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...]

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...]

Examining Some Alleged Divine Attributes

Jaime: Okay, so why do you believe that your god is a good explanation for the universe? Robin: Because everything that exists needs an explanation and the universe is no exception. Jaime: But then why doesn’t your god need an explanation? Aren’t we just headed for an infinite regress unless you just admit that something doesn’t need [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...]

Religious Privilege and Grievance-Based Catholic Identity Politics on Full Display

In a column last week, Melinda Henneberger criticized the Obama administration’s refusal to exempt the Catholic Church from requirements it provide for its employees health insurance which would cover birth control at organizations it runs which have secular functions. The column is an extraordinary exemplification of religious entitlement, identity politics, and anti-secular, anti-democratic demands for [Read More...]

God and Goodness

Robin: Look, I get it, Jaime. As an atheist, you think that God’s wisdom is foolishness, that God’s righteousness is wickedness, and that the bloody death of Jesus on the cross is hateful and ugly rather than the epitome of love and beauty that Christians like I think it is. The Bible makes it very [Read More...]

The Author of The Cranston High School Prayer Outraged

This week, Jessica Ahlquist and the ACLU won their court case against Cranston High School West in Rhode Island. The school was ordered to immediately remove a banner containing an official school prayer addressed to “Our Heavenly Father” and ending in “Amen”, which hung over the school gymnasium as an unambiguous endorsement of the Christian [Read More...]

Pascal Boyer on Imaginary Friends and Supernatural Agents

Sorry for the hiccup as the site was down, but now that we’re back up, the blogathon goes on! Onward to 9:00am! Reading Pascal Boyer’s frequently illuminating Religion Explained last fall, the single most interesting part for me was his discussion of imaginary friends. According to my mom I had countless imaginary friends as a [Read More...]


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