Comments from PZ Myers and Phil Giordana on ‘nasty pushback against feminists’ post

I’ve discovered that several comments posted in recent days didn’t reach the site because of automated settings in the software, seemingly unrelated to the content of the comments. I want to publish two of them here, as they are important contributions. Please read both of these comments in the context that they were written and […]

A new wave of smears, now about battered women, stormfront and paedophile apologism

Update: This statement has been agreed between Atheist Ireland and Person A, whose name I have removed from this article and replaced with this pseudonym. “Person A has apologised to Atheist Ireland and to the individual people who have been hurt and whose reputations have been harmed by Person A’s comments quoted here. In particular, […]

Why do some people feel entitled to casually defame others online?

I am returning here to the defamatory smears made about me last month by Aoife Fitzgibbon O’Riordan, who alleged that I was using dog-whistle homophobia to defend dog-whistle misogyny, and Aidan Rowe, who alleged that I support trans-misogynistic hate speech. I again ask them to withdraw and apologise for these smears. This is part of a growing […]

The smears continue, with a misunderstanding becoming a moral panic

I strongly oppose prejudice and bigotry and discrimination against anybody based on their personal identity. I strongly support fundamental human rights including freedom from discrimination and equality before the law. I encourage people to be kind, empathetic, ompompassionate, cooperative, reciprocal, just and fair in online discussions. I encourage people to criticise bad ideas robustly, while […]

The outrageous smear that I am using homophobia to defend misogyny

Every so often I must take a break from campaigning for an ethical secular society, to address the latest defamatory smear that some people on the Internet like to shovel in my direction. This one is particularly saddening because it comes from somebody who I considered a friend, who knows from personal experience that the […]

NECSS should reconsider Dawkins decision, made in haste without full information

Why did the New York City Skeptics and New England Skeptical Society withdraw their invitation to Richard Dawkins to speak at their NorthEast Conference on Science and Skepticism? Steven Novella says the reason “was ultimately about the character of NECSS and the statement we wish to make (or not make) to our community.” But as […]

Hate speech is bad. Offensive satire of bad ideas is good. Richard Dawkins was right.

Richard Dawkins recently, and reasonably, retweeted a funny animated video of a song called ‘Feminists Love Islamists’ by YouTube satirist Sye Ten Atheist, about using ideology to silence criticism. In response, the New York City Skeptics and the New England Skeptical Society effectively proved the underlying point that Richard was highlighting, by publicly withdrawing their […]

Five challenges for atheists and secularists in 2016

These are my five challenges for atheists and secularists in 2016. 1. Oppose the silencing word ‘Islamophobia’ 2. Promote robust civil dialogue not Internet rage 3. Normalise the use of the word atheism 4. Promote fundamental human rights 5. Promote ethical secular democracy It is a follow-up to my review of 2015 for atheists and […]

My review of 2015 for atheists and secularists

2015 was bookended by the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan massacres in Paris. Meanwhile, Islamic States violated human rights through blasphemy laws, lack of due process, persecution, floggings and executions, and ISIS tried to bring us back centuries to an even more barbaric implementation of Sharia law. Ireland was at the forefront of both secular progress and resistance to secular progress. […]

Universities should support free speech against the protests of students unions and shock-bloggers

Update: University of Warwick Students Union has now approved Maryam to speak at this event and has apologised to her. Universities should be prepared to host events at which speakers cause offence to people who do not share their beliefs, as long as such events do not break the laws of the land or incite […]