Atlas Shrugged: Pointy-Headed Intellectuals

AlmaMater

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIThis chapter opens with a veritable socialist Legion of Doom, as all of Rand's villains whom we've already met, plus a few we haven't, are gathered in one room plotting how to bring down the capitalists. One is Jim Taggart; another is Floyd Ferris; a third is Orren Boyle; a fourth is Wesley Mouch, Rearden's traitorous lobbyist, now a powerful government bureaucrat. There's also a new character, Mr. Thompson, whom Rand describes as "the Head of the State" … [Read more...]

Support the Ada Initiative

FWord

If you, like me, are sick and tired of all the bad news that's been coming out of the atheist community lately, here's something you can do to help: support the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit group that seeks to change sexist cultures and increase women's participation and representation.Although their primary focus is on programming and the open-source development community, the Ada Initiative has played a role in fighting sexism in atheism and skepticism, in science fiction/fantasy … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 7

This is part 7 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hello Andrew,Well, I'm back! Since we've gone several rounds on the historical existence of Jesus already, I don't want to prolong this, but I do have a few brief closing remarks. First, on Josephus and the Testimonium Flavianum:Mainstream scholarship doesn't postulate the entire Josephus passage is a forgery. Rather, they accuse Christians … [Read more...]

The Wall of Silence Around Michael Shermer

Earlier this month, I wrote about the serious allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault made against skeptic "thought leader" Michael Shermer by three women, who agreed to be named in an article published by Buzzfeed. That article, as you'd expect, has provoked an enormous amount of controversy and outrage.But what I find more surprising is who isn't discussing it. Some prominent individuals in the atheist and skeptical community are either minimizing this story, treating the … [Read more...]

Speaking at Sunday Assembly NYC

SunAssembly

I'm very pleased to announce that next Sunday, October 5, I'll be speaking at Sunday Assembly NYC! This month's topic is mythology: why we create it, what purpose it serves, and what (if anything) it's good for. Do humans still need mythology? If so, how does it fit in the modern world; and if not, what can we put in its place?The Sunday Assembly, as I've written previously, is a global humanist congregation focused on doing good and living a better life without supernatural beliefs. Its New … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Ad Baculum

Fist

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VHank and Dagny are returning to New York after their trip to Colorado. Hank's wife Lillian, by now, has come to suspect that these "business trips" are about more than just business, so she arranges to be waiting for him on the platform:Her first sight of Rearden in the crowd came as a shock: she had not seen him step out of a car, but there he was, walking in her direction from somewhere far down the length of the train. He was alone. He was walking … [Read more...]

Weekday Coffee: September 25

Coffee

I've been taking a breather this week, but never fear, my Atlas Shrugged series will resume tomorrow. In the meantime, some quick links:• Help atheist blogger and ex-Quiverfuller Vyckie Garrison save her house! She's in financial trouble caused largely by her divorce from an abusive husband, which in turn happened because she lost her faith. She needs to raise $23,000 to save it. If you need more incentive, here's her outstanding speech from the 2014 American Atheists national … [Read more...]

Summer Twilight: A Humanist Sermon

Fireflies

On a night earlier this summer, a humid blue twilight in July, I stepped out of my home to run an errand. It was sweltering and heavy after the day's heat, but it must have been the perfect temperature for fireflies. There were hundreds of them, swarming in the air and the grass, glimmering and flashing like motes of gold in the gathering dusk.Through some means I can't imagine, it seemed as if they had agreed to synchronize, so that no two of them lit up at the same time. As soon as one … [Read more...]

Richard Dawkins’ Reasonable and Proportionate Response to Criticism

EvilOverlord

As I've mentioned previously, Jerry Coyne of Why Evolution Is True wrote a post this weekend in which he let it be known that he was very upset with me and my article in the Guardian on Richard Dawkins. Well, you'll never guess who showed up to post this unbelievable comment:Thank you, Jerry.I long ago declared that I would not wish to go on living if I found myself in a world dominated by people who no longer care about what's true and express open contempt for factual evidence. … [Read more...]

Dawkins Needs Better Defenders

This week, I published a column in the Guardian arguing that Richard Dawkins' sexism is overshadowing his contributions to the atheist movement. It got, shall we say, a large reaction. But not all negative, I hasten to add! I was very pleased with the amount of praise and compliments it attracted - I heard from a lot of people who told me that I said exactly what they've been thinking (including this piece by Allegra Ringo in Vice, published the same day as mine).As it turns out, the man … [Read more...]


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