A Reflection on Hope

Last year, around the time I inaugurated my Poetry Sunday series, I contacted Prof. Philip Appleman to ask for permission to reprint some of his work which I'd seen in Freethought Today. He graciously assented to my request, and even said a few kind words about "The Gods", my own brief foray into free verse, which I had the brashness to ask for his opinion on.He called my poem "hopeful," which was an honor to me, but there was one other thing he said which I've been dwelling on - that he was … [Read more...]

On the Morality of: Abortion

Although abortion is stereotyped as the most controversial and divisive social issue there is, I think the moral issues at stake are actually fairly unambiguous. This installment of "On the Morality Of" will explain why.Pared down to its essence, the moral question posed by abortion is a simple one: is an unborn fetus a human being, with all the moral rights and protections that pertain thereunto; or is it a non-human, an assemblage of cells, the existence of which may be terminated without … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Today's Poetry Sunday features a few selections from the American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Wilcox was born in 1850 in Wisconsin and soon acquired renown as a poet, becoming well-known for her writing by the time she graduated high school. Her poems were resolutely plain and optimistic, and though her simple, sometimes singsong verse was often scorned by critics, during her lifetime she was immensely popular among the public. Among the best-known quotes from her poetry are "Love lights more … [Read more...]

The View From the Ground

Over the past two months, I've written about the differing epistemologies of religion - where the individual's personal conviction is taken as a reliable guide to truth ("The Aura of Infallibility") - and science - where the assumption is that individuals are fallible and should work as a group to correct each other in a spirit of free inquiry ("Self-Correction").The question I now want to turn to is this: How does a lay person tell the difference? Why should people who are not particularly … [Read more...]

And We're Back

If you're seeing this post, then you've made it back! This is Daylight Atheism at its new, and hopefully much faster, host. Thanks for your patience. Regular updates will resume shortly.I do have a request to make of my readers. Until the move, I hadn't upgraded WordPress since I first set up Daylight Atheism in 2006. I figured, since the move was happening anyway, it was about time I got around to doing that long-overdue software update.As it turns out, the designers had introduced just … [Read more...]

Important Note: Site Transfer

Given the patently unsatisfactory response of my hosting company to the recent slowness issue, I've begun preparations for moving Daylight Atheism to a new host. The DNS transfer will begin soon, and while it's in progress, my domain name may not function for a day or two. If this happens, don't fret. The site will be back up (and hopefully much faster), probably by the end of the week. I'll post updates in this thread for as long as the domain name still works. … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Site Slowness Redux

Survey time: Has the slowness problem of the past two weeks gone away or are you still experiencing it?After some back-and-forth, my hosting company claims to have fixed the problem, and it does seem substantially better on my end. Have you all noticed the same? … [Read more...]

On Presuppositionalism

In "Unmoved Mover", I wrote about the presuppositional argument used by some modern Christian apologists. In this post, I want to say some more about presuppositionalism.The presuppositionalists have a point in this sense and in this sense only: a worldview is worth being held only if it is possible to reason consistently from that worldview given its own starting principles. If those principles lead inevitably to their own negation, then that worldview is self-contradictory and must be … [Read more...]

Regulate Psychics? Hell, Yes!

Via Reuters, a story out of the U.K. that made me very happy indeed: British "psychics" are protesting a new consumer-protection law which they fear will require them to offer actual proof of their alleged powers.The law currently in force in this area is the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951, which does in fact make it illegal to fraudulently claim to possess psychic or clairvoyant powers. But the key word is "fraudulently" - meaning that any enterprising prosecutor would have to prove that not … [Read more...]

The Arrogance of the Miraculous

This past Tuesday, a DC-9 jetliner crashed on takeoff in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After failing to lift off, the plane crashed and burst into flame on the ground. Among the passengers were the Mosiers, a family of Seventh-Day Adventist missionaries. With the help of other passengers, they forced open a door and escaped as smoke filled the stricken plane's cabin. The Mosiers' 3-year-old son Andrew suffered a broken leg, but other than that, they got out with only bruises. … [Read more...]


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