“It’s amazing what some people will justify through their religion, isn’t it?”

Why should it be amazing that people who adhere to their religions sincerely actually adopt the regressive or militaristic values often explicitly attributed to their god or gods in their sacred writings themselves? Isn’t that what you would expect? That they would believe in and adopt the values of their sacred texts? Let’s stop equating religion with goodness just because religions say they are the arbiters of morality and its best promoters. [Read more...]

The Psychologies of Afterlife Beliefs

While some people are religious at least in part because they desperately want to believe in an afterlife that their religion promises them, not all religious people believe in an afterlife and not all those who believe in an afterlife are as blithely optimistic as the average contemporary American that of course they themselves will [Read More...]

Mr. Deity Meets Joseph Smith

In his newest Mr. Deity video, Brian Keith Dalton goes after his own former religion: Stick with the video after the credits for Brian’s account of what Dan Dennett is really like and to see a message to the Mr. Deity audience from numerous famous atheists (including our own PZ Myers) recorded at the Global [Read More...]

Contra de Botton: Religions Are NOT To Credit With Universalistic Humanistic Values

Alain de Botton’s chapter on community in his book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion is filled with half-baked thinking. After one-sidedly disparaging modern social life from numerous selective (and sometimes specious) angles, he goes on to model really effectively how not to try to learn from religion (Kindle Location 189): [Read more...]

CNN's Credulous Reporting on Catholicism

I’m watching CNN right now and cannot believe how thoroughly this report dispenses with all standards of journalistic evidence and detachment in presenting dubious miracle claims as straight facts with reasonable, undisputed evidence behind them. The first part of the report, which I wish I could find but CNN hasn’t seemed to put anywhere online [Read More...]

Before I Deconverted: I Dabbled With Calvinism In College (Everyone Was Doing It)

I’m writing a series of posts about my Christian upbringing and the philosophical and personal road to my deconversion. Often it is easy for atheists, especially for those who never were serious religious believers, to not understand how religious thinking works from the inside. What counts as evidence for or against theological propositions when you [Read More...]

Moral Offense Is Not Morally Neutral

A couple weeks ago I challenged the notion that everyone has the moral right to be offended by whatever they happen to feel offended by. I acknowledged, of course, that we do (and should) have the legal right to feel whatever feelings we do. But morally, I argued, we are not justified to take offense unless [Read More...]

TOP Q: What Does It Most Decisively Mean To Believe, Disbelieve, or Lack Belief?

Believing and not believing are not simple things. There are ways to cognitively believe, disbelieve, and refrain from believing. But functionally there are ways to effectively act as though one believed, disbelieved, or refrained from believing. There are at least two broad kinds of avowed atheists who take two distinct kinds of stances on the [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...]


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