Connecticut Shooting: Warm Lies, Cold Truth, Free Minds

This is a reaction to some of the goddy rhetoric surrounding the shooting in Connecticut:Even as an atheist good with words, I can barely express how repulsive I find the claim that those children are in Heaven, skipping along beside Jesus as he gives them a tour of Heaven. Yet we’ve heard exactly that, and more than once.When I posted on Facebook a day or so ago about a mental image related to the tragedy, one of my readers told me she almost threw up when that same image came to her: the p … [Read more...]

Asking a Bit of Support for a Fellow Warrior

Another unfortunate hit to our beloved Greta Christina: I have some more news of the crappy variety. It’s not as alarming as it’s going to sound: it’s probably going to be fine in the long run, and even in the medium run. So even though your first reaction may be alarm, try to not go there if you can avoid it. But I want to fill you in. And I’m going to ask you for some help.The bad news is that I was just diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I got the initial biopsy results Saturday, and met wit … [Read more...]

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...]


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