enemies of reason ready to battle it out for the ultimate prize:

Adnan Oktar, aka Harun Yahya

Anjem Choudary

Anthony Bush

The British Chiropractic Association

Cormac Murphy O’Connor

Dermot Aherne

Damian Thompson

Pope Benedict XVI

Terry Eagleton and Karen Armstrong

Tony Blair

So, there you have it – it’s a strong shortlist, and there’s sure to be some fierce competition between now and the New Year, when we will announce the person (or organization) who has been crowned 2009’s most scurrilous enemy of reason.

To vote and to read short summaries of thier nominations click here.

Final Phase of the Atheist Bus Campaign

Article taken from The Guardian (guardian.co.uk)

Bus Poster Child

“This week, the final phase of the atheist bus campaign will appear in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast – not on buses, but on billboards. Due to the amazing sums donated to the campaign fund by many Cif  (comment is free) readers at the end of last year, we raised enough for a second wave of adverts and the posters (see example on left) will launch today.”

Christianity Has No Morality

Excerpt from “The Atheist Experience No.630”

An excellent counter to the argument of “Not having anyone to answer to” by hosts Martin Wagner and Matt Dillahunty of “The Atheist Experience”.

In short we ARE accountable, not to an almight divine sky daddy, but to each other, our friends, family and wider society (through the law).

Martin and Matt also deconstruct that fact that Christianity has a morality of its own. It is simply obedience to an unquestioning authority.

(by the way, they are still having technical difficulties in the studio which explains the sound issues)

Scientists win a Place for Evolution in Primary Schools

From the GuardianUK

Scientists win a Place for Evolution in Primary Schools

The government is ready to put evolution in the primary curriculum for the first time after years of lobbying by senior scientists.

The schools minister, Diana Johnson, has confirmed the plans will be included in a blueprint for a new curriculum to be published in the next few weeks.

It follows a letter signed by scientists and science educators calling on the government to make the change after draft versions of the new curriculum failed to mention evolution explicitly.

Full story can be found here.

Intelligence Squared – Is The RC Church a Force For Good?

Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world?

A new debate, presented from London by Zeinab Badawi

It stands up for the oppressed and offers spiritual succour to billions say the Church’s supporters. But what about the Church’s teachings on condoms, gay sex and women priests, ask the detractors.

Speaking for the motion, Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Anne Widdecombe MP. Speaking against the motion, Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry.

________________________________________________________________________________________

lt_zippy2’s opinion: This wasn’t a debate it was a massacre! Despite the heavy editing it was very clear from the beginning who had the upper hand. The list of atrocities committed by the RC Church in the past and even today were well expounded by Messers Hitchens and Fry, and the response from Anne Widdecombe was to complain “Why do they keep bringing up the arguments about condoms, homosexuality and child abuse?” The answer to this is simple (and was made by Fry before she repeated the point) It is because it is the main reason that they were debating, whay did she expect, “Oh yest it does proide charity and comfort, I suppose we conceed this debate and leave with our tail between out legs?”…and this point was not lost on the audience…I won’t spoil the result but it is a classic!

Plus it was great to see Stephen Fry, a newcomer to this sort of debate, really pressing the point home with personal vigour. We at Atheism, I’m sure, look forward to seeing even more from him!

The Evolution Of Confusion – Dan Dennett

Philosopher of science, Daniel C Dennett, author of such works as “Consciousness Explained”, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” and “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” delivered this lecture at the AAI Convention in Burbank California.

He talks about purposely-confusing theology and how it’s used. He also describes his new project interviewing clergyman who secretly don’t believe anymore, and introduces a new term: “Deepity.”

Click here: “Theologians are the spin-meisters of philosophy”

Transsexual Jesus – Queen of Heaven

About 300 protesters held a candlelit protest outside a Glasgow theatre over the staging of a play which portrays Jesus as a transsexual.

The protest was held outside the Tron Theatre, where Jesus, Queen of Heaven – in which Christ is a transsexual woman – is being staged.

It is part of the Glasgay! arts festival, a celebration of Scotland’s gay, bi-sexual and transsexual culture.

To read more click here to access the BBC News site