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What's New on the Secular Web?


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July 24, 2016

New in the Kiosk: How Western Liberals Undercut Dissidents From Islam (2016) by Taner Edis

"Liberals and leftists have acquired a reputation of shying away from any criticism of Islam. We liberals are well trained to be sensitive to whether our speech sounds appropriate. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, many liberals condemned the blasphemy and the imagined racism of the murdered cartoonists as well as the violence. People who complain about "political correctness" have begun to speak of a "regressive left" that attempts to shut down any speech that may offend minority identities, particularly the religion and politics of Muslim immigrants. All this frustrates those of us who come from a Muslim background, but identify as secular liberals. If I had my way, liberals and leftists would start doing things differently."

July 21, 2016

Added On (False) Prophets and Messiahs (2016) by Michael Moore to the Prophecy page under Christianity and the Psychology of Religion page under Theism in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

Innumerable claims to being a prophet or messiah should raise suspicions even among believers that a great many claimants have been false prophets. Nonbelievers go even further: all prophets are false. Among those that believe that some prophets are the real deal, one might think that picking out the genuine article would be a straightforward matter: just wait and see whether a prophet's predictions come true. Historically, however, within the three Abrahamic religions there are accounts where a prophecy came true, yet its author was declared false, or where a failed prophecy did not disqualify a prophet from being regarded as genuine. And in each of these major religions, those who deviated from orthodoxy threatened the security of those in power and were met with ridicule, censorship, persecution, or ruin. Such responses illustrate a kind of need dominance that is (a) a common reaction to being faced by stubborn opposition and is (b) directed against anyone who opposes any need.

July 3, 2016

New in the Kiosk: Miracle Workers: Preying on Sheep (2016) by Nicolas Frame

Anyone who has ever bumped into a theist has probably heard of the supposed miracles that come about through prayer, faith, and devotion to a particular deity. Miracles are important to the believer because they, in the theist’s mind, help to prove the reality of the supernatural. That is, if miracles can occur today then they certainly could have happened in the 1st century. Still, this belief in the magical, as a method to justify faith in a deity which cannot be proved to exist, has and does persist in our culture. This article examines "miracle" workers, namely faith healers and exorcists, who have used religion to scam millions of people out of money.

See "What's New?" for past months and years.