Do The New Atheists Target Religion Too Broadly?

A reader at The Daily Dish has the following objection to the New Atheists: As an agnostic who sees all sides of this issue – brought up in a conservative Christian household, against which I rebelled, only to try to understand where they’re coming from, I can say that the main thing I object to [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...]

“Just Leave Us Our Fictions”

Patrick Appel objected to Dan Dennett’s recent piece in The Guardian countering those faitheists who do not actually have religious beliefs themselves but believe in the necessity of religious beliefs for others to achieve various social goods.  In reply, a reader wrote the following to him: Ironically, I don’t see any support in the quote [Read More...]

On The Alleged Intolerance Of The New Atheists Towards “Faitheists”

In reply to Daniel Dennett’s attack on “belief in belief”, Patrick Appel wrote the following: I consider myself an agnostic or pantheist depending upon how you define such labels but still have an acute nostalgia for my Catholic upbringing. I find the certainty of some atheists and most fundamentalists deeply grating. In reply, one of [Read More...]

Sympathies For The Religious

An hour or so ago, I explained my reasons for agreeing with Daniel Dennett’s recent attack on the “belief in belief.”  But Patrick Appel was less thrilled with Dennett’s piece.  Appel wrote: I consider myself an agnostic or pantheist depending upon how you define such labels but still have an acute nostalgia for my Catholic [Read More...]


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