Lighting the Way for Equality (Photos)

If you encountered any technical difficulties with the site earlier today, my apologies. There was a database issue I had to work with my host to clear up. It should be fixed now, so send me an e-mail if you're still having any problems (or if you can't see this message).In the meantime, I wanted to post some photos I took at a rally I attended in Union Square last night: Lighting the Way to Equality, a candlelight vigil on behalf of same-sex marriage rights sponsored by Marriage Equality … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: The Ultimate 747

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 6In his frequently-maligned (but less-frequently read and understood) book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins offers what I think is an underappreciated argument against all varieties of supernatural design, the "Ultimate 747" argument.Briefly stated, it goes like this: If we accept ID advocates' reasoning, complexity and organization require a designer. Yet it stands to reason that any designer that could create a complex, organized thing must be an even more … [Read more...]

Theocracy Watch: European Edition

While we Americans have been focusing on this week's elections, there was another important piece of the news from across the Atlantic you might have missed: the European Court of Human Rights has ruled against displaying crucifixes in state-run Italian schools.A panel of seven judges in Strasbourg said the display of Christian crosses, which is common but not mandatory in Italian schools, violated the principle of secular education and might be "disturbing" for children from other … [Read more...]

How Long the Arc

This past Tuesday, marriage equality suffered another setback at the hands of bigotry in the state of Maine. This defeat is especially disappointing because, from all accounts, the No on 1 campaign did everything right: running a well-organized, well-financed campaign with powerful advertising and a dedicated get-out-the-vote effort. But even the smartest and most well-crafted effort of persuasion can't succeed if people aren't willing to be persuaded, and this was evidently one of those times. … [Read more...]

Strange and Curious Sects: Asatru

I once wrote an essay for Ebon Musings, "Parting the Parthenon", that was a semi-serious debunking of the ancient Greek gods. I wrote this as a reply to Christian apologists who accuse atheists of singling out Christianity for criticism, but also to show how many similarities there are between these ancient myths and the modern religions still believed by millions, and to implicitly ask what makes one more worthy of belief than another.So far, I haven't received any outraged letters from … [Read more...]

New on Ebon Musings: Some Mistakes of Scripture

I realize I haven't updated Ebon Musings much this year. Between writing for Daylight Atheism, work-related responsibilities, and other projects, I just haven't had as much time to write longer essays as I'd like to. But I don't intend to let Ebon Musings go dormant. I've still got plenty of things to say, and as proof, I've uploaded a new essay: Some Mistakes of Scripture.This deals with a topic I find very interesting: biblical misquotes. As opposed to biblical contradictions, where two … [Read more...]

Did Christianity Abolish Slavery?

If you've got an ugly or uncomfortable historical record that you'd like to have whitewashed, then Christian fundamentalists are the ideologues for you. Here's their latest bit of doggerel: Christians deserve the credit for abolishing African slavery!Slavery is one of the best examples — far from being a Western Christian invention, it was ubiquitous, and it was only the Christian west that abolished it.Jonathan Sarfati, the author of this article, points out that slavery was ubiquitous in … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Autumn Raindrops

Autumn raindrops on leaves, Hudson Valley, autumn 2009. Photo by the author. Click for larger version. … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: The God Generator

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 6For those who accept the premises of the cosmological fine-tuning argument - that the physical laws of the universe could have been different, and that there's only a small prior probability they would have taken on the values to produce intelligent beings - there are two possible explanations. One is that these values were chosen by a god or other creative power. Another one, which has found favor with some cosmologists in recent years, is that there are a … [Read more...]

Maybe Jesus Will Save Us After All

By Sarah BraaschI think I destroyed someone's faith yesterday. Or, in truth, I think I may have struck the definitive blow. This doesn't bother me. Unlike what many atheists espouse, for fear of being labeled evangelical proselytizers of disbelief, I actively seek the de-conversion of humanity. I actively seek to destroy religion. Not spirituality, but organized religion. I believe that if we do not destroy it, it will destroy us.And, when I say de-conversion I mean just that. I mean … [Read more...]