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...]

Rebutting Reasonable Faith: Remembering the Lost

In question #86 of his Reasonable Faith column, William Lane Craig addresses a question from a Christian who's troubled by one of the most wicked doctrines of that theology, the dogma of Hell. Craig's correspondent wonders whether the saved will feel compassion for the damned, but also worries that it would be a violation of free will for God to erase their memories of their lost loved ones.I would never forget that I had a child and wish to be with them in the afterlife unless God … [Read more...]

Whence Comes God's Nature?

According to the vast majority of religious believers (though perhaps not to the tiny minority of elite theologians), God is basically in nature like a larger and more powerful human being. He has plans and desires which he takes actions to fulfill; he likes some people and things and dislikes others; he experiences emotions like anger, jealousy, love, and forgiveness; he can be persuaded to act on another's behalf; and so on.The most peculiar aspect of this anthropomorphic theology is its … [Read more...]

Common Myths About Polyamory

By JulietEchoEditor's Note: This piece emerged from the discussion of my recent post on the legality of polyamory. Please welcome Daylight Atheism's newest guest contributor, JulietEcho, who has her B.A. in both Philosophy and Religious Studies and is also the administrator of the Friendly Atheist forum. You can e-mail her at ejsunflowers@gmail.com.I've been in a polyamorous relationship with my two partners for over three years now, and it's been great. The only downside: the secrecy. Many … [Read more...]

Book Review: 36 Arguments for the Existence of God

(Author's Note: The following review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: Sparkling writing; marvelous characters; could have benefited from a tighter narrative.This is the first time I've ever reviewed a work of fiction for Daylight Atheism, but this one was well in tune with my site's mission and merited the exception: Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's 36 Arguments for the Existence of God. Despite the title, it's a novel, not an … [Read more...]

On the Morality of: Polyamory

The comments in a recent thread on same-sex marriage have been heading in this direction, so I thought I'd offer some thoughts about polyamorous relationships and how we can view them from a humanist standpoint.The reason I (and others) advocate full marriage equality for same-sex couples is straightforward. Marriage is a civil ceremony which confers many legal rights on both partners, rights which are either extremely burdensome or impossible to obtain any other way. At present, the law in … [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...]

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...]


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