New Domain for Breaking Spells

I’ve just set up a domain and imported this blog to http://breakingspells.net so if you have me linked you might want to update that link.

I’m using a web hosting and domain registration service called 1and1.com and I really like what they do. If anyone else has been considering moving their blog to its own domain (say from WordPress or Blogspot), and you have questions about the process, drop me an email. I’ll be happy to share with you what I did & how I did it. Also, if you’re shopping for a host and need a domain name, 1and1.com is the way to go. I looked at a lot of different companies and this was the simplest. I also got some good feedback from friends that have used them.

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Reason -vs- Faith

A new blog & website has been launched by the folks that brought us The Jesus Myth. It’s called Reason vs. Faith and described by the authors as:

My intentions for this site is to have a fair and balanced place for atheists, theists and agnostics to discuss whatever issues they would like…

The blog isn’t an Atheist Blog, but rather a crossroads of sorts, where they hope to have an intersection of atheistic and theistic dialog. They have plenty of atheist contributors, but are a bit short of theistic ones, so if any theists are reading they might like to try their hand at debate and discourse at Reason vs. Faith.

Carnival of the Godless – Oops!

I missed yet another opportunity to include a post with this outstanding blog carnival. I really must make a reminder for myself … if anyone knows of a tiny PIM or calendar that can sit in the system tray, perhaps that would be the solution (Outlook is just too bulky and cumbersome).

Anyway, while I might have missed a chance to post there, I’ll certainly not miss the opportunity to read the latest edition of  The Carnival of the Godless at Mind on Fire! I’ve already perused some of the links and the bloggers there have done a fine job of presenting them. Now… I’m off to read more…

For the link to submit entries to CoG, click here.

Calling yourself “rational” might not make it so

Lately, the “Rational Response Squad” has been making a bit of buzz in the atheosphere (and even in the theosphere).

Vjack asked for opinions from his readers before writing a fair review of RRS and their site. He found them to be “immature at times” but remarked that this “is a good thing.” Their aggressive, bold and ‘in-your-face’ style of attacking theists appealed to Vjack and he noted that they probably have a strong appeal to teens. Vjack also had some decent constructive criticism, suggesting that the RRS tone down the “chip on their collective shoulders” in an effort to play nice with the rest of the atheist/rationalist community. He also found their website to be “something of a mess.” I’ve always found it to be an html travesty and its poor design was the single biggest reason for me not staying on the site every time I ever visited.

Hemant Mehta, a.k.a. The Friendly Atheist, had a couple of blog posts that were critical of the RRS and their “aggressive tactics.” He compared and contrasted his method of outreach with that of the RRS and ended up with a response from Brian Cutler, one of the lead personalities of this group, which was to fallaciously measure “de-conversion” outcomes. I say fallaciously since there was no regard for methodologies or controls, so such an outcomes claim is meaningless from the start.

Enter Reed Braden of UnorthodoxAtheism, who revealed that he encountered Cutler and one of his sidekicks in a chatroom where they made accusations that Richard Dawkins had or was having an affair outside of his marriage. This accusation made in the wake of RRS apparently not being able to ride the Richard Dawkins Foundation coattails. Braden later published another chatroom transcript where Cutler attempted to plead, beg, and -finally- threaten Braden in order to prevent him from further discussing or publishing the accusation. Ostensibly because “If this news gets out, Richard Dawkins will be nothing tomorrow (Brian Sapient),” although it smells strongly of self-preservation, mostly since it hasn’t much chance of being true based on the juvenile and irrational actions of the, perhaps, inappropriately named RRS.

Matt at [GBG] Atheist News writes that It’s Time to Drop the Rational Response Squad. And by “drop,” he means not link to them in blogrolls and not to reference them in serious discourse.

I think that’s the most sound advice I’ve heard so far. Reed Braden already removed the two posts I mentioned above (so you won’t find them in the links, but you might still find them in your rss feed aggregator or on Planet Atheism), which is probably a good thing. And, as for the RRS, they’re not in my links list, not even in this post. In my opinion, shaped mostly over the last few days, the Rational Response Squad is misnamed, juvenile, and without lasting academic or redeeming merit. They’re that train wreck you can’t avoid looking at, but at the end of the day you’re glad you weren’t on the train and their significance is forgotten.

Three Great Carnivals

Here’s a trio of don’t-miss blog carnivals:

And the Skeptics’ Circle #77 – The Overmedicalized Edition

I can never seem to remember to send an entry to blog carnivals, but I do spend my Sundays reading them! If you haven’t checked out one or all of these, you won’t be disappointed if you take the time to follow the links and read the pleathora of humanist, godless, and skeptical articles linked to each.

The Atheist Blogroll

I’ve recently joined the Atheist Blogroll, which includes hundreds of other bloggers who are atheists and blog about atheism.

The link above is to the Mojoey’s instructions and qualifications should you want to join -but it looks like it had everyone but me. I’ve also put the blogroll link in my sidebar -I haven’t quite figured out the scrolling list thing yet, but WordPress doesn’t seem very happy with javascript and the like.

Quick Update

I’ll be adding more posts over the next few days. I’ll also get around to updating my blogroll and sidebar information.

If you’ve linked to me previously at my brokenspells.blogspot.com address, please update your links.