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

The Contributions of Freethinkers: Ann Dunham

Past entries in “The Contributions of Freethinkers” have discussed nonbelievers and dissenters whose lives made a direct and lasting impact on the world in any number of ways: in politics, in science, in the arts and culture. But it’s worth remembering that sometimes – in fact, often – our greatest effects on the world are indirect, in the ways our lives influence the lives of those we come in contact with and those who come after us. Today’s post is… Read more

Mental Slavery and Creeping Atheism

Evangelical pastor Ray Stedman knows the root cause of everything that’s wrong with the world: It is not nationalism, it is not racism… it is the human heart. It is the pride of man that fancies he can get along without God. But not to worry, because he advises us how we can conquer this obstacle. To achieve that, we must …take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. This is extremely important. …It is absolutely necessary to do… Read more

Poetry Sunday: The Poet in the Desert

Today’s Poetry Sunday introduces a new poet: the freethinker, civil libertarian, and Renaissance man extraordinaire, Charles Erskine Scott Wood. Born in 1852, Wood graduated from West Point in 1874 and served as an infantry officer in western campaigns, including the Nez Perce War. He was present at the surrender of Chief Joseph and transcribed (or possibly embellished) the old chief’s famous saying: “My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”… Read more

The Sewers of Hate

Last week, James Adkisson was sentenced to life in prison. Adkisson was the right-wing terrorist who went on an armed rampage against the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville last July, killing two parishioners, Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger. He had intended to kill many more, but the people of the congregation, showing uncommon courage and heroism, swiftly subdued and disarmed him and held him until the police arrived. Adkisson’s manifesto has just been released (HT: Orcinus), a four-page… Read more

Announcing the AHS

I’m pleased to announce the launch of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies, an umbrella organization representing freethinking student groups from schools and universities throughout the United Kingdom. Similar to the U.S. Secular Student Alliance, the AHS will do the vital work of organizing nonbelievers where it’s most important – among the young generations that will be the vanguard of the future – and presenting our ideas to those who are most likely to give them… Read more

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