I Have Returned

By EbonmuseGreetings, all. I'm back safely from Spain - actually, I was back yesterday, but pretty much went right to bed when I got home to sleep off the jet lag and recover from general sleep deprivation. (You see, we were in Barcelona on Saturday night, which was when the home team won an important soccer match. The people were very enthusiastic in their public displays of approval, resulting in neither my wife nor I getting much sleep the night before our flight...)In any case, I'm … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Self-Promotion Day; Plus, Help Beat PZ!

So, I think it's about time for another self-promotion thread. What say you?If you maintain a blog or other site that you want to tell us about, now's the time! Feel free to post a comment telling us about yourself and your site: who you are, what you write about, and why we should be interested. Atheist-themed sites are of course preferred, though all comers are welcome.If you've participated in past self-promotion threads, you're welcome to do so again. However, this time I'm going to … [Read more...]

Charity Yes, Interfaith No?

We atheists are nothing if not argumentative, and the latest argument is over whether an atheist can or should participate in "interfaith" charitable work. Chris Stedman, a member of the humanist chaplaincy at Harvard, asserts that "we must actualize our commitments to justice and compassion" by participating in interfaith projects as often as possible. Ophelia Benson and Jen McCreight were unimpressed, pointing out that there's something paradoxical in a nonbeliever participating in a movement … [Read more...]

Atheist Action Items

• We've all been following the news about the massive earthquake and tsunami that's devastated Japan, and I won't waste your time rehashing the details. Help on an international scale is urgently needed, and the Foundation Beyond Belief has stepped in and is raising funds for the Japanese Red Cross. They've already collected almost $10,000, but that's just a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed. Visit their ChipIn page and contribute if you can.• On another note, my good … [Read more...]

A Milestone for the Foundation Beyond Belief

[Editor's Note: In the past, I've written about how it will advance the atheist movement for those of us who have the means to make charitable donations that serve as a positive, collective expression of our worldview. Specifically, I've written often about the Foundation Beyond Belief, a clever and worthwhile meta-charity, to praise their work and encourage freethinkers to support them. I'm happy to reprint this press release announcing the FBB's achievement of a major milestone. … [Read more...]

Help Bring Freethought to Prisoners

The United States of America is the prison capital of the world, incarcerating far more people than any other nation (including China, which has over four times our population and is a repressive dictatorship). And most atheists already know that Christian proselytizing is rampant in prisons, with programs that both skirt the Constitution and blatantly trespass on it.Given these facts, it makes sense for the atheist movement to care about what happens behind prison walls. Although atheists are … [Read more...]

An Atheist’s Yule Sermon

I woke up at 3 AM earlier this week to see the lunar eclipse. Dressing in the dark, my wife and I went out into the freezing silence of the winter solstice to see the moon: a small disc high in the sky swallowed by the planet's shadow, glowing coppery-red with the reflected light of every sunset on Earth.I'll admit, it wasn't the most spiritual experience I've ever had (being fully awake tends to facilitate those transports of awe and wonder). But I'm glad I saw it, nevertheless. If nothing … [Read more...]

Help the Foundation Beyond Belief Finish Off 2010

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Foundation Beyond Belief and encouraged atheists to join, and I'm happy that some people took me up on that invitation. Well, the end of 2010 is almost here, and it's fair for FBB members and potential members to look for a year-end recap of the group's achievements. What did we do this year? Dale McGowan has the answer:In 2010 our members fed, clothed, and paid school tuition for 22 impoverished children in Nepal. We have funded science education in India … [Read more...]

Ensuring Access to Abortion

As a neutral observer of religion, one of the most striking characteristics I find is the rampant misogyny in nearly every religion in the world. Worldwide, women are denigrated as lesser beings, barred from positions of leadership, commanded to be subservient, and told that they're weaker or more sinful than men. Even in the relatively few religions where women play a significant role, it tends to be a late-arising development brought about by modern moral progress. By comparison, just consider … [Read more...]

Strategically Supporting Religious Charities

Are there any circumstances under which an atheist can support a religious group doing social work, even if doing so may advance a religious message we disagree with?This is on my mind because of the post I wrote last month about the Foundation Beyond Belief supporting a Quaker charity, and because I just finished reading Nomad, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's excellent second book, which serendipitously touches on similar ideas. Nomad is about the closing of the Muslim mind: the way that Islamic immigrants … [Read more...]


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