Leaving FundamentalismMock the prophet, get mauled: Morality lessons with ACE
Do you know the story of Elisha and the bears? Don’t feel bad if not: it’s one of those Bible stories most Christians would prefer to gloss over. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins uses it as evidence that the Bible is barbaric. Christians who don’t believe the Bible is inerrant are quick to file [Read More...]
Notes Toward a New ChimeraHow Christians Find Themselves in the Same Moral Landscape as Sam Harris
Whether you’re an atheist or a True Believer™, the moral landscape is a rugged, confusing terrain. As moral hikers, we may be able to see a desired peak clearly in the distance, but as we traverse the topography from where we begin to where we’d like to end, we find that the journey is much [Read More...]
The Human AnimalThe phenomenon of 12-13-14
Facebook was all a-twitter with the consecutive date – 12-13-14. I was pleasantly surprised not to see end of the world conspiracy theories. Congrats to our more credulous friends on their restraint. But everyone seemed to be excited. ABC was excited to announce the birth of a baby at 10:11am 12/13/14. This year’s Army Navy [Read More...]
Ex-CommunicationsA Critical Distinction: Belief vs. Compliance.
Someone who deconverts--I mean fully deconverts, not just pulls away from practicing the religion--once had a very deep pool filled with what was likely a huge number of things that person thought were facts and foregone conclusions, talking points, and apologetics tricks. But over time (some folks have this happen all at once, but usually this process I'm describing takes months or years), bit by bit, the pool empties. A fact once considered rock-solid turns out to be completely untrue. A talking point once cherished turns out to be based on a fallacy.When a pool of belief empties, then belief withers away. Nothing is left in the pool. That's what disbelief is like. It's the state of having nothing in the pool. Fill the pool up, and belief surges forth, unstoppable. But empty it, and belief is completely impossible.
What Would JT Do (WWJTD)Fourteen year-old commits suicide rather than tell her parents she was a lesbian.
This breaks my heart. However, bear with me, because in this case it’s important we properly assign the blame: Elisabeth Lowe, known as Lizzie, had told her friends she may be gay, the Manchester Evening News reports. The 14-year-old’s friends said she was worried about telling her parents about her sexuality. One friend told the [Read More...]
Friendly AtheistBecause You Want to Put That Christmas Money to Good Use…
Foundation Beyond Belief has done so much over the past year. We began as a vehicle for Humanists to support great charities, but we've expanded so much over the past year. We've sent volunteers overseas to do "secular missionary work" (minus the proselytizing) as part of the Pathfinders Project. We've also created a large network of volunteers -- including on-the-ground disaster relief response when needed (Ed Brayton has more on that here).There's a small staff to oversee this work and keep everything running smoothly, and we could use your support to keep these projects going.
Love, Joy, FeminismRed Brown Yellow, Black and White: Evangelicals and Race
I grew up in a white evangelical home, hearing of missions and of spiritual equality. In fact, my parents very obviously believed they were combatting racism in teaching my siblings and I that God loved all peoples, and when they valued missions work and spoke of converting the whole world. And yet. And yet. Even as they taught us these things, they spoke of the darkness of other cultures and religions around the world and the problems of black culture in our own country. They thought they were inoculating me against racism, but in practice they were teaching me racism.
EpiphenomWhy are unfalsifiable beliefs so attractive?
Recently, Dr. John Wentworth, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued that regardless of future advances, science will likely never discover whether the supernatural exists. He said,”almost always, our research raises more questions than it answers, therefore the question of God’s existence just isn’t scientifically testable.” If you are religious, how does [Read More...]
Godless in DixieLeaving Your Faith Isn’t as Self-Flattering as You Think
[Today's guest post is written by Brian, aka "The Apostate," who writes at A Pasta Sea] I suspect that the very existence of apostates might be a bit of an inconvenience for Christians. Not all apostates obviously. Many fit the preferred narrative quite well. These are the folks raised in the church who “go astray” [Read More...]
Year Without GodI’m not bitter and I’m not rebelling
Every so often I get an earnest email from someone asking me to “look deep in my heart” and ask whether my current situation is just the result of being hurt by the church. I got one such email recently. Here are some excerpts. I would like to ask you to look deep into your [Read More...]
Cross ExaminedIn Which I Experience a Miracle. Or Not.
I’ll share with you a remarkable message from God to me ... or perhaps it was just a curious coincidence. You decide.
DanthropologyI watched the new Ken Ham Ark Encounter update video so you don’t have to
Well, today I decided I could give up 9-minutes of my life, 9-minutes I will never get back, all to watch Ken Ham's update on the Ark Encounter.The video is the latest in the company's PR push to ensure donors that their money is not all lost now that the park has lost the necessary tax incentive to actually complete the park.
Daylight AtheismThe Torture Report is America’s National Shame
The Senate has released a massive report on the torture of terrorism suspects under the Bush administration, and it’s as bad as many of us feared. We already knew some of the terrible things done in our name as Americans, but not the full extent. In fact, we still don’t know the full extent, since [Read More...]
Progressive Secular HumanistPat Robertson: Gays will ‘die out because they don’t reproduce’
In a stunning failure of common sense, 700 Club televangelist Pat Robertson predicts that gays “will die out because they don’t reproduce.” Earlier this week the 700 Club televangelist took a call from a woman complaining that her church forbids dating or marriage, and that even showing interest in the opposite sex is considered a [Read More...]