Some Items of Note

Following my earlier announcement, I'm now very pleased to announce that the Humanist Symposium now has hosts for its first seven editions, up through September 2. My sincere gratitude goes out to everyone who stepped up to volunteer!Also, the carnival home page, linked above, now offers some graphic logos thanks to Intergalactic Hussy, proprietor of The Atheist Jewish Zen Buddhist, who kindly volunteered her time and effort. Please feel free to download and use them to promote this carnival … [Read more...]

A World in Shadow IV

In an e-mail conversation I had a few weeks ago, a theist visitor attempted to answer my argument on the problem of evil by comparing God to parents who let their children learn from work and life experience, rather than trying to shelter them from all possible harm.My parents have money, they could have written away all my debt in an instant and then let me come chill back at home. But no, they helped me enough so that I wouldn't starve to death, but they made me work.There is an important … [Read more...]

Some Words on Exploiting Tragedy

In the wake of the recent horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech, where a mentally disturbed student named Cho-Seung Hui murdered 27 students and five faculty members before taking his own life, a shocked nation has struggled to understand. There has been agonized debate over what could have caused this young man to commit such a horrific act of violence - whether it was due to persistent harassment and social ostracism which he suffered, or whether it was mental illness, or some combination of both. … [Read more...]

Not for the Love of Money

This month I've written two posts condemning the get-rich-quick, get-everything-for-nothing mentality prominent both in evangelical Christianity (The Root of All Evil) and in New Ageism (The Secret). (It occurs to me that this is April - tax month, for us Americans - and though I didn't intend these posts to appear during this month, the correlation pleases me.) This brand of supernatural selfishness has never brought humanity any benefits, instead only giving grief and distracting us from truly … [Read more...]

New Book Reviews on Dangerous Intersection and Ebon Musings

I've posted a new blog entry at Dangerous Intersection, a book review of Peter Galbraith's The End of Iraq. Galbraith's book deals with the chaos the American invasion has unleashed and argues that the only feasible solution remaining is to partition Iraq into three states.Also, I'm pleased to announce that while I personally remain on hiatus from updating Ebon Musings, frequent Daylight Atheism commenter James Bradbury has contributed a new guest essay there, a review of C.S. Lewis' book … [Read more...]

An Address to Hispanic Freethinkers

This year, I made a New Year's resolution to learn Spanish. In a world of many cultures, I've always felt somewhat embarrassed that I never learned to speak another language, and with the increasing influence of Hispanic people and culture in the United States, Spanish was a rational choice. Both while going to graduate school and working in multicultural New York City, there have been times it would have helped me to speak it, and the next time the opportunity comes, I intend to be prepared. So … [Read more...]

Through a Glass, Brightly

In past posts such as last December's "The Theodicy of Narnia", I've called attention to some of the unintentionally revealing comments that famous theists have made about their own belief systems. C.S. Lewis, for example, wrote whole books to defend the thesis that God's existence is compatible with pain and suffering, but when it came to creating his own fictional world, he took pains to point out that its history was overwhelmingly blissful and peaceful so as not to cast doubt on the goodness … [Read more...]

Book Update

I'm pleased to announce that I've finished the first chapter of the book I've been working on. (Actually it's been finished for over a week - my apologies for procrastinating on the announcement.) Although this chapter has taken almost a month to write, it will probably end up being the one with the most original material in the entire book. My plan is for subsequent chapters to incorporate substantial parts of my Ebon Musings essays, so I expect them to take considerably less time to put … [Read more...]

Et Tu, Chris Mooney?

Last year, I read and greatly enjoyed Chris Mooney's The Republican War on Science as an invaluable exposition of the harm that ideologically driven antiscience has done to the state of scientific knowledge in this country. But to my great distress, he has taken a turn toward the dark side. In a column published this week in the Washington Post, along with his colleague Matthew Nisbet, Mooney advocates that atheists who want to support science education should stop defending or speaking about … [Read more...]

The Root of All Evil

One of the more bizarre offshoots of fundamentalist Christianity that has been making headway in recent years is the "prosperity gospel", also called the "Word of Faith" movement. Devotees of this theology believe that God, far from the dour, gloomy Puritan deity who expected people to deprive themselves in this life to be rewarded in the hereafter, is actually more like a rich uncle who can't wait to shower us with riches and grant us financial prosperity. In this movement, wealth and fame in a … [Read more...]


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