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The Paris Attacks: A Moderate Liberal-Atheist Perspective

The Paris Attacks: A Moderate Liberal-Atheist Perspective

Massimo Pigliucci, K.D.

Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. His scholarly work can be found at; he also curates the Scientia Salon online magazine (


Much has been written about the terrorist attack on the satirical paper Charlie Hebdo, which took place on 7 January 2015. Some of the commentary has been insightful, some full of pious platitudes about defense of free speech by sources with not exactly a stellar record in that department, and some of it has ranged from the woefully uninformed to the downright awful. It is, therefore, with some recalcitrance that I write these lines, particularly because I’m coming to the issue from what I feel is an increasingly rare point of view: that of a moderate liberal atheist.


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Science, Religion and Culture


Vol. 5, Sp. Iss. 1 Pages 1-82


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