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October 6/2015 Critical Links

October 6, 2015
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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.

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On October 19, 2015, vote

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Conservative candidates Chris Alexander and Kellie Leitch said during a news conference in Ajax, Ont., that in addition to a tip line, a Tory government would establish an integrated RCMP task force with units in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal to step up enforcement of the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, which received royal assent in June.

The attacks in India should not be seen as a problem limited to secular writers or liberal thinkers. They should be recognized as an attack on the heart of what constitutes a democracy — and that concerns everyone who values the idea of India as it was conceived and as it is beloved, rather than an India imagined through the eyes of religious zealots. Indians must protest these attacks and demand accountability from people in power. We must call for all voices to be protected, before we lose our own.

“Today’s Judgment puts people’s fundamental right to privacy before profit. Without effective safeguards for privacy, the Web as we know it could wither and die. Following today’s ruling, new safeguards must now urgently be put in place that protect the Web as it should be, a secure and private space where people can start businesses, research confidential topics or just chat with friends without the fear of being subjected to unwarranted government snooping. We hope that this EU ruling will also inspire countries around the world to review their data protection and exchange policies, and enhance the protection of their citizens.”

“Turban-wearing Sikhs will now have the right to choose not to wear head protection and will be exempt from legal requirements to wear a safety helmet in the majority of workplaces”

“You can be educated out of some of these beliefs, but you can’t be educated out of these cognitive faculties. We all have a hyperactive agency-detecting device. We all have a theory of mind.”

A paper finding that a particular treatment had no effect is just as valuable as a paper finding that a treatment had a big effect. But doctors are far more likely to read about the latter, and as a result they can overestimate the effectiveness of treatments.

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Upcoming Events

A very personable and charismatic philosopher, speaker and blogger, 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, on October 23, 2015 7:30 pm. Get your tickets now at our CFIC Events Page.
  • 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.16th, 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 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 19,Toronto: CFIC T.O. SOS Secular Organization for Sobriety meetingMeet other local people who suffer from alcoholism and other addiction problems (ex: gambling, drug addiction, etc). Gather for support, companionship, and advice
  • 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 26th, 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 “Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible” by Jerry Coyne
  • October 29 @ 7:30pm, TorontoWanda Morris Speaker EventCFIC Office, 55 Eglinton Ave E, Suite 307; Wanda is the CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada and she will explain to our CFIC community why those in the Atheist/secular/humanist movement should be particularly concerned about this issue.

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  • October 4, 7:00 PM, OttawaJames 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.

  • OkanaganSecular 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.
  • Manitoba October 17-18: Society of Edmonton Atheists is hosting  a secular conference 
  • November 23, Halifax, Carl Sagan Day Dinner5pm, Darrell’s Restaurant
  • November 25-27: Canadian Science Policy Centre Conference

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          Let us know if you have an activity you’d like to share!

Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry

Social media is well known for its echo chambers, in which users end up self-selecting their own nuance-free virtual existence. When this dynamic is combined with an intoxicating propaganda output like that of IS, it becomes all the more potent.

CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.

Science, Medicine, and Ethics News

“Growing the first plant on the moon is the kind of science first that Canada can and should aspire to”

When trying to reduce sexual assault, labeling all forms of sexual misconduct, including unwanted touches and sloppy kisses, as rape is alarmist and unhelpful. We need to draw distinctions between behavior that is criminal, behavior that is stupid and behavior that results from the dance of ambiguity.

  • Pope Has Nerve Citing Ideology: (His trip to Cuba)People hang on to every word Pope Francis says but if they would only truly listen they would see him, more or less, like the Dalai Lama or a modern day Forrest Gump…not really saying anything of value
  • Don’t Eat Dirt. It’s bad for you; This might seem like a head-slappingly obvious piece of advice, but there have been a slew of reports in recent years suggesting just the opposite.

Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion

(They) had set up mock ritual sites in various places like ruined houses or an abandoned churchyard. They hung upside down crosses made of tomato crates, drew magic circles, and displayed black candles and blood from the Army’s kitchen. They also wrote fake reader’s letters to several newspapers, provided scripts for unattributed briefings with journalists, and helped zealous citizens to write misleading ads for the press.

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Calendar of upcoming scientific conferences

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CALLING ALL NON-BELIEVERS . . . COME OUT OF THE CLOSET!

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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.

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Online Tools for Skeptical Fact Checking

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Critical Links is published every Tuesday And Friday

Please support the Centre For Inquiry Canada by joining as a member or donating today

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