BOOK REVIEW: Skeptoid Vol. 1: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomenon by Brian Dunning

Review by Dean Bedekar, January 2023 You may ask, what’s the big deal if grownups believe in ancient aliens?  Nothing really unless those beliefs cause harm to the believer and society. The list is long, from anti-vaxxers, consumers of crackpot remedies like homeopathy and acupuncture, to science deniers.  In each of 5 volumes, Dunning takes on 50 such pop phenomenon, explaining them in simple terms, without casting judgment. In this review, we’ll cover some of most flagrant violations of science […]

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NOSHA Notes…

….and    If You’re Woke You Dig It In 1962 the young and talented author William Melvin Kelley published an article in The New York Times. He had recently seen a public notice posted in a subway car on the subject of encouraging the ridership to help officials keep the car clean. The post was supposedly written in 21 languages; one in particular belied the humorless bureaucratese one would expect:  “Hey cats this is your swinging-wheels, so dig it and […]

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NOSHA Notes

…and   Postliberalism Does Not Bode Well for Groups Like Ours January 22, 2023 It is easy to be distracted by the continual ruckus coming from the evangelical Protestant Christian crowd which, with their demagogue-of-the-day, almost weekly seems to draw a new battle line by trying to block the rising tide of secular modernism and the liberal administrative state that they believe is complicit in all sorts of anti-Christian conspiracies.  But on another level, practitioners of another Christian sect are […]

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NOSHA Notes

…….and       When Fantasy Meets Virtual Reality   The secular community should be concerned that Facebook’s multi-billion dollar, all-in investment in metaverse development includes millions of dollars to upstart Virtual Reality churches. The metaverse is the immersive, virtual reality digital world that includes video games such as Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft, others, and a host of non-gaming platforms that allow the user to create an avatar and interact with others active  on the platform in digitally […]

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NOSHA Notes..

    ..and SECULAR SKETCHES                                                                                                                                                         […]

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Just One Thing for Christmas

Here’s an idea for a new Christmas Twilight Zone episode were the program to be revived, if you will indulge me: imagine, during this season of giving, what might be the best gift the non-theist secular community could receive from the conservative Christian community. To be sure, spending much time ranking a wishlist like that would  be time wasted, since offering an olive branch of peace,  much less anything like a gift from the latter is an adventure into the […]

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BOOK REVIEW: American Crusade: How the Supreme Court Is Weaponizing Religious Freedom By Andrew Seidel

Review by William Gautreaux, November 2022 In his excellent new book, Andrew Seidel reviews some of the most important Supreme Court cases of the last 30 years that justices have used to hand down decisions involving religion. He discusses in detail how “religious freedom” has been turned into a weapon to advance Christian religious privilege, and not religious freedom, and to impose the Christian religion on others. Seidel points out how “the Constitution envisioned religious freedom as a protection for […]

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Three Ways to Make Your Gift Count

The route back through the historical turns that eventually led to the corruption of the Chrisian message of charity would surely be staked with signposts marked Exit Here>Hubris, Greed, and Folly. I’m not going there, but promise to honk when I pass.   Old-time Faith, sans  Hope, Charity First, then, The Great Depression, when millions in the United States and elsewhere were out of work in an economic system that was supposed to award hard-working citizens a stable and comfortable […]

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Only Free Speech Can Stop Islamic Fundamentalism

  What happened in Chautauqua, New York on the 12th of August was disturbing yet predictable. Salman Rushdie, who wrote the controversial book The Satanic Verses, became a primary target of the former Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa that would legitimize the execution of Rushdie. To no one’s surprise, such fatwas were regularly issued by the Iranian totalitarian theocratic regime that has been actively causing socio-political turmoil in the Middle East.  […]

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What’s Awesome about an Atheist Conference

What’s Awesome about an Atheist Conference A report on AACon 2022 by Beth Deitch   “What’s the point of a conference for nonbelievers? Do you just sit around and talk about how there’s no god for an entire weekend?” I’ve heard that bit of confused criticism expressed more than once, when I’ve mentioned attending a secular conference.  And the answer is, “Of course not—that would be a rather brief convention: Is there a god? Nope! Let’s all go home now.” […]

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