Why I Am Not a Communist

Last summer, I wrote a three-part post series, "Why I Am Not a Libertarian", which explained my disagreement with this political philosophy. However, I've realized that despite writing an essay addressing the crimes of communist regimes as they reflect on atheists, I've never written a post on my differences with communism per se. This one will do that.I have many objections to communism, not least of which is last year's news that, in Russia, the Communist party is now teaming up with the … [Read more...]

Three Objections to Objectivism

I recently finished reading Ayn Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness, and I wanted to offer some comments on her moral philosophy.There are several good reasons why I ought to like Ayn Rand. She was an atheist, and proudly so, and argued for the supremacy of reason as the only valid way of knowing. I agree with this. She denounced communism and supported capitalism. I agree with this as well. Her works are still very popular in some circles and offer a vision of a rational, productive life which … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Mind of the Market

(Author's Note: The following review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: A libertarian political tract disguised as a work of science.Michael Shermer's The Mind of the Market concerns "evolutionary economics" - the way that evolutionary forces have shaped human instincts about trading, value and exchange, and how those tendencies have played out in creating the variety of economic systems in the world today. There's enough material on … [Read more...]

Probing the Prosperity Gospel

I'm surprised that this story, "Going After the Money Ministries", hasn't gotten much attention on atheist blogs. Earlier this month, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White - six notorious televangelists who preach the "prosperity gospel" - received an ominous letter from Senator Chuck Grassley, ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, asking them to account for numerous expenditures whose tax-exempt status seems … [Read more...]

Optimistic Populism

In the comments of my recent post "On Atheist Janitors", I was accused of being naive for my belief in the possibility of a truly just and prosperous state:I wasn't even going to address Ebon's utopian comments on how we should ensure a minimum income for everyone on a full time job sufficient to travel for leisure and all. Clearly Ebon's not an economist, but a dreamer. I guess that's his own variety of opium. Heaven not in heaven, but here on Earth... I ask you, is that any less of a … [Read more...]

The Treadmill

Earlier this month, the New York Times ran an article series about millionaires who don't feel rich, mostly engineers and executives living in America's Silicon Valley. Though most of the people profiled in the article have luxurious, paid-off homes, multiple cars and several million dollars already in the bank, they continue to work grueling, stressful 60- to 80-hour weeks, largely because they feel insecure when they compare themselves to their even wealthier neighbors. (This article was … [Read more...]

Why I Am Not a Libertarian III

Opportunity and ObligationOne of the driving notions behind libertarian political theory is that society should be a meritocracy. By removing all restraints on competition, we will create a system where the hardest-working, most talented, most creative people succeed. And this is a good idea which I agree with. We need to encourage effort and innovation to create a healthy society; we should not punish motivation, nor reward laziness. We should give people an incentive to work and to strive. … [Read more...]

Why I Am Not a Libertarian II

Positive and Negative LibertyThe second major reason why I am not a libertarian has to do with the social safety net - programs like public education, universal health care, food stamps or unemployment pay - that are funded by redistributive taxation. Hard-core libertarians decry these programs as theft or even slavery, arguing that it is unfair to tax them to fund programs from which they derive no direct benefit.In reality, however, these programs do benefit all members of society. … [Read more...]

Why I Am Not a Libertarian

I: The Dilemma of the CommonsI don't usually post purely political essays on Daylight Atheism, as opposed to posts that touch on religion in some way. But the new series beginning with this post is personally important to me, and deserves an exception.Though I only have anecdotal evidence, it's my experience that the majority of atheists hold a politically liberal view. The second largest group, a substantial minority, takes a libertarian stance. (Classic conservativism is a distant third.) … [Read more...]

Not for the Love of Money

This month I've written two posts condemning the get-rich-quick, get-everything-for-nothing mentality prominent both in evangelical Christianity (The Root of All Evil) and in New Ageism (The Secret). (It occurs to me that this is April - tax month, for us Americans - and though I didn't intend these posts to appear during this month, the correlation pleases me.) This brand of supernatural selfishness has never brought humanity any benefits, instead only giving grief and distracting us from truly … [Read more...]


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