Why I Bother Writing About the Boring Question of Whether Religious Beliefs Are True

Alain de Botton has caused a stir in the atheist blogosphere, and particularly here at Freethought Blogs, with his new book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. More specifically he caused waves with his article on CNN , which is heavy on selections from the book, and which begins as [Read More...]

New Atheism Is A Moral Movement

Last night I argued that when fundamentalist religious people, out of an inflated sense of privilege, demand that no one never offend them, that atheists should challenge the moral rightness of the fundamentlists’ specific, hypersensitive, unwarranted feelings of offense. I argued we should do this rather than indiscriminately defend the right to morally offend people [Read More...]

Sex and "Spirituality"

Casey: Sigh, Pat. It seems like there is nowhere in this culture we can escape the pernicious influence of religion. Pat: What are you thinking of in particular? Casey: I’m thinking of the way that even some of the most “sex-positive”, taboo-breaking, kink-celebrating, sexually liberated people I know still cannot enjoy the pure physicality of sex [Read More...]

Can Utilitarians Properly Esteem The Intrinsic Value of Truth?

The Obvious Intrinsic and Instrumental Values of Truth It is prejudicial and fallacious to assume that the world is an inherently just place and that all the traits we idealize as virtues will always lead to the best possible outcomes. So if we are to be honest and realistic in assessing those traits which are [Read More...]

Tyler Cowen, Socrates, and How To Be Suspicious of Stories

This is a funny, insightful, and thought provokingly paradoxical 16 minute must-see talk from Tyler Cowen, wherein he talks about the dangers of both believing and telling ourselves stories and narratives. He details numerous of the ways that stories exploit and exacerbate our cognitive biases. I won’t repeat his numerous gems below but to explore [Read More...]

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...]


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