Asking Richard Wade About How Atheists Should Respond to Alcoholics Anonymous, and How Personal Values Influence Professional Therapy

In three previous posts, the Friendly Atheist’sadvice columnist Richard Wade and I have discussed the origins of his “Ask Richard” column, the nature of family conflicts over atheism, and whether atheists should replace religious identities with self-consciously atheistic ones. Along the way, Richard compared religion to heroin.  In what follows I take that as an opening to [Read More...]

The Best Christian Ever

This video, from ABC’s show What Would You Do?, features an incredible gesture of altruistic human love which made me quite teary to watch. And it’s by someone inspired by Jesus. If only this was the sum of what following Jesus meant to people: Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Questioning Forgiveness

James K. McNulty discusses the downside to forgiveness: Despite a burgeoning literature that documents numerous positive implications of forgiveness, scholars know very little about the potential negative implications of forgiveness. In particular, the tendency to express forgiveness may lead offenders to feel free to offend again by removing unwanted consequences for their behavior (e.g., anger, [Read More...]

Lionel Tiger on the Neurochemical Incentives of Religion

Illuminating: Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

I Have Received An Open Letter

In reply to my post Why Atheists Should Not Give Up Challenging Theism And Theists (and to the subsequent overly-dramatic fallout in that post’s comments section), comes this “open letter” to me from GreenGeekGirl. I do not think I have ever received an open letter before (unless we count the one from that rabbi to the [Read More...]

Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die

The thoughts of Gregory W. Lester (as edited down by John W. Loftus) (okay, now I feel like calling myself Daniel W. Fincke): Because senses and beliefs are both tools for survival and have evolved to augment one another, our brain considers them to be separate but equally important purveyors of survival information….This means that [Read More...]

The Religious Conservative’s False Choice: “Big Brother” Or “Heavenly Father”

In an e-mail to me, Caroline proposes thought provoking reasons for non-believers to encourage (or at least to not actively discourage) religious beliefs: It would also be nice if people would carry out actions in good conscience of just being decent human beings rather than in fear of reprisal in the afterlife, but as there [Read More...]

RSA Animate Of Stephen Pinker, “Language As A Window Into Human Nature”

Fantastic, insightful, and intuitively correct stuff about why we bother to use innuendos and other forms of indirect language where the literal meaning of what we are saying is undisguisedly clear: Thanks to Shane. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

“If You Believe In God, You Have To Believe In The Devil”

Last summer there was a cheesy ad for the latest Exorcist film, and the tagline epitomized and exploited a key twist of twisted religious logic.  The film’s tagline was “If you believe in God, you have to believe in the devil.”  What’s the idea behind this?   [Read more...]


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