The Passing of a Loved One

Greta Christina recently lost her father. My father died on October 1, 2012, at the age of 79.My dad, like me, was an atheist. And when you’re an atheist and a non-believer, and the people you love die, you don’t get to tell yourself that they aren’t really dead. You don’t get to tell yourself that you’re going to see them again someday, in some hypothetical post-death existence that somehow both is and is not life. You have to accept that death is really permanent, and really final.This may … [Read more...]

A Basic Motivation for Atheism+ … and for Beta Culture

In his post "Value-free atheism," Justin Vacula focuses on the meaning of the word "atheism" — making the point, as do so many others, that it means only one thing. The argument seems to be coming often these days following the appearance of Atheism-Plus. Vacula says: … [Read more...]

First Person Revolutionary — Part 4

[ First read Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 ]All the civilizations I ever heard of had this in common: Somewhere right near each one’s heart was religion.It seems impossible to get away from. And yet it shouldn’t be. After all, it’s never been true that religion is ALL people do.And it’s not as if religion is food, or water, or air. It’s just this ... idea. Hideously embroidered, massively wrapped in confusing, fanciful language, aggressively forced upon people in their vulnerable years and momen … [Read more...]

First Person Revolutionary — Part 3

[ Read Part 1 and Part 2 ]The fatal flaw of atheism? Actually, it's a challenge atheism shares with religion. The difference between the two is that religion has found a solution.So let's talk about religion:The weedy form of religion, superstition, arises automatically in each mind all on its own, simply by virtue of our need to create private theories – often wildly personified due to our ability to detect “person-ness” in everything from smiley faces to wind in the trees – about how the … [Read more...]

First Person Revolutionary — Part 2

[ Read Part 1 first. ]Atheism (more broadly, freethought) isn’t new, of course. Just in this country alone, it’s as old as Thomas Paine (although Paine was a deist, he was widely accused of being an atheist, and I'm confident he would've been one of us if he lived in a society in which it was possible to actually think about such things), and has had its bright sparks all along the way, right up to Carl Sagan, who published The Demon Haunted World only 15 years ago. … [Read more...]

First Person Revolutionary — Part 1

Ever think about the revolutions in your life? The things that change, and change greatly, and then affect everything that comes after?Boy, I do.I’ll tell you a little one first, and then a big one, and then a maybe one.The Little OneThe little one – well, it might be a big one to you – is about music. … [Read more...]


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