Business & the Market In matters of economic organization, as in other areas, atheists should be guided by the evidence. One thing history has shown is that state-controlled economies simply do not work. The Soviet Union, the largest experiment in communism in human history, ultimately collapsed under the weight of its own failed economic structure, and most of the remaining communist countries are either in a state of economic tailspin themselves or are becoming increasingly capitalistic to survive. On the… Read more

After the vigorous (although, I’m happy to say, civil) debate inspired by the first two Politics of Atheism posts, I figured everyone could use a break. The third and final part of that series will appear shortly. In the meantime, allow me to bring to your attention a story that demonstrates the truly evil and loathsome depths to which the religious right in this country has willingly sunk. It appears that a common tactic of the anti-abortion movement is to… Read more

Social Justice As part of the compassion that we as atheists should have for all living beings, I advocate joining in efforts to end poverty. Wealth honestly earned is a powerful incentive for people to work hard and succeed, and it is not intrinsically unjust for different members of society to enjoy different levels of luxury. However, no one should lack the basic necessities of life – a place to live, food and clothing, education, health care, and work that… Read more

I recently came across a gorgeous Flash presentation briefly chronicling the history of the universe, from the Big Bang to humanity. Check it out: Evolution – What Next? Click on the red “Time Slider” arrow to get it started, then click and drag the slider along the timeline. I haven’t explored the rest of the site in detail yet, but there seem to be many more Flash animations on other topics relating to biology. Credit to Table of Malcontents for… Read more

A reader of Daylight Atheism recently made an excellent suggestion via e-mail: As several of your recent posts suggest, it is perhaps time for atheists to unite into a force for change. And in America, that means political change. I welcome this prospect, but believe that we should have some agreement on what changes to make and what our common vision of America should be. I think a series of posts on the politics of Atheism would be helpful. Perhaps… Read more

This blog frequently criticizes the religious right, that group of cultural conservatives and fundamentalists who use Christianity to justify their bigoted, theocratic and anti-humanist views. But this group is so often in the news pushing its agenda, it is sometimes easy to forget that they do not speak for all believers in America. There is a religious left that advocates social justice, equality under the law, and civil rights for all people. Although these views are praiseworthy, one might say… Read more

In the United States of America today, Christianity, and specifically right-wing fundamentalist Christianity, is enjoying a resurgence. The religious right controls all three branches of the federal government, commands the allegiance of tens of millions of followers, broadcasts their message constantly on TV channels and radio stations that they exclusively control, and operates thriving tax-free megachurches across the land that draw thousands of worshippers every week. They possess enormous wealth and influence, probably unmatched by any other interest group or… Read more

In my encounters with religious proselytizers, I have occasionally been told that atheism robs the world of the sense of awe and wonder, that my lack of belief in a god who miraculously created us all must mean that my life is lacking in the intangible qualities that makes it worth living. I have been told, as well, that I reject the possibility of a god too great for me to understand. This is my reply to those claims. There… Read more

As many others have observed, the right wing in modern American politics subsists in a near-perpetual state of frothing rage. This situation serves the purpose of leaders of the religious right, since after all, angry people are more easily led and less likely to think coherently; and to encourage it to continue, they whip their followers into a frenzy with inflammatory accusations and keep their rage alive through the constant creation of new scapegoats. This pattern has recently repeated, and… Read more

The last and arguably most important question of free will, one that is closely intertwined with the nature of choice, is the issue of moral responsibility. What is it that makes us responsible for what we do? Most traditional views, especially dualist views, hold that for a person to be morally responsible for an action they commit, they must have been able to choose a different course of action at the time. This belief is commonly held, but has rarely… Read more

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