The Language of God: Ultimate Meaning

The Language of God, Chapter 2By B.J. MarshallIn this section, Collins poses the questions of whether the near-ubiquity of the search for the existence of a supernatural being represents "a universal but groundless human longing for something outside ourselves to give meaning to a meaningless life and to take away the sting of death" (p.35). The search for meaning in one's life is an important question, but I don't think the search for the divine stops there. We have a curious approach to … [Read more...]

On the Uses of Ridicule

I've told you all the story of how I became an atheist. But I've never written about what came before that: what made this a topic of interest for me, what first motivated me to think about these issues at all. Well, today I want to tell that part of the story.This was around my last year of high school. I was surfing Internet chat rooms when I saw someone in one of them give an offhand reference to the site Things Creationists Hate by Bob Riggins, a sarcastic list of things that contradict … [Read more...]

Atheist Apps for Android

So, I've finally joined the 21st century by buying my first ever 3G smartphone, a Motorola Droid 2. I've been getting a lot of use out of it and I'm happy with the network coverage and connection speed so far. There's also the Android Market, which lists thousands of user-developed applications you can download, everything from games and news readers to compasses and metal detectors (no kidding).I do have one important complaint, though. There aren't nearly enough atheist-themed apps!The … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

• President Obama signs a law to fight British libel tourism by barring such judgments from being enforced in the U.S.• My esteemed guest author, Sarah Braasch, has an article in the latest issue of The Humanist on the French burqa ban.• After a scary brush with mortality, everyone's favorite squid-loving atheist professor is back in action. Visit his blog and leave some get-well-soon comments!• Did a Catholic priest carry out an IRA bombing? And if so, did the church … [Read more...]

The Ingratitude of American Theocrats

When America's founders ratified the Constitution, they created something that arguably had never existed in the world before: a republic where freedom of religion was explicitly enshrined in the charter, where toleration wasn't just the whim of a benevolent ruler but the immutable law of the land. As George Washington wrote in his famous letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport:It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that … [Read more...]

Ending Religious Discrimination in Adoption

There's welcome news out of the U.K. this week: the government-established Charity Commission has ruled that the adoption agency Catholic Care must abide by anti-discrimination laws and therefore may not refuse to consider same-sex couples as prospective parents:The Charity Commission... ruled that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is a "serious matter" because it "departs from the principle of treating people equally", and that religious views cannot justify such bias … [Read more...]

The Language of God: A Doubtful Belief

The Language of God, Chapter 2By B.J. MarshallCollins starts off this chapter noting that, if we've followed him this far, we've no doubt begun to form numerous objections. That's an understatement to be sure! He gives us some of his own: Isn't belief in God just a case of wishful thinking? Hasn't a great deal of harm been done in the name of religion? How could a loving God permit suffering? How can a serious scientist accept the possibility of miracles? We'll upack those questions in a few … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Mandala

Street art, Manhattan, June 2010. Photo by the author. Camera details: Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS. Click for larger version. … [Read more...]

Why Atheists Should Be Feminists

I've been writing since the beginning of Daylight Atheism about the unique ways that religion harms women. Although men have also suffered innumerable harms from religious beliefs, they're not singled out, treated as an underclass uniquely deserving of condemnation, the way that women are in almost every major religion's sacred texts. That's why I wrote in posts like 2006's "Religion's Harm to Women":There is only one realistic way to end religion's harm to women, and that is to cut it off at … [Read more...]

Strange and Curious Sects: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

When a new sect with strange and unfamiliar beliefs bursts onto the scene, it almost invariably meets with hostility (most of it from the old sects with strange and familiar beliefs). And depending on the nature of the newcomer, there are two common responses. It may stress its own virtue and righteousness all the more strongly, wearing its persecution as a badge of pride. Or it may become bitter and apocalyptic, denouncing its enemies as God's enemies and warning of a day of reckoning. Those … [Read more...]


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