James Randi

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James Randi

James Randi is a Canadian stage magician who is famous for investigating claims of paranormal, and for exposing pseudoscience. He founded the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) which investigates paranormal claims and pseudoscience and does related research.

He received multiple awards including Joseph A. Burton Forum Award from American Physical Society and Philip J. Klass Award, and he was twice featured in the Guinness World Records. The asteroid 3163 Randi discovered in 1981 by astronomer Charles T. Kowal is named in honor of James Randi.[1]

View on religion

Although Randi is a scathing critic of the New age movement, he is a prominent atheist and equally virulent critic of religion. In his essay Why I Deny Religion, How Silly and Fantastic It Is, and Why I'm a Dedicated and Vociferous Bright, he critiqued religion and claimed religion is the cause behind many major tragedies of humanity.[2] He writes:[2]

We find religion in so much of our history, our philosophy, our everyday lives, and our legal system. Miscegenation was banned based on Biblical rules, slavery was justified by the same book.

JREF is a leading atheist activist organisaztion and is behind the annual atheist TAM conferences held around the world. Although JREF has lost some of its prestige in the atheist community over the last couple of years, Randi himself is universally admired and respected by the likes of Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and Penn Jillette

Randi publicly declares he is a homosexual. Report of sexual immorality by Brian Thompson, former James Randi Educational Foundation Outreach Coordinator

See also: Atheism and morality and Atheism and hedonism

In 2010, James Randi publicly declared is a homosexual.[3]

In 2014, Brian Thompson, former James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) Outreach Coordinator, wrote:

But I no longer identify with this community of benevolent know-it-alls, because not all of them are the best folks in the world. In fact, a good percentage of the top ten worst humans I’ve ever met are prominent members of the skeptics’ club. They’re dishonest, mean-spirited, narcissistic, misogynistic. Pick a personality flaw, and I can probably point you to someone who epitomizes it. And that person has probably had a speaking slot at a major skeptical conference.

I grew particularly disgusted with the boys’ club attitude I saw among skeptical leaders and luminaries. The kind of attitude that’s dismissive of women, sexually predatory, and downright gross. When I first started going to skeptical conferences as a fresh-faced know-it-all, I started hearing things about people I once admired. Then I started seeing things myself. Then I got a job with the JREF, and the pattern continued...

I’m tired of this. I’m tired of hearing about sexual predators like Mr. Bicycle Shorts, who has yet again been invited to speak at the JREF’s annual conference.[4]

Thompson also indicated that heard a report that Randi acted in a sexually inappropriate manner in a car and then Randi said "he would be 'presidentially displeased' if [redacted] didn’t give my old boss a kiss."[5]

References

  1. Patricia Orwen, The Amazing Randi, Toronto Star, August 23, 1986
  2. 2.0 2.1 Why I Deny Religion, How Silly and Fantastic It Is, and Why I'm a Dedicated and Vociferous Bright.
  3. [James Randi comes out of the closet], Discover Magazine
  4. When will this situation improve?
  5. When will this situation improve?


References