Should We Reach Out to Conservative Atheists?

Chessboard

Last month, American Atheists sought to rent a booth at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference. Surprisingly, CPAC accepted their money at first, only to change their mind at the last minute.That entirely foreseeable outcome would have been more than sufficient as free publicity, but American Atheists president Dave Silverman decided to attend as an individual. While he was there, he gave several interviews asserting that atheism should have a bigger place among conservatives. … [Read more...]

Aid in Dying

GreenFields

In 1994, Oregon became the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. The Bush administration filed a lawsuit to overturn the referendum, but lost at the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, despite this victory, for many years Oregon stood alone in allowing doctors to ease their patients' passing. But that's now starting to change:In January, a district court in New Mexico authorized doctors to provide lethal prescriptions and declared a constitutional right … [Read more...]

What Are Your Favorite Charities?

AfghanistanSchoolgirls

I have some sad news to report. In 2007 (seven years ago!), I wrote about the philanthropy of Robert Wilson, an atheist and retired hedge-fund tycoon who vowed to donate his entire $800 million fortune to charity before he died.Well, he kept that promise, donating his last $100 million to the Environmental Defense Fund last month. Shortly thereafter, he committed suicide at the age of 87. From the evidence, this wasn't the result of depression but a rational decision to end his life before … [Read more...]

More on the Calgary Secular Church

[Author's Note: For my newest AlterNet article on atheist churches, I reached out to some friends and acquaintances who were involved with these organizations, including Korey Peters. Korey has previously written on Daylight Atheism about the Calgary Secular Church, the atheist community organization he cofounded, and was happy to help out for my new column. In fact, he gave me much more material than I could use, so here's the full interview.]When and by whom was the Calgary Secular Church … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: The Emergence of Atheist Churches

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, Why People Are Flocking to a New Wave of Secular Communities: Atheist Churches. In it, I report on the Sunday Assembly and other so-called atheist churches now gaining in visibility and prominence: what they're all about, what's driving their growth, and what benefits they offer us. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:As the broader atheist community becomes larger and better organized, secularists and freethinkers have shown … [Read more...]

Living Wages, Living Work: A Humanist Sermon

A few days ago, progressive blogs reported on the "McResource Line", an instantly infamous (and quickly-disappeared) website created by McDonald's to offer comically insensitive health and financial advice to its 1.8 million employees, who collectively earn $7.75 an hour on average.Among the stress-reducing tips on this site were: quit complaining about your low-wage job ("Stress hormone levels rise by 15% after ten minutes of complaining"), chew gum, sing songs, and go to church ("People … [Read more...]

Skepticon VI Impressions

The speakers at the Godless Perverts Story Hour on Friday night. L to R: Rebecca Watson, Heina Dadabhoy, Greta Christina, Keith Lowell Jensen, David Fitzgerald.

This past weekend I was in Springfield, Missouri for Skepticon VI. This is my third year attending Skepticon, which is far and away my favorite of all the annual atheist conventions.I didn't go to all the talks this year, but the ones I did see were very good. Debbie Goddard told the funny and moving story of her deconversion (when she came to the conclusion there was no god, she was so excited she wanted to tell everyone, starting with her Catholic school teachers - with predictable … [Read more...]

The Sunday Assembly’s American Tour

Pippa Evans and the band warm up on stage at NYSEC.

Last Monday night, I attended a meeting of the Sunday Assembly in New York City. It was the first U.S. stop on their 40 Dates and 40 Nights tour, in which cofounders Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans are barnstorming across the country to drum up support and excitement for launching satellite congregations in, as they say, "every town, city and village that wants one".When I attended the NYC Sunday Assembly over the summer, it was at a midtown dive bar called Tobacco Road. It was a good … [Read more...]

Congratulations, New Jersey!

NewJersey

As a born-and-raised New Yorker, I reserve the right to make fun of New Jersey every so often, but this week I have nothing but congratulations for my neighbors in the Garden State:As couples across New Jersey began marrying on Monday after the stroke of midnight, Gov. Chris Christie abandoned his long fight against same-sex marriage, concluding that signals from the court and the march of history were against him.His decision not to appeal a judge's ruling that allowed the weddings … [Read more...]

Repost: Quintessence of Dust

Transhumanism

[Author's Note: I'm reposting some old favorites while I'm away on vacation this week. This post was originally from June 2008.]One of the most persistent misconceptions about atheism is that, if there is no supernatural soul and human beings are made merely of atoms and molecules, then our lives would be deprived of meaning. Asserts Christian apologist Phil Fernandes:If atheism is true, then man is mere molecules in motion. He has no greater value than the animals. In fact, human … [Read more...]


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