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...]

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...]

The Root of Transcendence

As an atheist, you hear it all the time – the in-your-face assertion that Humans are “wired for God.” We believe in gods, we’re told, because it’s natural to us. Because we have something in us that NEEDS a god or gods. Maybe because it carries some evolutionary advantage, so we evolved to have it.The conclusion, in the mind of any faith-professing Christian, is that we’re this way because there really is a god, or at least some sort of “something bigger out there somewhere” that makes it so. … [Read more...]

Donald Trump & The Adaptive Limit

I've recently been toying with the idea that each of us has an "adaptive limit."The adaptive limit is that point at which growth and change becomes impossible.Some people are flexible and adaptable for almost their entire lives. They're the ones who can take on new ideas, new thoughts, new viewpoints, and not get bent out of shape by them. They can hear arguments that don't agree with their own and calmly consider them. They can be creative, they can change and grow.Others have a … [Read more...]

Yew Cain’t Trust Yore Lyin’ Eyes

Watch this video:I've been seeing optical illusions like this for something like 60 years, and the never-fail tagline is always "You can't trust your eyes!" The thing is always presented as a profound scientific lesson in human perception.But it's SLANTED science, science with a somewhat false editorial built into it, the whole aimed at achieving a little funhouse-type prank on the viewer. When I figured this out 30 or so years back, when I understood the REAL lesson, I stopped being … [Read more...]