Created on Monday, 08 September 2014 19:07
WRITTEN BY LIZ EMERY, AAI NEWS TEAM
Atheists long enjoyed watching Christopher Hitchens “slap” believers, especially during formal public debates. But debaters accepting Hitch’s baton must likewise prepare diligently or get “slapped” themselves during debates. In the following article, Liz Emery offers valuable insider’s advice to atheists intent on debating Mormons. Raised and homeschooled by Mormon parents in Utah, Liz served in multiple Church leadership roles and was accepted to study at Bringham Young University. She instead attended Utah State University, where she wrote a weekly column for the university’s newspaper. Today she lives in Chicago, but continues to study the Mormon Church.
The recent debate between biblical literalist Ken Hamm and scientist Bill Nye has raised an old question: Is it useful for atheists to debate believers, or do debates give unnecessary validity to irrational arguments? Religious arguments rest solely on faith, not scientific evidence, and debate formats do not allow secularists to conduct a course on epistemology. Victor Stenger has argued convincingly that debates favor Christian apologists who regularly perform in front of audiences and that atheists face a formidable task in preparing properly.
Created on Saturday, 06 September 2014 16:35
In the city of Wuppertal in Germany a group of Salafist Muslims have created a squad of "Sharia Police", enforcing Sharia Law during the night in the city.
There is no surprise in the message of the Sharia Police:
"No gambling, no music, no alcohol, no kafirs."
According NBC News, small groups of hardline Salafist Muslims have been patrolling the streets of a German city hoping to "influence and recruit young people," police said. The groups were seen in the western city of Wuppertal wearing bright orange reflective vests with "Shariah Police" on the back. "This was seen as a violation against Germany’s public assembly law and charges were filed,” police spokesman Andre Schwanicke told NBC News. Officials say they have increased the police presence in the city.
Created on Friday, 05 September 2014 13:02
By Carlos S. Moreno
According to CNN, this fall, for the first time in U.S. history, an openly atheist candidate is running for Congress. James Woods is fighting an uphill battle as a Democrat seeking to represent the very Republican 5th Congressional District in Arizona.
There are now no openly atheist members of Congress, even though nearly 20% of Americans report having no religious affiliation, according to the Pew Research Center, and between 5% and 10% of Americans do not believe in a supreme being.
Created on Friday, 05 September 2014 12:56
According to Gay Star News, nine officers from the Johor Islamic Religious Department raided their room in Johor Bahru at around 12.45am, the Sinar Harian newspaper reported.
One of the women answered the door while the other was naked in the bathroom.
The women, both students aged 20 and 21, were not initially suspected of breaching 'close proximity' laws but officers became wary when the women remained silent as they searched the room.
Created on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 17:13
The Islamic State has sold some 300 Yazidi girls and women captured in Iraq to its fighters in Syria in recent weeks, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group. The woman were forced to convert to Islam, and SOHR reported it has documented cases where girls and women were sold to fighters for $1,000 each.
Created on Saturday, 30 August 2014 11:13
According to The Conversation, despite recent calls for its elimination and the High Court (again) finding that it was funded unconstitutionally, the Abbott government announced this week that it would continue its school chaplaincy program by funnelling money to the states.
However, debate about the school chaplaincy program has missed the mark. It has been informed by deficient understandings of what “secular” means, both in general and in the Australian context.
Created on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 18:02
By Ambreen Agha
Pakistan is increasingly failing to protect its minorities for two broad reasons: principally, rising religious intolerance and the space ceded to violent ideologies.— Sherry Rehman, former Ambassador to the US, 2011
Little noticed amidst the ongoing pitched battle led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led Federal Government, a group of protesters from minority communities held a rally in Badin District of Sindh on August 16, 2014, against the current Government’s failure to protect minorities from communal atrocities, including kidnapping-for-ransom, killings on religious grounds and abduction of girls for forced conversion.
Created on Friday, 05 September 2014 12:45
According to Religion Dispatches, after three years of nearly constant Sturm und Drang on the part of U.S. bishops over the contraception mandate comes word that some of the same Catholic universities have been covering abortions all along. Loyola Marymount’s insurance plan, as its president recentlyconfirmed, has included elective abortion coverage for the past 25 years.
Created on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 15:17
On CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, host Brian Stelter spoke with radical Muslim cleric Anjam Choudary, who last week got into a fifteen minute-long shouting match with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity.
Stelter start with question: “When you saw the video of Jim Foley being beheaded earlyer this month, how did you react?”
“There is no doubt that beheading someone is terrorising act and I believe that is Islamic State agenda to terrorise enemies to leave Muslims alone. Remember that as far they are concerns American and British committed all kind of atrocities in that same aria.” Choudary answered.
Created on Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:29
According to the article from Religion Dispatches, former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, ambassador of the Vatican to the Dominican Republic, is now a layperson awaiting criminal trial in the Vatican for sexual abuse of young people. After intensive negative press, the Vatican announced on August 25 that since he was no longer in their service, Wesolowski is not covered under diplomatic immunity and could potentially be extradited presumably to either his native Poland or the D.R. where he had been credibly accused of sexual abuse. There’s always more to a story than meets the eye, and in this case it isn’t pretty.
Created on Monday, 25 August 2014 10:46
Saudi Arabia’s religious police has threatened to jail those behind two videos, including one promoting atheism, according to local media.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Haia) has denied a man who appears to be one of its personnel in a clip is a member of the Haia, according to Arabian Business.
In the video, the man, standing next to a Haia-marked vehicle threatens homosexuals and men who blackmail young women.