God Kills A Baby

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie)I'm sure that this title is neither new information nor in the slightest bit shocking to those familiar with the atrocities found within the so-called Good Book (of which, Ebonmuse, this site's author, has amply documented). After all, this is the God who cheerfully devastates armies, obliterates nations and once even drowned every living thing on Earth bar a boatful of humans and animals.And yet for all that - and maybe this is just me - I've always found big … [Read more...]

Could Creationism Be Rational After All?

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie)I thought I'd kick off the guest posts with a little philosophical thought experiment (hark, is that the sound of you all clapping your hands in glee?). When I wrote the following, I mean it fairly light-heartedly, but with an eye to the fact that we should perhaps remember we have less reason to be sure of ourselves than we may think.Despite the insistence of many who champion it, Creationism does not qualify as a scientific theory under any reasonable … [Read more...]

The Jewish Prophecy of Exile

In a previous post, "An Unserious Response to the Theist's Guide", I poked fun at a religious apologist - apparently a Jewish rabbi - who made a set of obviously insincere demands for what evidence he would require to become an atheist. So much for that. But our friend the rabbi also thinks that he has convincing evidence for the existence of God. In this post, I'll consider his claims and see how they hold up.The following quotes were given before the Israelites entered the Land of Israel … [Read more...]

Book Review: Half the Sky

Summary: A wrenching chronicle of the injustices and preventable evils committed against women around the world. The bright spots are few and far between, but that should only instill readers with a greater sense of urgency to do something about all this. I felt intense pangs of conscience while reading this book; you probably will too.In January, I reviewed Michelle Goldberg's book The Means of Reproduction. That was an outstanding work of consciousness-raising, one which enlightened me to … [Read more...]

God’s Failed Land Promise

In the early chapters of Genesis, Yahweh makes a sweeping promise to Abraham, forefather of the Jewish people:"In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates."—Genesis 15:18As I've mentioned in the past, this was no small matter: the land that God promised to Abraham would encompass most or all of the modern nations of Israel, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. … [Read more...]

The Dimension of Divinity

I just finished reading The Happiness Hypothesis, a book by Jonathan Haidt, who's a professor in the new science of "positive psychology" at the University of Virginia. Most of the book is a straightforward distillation of scientific research on what truly brings happiness and contentment in life, illustrated with quotes and references to famous philosophers and sages of the past who taught similar lessons. There's nothing to object to about this - I think it's a laudable thing for science to … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Quantum Mechanic

Summary: A compelling atheist thought experiment, wrapped inside a cleverly plotted and fast-paced tale of transhumanist fiction.This isn't the first time I've reviewed a book written by a fellow blogger, but it's always a pleasure for me to do, and this one was particularly pleasurable to read. The Quantum Mechanic is a novel written by the blogger D - you may know her as the author of She Who Chatters - for 2009's National Novel Writing Month.The hero of TQM is Douglas Orange, a … [Read more...]

Strange and Curious Sects: Chabad Messianism

You get all kinds of weird and amusing religious literature on the New York subways, and here's the latest proof:Click to enlarge. Also see interior and back cover.If you've attended a college with a significant Jewish population, you're probably familiar with Chabad House, an organization that runs community centers and programs for observant Jews. What you may not know is who runs these centers - or one of this group's stranger and more curious offshoots, the subject of today's … [Read more...]

The Poisoned Cup of Theodicy

The world has seen and heard enough about the misery and destruction in Haiti this past week that I don't think I need to dwell on it. But I do want to take some time to address the perennial question of theodicy, which comes up in the aftermath of every disaster like this.To an atheist, for whom the Haiti quake was nothing more than the result of tectonic plates slipping - a disaster caused by impersonal natural forces and random chance - there is nothing to explain. The laws of the cosmos … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Means of Reproduction

Summary: An outstanding book, broad in its sweep and compelling in its use of fascinating detail, that paints a clear picture of the international forces opposing women's rights - and what's at stake in the fight against them.I've said in the past that I believe all feminists should be atheists, the better to deny power and legitimacy to the religious belief systems that have treated women unjustly throughout history. But after reading Michelle Goldberg's outstanding new book The Means of … [Read more...]


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