Welcome to the Atropos Blog!

Dive into the realm of critical thinking with Atropos, a skeptics society based in the Czech Republic.

Our podcast, Meaning of (Skeptical) Life, explores various topics within the skeptical movement, tackling issues such as alternative and complementary medicine (with a focus on its often tragic consequences), conspiracy theories, and a critical examination of religions, societal problems, and emerging scientific trends. All delivered with a touch of humor and a healthy dose of perspective.

While our podcast and magazine are primarily in Czech, we’re thrilled to keep our English-speaking audience in the loop through our blog. Here, we provide insightful perspectives on events in the Czech Republic from a skeptical standpoint.

Join us as we navigate the landscape of critical thought, science, and reason.

Stay informed, stay skeptical!

Strawmanning & refusing Istanbul Convention

The Senate of the Czech Republic voted narrowly not to ratify the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Only 34 of the 71 senators present voted in favour of ratification, which was not enough to achieve the required majority of 36 votes.

The failure to ratify the Convention is disappointing for victims of domestic violence in the Czech Republic, who will thus lose the tools for their protection that the international document provides. The majority of European countries have already ratified the Istanbul Convention, and the Czech Republic finds itself in a minority of countries that reject it.

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Nightmare instead of therapy – sexual predatory psychiatrist

A case of sexual abuse by one of the biggest personas of the Czech psychiatric community is now seeing its day in court. Dr. Jan Cimický, once a prominent psychiatrist who helped establish the field in the country (and also novelist, poet, translator, playwright and screenwriter), is currently on trial facing charges relating to 39 accounts of sexual assault and misconduct spanning decades.

At the beginning of the trial, the prosecutor read the text of the indictment for one whole hour.

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The (potentially) dangerous Society for the Defence of Freedom of Expression

Three years ago a new organization calling itself the Society for the Defence of Freedom of Expression (Společnost pro obranu svobody projevu) has emerged in the Czech Republic that is claiming to defend free speech, but a closer examination raise red flags about several aspects of this group that it may be more focused on spreading disinformation under the guise of free expression. While protecting civil liberties is certainly laudable, here are some of the problems that skeptics see.

Problematic members
The founding members and advisors of the group have extensive ties to figures known for promoting pro-Russian propaganda and conspiracy theories. The society was founded in 2021 by figures like game developer Daniel Vávra and businessman Vlastimil Veselý. From the start, questions were raised about their true intentions. Vávra has a history of sharing discredited conspiracies and has shared misinformation from pro-Kremlin politician Václav Klaus Jr. in the past, while Veselý’s social media is rife with pro-Kremlin propaganda, COVID denialism, and attacks on democratic leaders and institutions. Advisory board members like Petr Drulák and Jana Zwyrtek Hamplová are well-known for parroting Russian talking points, such as denying war crimes in Bucha. Other advisors like Ivo Budil and Zbyněk Passer have spread conspiracies and supported pro-Russian candidates. Given these backgrounds, it is reasonable to question whether the group’s true aim is defending free speech or more about providing a platform for certain types of disinformation.

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Dental care for anyone! … for anyone with the right political attitudes

Although Prague-based dental clinic‘s homepage features a large sign that reads “We’re here for everyone,” a little further down it states that it does not provide treatment to people with certain political views it disagrees with:

Who we’re not for:
* For supporters of all totalitarian trends, Russian, Chinese, Muslim.
* For the followers of misinformation, manipulation, lies, intimidation and unfreedom.
* For the young Western progressive left, who, blissed out by their long life of freedom, abundance and progress (won for them by their parents and grandparents through endless hard work), are now discovering and promoting unrecognised and uncharted totalitarian ideals and the censorship and ostracisation of people with differing views leading to the destruction of individual freedoms and freedom of speech.
* For supporters of racism. Because only and only “All lives matter”.

As much as we can understand their position and also that medical care providers are free to express their own views – these same healthcare providers have a duty to treat all patients who choose them, regardless of patients’ opinions!

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(Not only) Christmas wishes

Dear friends, members, ladies, gentlemen and everyone else.
In this season of various holidays and traditions, we would like to wish you plenty of common sense, courage to explore, and mutual understanding. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Dongzhi, Shab-e Yalda, Kwanzaa, or any other significant moment, we wish you a peaceful and joyous holiday season.
The recent tragedy at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University reminds us of the fragility of human life, and the need to come together in an effort to understand and support each other.

May the Christmas season inspire you to respect diversity of opinion and the ability to find beauty in learning about the world together.
May your table be filled not only with a variety of goodies, but also with interesting debates and discussions.
May your holidays be filled with laughter and joy.

Atropos Skeptical Society wish you all well.

Statement ot the Atropos Skeptics Society on the activities of Dominik Duka

note: Originally this statement was intended only for the Czech audience, but we believe that Mr Duka is such a public figure that we should publish this statement here as well.

We are deeply concerned about the unceasing efforts of former Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka to influence public and political discourse in our country.

Mr. Duka has long been guilty of numerous excesses in his public appearances and actions, and his statements and attitudes promote intolerance, divide society, and constitute interference by the Church in the affairs of a democratic state.

Mr Duka has repeatedly shown that he clings to dogmas and hierarchies of power instead of the true Christian values of love, compassion and forgiveness. His rigid positions on abortion or homosexuality go against the tide of real moral progress for humanity.

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Cardinal Duka strikes again!

Dominik Duka, the former Archbishop of Prague, has řeč ently made more controversial statements that reveal his outdated and intolerant views.

In a Facebook post, Duka compared defenders of “traditional marriage” to victims of Nazism and Communism. He stated that people advocating exclusively heterosexual marriage face persecution akin to those oppressed by totalitarian regimes in the 20th century. This highly insensitive analogy appalled many, including the Jewish community.

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