Inexplicable Justice

"Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mold me Man? Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me, or here place In this delicious Garden? As my will Concurred not to my being, it were but right And equal to reduce me to my dust, Desirous to resign and render back All I received, unable to perform Thy term too hard, by which I was to hold The good I sought not. To the loss of that, Sufficient penalty, why hast thou added The sense of endless woes? Inexplicable Thy justice … [Read more...]

Armor of God

"Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil... Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith..."—Ephesians 6:11-16Among the fundamentalist Christian set, it's a common tenet that faith in Jesus offers the believer some sort of literal supernatural protection against those who … [Read more...]

On Branding

There's been another kerfuffle in the atheist community, and for once, it wasn't caused by someone telling us that we need to pipe down and stop attacking religion. This time, surprisingly, the instigator was Sam Harris - who argued at the Atheist Alliance International Convention 2007 that we should stop calling ourselves "atheists". Hemant of Friendly Atheist has been reporting on this controversy from the beginning, and has collected responses to Harris, including from Ellen Johnson of … [Read more...]

The Desert IV

(Author's Note: "The Desert" is a work of short fiction in several parts. If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to go back and read the previous chapters so that you know what's going on.)IV: The VisionaryThe faint path I had been following through the desert had long since petered out, and for several hours I had been making my own way across the sands. The fallen stone blocks of the ruined city lay well behind me, no longer in sight.The sun had now sunk almost entirely … [Read more...]

Finding Our Voice

Last year, in a series of posts titled "The Quiet Revolution", I observed that atheists were in many ways making inroads into society beneath the gaze of the media. But that quiet revolution, I'm most happy to say, is becoming increasingly noisy. More and more lately, I see atheists and atheist groups who are willing to stand up and defend their nonbelief in public. If this trend continues, editorials expressing sentiments like this one may soon become a thing of the past:I didn't know what … [Read more...]

Book Update

I'm pleased to announce I've finished the sixth chapter of my book, which lays out the case for atheism as a positive worldview. This chapter draws on my essay "Life of Wonder" on Ebon Musings and from several posts from the Garden here on Daylight Atheism.I think you all know the drill by now. Who's interested in reading it? … [Read more...]

On Atheist Janitors

I recently received an e-mail which asked me if I believe that atheism is a worldview that anyone can take up, or whether the majority of society needs religion to keep them happy and pacified:The question at the heart of the debate is: does the average Jacques need religion in his life? I am familiar with all the atheist talk of self-fulfillment and living the only life you've got to the fullest, and think it's a great idea. Except for a snafu. The people who write about these issues tend to … [Read more...]

The Secular Society and Its Enemies

Just a quick note to announce that I'll be attending The Secular Society and Its Enemies, a conference sponsored by the Center for Inquiry that will take place in New York City the weekend of November 9. I'm already looking forward to the event - CFI has lined up a top-notch slate of speakers, including Christopher Hitchens, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan, Susan Jacoby, Michelle Goldberg, Eugenie Scott, and more. If any of my readers happen to live in the New York metropolitan area and are … [Read more...]

The Desert III

(Author's Note: "The Desert" is a work of short fiction in several parts. If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to go back and read the previous chapters so that you know what's going on.)III: The TraditionalistI plodded on through the desert. The heat was mind-blasting in its intensity, and I walked in a shimmering haze. My world had narrowed to placing one foot in front of the other, following the faint, almost invisible path that led onward.But the white blast of noon … [Read more...]

The Desert II

(Author's Note: "The Desert" is a work of short fiction in several parts. If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to go back and read the previous chapter so that you know what's going on.)II: The PenitentThe instant I crossed the boundary, the heat of the desert rose up to engulf me. It was suffocating, practically a solid thing, surrounding me like a wall of burning iron. The sun beat down white-hot from above, so hot it seemed to have mass, and the air rippled and … [Read more...]


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