Hold and Build

Although there's been plenty of good news for atheists in recent weeks, stories that showcase our growing influence and assertiveness, this is no time for us to become complacent. We still have significant work to do to shore up the foundations of our movement, as this Times op-ed by Charles M. Blow explains:...a study entitled "Faith in Flux" issued this week by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life questioned nearly 3,000 people and found that most children raised unaffiliated with a … [Read more...]

Baptizing the Dead Is Not a Big Deal

Americablog's John Aravosis is up in arms over the news that the Mormon church reportedly staged a "posthumous baptism" ceremony last year for President Barack Obama's deceased mother:What else to call the Mormon's laughable statement today that their posthumous baptism last year of President Obama's mother was a "rare" mistake that might have been done by "pranksters."...Yes, all one big unfortunate "rare" mistake. Kind of like a clerical error. Except instead of giving you the wrong … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses XIII: Fetuses Don't Count

It's consistently been part of the anti-choice strategy to treat unborn fetuses as separate, autonomous people, even well before the point of viability. For instance, the anti-abortion website Abort73.com says:It is illegal to execute a pregnant woman on death row because the fetus living inside her is a distinct human being who cannot be executed for the crimes of the mother. (source)In fact, such niceties did not occur to the authors of the Bible. They did not value the unborn nearly so … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote, Part III

Hello again Quixote,In reply to your last letter:Since we're discussing the real reasons why people become atheists or theists, I concede you make a good point about how many people have just never thought all that deeply about it. That's a good point which I suspect we'll have occasion to return to. I agree that people who've devoted extensive time to investigation and self-reflection are the odd ones out, compared to the population as a whole. (That makes me doubly glad we're engaging in … [Read more...]

Sunday Open Thread & Links

• You may have noticed the new "Bookmark/Share This" link below each post, which expands to display links to a variety of social bookmarking sites. If you're a member of any of them, please make use of this! Quite a bit of Daylight Atheism's traffic comes from these sites.• Next up, Andrew Sullivan criticizes Buddhism by quoting John Horgan, who asks:It seems legitimate to ask whether a path that turns away from aspects of life as essential as sexuality and parenthood is truly … [Read more...]

Anti-Gay Bigotry is Anti-American

The past few weeks haven't been good ones for religious bigots. First Iowa and Vermont legalized same-sex marriage in rapid succession; soon afterwards, the state legislatures of New Hampshire and Maine passed marriage-equality bills. (If you live in either state, contact your governor and tell him to sign them!) And now, this stunning poll result from Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com, Two National Polls, for First Time, Show Plurality Support for Gay Marriage:...a new poll from ABC News and … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote, Part II

[Editor's Note: Yesterday, I posted the first in a series of letters exchanged between myself and Quixote, as part of a discussion of the most important reasons why people become theists or atheists. This is Quixote's first reply.]Most analytic varieties of atheism seem committed to experience, science, and reason as foundations of rational belief. Consider John Shook's definition of Naturalism, as published on Naturalisms.org:Naturalism is usually defined most briefly as the philosophical … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote

Since its inception, Daylight Atheism has been first and foremost a platform for atheist thought. We've had plenty of theist commenters, but never an entire post written by a theist - until now.Some of you may recognize Quixote, who's been a commenter here for some time. There have been many theists commenting on Daylight Atheism whose beliefs I've strongly disagreed with, and (I like to think) many theists whom I've been able to converse with in a spirit of civility and friendship, but I … [Read more...]

Hate-Crime Laws and Loving the Sinner

One of the benefits of a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress is that we can expect action on good, progressive legislation. One such bill is H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which was recently approved by the House Judiciary Committee. As noted by Americans United, this billwould allow the U.S. Justice Department to offer assistance when a crime that results in death or serious injury is committed against any American because of the … [Read more...]

The Secular Case for Vegetarianism

Guest Post by Rob Schneider[Editor's Note: In my third anniversary post, I mentioned that I wanted to have more guest essays on Daylight Atheism, as well as more posts exploring issues where atheists don't all agree. This post accomplishes both those aims. Please welcome Rob Schneider (not that Rob Schneider) and his first appearance on Daylight Atheism.]Veganism and vegetarianism have a bad reputation in our society. Those who identify as vegan or vegetarian tend to receive odd looks and … [Read more...]


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