The 2008 ARIS: Atheist State of the Nation

As you’ve surely heard by now, the landmark 2008 American Religious Identification Survey has just been released. The ARIS is an enormous study that questioned over 50,000 respondents to assemble a broad picture of religious belief and disbelief in the United States, building on previous surveys from 1990 and 2001. The 2001 results showed that nonbelievers had made incredible gains, rising from 8% to just over 14% of the U.S. population in just ten years – a genuine demographic boom.... Read more

Paul's Resurrection Creed

In the book of First Corinthians, there’s a passage that’s frequently cited by Christian apologists: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of... Read more

Rebutting Reasonable Faith: Free Will and Evil

A correspondent to William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith column writes in with a very good question, one that atheists have often raised: An acquaintance of mine recently asked me why it is necessary that we be able to choose evil for us to have free will, while it is not necessary that God be able to choose evil for Him to have free will…. I cannot explain why, if God could create us free without the capacity to choose evil,... Read more

New on Ebon Musings: Dating the Good News

I’ve uploaded a new essay to Ebon Musings, “Dating the Good News“. This essay attempts to fix a date of composition for the New Testament’s four canonical gospels based on documentary evidence, both positive and negative, and draws some conclusions on what this date tells us about the evolution of early Christianity. This is an open thread. Comments and discussion are welcome.

Elizabeth Dole’s Campaign Manager: We Regret Nothing

Regular readers of Daylight Atheism may recall how this site became involved in the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina last October. Trailing in the polls and running low on money, Republican senator Elizabeth Dole quoted Daylight Atheism in anti-atheist smear ads in a last-ditch attack aimed at her Democratic challenger Kay Hagan. Thankfully, Dole’s brazen appeal to bigotry was an utter failure, and Election Day saw her defeated and Hagan victorious. Now Dole’s campaign manager, Marty Ryall, has written... Read more

Noble Africa

To those who are following the continuing genocide in Darfur, every day brings grim headlines: Fighting has prompted thousands of people in the southern part of Sudan’s Darfur region to seek security and shelter at a refugee camp in the northern part of the war-torn area, according to the United Nations. …An estimated 300,000 people in the western Sudanese region have been killed through combat, disease or malnutrition, according to the United Nations. An additional 2.7 million people have been... Read more

The 99 Percent Solution

One of the more tiresome parts of being an atheist is having to deal with preachers who drag out the old apologetic cliches and convince themselves that they’re being clever. Just so is this piece from one Rev. Eric Strachan: [I] like to ask every atheist, “What percentage of the total knowledge that one could possibly acquire do you think you have?” Interestingly, most answer around five per cent or thereabout. “Think again,” I say. “It’s more likely to be... Read more

Atheists, Show Some Respect!

(This essay was originally published in issue #1 of the AHS newsletter, Secular Future.) As the New Atheist movement grows in size and influence, we’ve been assailed by pundits and theologians who say we ought to be more respectful – that we need to choose our words carefully and afford religious believers the courtesy they are due. And I couldn’t agree more. Respect is a moral imperative for all people, and I think it’s especially vital that we, as the... Read more

Atheist Action Items

If we’re going to create a world more friendly to reason, we need to raise our voices and speak out for the atheist viewpoint. This week, there are several ways in which you can help: • Two Texas state legislators have been courageously fighting back against creationism by proposing legislation to increase oversight and disclosure of the creationist-dominated State Board of Education. Take a moment to sign this petition and thank them. • The city of Ottawa has rejected the... Read more

The Happiness Machine

As any regular reader of Daylight Atheism knows, the topic of morality is a major concern of mine. In essays on Ebon Musings, I’ve sketched out a secular moral theory I call universal utilitarianism. Here on this site, In the past, I’ve written about the roots of this morality and the virtues that can be derived from it, as well as musings on what UU has to say about some controversial moral topics. In 2009, I plan on taking these... Read more
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