The Dangers of Religion Itself

Salvaging Religion In this post I am going to explore the dangers of religion. For some context, I have written often that I think that there are good things that go by the name religion that atheists should try to salvage from authoritarians, irrationalists and bigots. I am generally optimistic about the idea that we [Read More...]

My Thoughts On Eric's Wicca and Atheism Experiment

In early December, after juggling 9 classes and a daily blog all semester, I got sick. Eric Steinhart, a previous guest contributor on the blog, stepped in and has been the primary blogger on the site for one month now. He has discussed possible connections between atheists and Wiccans. Thursday was my first day where [Read More...]

Answering Greta: My Goals As An Atheist Writer

In order to deal with the questions of whether we should argue with religious believers or insult and mock religions, Greta Christina raised question of what the atheist movement should be aiming at. If we adequately define our goals, then we can assess what is or is not counter-productive to achieving them. I agree with Greta [Read More...]

Christopher Hitchens and Freethinking Parenting At Its Best

One of our last, and by far the most touching, videos we have of Christopher Hitchens comes from the Texas Freethought Convention this past October. Watching him with the charmingly and precociously smart little girl in the video, he is downright grandfatherly: Mason was interviewed afterward: Why did you decide it was important to ask [Read More...]

If You Don’t Believe In Objective Values, Then Don’t Talk To Me About Objective Scientific Truth Either

I recently argued that when any of us act, we must act for reasons. When acting for reasons we must decide that the end we pursue is the best, most worthwhile, goal to pursue and that the action we take in order to achieve that goal is the most suitable one. I should also add [Read More...]

Why Bother Blaming People At All? Isn't That Just Judgmental?

Before moving on to addressing the question of when it is right or wrong to get offended, let me quickly address a certain attitude that arises a lot in response to my posts on morality. I sense in the tone of a lot of comments I get in general that there is a fear of [Read More...]

On Not-Pologies, Forgiveness, and Gelato

Kinds of Forgiveness Let’s start with the theoretical. How should we characterize forgiveness, and when and why should we forgive people? Full forgiveness involves three things: 1. Waiving all just moral and/or legal penalties, including all forms of restitution and compensation, that we would normally demand for wrongdoing. 2. Restoring amicable emotional, social, and/or professional [Read More...]

Calling Out And Debunking William Lane Craig's Smears Against Infidels and Apostates

Is William Lane Craig a philosopher? Some atheists seem to want to dismiss him as strictly a theologian and in no way a philosopher but sometimes he clearly attempts to make strictly philosophical arguments. By strictly philosophical arguments I mean ones whose premises make no necessary appeal to any presumed religious authorities but theoretically could [Read More...]

Atheists Perceived As Less Trustworthy Than Rapists??

I may have underestimated in the past just how bad misperceptions of us are: Consider one of the experiments. One hundred and five students read a brief vignette about a man who fails to take responsibility when he hits a parked van with his car, and then pockets money from a wallet he finds on [Read More...]

Thinking According To Scale

PZ and Crommunist offer nice denunciations of the significance of a graphic which has been going around the internet which concludes that the chance of any given individual alive today ever existing was 1 in 102,685,000.  Below the fold is the graphic, key snippets of their remarks and the lesson to draw for how we should consider [Read More...]