Finishing Years

In a completely personal post, possibly of interest only to me, I reflect on my feelings about the new year and new years past. [Read more...]

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Ed Brayton’s Recovering From Open Heart Surgery and Could Use Our Help

One of the best people in the atheist blogosphere is recovering from open heart surgery while out of work and could use some help. [Read more...]

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Training Students To Think For Themselves

This summer a wise older philosophy professor was railing about being asked by his administration to specify for each of his courses what the “learning outcomes” would be. He was, essentially, being asked to indicate what the students were going to learn. He found the suggestion preposterous. He insisted he couldn’t know what the students were going to learn. His job was not to predetermine what the students were going to learn. He might know what the basic subject matters and materials of his courses would be; but what would the students learn from them? How could he know that in advance, if they were going to be thinking for themselves, rather than merely regurgitating information? [Read more...]

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Before I Deconverted: I Had a Bout of Right Wing Evangelical End Times Political Paranoia

Within the next year to a year and a half, a civil war was nearly certainly coming. We could see all the signs of impending government overreach. But there was hope if we resisted and hope that enough citizens would rise up to do so. We could stave off the U.N. takeover. We could keep our guns. We could keep our liberty. But we had to organize and be vigilant. [Read more...]

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Study Philosophy With Me In 2013

In 2013, I intend to start teaching students privately online for a much more affordable price than the average college class. I intend to help former religious believers interested in exploring the possibilities for reason-based answers to philosophical questions about the nature of ethics, knowledge, metaphysics, the mind, and the self. In particular I hope to spend [Read More...]

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Why I Write About My Deconversion

“I aim to make clear to Christians that I was one of them, that all my life was willingly committed to their God and that all my emotions were on the side of their God when my intellect was dissuaded against my will. I was not, as much as they want to assume, looking to leave Christianity, biased against Christianity, unable or unwilling to dutifully follow the rules of Christianity, disposed against the God of Christianity, unfamiliar with the most sophisticated philosophical or theological versions of Christianity, or unfamiliar with how wonderful Christians or Christian community could be. I had been there, done that, and despite wanting nothing more than to believe, I had found that I could no longer believe–either rationally or ethically. The best arguments for the faith had failed. The best arguments against it were overwhelming. And as a matter of intellectual and moral conscience, I could no longer believe fantastic claims that had the preponderance of rational evidence stacked overwhelmingly against them. I deconverted against my will.” [Read more...]

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Fordham Repudiates Ann Coulter

me in my Fordham robes, upon receiving my PhD

As an outspoken atheist and critic of religious beliefs and institutions, I have had nothing but positive experiences with Fordham University as a place of inclusiveness, civility, and academic freedom during my years there as a graduate student and professor. So I was worried when I learned Ann Coulter, a terrible opponent of so many of Fordham’s most admirable values, had been invited to speak on campus. [Read more...]

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After My Deconversion: I Refuse To Let Christians Judge Me

I explain my former Christianity and my reasons for abandoning it in depth, in order to make clear why I get so indignant at Christians who flippantly speculate about the “real” reasons I deconverted. [Read more...]

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After My Deconversion: Avoiding The Abuser’s Dialectic (Or “My Nietzschean Lion Stage of Indignation”)

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Usually when I lose my temper, I am not proud of it afterwards. But a particular pair of temper tantrums I threw in graduate school revealed to me something important about my own self-understanding and my sense of dignity.

But I also am very leery of falling prey to what I here dub “The Abuser’s Dialectic”. I would rather achieve a sort of Stoic overcoming of emotions that are reactive to others and, in that way, extensions of others’ abilities to control us, manipulate us, and make us into them. [Read more...]

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