New on Salon: The Rise of the New Atheists

Well, here's an announcement! My first-ever original article for Salon has just been published, "Rise of the new atheists: Should non-believers make an alliance with religious progressives?" In it, I discuss the meteoric growth of nonbelief in America, why the so-called New Atheists think it's a legitimate and useful tactic to criticize all religion equally, and whether and how we should make alliances with religious progressives to advance political goals we have in common. If you're a regular … [Read more...]

We Have an Unfair Advantage

When it comes to debating the merits of religion, we atheists have an unfair advantage. Lately, almost every day when I go to work, there are Jehovah's Witnesses in the subway station. I see them in the morning and the evening, two or three of them sitting on folding chairs in the sweltering, grimy heat, holding up Watchtower magazines and pamphlets to the rush of disinterested commuters. I think I've seen someone engage them maybe once or twice, either to talk or to debate, but 95% of the time … [Read more...]

An Interview with Anna Dagmar

A few weeks ago, I posted a video of "Satellite," the first single from Anna Dagmar's newest album of the same title. I first saw her play at a concert on Long Island, and not only did I love the song, I thought the subject matter would make it perfect to feature on my blog. I contacted her to ask a few questions about the song and the album, and she agreed to an interview. But if you haven't heard the song yet, do that first - it's gorgeous!Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you … [Read more...]

How to Ruin Your Moral Authority

On Tuesday, Monsignor William Lynn, former secretary of clergy for the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was sentenced to three to six years in prison for his role in shielding pedophile priests from the law and reassigning them to positions where they could harm more children. At least one boy suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, Edward Avery, whom Lynn assigned to duty in the boy's parish without warning any of the parishioners, despite knowing that Avery had a history … [Read more...]

The Best Ways to Ask for Money

(more info here)The majority of paper mail I get is from people asking me for money. Political candidates from every state, advocacy groups, seemingly every charity under the sun, museums, parks, orchestras, even religious groups. But probably the most surprising solicitation I've gotten to date was a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee, asking me to give them money to support the American team. Since when are the Olympics a charity? As politically engaged as I am, even I tend to … [Read more...]

When You Think Atheist, Think Daylight Atheism

Just a quick note: I've been interviewed for the latest episode of Think Atheist Radio, which is now available for download and podcasting. In the interview, we chat about the arguments against God's existence, the basis for godless morality, the importance of the secular community - and, of course, my book. If you've had your fill of reading what I write and would rather hear me talk, check it out! … [Read more...]

Dinosaur Weather

I usually write optimistic posts. This is going to be a scary one. I apologize in advance. While I was in Columbus last month, I mentioned the furnace-like heat. Well, it wasn't just me. In what's becoming an annual tradition, heat records are being broken all across the country. And it's not just hot, it's dry: more than 80% of the continental U.S. is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions, with no relief in sight. Corn and other crops are being decimated by the drought, the worst … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday

I've noticed recently that my blogroll has been looking pretty homogeneous (Freethought Blogs has gobbled up a lot of it), and I'm always on the lookout for interesting new voices I haven't heard from before. So, this is an open thread for the purposes of self-promotion. If you maintain a blog or other site that you want to tell us about, now's the time! Feel free to post a comment telling us about yourself and your site: who you are, what you write about, and why we should be interested. … [Read more...]

The Creation Order of Genesis

The discovery of the Higgs boson brought forth a fresh crop of high-minded religious apologists to favor us with platitudes about how science and religion can be reconciled, if only we "extremists" would stop fighting about it all the time. Here's one of them I came across the other week, who asserts that the creation order given in Genesis contains a hidden correspondence with the picture of life's evolutionary history assembled by scientists. As always, he has to phrase it in insufferably … [Read more...]

I Love This Picture

So, I might have mentioned that I gave a speech at the SSA conference in Columbus earlier this month. They've begun posting the official photos on their Facebook page, and I just might be in one or two of them. Including this one:(click to enlarge)Yes, this is officially my new favorite picture ever. They've also begun posting YouTube videos of the speeches. Mine isn't up yet (I had slides, which require some editing to put in) but I expect it will be up soon. I'll make … [Read more...]


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