How to Think Critically VII: Risk Assessment

Given that this is an atheist site, I feel compelled to start this post with a snappy anti-religion quip, so here it is: Children and teenagers are more likely to be molested or assaulted in church than they are on social networking sites like MySpace. Parents, do you want to protect your kids? Keep them home on Sundays and send them to the computer instead!But it wouldn't be fair to leave it at that. This statistic doesn't prove the inherent riskiness of going to church. What it proves is … [Read more...]

Think for Yourself

In one of his "My Answer" columns, Billy Graham replies to a correspondent who doesn't see the need for organized religion:Don't make up your own ideas about God, but understand from the Bible who He really is, and commit your life to Christ."Don't make up your own ideas" - this is Billy Graham's advice to the seeker. Instead, presumably, we should read the Bible and believe exactly what it says, without bringing any of our own imagination or independent thought to the subject.My friend … [Read more...]

Tainted Icons

More than most other belief systems, organized religion emphasizes tradition and continuity with the past. The historical figures who founded today's prominent churches are considered larger-than-life and thought of as possessing uncommon character and virtue. This is probably because religion is widely equated with morality; given this mistaken assumption, it follows that very religious people must also be very moral.But in fact, the opposite is true. Just as with the character of Jesus, many … [Read more...]

The Contributions of Freethinkers: Verdi

Today, I'm inaugurating another new post series on Daylight Atheism, "The Contributions of Freethinkers". The purpose of this series will be to dispel the myth that nonbelievers have never contributed anything of worth or value to human culture by highlighting some famous historical atheists and freethinkers who've left their mark. Whether in the arts, the sciences, or the humanities, all are eligible. The subject of my first post in this series will be the famous nineteenth-century Italian … [Read more...]

Shattering the Myth of Mother Teresa

In all the universe of religious experience, few figures are so beloved as the Catholic nun known to the world as Mother Teresa. The official biography holds that she selflessly devoted her life to ministering to the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta, suffering through poverty and deprivation nearly as great as that of her patients without complaint, and asking no reward except the knowledge of doing God's will. She was a beloved figure to millions and a trusted counselor to powerful … [Read more...]

Evolution and the Problem of Evil

In the opening chapter of The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins penned the following words:An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable … [Read more...]

Daylight Atheism in the News

I just have to boast: I'm on TV!Well, sort of, anyway. Daylight Atheism commenter RiddleOfSteel has brought to my attention this clip, in which Richard Dawkins is interviewed for the Canadian TV program The Agenda. As we all know by now, my essay "The New Ten Commandments" is quoted in Dr. Dawkins' book The God Delusion, and about halfway through the clip (at around 4:10), the interviewer reads one of my ten commandments verbatim.That being said, I have to raise a substantial objection to … [Read more...]

Sharing the Kook Mail

For whatever reason, I don't get as much entertaining e-mail from religious nuts as some other atheist bloggers I know of. If I were inclined to flatter myself, I'd say it's because they're silenced by the devastating power of my arguments. More likely, it's just because most of the notorious crazies haven't come across my site.In either case, crackpot e-mail in my inbox is sufficiently rare that when I do get e-mail from genuine kooks, I can't keep it to myself. I just have to share it with … [Read more...]

Further Thoughts on Abortion

Last month's post on the morality of abortion generated - as one might have expected - a wide variety of impassioned responses. Happily, the debate remained mostly civil, which is a rarity when it comes to this issue and one that's entirely due to the thoughtful, rational commenters here at Daylight Atheism.There were several issues I didn't get into in that post, since I wanted to focus on the core issue of whether and under what circumstances obtaining an abortion can be judged a moral or … [Read more...]

New Post on Dangerous Intersection

I've put up a new post on Dangerous Intersection, "The traditional media is dying".This is an open thread. Comments and discussion are welcome. … [Read more...]


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