Skepchick Quickies 4.10


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. I love Sheryl Sanders point of "Being a geek is good, study harder, it pays off"
    We need more positive reinforcement like this to young women who otherwise may be discouraged from following a STEM path.

  2. I’ve been a fan of Ashley Judd’s down-to-earth attitude and sense of humor for years and to see this kind of ridiculous speculation makes me sick.

    She looks like a oh-so-slightly older version of herself with a very slightly puffy face (which is, of course, a sin in Hollywood) that allows the claws to come out. Disgusting.

    She has always had a roundish face which suits her, she looks like her mother. The slight puffiness that she presented in her appearance on that show looked to completely untrained eyes as a side effect of steroidal medicine. I’ve seen it before and it’s nobody’s business.

    She is hardly alone though; Google Renee Zellweger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, or Gwyneth Paltrow to see how non-controversial people are treated for exsisting. Crap like “Renee is fat again” or “Maggie’s face looks melted” or “Gwyneth is such a phoney” will slap you in the face.

    Makes me sick.

  3. It might just be the circles I travel in, but I don't see anything approaching a concilliatory feeling toward religion among atheists. Thinking about it, I have the same kind of respect for religion as I do for viruses – I begrudgingly accept that they are incredibly skilled at spreading to new hosts, reproducing quickly, and killing and maiming their hosts. Sure, those are qualities that I might study in order to add them to vehicles I think are more beneficial or to protect myself and others, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to eradicate the virus all the same.

  4. One of my favourite authors, Lois McMaster Bujold, once wrote (via a character):
    "Guard your honour, screw your reputation, outlive the bastards."
    It's the same realization Ashley Judd has made – it's probably a realization you can only make from a position of non-privilege.
    As for that religion thing:  meh.  So what if fear of fairy tales makes people behave better?  Antisemitism used to make people afraid to borrow money.  Does that make fairy tales and racism good things?
    No.  The objective is to separate the good behaviour from the ignorance.  The side effects of ignorance are almost inconceivably worse.

    1. "So what if fear of fairy tales makes people behave better?"

      And is that really true when it comes down to it?  How many people have been killed in the name of religion?  And as a woman can I just say … I'm tired of being told I need to respect religion, when most religions are out to completely fuck me over?  How is trying to control me, just because I'm a woman, 'behaving better'?  It's all so subjective.

  5. I respect people, not religion. It was the people that built those beautiful buildings and people that work in soup kitchens.

  6. Yes, in some cases religion can act a social glue to hold some societies together.  And, holding together may be worth some of the ills that come along with religion.
    However, this is bad science, 'cause where's the control?  Where's the comparitive society that holds together simply because the citizens understand that many are stronger than one?  That has laws based on a rational understanding of how a society/community works (like, you can't have a stable society if we can simply kill one-another without reprocussion vs. you can't kil one-another 'cause the sky-entity will punish you)?  Maybe this would work just as well.  Maybe a society based on rationality would work even *better*, 'cause there wouldn't be all those wacky rituals taking up time and energy.
    Sadly, it seems like we'll never get our comparison.

    1. Well, the study he referenced claimed to be comparing secular communes vs. religious ones.  However, I do find it interesting that those that had the highest level of sacrificial dogma (abstention, fasting, and so forth).  So repressive and dogmatic cults are more coherent than loosey-goosey ones.  Great.

  7. I am a fan of Ashley Judd's work.  I am enjoying her new show, "Missing" quite a lot.  It is well done (mostly) and entertaining.  It never for a moment occurred to me that she anything other than talented.  I do agree with her piece about the entertainment media machine, which explains why I pay no attention to such garbage.  I could care less what the so-called entertainment media says about anyone or anything.
    Sniffing t-shirts … reminds me of "Polyester", filmed in Odorama.  Or maybe a sub plot in "Shortbus".
    I am not sure what Kristof is selling but I am not buying.  I so miss Christopher Hitchens.

  8. I couldn’t help being struck by the fact that the logo above Ashley Judd’s article was “Sexy Beast.” Like, who cares what she says, in one ear and out the other, what matters is whether she’s (ooh!) _Sexy_ (aah!)

  9. The respect for religion article is interesting and makes some valid points, BUT… there has got to be a way to get those benefits of community and social cohegion while still being able to change our minds about the nature of the universe and morality as new evidence comes in.  IMHO, the horrors which religious dogmatism has visited and continues to visit upon the human race far outweigh any benefits which might have caused us to blunder into the trap of religion in our dim and barbaric past.

  10. Maybe we can pursuade the folks who feel they need a relgious community to adopt the Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster as their dogma free religion.   They could compose and sing in unison a bunch of songs promoting the free thinking spirit behind that religion, maybe adopt non-dogmas where the first line of each paragraph is  "We may be wrong about this but…."

  11. I am not a fan of the New Atheists, and I am afraid of their influence.  I believe that Dawkins, Myers, & Co. demonize religion and engage in demagoguery.  You need to have some respect for a phenomenon like religion in order to understand it and to understand why people are devoted to it.  But nobody seems to be listening to that message.  <em>Sieg Heil!</em>

  12. I am a fan of the so called "new atheists" because they are telling the truth about what religious dogma has done in is still doing to promote suffering, from Mother Teresa's idolizing of poverty without ever doing anything about it to the current all out religion inspired war against women's rights by christian right politicians.
    I pity the religion-addled folks who are voting against their own best interests in order to 'get right" with their imaginary gods, but I don't see why anyone should respect the dogmas of religion.   The phenomenon of religion gets lots of respect from "new atheists" as they try to understand its evolution in scientific terms, but specific dogmas get all the respect they deserve: none.

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