Watch This Space

Offered for my readers’ amusement, I recently came across the following humbly named site: The True Bible Code. As with all devotees of the Bible code, this site works by randomly stringing together letters from randomly chosen chapters of the Bible until they manage to come up with one pattern that spells something and that seems applicable to future events. Their latest startling prediction runs as follows: The UN in Midtown Manhattan will be hit by a sea borne nuclear… Read more

New on Ebon Musings: Parting the Parthenon

A new essay, “Parting the Parthenon”, has been posted on Ebon Musings. The essay is a semi-serious look at the reasons to disbelieve in the Greek gods, written as a response to Christians who claim atheists focus exclusively on debunking Christianity. This is an open thread. Comments and feedback are welcome. Read more

Winning Hearts and Minds

In the post Should Atheists Evangelize?, back in March, I argued for the conclusion that nonbelievers should, in fact, seek to spread the good news of atheism under certain circumstances. Since then, I have built on this foundation by proposing a plan for how best to achieve that. In previous posts of this series, I have addressed how to respond to religious distortions (Shattering Stereotypes) and how to present atheism to an audience unacquainted with it (Atheism as a Positive… Read more

Receding Waters

Earlier this month, I wrote a post titled “The Roar of Many Waters”, a frank recognition of the despair I sometimes feel in the face of an overwhelming tide of anti-rational and confrontational religion. But although I closed that post on a brighter note, I did not within it provide any concrete reasons for nonbelievers to have hope. I would like to do so now. But before I do that, lest I be accused of trivializing what atheists must still… Read more

Designing the Afterlife

In his book The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis puts a challenge to those who condemn the doctrine of Hell as immoral: “What are you asking God to do?” The apparent reasoning behind this question is that even those who think the idea of Hell is monstrous would be unable to come up with a superior afterlife scenario in which justice would be done. I am happy to take up this challenge. In this post, I will sketch an alternative… Read more

Putting Humanity on a Pedestal

The history of the human species is, as Carl Sagan put it, a series of great demotions. Prior to the scientific age, humanity believed that we were the crowning glory of creation, and that all the universe existed merely to pay tribute to us. But the advances in understanding brought about by the dawning of the Age of Reason steadily undermined this belief, and though the partisans of superstition fought viciously against every new piece of knowledge, they have been… Read more

Little-Known Bible Verses III: Every Plant of the Garden

Discerning God’s will is always a tricky business, but Billy Graham seems confident that he has it down pat. Witness one of his “My Answer” columns in which he declares that it is not God’s will for anyone to smoke marijuana, even if they are a Christian and believe otherwise: Q: A friend of mine gave his life to Jesus a few months ago, and I really believe he meant it. But he’s always been kind of a free spirit… Read more

The Errors of Faith

In midtown Manhattan yesterday, I happened to notice the following breathtakingly arrogant slogan on a church’s bulletin board: “The errors of faith are better than the best thoughts of unbelief.” —Thomas Russell This quote is probably of ancient vintage (both Thomas Russells listed on Wikipedia lived during the 1700s), which explains, though it does not excuse, its repulsive, hate-laden attitude. But what I find truly amazing is that a church in the year 2006, in liberal New York City, would… Read more

The 44th Carnival of the Godless

It is a glorious summer day in the Garden here at Daylight Atheism, and the 44th Carnival of the Godless has convened and is in session. Caravans and covered wagons bearing infidels and freethinkers from around the world have arrived and are drawn up in a circle on the green lawn. The sun beats down bright and hot from an endless blue sky, its light filling the air and glittering like a haze of molten gold. Some attendees lie on… Read more

Initial Inspiration

Most religions that exist today are of ancient origin, and their scriptures and creeds reflect the immoral beliefs of their times. However, social progress in the civilized world has led to widespread recognition of the immorality of those practices, and many churches today are in the awkward position of disavowing such evils while simultaneously maintaining the sacredness and inerrancy of the texts that teach them. The Bible, for example, explicitly states that women must remain silent in the presence of… Read more

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