When (And How) Should We Bother To Push The Issues?

Njustus offers a probing challenge to my recent post in which I defend Daniel Dennett’s argument that atheists should stand up for atheism rather than take the attitude that the religious beliefs that they do not share are good for their neighbors and should be encouraged.  I argued that Dennett’s position is not “ideologically narrow” but is simply equivalent to a political partisan, say a Democrat, demanding that his fellow Democrats not take the attitude that their neighbors are better… Read more

Does Faith Make You An Idiot?

In reply to my recent posts on atheism and fundamentalism, a friend writes to me privately: Alright, first of all, I won’t pretend to have read everything with the thread or understand it all, but I do think I grasp the basic argument: Is it moral for atheists to try to get others to conform to their views, or is this acting in the same way that atheists criticize fundamentalists? I think the evolution point is valid. To sit around… Read more

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 thought in the past means very little to me unless there are still good reasons to think it.  Historically speaking, as far as I can… 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 this matter come from two main observations: Just because something is possible does not make it probable. I believe that it’s possible advanced aliens exist… Read more

Muslim Women’s Freedom To Marry

Thanks to the Atheist Media Blog Your Thoughts? Read more

Where Crayons Come From

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Daily Hilarity: Fire

A saying I heard from a friend on Facebook: “If you set a fire for a man, he is warm for one night. If you set a man on fire, he is warm for the rest of his life.” Read more

I’ll Never Look At Peanut Butter The Same Way Again

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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 some sort of mystic or pantheist and you experience that as “faith,” then the the naivete of Dennet’s arguments is indeed grating. The exquisitely beautiful,… 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 the one most pertinent to today’s issues. Hitler came to power on a wave of nationalism, and the strains of communism have brought about more… Read more

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