Take Action: Defend Marriage Equality in Maine

The last few months have been a rollercoaster ride for advocates of marriage equality in the United States. There was the bitter disappointment of Prop 8 passing in California in the 2008 elections, but soon after, it was assuaged in part by victories for marriage equality in Iowa and Vermont. Soon thereafter, Maine and New Hampshire joined the ranks of the states that offer full civil marriage rights to same-sex couples.The momentum is unquestionably on our side. Every poll ever conducted has … [Read more...]

Unitarian Universalism: A Matter of Definition

Both Greta and Hemant have commented on the full-page ad run by the Freedom from Religion Foundation in the latest issue of UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Since I have a copy of that issue, I thought I'd say some things about it as well.The FFRF ad that ran in the fall 2009 UU World. Click to enlarge.No one, of course, is denying that UU World would have been completely within its rights to reject the FFRF ad if they had chosen to. But that … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: Hornworm: Autumn Lamentation

This week's Poetry Sunday features a new author, the American poet Stanley Kunitz. In his long lifetime, he was one of America's most renowned poets, winning, among other awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Medal of Arts, the Robert Frost Medal, and Harvard's Centennial Medal. He served a term as Poet Laureate of the United States, and was still writing and publishing at the age of 100, just prior to his death in 2006.Stanley Kunitz was born in 1905 in Massachusetts. His … [Read more...]

Atheism, Race and Gender

Inspired by the always-inspiring Greta Christina and her two recent posts on the subject, I want to offer some thoughts on a topic I've rarely discussed on this blog: the intersection of atheism with issues of race and gender.I haven't discussed this subject much because I don't feel I have any real qualifications to do so. As a white male, I haven't often had to confront issues of racism or sexism, and I'm reluctant to speak about things which I don't have much experience with. But it's also … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

There are couple of news items this week that I thought merited a brief mention.First, in the New Yorker, James Wood provides another piece of evidence for my theory that the only kind of atheists considered "respectable" are the ones who wish they were religious:What is needed is neither the overweening rationalism of a Dawkins nor the rarefied religious belief of an Eagleton but a theologically engaged atheism that resembles disappointed belief.And while we're on the topic of concern … [Read more...]

There Is No God-Shaped Hole

In A Shattered Visage, a book-length emotional rant against atheism, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias puts forth the following assertion:The words of Augustine are most appropriate: "You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee." Or, as Pascal put it, "There is a godshaped vacuum in the heart of every man, and only God can fill it." [p.89]Although they probably don't realize it, apologists who say this have committed themselves to a … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: It's All Because of Quantum

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 5In discussing the kalam argument, William Lane Craig makes some points that touch on modern research in cosmology and physics, so I'll address those. He begins with the premise that "whatever begins to exist has a cause":"It seems metaphysically necessary that anything which begins to exist has to have a cause that brings it into being. Things don't just pop into existence, uncaused, out of nothing." [p.99]If we accept that William Lane Craig's notions of … [Read more...]

Religion Promotes Morality: The Evidence

One could argue that atheism leads to immorality. With no God-given commandments, the atheist pretty much has to make up moral standards as he or she goes along... The philosopher John Locke – one of the intellectual forebears of American democracy – once said that atheists can't ultimately be trusted in their promises and commitments, since they have no ultimate divine authority to whom they must answer.—http://stpaulsamityville.com/messagefeb07.htmThe U.S. Securities and Exchange Com … [Read more...]

Defending Genocide

Of all the evil verses in the Bible, some of the worst must be the ones in which God orders his chosen people to slaughter and utterly exterminate the Canaanites who were living in the promised land, commanding them to kill men, women and children and to show no mercy to anyone under any circumstances. Passages like these are why Thomas Paine said of the Old Testament, "...it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God".Any person of conscience, I … [Read more...]

Thanks to Los Angeles Readers

I wanted to write a quick post to thank all the Daylight Atheism readers who were able to attend yesterday's meetup in Pasadena. We got a great crowd together, and it was a thrilling experience to meet you all and to finally be able to match names with faces, and I'm greatly appreciative for the warmth, good company, and great conversation. (Plus, assembling at the restaurant and splitting the check turned out to be ridiculously easy. Who ever said that organizing atheists was like herding … [Read more...]