On Nihilism and Satanism

I'd like to write today about two stereotypes of atheism that are common among some quarters of religious apologists: that we are moral nihilists, recognizing no such concepts as right and wrong; and that we are Satanists who worship, or at least admire, the adversary power of monotheism. The atheists who advocate these concepts, rare though they are, are exploited by fundamentalists who use them to tar the rest of us.Is what I just wrote a contradiction? I don't think so. I find no … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses IX: Better Miracles than Jesus

To Christian believers, Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate and therefore possessed of omnipotent power. According to the Bible, he backed up this claim by doing many miracles while on earth - casting out demons, healing the sick and the crippled, calming storms, walking on water, producing food, and raising the dead. It would seem to be pure hubris for a lay believer to ever aspire to match such miraculous feats, much less entertain the unthinkable idea of surpassing them. But in fact, that's … [Read more...]

Why I Am Not a Communist

Last summer, I wrote a three-part post series, "Why I Am Not a Libertarian", which explained my disagreement with this political philosophy. However, I've realized that despite writing an essay addressing the crimes of communist regimes as they reflect on atheists, I've never written a post on my differences with communism per se. This one will do that.I have many objections to communism, not least of which is last year's news that, in Russia, the Communist party is now teaming up with the … [Read more...]

New Post on Dangerous Intersection

I've posted a new essay over on Dangerous Intersection, a review of Glenn Greenwald's latest book, Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics.This is an open thread. Comments and discussion are welcome. … [Read more...]

A Critique of the Learning Annex

The Learning Annex is a privately owned continuing-education school in New York. As a resident of New York City, I can testify to its success - its kiosks of free course catalogs are on nearly every street corner in Manhattan. It was founded in 1980 by Bill Zanker, who sold the company in 1991 and then repurchased it and resumed ownership in 2002. The 2007 Inc. 500, a list of the nation's fastest-growing private companies, ranked the Learning Annex at number 346 and said that it makes over $100 … [Read more...]

Wind and Water

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it."—Matthew 16:18 (RSV)The biblical metaphor of the church built on rock is interwoven throughout Christianity, used as a metaphor for the presumed stability and eternality of the faith. The Catholic church points to two thousand years of continuous tradition as proof that they are the rock in question, while other denominations cite their alleged correct … [Read more...]

Open Thread: A Christian Visitor

This is an open thread to address the comment below left by a Christian visitor. Replies are welcome; as always, let's have a civil discussion. … [Read more...]

A Letter to Jack Chick

Dear Mr. Chick,You probably don't know me, but I'm writing to send you my thanks. I used to be a hardcore, evil, godless atheist, but after reading some of your wonderful Christian fundamentalist cartoon tracts, I've realized just how wrong I've been. Now I know that there is a God who loves me and who died for my sins, and that his name is Jesus Christ. I also now understand that playing Dungeons & Dragons too much will lead to you being initiated into a witches' coven and taught how to … [Read more...]

Dawn of the Dead: Are Zombies Possible?

Inspired by a recent post on Philosophy, et cetera, I want to talk a little about zombies and what they imply for a materialist theory of the mind.When I say "zombie," I don't mean the shambling, flesh-eating undead of horror films. This thought experiment is about philosophical zombies, which are a different beast altogether. The philosophers' zombie is a hypothetical creature which, to all outward appearances, is indistinguishable from an ordinary human. The difference is that they lack … [Read more...]


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