Beta Culture: Honoring the Fallen … of Science

I'm not a big fan of that pro-military, jingoistic "Support the troops" and "Freedom isn't free" crap, mainly because it compresses a very complex situation down to a simplistic slogan, with an added "with us or against us" flavor. When I visit Washington DC, I'm always impressed with how MANY memorials there are glorifying war, how few there are -- zero -- glorifying peace.Also, in counterpoint to the two national holidays we have honoring soldiers, I've suggested a national holiday, SALT … [Read more...]

Well … Wow.

President Trump, with A GOP Senate and House, in Washington DC.Yes, I'm joking about the game of Clue, and what looks like the murder of America.I suppose I should feel worse, but ... I already think civilization is coming to an end. I thought it would be in about 2030, but it looks like things are speeding up. One wonders if those women who ask the police for protection from abusive husbands feel one small moment of satisfaction -- "See? I TOLD them he'd come here and kill me!" -- in … [Read more...]

The Death of My Dad, Five Years On

Daniel Franklin Farris, b. March 22, 1934, d. Nov. 6, 2011I'm writing a piece for American Atheist with the working title "The Idea of Souls," in which I look into some of the civilization-wide cost of believing in ensoulment. The writing of it coincides with the 5-years-ago-today death of my surrogate Dad. What follows is a feelings-level reaction to dealing with that anniversary.This is an atheist -- me -- grappling with the death of a loved one. Nothing in atheism says we don't feel … [Read more...]

What’s That Sound? Oh, Shofars. Cool. Now Everything Will Be Better.

Someday I'm going to write a long, detailed piece about something I call "the 180-degrees-opposite thing." Religion is mostly based on it. Once you become an atheist, you see it everywhere.For instance: Rather than "Yeah, it's sad, but people die. They just stop existing." it's "Oh no, death is just the beginning! We live on! We live on FOREVER! In paradise! With all our loved ones!"Yeah, like that -- 180 degrees opposite reality.So here's this:  Sound the Shofars in the Nation's … [Read more...]

Surprise! —Trump Supporter Dishonesty

I saw this on Facebook.I replied to it: 1) Nobody is "rigging" an election. If that were possible, don't you think the Democrats would CONTROL Congress? (Also, "the fix" is not in for the Clintons. If the fix was in, they never would have impeached Bill Clinton.)2) The FBI is not "reopening an investigation into Clinton." The messages were neither sent by nor received by Clinton, did not appear on any computers used by Clinton, did not involve Clinton, and contained no classified … [Read more...]

White Whine in the Sunset

I'm not liking the fact that the Trump candidacy has set off this sneering assault on White Men.Yeah, I get it that there are a certain number of Trump supporters -- "white" men -- out there who are making some bad decisions this election cycle.But there are a lot of OTHER white men -- I suspect a majority -- who are kind, decent, intelligent, diligent, respectful, generous and caring. I know a LOT of them. (This does not mean they will agree with you on every possible thing you believe, … [Read more...]