Morality Without Humanity

A shocking story has recently come out of Texas. It seems that High Point, an Arlington megachurch, abruptly canceled a planned funeral after finding out the deceased was gay, and that his family planned to mention that fact:The pastor said that he could imagine a similar situation involving a different sin. Perhaps a mother who is a member of the church loses a son who is a thief or murderer, Mr. Simons said. The church would surely volunteer to hold a service, he said."But I don't think … [Read more...]

Claiming the Mantle of Victimhood

The Roman Catholic church is the oldest, largest, and very likely the richest denomination of any organized religion on the planet Earth. It has over 1 billion believers worldwide; controls its own sovereign country ruled by the Pope; is the only religious denomination with permanent observer status at the United Nations; has its own radio broadcasting service, its own official newspapers, and numerous TV channels; owns hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and property worldwide; and still … [Read more...]

Nurturing Virtue

Earlier this year, I wrote a post series titled "The Virtues", which proposed a secular reinvention of the seven cardinal virtues of theology. But I now realize that with this series, I was making an additional, implicit point: that it is possible for human beings to be consistently virtuous.This was made clear to me in a recent e-mail correspondence with a Christian visitor:One of the things that convinces me of my need for a savior is a long hard look at myself. In particular my absolute … [Read more...]

Coming Soon to an Apocalypse Near You

Any informed observer of religious folly knows that setting dates for the apocalypse ranks among the major pastimes of fundamentalists and fanatics the world over. (The next most-popular pastime is explaining why those dates failed to pan out.) In fact, throughout human history, the years in which the end of the world has not been predicted to occur are probably far outnumbered by the ones in which it has. But what's most astonishing is the way these prophecies, after they have failed, are often … [Read more...]

Why Does God Let Satan Roam Free?

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."—1 Peter 5:8"Only-begotten Son, seest thou what rage Transports our Adversary? whom no bounds Prescribed, no bars of Hell, nor all the chains Heaped on him there, nor yet the main Abyss Wide interrupt, can hold..."—John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IIIOne of the aspects of Christian theology that has always made the least sense to me is why God, having … [Read more...]

Nothing Behind the Altar

Last month, the Los Angeles Times published a story titled "Religion beat became a test of faith". The author, William Lobdell, described himself as a "serious Christian" - raised Episcopal, later a born-again evangelical, still later a convert to Roman Catholicism at his wife's urging - who believed it was God's plan to use him to write stories that would portray faith as respectable and serious.Lobdell's unquestioning faith in the Church first began to waver in 2001, when he covered the … [Read more...]

The One-Reason Worldview

"Most well-meaning creationists would agree in principle that things that are not carefully documented and researched should not be used. But in practice, many of them are very quick to accept the sorts of evidences mentioned here, without asking too many questions. Why this seeming urge to find a startling, exciting 'magic bullet'?"—Ken Ham for Answers in Genesis, "Searching for the magic bullet"There's a tendency that I've noticed is very common in fundamentalist religious groups, … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Fermi's Paradox

The Drake equation, developed in the 1960s by the astronomer Frank Drake, laid the foundation for the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. This equation provides a way to estimate the number of intelligent, communicating civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy by combining all the prerequisites for the existence of such civilizations.The remarkable thing about the Drake equation is that even seemingly conservative values for its various factors tend to predict a galaxy overflowing with … [Read more...]

A Crack in the Wall

The Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that promotes intelligent design creationism, is infamous for its authorship of a secret document called the "Wedge Strategy", which lays out their plan to overthrow the theory of evolution and "replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God". The leak of this document proved to be a considerable embarrassment for the Discovery Institute, especially when Judge John E. Jones … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: Creation

The third installment of Daylight Atheism's Poetry Sunday is some time overdue. Once again, I'd like to welcome back Philip Appleman, whose contribution this week is the poem "Creation". (I will feature other poets - but Professor Appleman has written so many beautiful works, I can't resist sharing them with my readers.)The Lascaux cave complex of southwestern France is famous for its cave paintings: hundreds of strikingly lifelike depictions of horses, cattle, bison, stags, and other animals. … [Read more...]


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