An Argument For Gay Marriage And Against Traditionalism

I am puzzled by appeals to history to oppose gay marriage because history is only the story of what people have done and never of itself directly tells us anything about right or wrong.  Results of history can serve as warnings about effective and uneffective approaches to goal x or goal y but what people [Read More...]

Why Should Someone Else’s Faith Trump My Reason?

An excellent case for anti-theism from a Daily Dish reader: Though I would like to believe that I am a tolerant, open-minded person, it seems likely that I fall into the “anti-theist” category of atheists. I would not choose that label for myself, but it describes my attitude more or less. My strong feelings on [Read More...]

Atheism, Certainty, Mysticism, And Faitheism

In reply to Daniel Dennett’s attack on the supposed need for belief in belief, a Daily Dish reader writes: Something I find annoying about this atheist-believer dispute is that it all depends on what you mean by “god”. If you require the talking snake, then, yeah, Dennet rules, in my opinion. But if you are [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...]

Atheist Hope

From The Daily Dish (again), comes a superb reply to the charge that atheists live meaningless lives.  First the charge: So, yes, religion has to answer for the crusades.  And atheists have to answer for having no meaningful words of hope to provide in crisis. And then the reply: Excuse me? Just because the reader [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...]

Sex Change In Iran

Strangely, in a country with a government that outlaws homosexuality, transsexuals are allowed to change their sex.  A documentary on the subject: Thanks to The Daily Dish. [Read more...]

Seeing God Like Seeing Different Colors, Or How Beliefs Change The Brain

One of The Daily Dish readers posed an exceptionally provocative hypothesis: An interesting angle you haven’t mentioned concerns how belief systems concretely affect the development of the brain. People raised in cultures with distinct words for certain color tones see them more clearly than those in which just one word suffices (the most well-known example [Read More...]

Anti-Theism or Pro-Atheism?

A reader of The Daily Dish writes the following in reply to remarks by Andrew Sullivan’s under-blogger and temporary fill-in lead blogger, Patrick Appel: Almost every conversation about atheism on the Daily Dish seems to be confusing two very different sets of views — largely because both groups self-identify as atheists. I’m an atheist, and [Read More...]


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