A Dialogue with Quixote, Part VI

To my friend Ebonmuse,Offered with genuine respect to the readership and commentators of DA,The presumption of atheism, the hiddenness of God, the Problem of Evil, the Euthyphro dilemma, epistemic warrant, Pascal's wager, NOMA, Hume's critique of the miraculous, the Kalam cosmological argument...I'm near concluding that I've interacted with far more atheists — or perhaps far more atheists and agnostics of a different type than those who frequent internet blogs — than many here at DA. The ma … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote, Part V

Hello Quixote,In reference to your list of reasons why people become atheists or theists, I have to disagree. I don't think most of those are the initial reasons why people choose one or the other. Many of them are common causes that are frequently taken up by people on one side or the other, or are shared aspects of membership in those communities, it's true. But I don't think people become atheists because they have more fun than theists (although, if true, that might be a reason why people … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote, Part IV

Hello Ebon,To approach your larger question, what are the real reasons people believe or disbelieve, I've offered a bulletized list for anyone who's interested in pursuing this question:Some people do not believe in God for a variety of honestly considered reasons. Some people resent the Christian church's involvement in politics, usually the Christian right's involvement in the Republican Party. Atheism provides a natural outlet for this resentment, and becomes an attractive choice on … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote, Part III

Hello again Quixote,In reply to your last letter:Since we're discussing the real reasons why people become atheists or theists, I concede you make a good point about how many people have just never thought all that deeply about it. That's a good point which I suspect we'll have occasion to return to. I agree that people who've devoted extensive time to investigation and self-reflection are the odd ones out, compared to the population as a whole. (That makes me doubly glad we're engaging in … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote, Part II

[Editor's Note: Yesterday, I posted the first in a series of letters exchanged between myself and Quixote, as part of a discussion of the most important reasons why people become theists or atheists. This is Quixote's first reply.]Most analytic varieties of atheism seem committed to experience, science, and reason as foundations of rational belief. Consider John Shook's definition of Naturalism, as published on Naturalisms.org:Naturalism is usually defined most briefly as the philosophical … [Read more...]

A Dialogue with Quixote

Since its inception, Daylight Atheism has been first and foremost a platform for atheist thought. We've had plenty of theist commenters, but never an entire post written by a theist - until now.Some of you may recognize Quixote, who's been a commenter here for some time. There have been many theists commenting on Daylight Atheism whose beliefs I've strongly disagreed with, and (I like to think) many theists whom I've been able to converse with in a spirit of civility and friendship, but I … [Read more...]

From the Mailbag: Weekend Kookery Edition

The last time I did a post like this, it was to share some of the more uplifting and inspiring e-mails I received. This one is headed in a different direction. Here, for your reading pleasure and amusement, enjoy this selection of kookery culled from e-mails I've gotten, as well as the occasional preaching comment I've rejected from Daylight Atheism.First up, there's this from "wayofthegoldenlion", which starts off as standard creationist drivel but builds up steam as it goes, until it … [Read more...]

Advice to an Atheist

Before now, I've written two previous posts offering, and soliciting, advice for atheist readers who've found themselves in difficult situations. With today's post, I'm thinking I ought to make it a regular series.I was contacted by a reader with the following dilemma:As part of my job, I am often expected to attend and participate in public meetings that are put on either by my employer or by community councils that are affiliated with it. My Canadian employer is considered to be a public … [Read more...]

From the Mailbag

Although I get my share of kook mail, I'd much rather share the truly inspiring e-mails I receive - the ones that remind me why I write and give me the motivation to keep at it. I welcome the reminder that, beyond the political battles and debates that accompany every nascent reform movement, there are real people, fellow freethinkers, whose lives are affected by what we say and do. I'm always grateful to make the acquaintance of a kindred spirit, somewhere out in the wilds of the world; and if … [Read more...]

Sharing the Kook Mail

For whatever reason, I don't get as much entertaining e-mail from religious nuts as some other atheist bloggers I know of. If I were inclined to flatter myself, I'd say it's because they're silenced by the devastating power of my arguments. More likely, it's just because most of the notorious crazies haven't come across my site.In either case, crackpot e-mail in my inbox is sufficiently rare that when I do get e-mail from genuine kooks, I can't keep it to myself. I just have to share it with … [Read more...]


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