The Illusion of Balance

The founding fathers of the United States of America wrote freedom of the press into the very first amendment of the Bill of Rights. As their own quotes and records show, they did this because they felt that a free, independent press was one of the most vital checks on the power of government, and the only way to impart to ordinary citizens the information they need to be responsible decision-makers in a democracy such as ours.In the United States of America today, the press has failed that … [Read more...]

A Happy Birthday Wish

I realize this has been an eventful day on Daylight Atheism, but it's come to my attention that today is also a very special day, one that I'd be remiss if I failed to commemorate.From the Freedom from Religion Foundation's daily Freethought of the Day e-mail bulletin:On this date in 1949, Dan Barker was born in California. His father, Norman Barker, a talented trombonist, played with Hoagy Carmichael, and has a cameo with Judy Garland in the movie "Easter Parade." Dan, who became a … [Read more...]

Popular Delusions II: Talking to the Dead

One of the most widespread delusions of our society is the belief in self-proclaimed psychic mediums who assert that they can speak to the spirits of the dead. John Edward, Sylvia Browne, James van Praagh, and Allison Dubois are some of the most popular, and command considerable fame and wealth for their alleged abilities, attracting attention such as prime-time TV shows, best-selling books, and personal consultations for which they charge hundreds or thousands of dollars per hour.However, so … [Read more...]

Cleaning House

I've been aware of The Raving Atheist since before I created Daylight Atheism. For a time, his was one of the few atheist blogs I read regularly. However, I gradually soured on him, and by the time I had created this blog, I had decided that on balance he was a detriment rather than a credit to the cause of atheism, and resolved never to link to him.There were several reasons for this. First of all, I strongly disliked his abrasive and arrogant tone. As readers of this site and of Ebon Musings … [Read more...]

CAP Alert Reviews I

Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers and interested lurkers, I'd like to introduce you all to a group that holds a unique place in my memories: the ChildCare Action Project, or CAP for short.I mentioned in a previous post, A Personal Journey to Atheism, that one of the last things I did before confirming myself as an atheist and humanist was to seek out an evangelical Christian group and invite them to present their best case to me. Well, now you know the other half of the story: CAP was that … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Libertarianism

The Politics of Atheism posts back in April inspired a healthy debate with several regular commenters who advocate a libertarian political philosophy. One of the major claims of this philosophy, defended both on this blog and by prominent libertarians such as Timothy Sandefur, is that "taxation is theft" and that any taking of property from any individual, by the government or by anyone else, without that individual's consent is an immoral act even if done with the best of intentions.I … [Read more...]

Why Michael Newdow Loves America

Allow me to be the first person to offer Michael Newdow a oneway ticket (coach, please) out of the United States and leave him with the words of Southern outlaw music group Lynyrd Skynyrd: "I hope Mr. Newdow will remember, a Southern man don't need him around anyhow". —http://www.herald-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060204/OPINION/602040306/1034In 2002, the "notorious atheist" Michael Newdow won a major court victory. The federal Ninth Circuit court ruled that the 1954 … [Read more...]

Atheism as a Positive Worldview

In a previous post, Shattering Stereotypes, I discussed ways in which atheists can clear away the noxious stereotypes about us that are spread by religious groups and that hinder our ability to get our message across. That is the vital first step in speaking effectively on behalf of atheism. But once we have cleared that ground of the thorns and thistles of stereotypes, we must decide on what to build there. Again, we nonbelievers will achieve more if we speak in unison - if we agree on a plan … [Read more...]

Movie Review: The Da Vinci Code

I recently had an opportunity to see The Da Vinci Code, the movie based on Dan Brown's novel that alleges a sensational plot by the Catholic church to cover up the truth about the origins of Christianity.First things first: Yes, I did enjoy the movie, and I do recommend it. Without a doubt, its plot mixes historical fact, speculation and pure fantasy in a slipshod way, and anyone who believes events literally happened that way is taking it far too seriously and giving it credibility that it … [Read more...]

New on Ebon Musings: The Great Sage's Visit

A new essay, "The Great Sage's Visit", has been posted on Ebon Musings. The article poses the question of how people would react if some of the moral atrocities typical of the Bible and other holy books instead appeared in the writings of a human held up as a high authority on ethics.This is an open thread. Comments and feedback are welcome. … [Read more...]


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