9 Vital Points About The Public Relevance of Political Candidates' Religious Beliefs

Last week, Bill Keller had a good piece in the New York Times in which he discussed the importance of “asking tougher questions about faith” to the presidential candidates and then offered to each of the current Republican candidates for president a set of specific questions, tailored uniquely to each candidate, about their faiths and their [Read More...]

Addressing Skepticism About Atheism's Value To Skepticism

In reply to my post last week about why atheism is important to advancing proper skepticism, Armchair Skeptic writes: You touch on some good points here. It would help, I think, if you start by defining what you consider to be “proper” skepticism; I didn’t really get a clear understanding of that from this post. [Read More...]

"And There Are No Christians In Med School"

I have an idea. In the future whenever you hear someone falsely say that there are no atheists in foxholes, don’t disagree with them. Don’t point out to them that this insults the bravery of countless non-theist soldiers by implying that without belief in God and an afterlife no one would ever courageously put his [Read More...]

Call Me A Freethinker

All week, Eric and I have been volleying back and forth about the proper places of skepticism, on the one hand, and metaphysics, on the other, in an atheist worldview and self-presentation. I have argued that placing an emphasis on an evolutionary metaphysics as the primary identifier of an atheist worldview would be perceived as [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: What About The Good Things People Call "Faith"? (Or "Why I Take Such A Strong Semantic Stand Against The Word Faith")

Goeff has an interesting reply to my post about how faith poisons religion.  In that post I talked about how religion is a vehicle for many people to get many good things.  Then I put the blame on faith for making it so religion does an inadequate job of providing those goods the best it [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: How Religious Beliefs Become Specifically *Faith* Beliefs

Faith is the deliberate will to believe, in advance of all future evidence and investigation, what one perceives to be either unsupported by evidence or even outright undermined by evidence. In this way faith is essentially a matter of will and not just belief.  Simply having a belief that is unsupported or undermined by evidence [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: How Faith Poisons Religion

There are many wonderful parts of life that billions of people experience through a religious framework, at least partially to their benefit. Spiritual experiences mean a lot to many people and many people interpret their spiritual experience within the symbols, concepts, rituals, metaphysics, and community of their religious group. Rituals enrich people’s lives by giving [Read More...]

What's REALLY Wrong With Religion?

As a college student, in my Christian days, I remember reading C.S. Lewis explain what made Christianity plausible to him.  He was persuaded that all the pagan myths that preceded the advent of Christianity were precursors of Christ.  The similarities between the Christ story and numerous myths that had gone before him were not the [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: How Just Opposing Faith, In Principle, Means You Actually Don't Have Faith, In Practice

Eric writes: Popular atheism in America celebrates versions of naturalism, materialism, empiricism, and so on, that are often based on weak arguments or even on no arguments at all. Popular atheism in America is already faith – and I’m sympathetic to the Christians who refer to it as such. Unfortunately, popular atheism is often just as [Read More...]


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