Against The Religiously Lazy Defenders of The Pious

Religious moderates and liberals come in many stripes. In this post I want to talk about a couple of related kinds of religious moderates or liberals and why they irk me. In order to do that, I want to draw some distinctions that I do not think I see anyone else making but which it [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...]

Why Don’t All Theists Uncertain of God’s Existence Call Themselves Agnostics?

Richard Dawkins was debating the Archbishop of Canterbury when this happened: There was surprise when Prof Dawkins acknowledged that he was less than 100 per cent certain of his conviction that there is no creator. The philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, who chaired the discussion, interjected: “Why don’t you call yourself an agnostic?” Prof Dawkins answered [Read More...]

Documenting the Nones

Richard Dawkins explains the reasoning behinds his recent efforts to find out just how seriously British citizens who identify as Christian take their faith: Some years ago, a colleague was admitted to hospital and a nurse came over to her bedside to fill in her personal form. “Religion?” “None.” Later, my colleague overheard a pair [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...]

No, Not Everyone Has A Moral Right To Feel Offended By Just Any Satire or Criticism

4 Misconceptions About the Nature of Offense Here are four common sense assumptions about giving and taking offense that I think are fundamentally mistaken and which atheists need to argue against: “You have every right to be offended, but you don’t have the right to censor others just because you’re offended.” “You cannot blame people [Read More...]

Happy Times

The Obama campaign commemorates 5 years since Obama announced for president. It’s political propaganda, of course, but boy is it some slick, professional, cutting edge advertising. And the consistency in tone with the ’08 campaign shows a remarkable feel for continuity of “branding”: So does this mean that the 2012 Obama campaign will be going, [Read More...]

Hell As The Absence of God

Robin: I know you don’t want to hear it, but Jesus loves you, Jaime. Jaime: Yes, yes, a man who either never existed or who is long dead and rotted by now loves me—and will torture me in hell forever if I don’t worship him, of course. Robin: He just wants you to love him but [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...]


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