September 25/2015 Critical Links
CFI Canada’s mission is to provide education and training to the public in the application of skeptical, secular, rational and humanistic inquiry through conferences, symposia, lectures, published works and the maintenance of a library.
On October 19, 2015, vote
- Five parties, five stances on niqab; Whether or not women should have to uncover their faces when taking the oath of citizenship has become a wedge issue in the federal election.
- 717 people dead: What caused the deadly Hajj stampede? Saudi officials are trying to figure out what went horribly wrong this week during the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and Mina.
- Clarification issued in response to media queries on the role of the Saudi Arabian Ambassador in the Consultative Group
Clearly, it is patently untrue to suggest that any one ambassador has the authority to decide upon a candidate unilaterally. The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia was nominated by the Asian Group to serve on the Consultative Group from 1 January to 31 December this year, and assumed the chair on a rotating basis during part of this year. The chairmanship does not entail any powers over and above the four other members, who this year come from Lithuania, Greece, Chile and Algeria.
According to a 2013 report, Catholic hospitals make up ten of the twenty-five largest health-care networks in the United States, and that number is only on the rise. The number of Catholic non-profit hospitals increased 16 percent between 2001 and 2011, even though the total number of hospitals declined during those years. For people on Medicaid or living in rural areas, Catholic hospitals are sometimes the only option; a full one-third of Catholic hospitals are based in rural areas, and one in ten acute-care hospitals are Catholic or affiliated. Many people are left with no choice but to utilize Catholic medical centers.
- Militant group publishes global hitlist of bloggers, activists and writers; The targets in the list include nine bloggers based in the UK, seven in Germany, two in the US, one in Canada and one in Sweden. Some are Bangladeshi citizens living overseas. Others are dual nationals or citizens of the western nations.
- Sept 28th, Toronto: Every last Monday of the month, everyone is welcome to attend the Science & Philosophy Book Club, where we provide a friendly, free-thinking environment to discuss books that inspire rewarding conversation on subjects related to science and philosophy. This month we discuss “Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story” by Jim Holt
- September 29, Sudbury, 7:30 pm, The Laughing Buddha; CFI in conjunction with Science Cafe and Dying with Dignity Canada bring you an evening of presentations and discussions about the Supreme Court Ruling regarding Physician Assisted Suicide in Canada.
- Oct.9th, Toronto: (second Friday of each month), CFIC T.O. : Board Games Night! Join us for an evening of relaxing and thinking fun as we mostly play classic and strategy board games, and partake in trivia. Sometimes even charades, jai alai, Octopush – whatever strikes our fancy. Feel free to bring your own games to share. You could even just come and hang out on the comfy-chairs with like-minded folks for a little more conversation and a little less action. –
- Oct. 12th, Toronto: Every second Monday, CFIC T.O. – Living Without Religion– The group discusses past and present religious issues and looks at a positive life free of guilt, fear and shame. While the group is still dedicated to dealing with problems and issues revolving around religion, it is also a place for those interested in exploring larger issues in a non-judgmental welcoming atmosphere.
- Oct 17th, Toronto: (Every third Saturday of the month) Come one, come all to CFI Ontario’s Cafe Skeptique, a fun and fascinating discussion group that focuses on a range of topics within the realm of skepticism such as pseudo-science, alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, etc. It’s open to the public and everyone is welcome to join in! See you all at Free Times Cafe, 320 College St. just west of Spadina Ave
- October 23, 2015 7:30 pm; Richard Carrier, visits Toronto and will speak on a topic related to his books Sense & Goodness Without God and On The Historicity of Jesus. This event will take place at OISE’s Auditorium. Get your tickets now at our CFIC Events Page.
- October 4, 7:00 PM, Ottawa; James Street Pub, 390 Bank St. (corner Bank and James)
Maverick and secular humanist Logospilgrim, author of There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: How I Left Faith Behind and Embraced Life, discusses the process that freed her from religious subordination and enabled her to acknowledge her own strength, celebrate her genderqueerness, and reclaim her human dignity.
- October 12, Ottawa, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM; Join us at Pub Italia for our monthly counter-apologetics meeting. October’s meeting topic is “Free Will.”
- Okanagan – Secular Social. Now every second and fourth Monday of the month! Come to the pub and hang out with other skeptics and freethinkers. Mission Tap House and Grill, 3110 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna. If you don’t recognize anyone, look for the table with the CFI sign.
- September 19 & 20: River City Reasonfest in Manitoba October 17-18: Society of Edmonton Atheists is hosting a secular conference
- November 25-27: Canadian Science Policy Centre Conference
Karla’s Atheist Breast Cancer Support Facebook group is now available. It’s private so you have to ask to join. Say you are an atheist with breast cancer and Karla will approve your request.
Let us know if you have an activity you’d like to share!
Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry
Saudi Arabia, where repression is worn as a badge of honor. “Witches” are beheaded. Women are forbidden to travel without a man’s permission. Political prisoners are tortured. Activists are jailed by the thousands. Non-Muslims are banned from worshiping publicly. Gays are put to death.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- The Dangerous Doctors of the G.O.P. Republican candidates for President seem unable to shake the habit of making wildly reckless comments about science and public health.
- This 15-year-old just won big at the Google Science Fair for his disease-fighting invention; His invention, the VAXXWAGON, is a portable refrigeration system that enables doctors to transport vaccines safely and effectively. No ice or electricity required.
- Don’t believe in climate change? You’re not a skeptic anymore; The Associated Press has made a significant change in its writing — its “stylebook” is the de facto guide in most every newsroom — which eliminates the description of climate change doubters as “skeptics”
We are adding a brief description of those who don’t accept climate science or dispute the world is warming from man-made forces: Our guidance is to use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science and to avoid the use of skeptics or deniers.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- Pastor claiming to be ‘driving out a death demon’ gets 30 years for raping teen
A pastor in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, has been sentenced to 30 years in jail after allegedly infecting a 16-year-old girl with HIV and genital warts while claiming to be driving out a death demon that wanted to kill her father.
- Two very different charlatans both selling the divine right to get rich quick; In one case, the preacher claimed to be on a divine mission to bring you wealth. In another, the speaker said he’d cracked the secret of making millions from the internet
Critical Links is published every Tuesday And Friday
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