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Tag: polemics

Conspiracy Theories, Writing and Logic 103

Conspiracy Theories, Writing and Logic 103

In editing a piece of promotional work for someone one morning, I was reminded again of the many similarities between writers, who tell fantastic stories for a living and have no intention that they be taken as fact, and conspiracy theorists, who tell fantastic stories for a variety of reasons with every intention that they be taken as fact. In Truther circles, as in plotting a story, the narratives often become increasingly elaborate as they expand. Take Jade Helm, for…

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About the Big Bang Theory (and I mean the TV show, not the theory)

About the Big Bang Theory (and I mean the TV show, not the theory)

It’s been quite a while since I last made a contribution to Common Ground.  For those of you who care to know, I have been very busy over the past several months doing research, teaching, and occasionally traveling to certain international locations.  While I’ve already got plans to do more of the same—now that things have finally settled down a bit—I’m now in position to compose some random thoughts on something “useful” to discuss.  With that, I hope to make…

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New Atheism and the Bahá’í Faith—a talk by Courosh Mehanian

New Atheism and the Bahá’í Faith—a talk by Courosh Mehanian

Today’s blog is an audio-visual presentation within an audio-visual presentation. The video is from a presentation Courosh Mehanian gave on New Atheism and the Bahá’í Faith in a private home. These are not professional recordings, so please do pardon the (ahem) interesting initial camera angle. I assure you, Courosh is not a table lamp :), though he does hope to shed some light (ar-ar) on the subject of how he views New Atheist ideas through the lens of the Bahá’í…

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Your Faith is Still a Joke: The Goal of the Exercise

Your Faith is Still a Joke: The Goal of the Exercise

When I opined on another forum that indulging in mockery, ridicule and disrespect for someone based on assumptions about their beliefs was a form of verbal bullying and that it was hurtful, counter productive and irrational, I was informed that “Showing disrespect for people and showing disrespect for books of spurious origin are two very different things. Books and traditions are not humans, they don’t have unalienable rights or feelings.” It’s a nice-sounding argument, isn’t it? Mocking someone’s beliefs isn’t…

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The “New Atheism” 14: Literalism

The “New Atheism” 14: Literalism

One of the new atheists’ major problems from a Bahá’í perspective is their consistent literalism in reading Jewish, Christian and Muslim scripture. They read scripture in its explicit and most obvious sense and reject non-literal understandings. Dawkins rails against theologians who “employ their favourite trick of interpreting selected scriptures as ‘symbolic’ rather than literal. By what criteria do you decide which passages are symbolic, which literal?” 106 Assuming there is no rational answer, he simply continues his literalism, a practice…

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Terms of Faith 8: Sleight of Tongue

Terms of Faith 8: Sleight of Tongue

I was accused recently of Sleight of Tongue. Someone with whom I was having a dialogue on an atheist forum asked me what it would take for me to disbelieve in God. I thought about it and replied that I really didn’t know. There wasn’t any one thing, or if there was, I hadn’t encountered it yet. She applauded my sleight of tongue, using the term to mean she thought I was trying to be evasive. For the record, I…

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