Disambiguating Faith: Why Faith Is Unethical (Or “In Defense Of The Ethical Obligation To Always Proportion Belief To Evidence”)

A couple of weeks ago, I argued that there was a real distinction between “lacking a belief in any God or gods” on the one hand and “believing there is no God (or gods)” on the other hand.  Primarily I saw the heart of the distinction as resting with the difference between on the one [Read More...]

Freethinking Islamic Scholars

Amira Nowaira laments that well over a thousand years ago, Islamic scholarship had more room for rationalists than it seems to have today: Although many of those thinkers, according to Badawi, did not attempt to disprove the existence of God, they lashed out against the notion of prophethood and argued against the privileged position occupied [Read More...]

How PZ Myers Differs From Rush Limbaugh

Prometheus Unbound takes issue with PZ Myers: I certainly understand why people like PZ Myers’s style. It is easy and uncomplex, and impatient with nuance. It’s what makes Fox News so popular. And it may well draw a crowd of young people. Myers is ever on the ready to stir the shit. And he is [Read More...]

In Defense Of Mocking And Embarrassing Religion

Unreasonable Faith just profiled this interesting looking documentary on a tour of debates between Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson. In the comments section to that post, Custador wrote the following about Christopher Hitchens: Generally I find his demeanor to be too confrontational to be productive. It’s like he’s trying to embarasse theists into seeing reason. [Read More...]

Religion As A Morally and Politically Ambivalent Force

Two weeks ago, I profiled various remarks from Jerry Coyne for the incisive way they challenged assumptions that (1) religion is indispensable for moral progress, (2) that religion is even on balance usually an aid to moral progress, and (3) that moral progress is even something observable over the course of history.  Coyne’s remarks were written [Read More...]

For God or Morality? On Those Who’d Hold Morality Hostage For Faith

In his recent critique of Francis Collins, the Christian Evangelical and geneticist recently appointed by Obama to head the National Institutes of Health, Sam Harris referenced the slides from one of Collins’s speeches.  I want to take two posts (but possibly more if there are comments or if I otherwise have extra relevant ideas on [Read More...]

When (And How) Should We Bother To Push The Issues?

Njustus offers a probing challenge to my recent post in which I defend Daniel Dennett’s argument that atheists should stand up for atheism rather than take the attitude that the religious beliefs that they do not share are good for their neighbors and should be encouraged.  I argued that Dennett’s position is not “ideologically narrow” [Read More...]

How Atheists Can Avoid Other Fundamentalisms: By Focusing On Rationalism First And Foremost

I agree with this a whole lot (I most recommend the last link to PZ Myers’s assessment of Hitchens on war): The real-world implications of the “New Atheists” ideas are not insulated from the same dogmatism and intolerance that they decry. To get back to my original point about rationalism, the religious aspect is only [Read More...]

Should Freethinkers Give Up On Replacing Religious Rituals With Their Own?

In reply to a reader of The Daily Dish on the pitfalls of “freethinkers’ groups” that try to replace religious rituals with their own (about which I commented here), comes these two remarks on The Daily Dish: Your reader’s comment about “atheist Sunday school” is phenomenal, and gets right at one of the most important [Read More...]


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