An Atheist’s Confession

By Sarah Jane Braasch-Joy In loving memory of my baby brother, Jacob Michael Braasch (01/28/86 – 02/02/10) My beloved baby brother, Jacob, hung himself last year in my parents' basement. I wouldn't wish my pain on my worst enemy. It's been a year and a half, and, sometimes, I still can't get out of bed or stop crying. I'll be in public, and I'll inexplicably, to anyone else, burst into sobbing, jagged tears. I blame a lot of people for his death, especially my parents. But, mostly, I blame … [Read more...]

The Baffling Era of Religious Suicide-Massacres

By James A. Haught Osama bin Laden achieved a remarkable feat: He mobilized the power of religion to spur devout young men to kill themselves in order to murder defenseless strangers. Grotesquely, the suicide-killers felt they were performing holy acts that would please God and assure them martyr rewards in paradise. The annals of faith-based killing are long: human sacrifice, the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch-hunts, Reformation wars, drowning of Anabaptists, jihads, pogroms against Jews, … [Read more...]

You Call That Religion?

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked. Adam is on vacation. Spoiler Alert: the post below discusses the final number of the musical The Book of Mormon. The Associated Press, in a review titled "Zany Musical 'The Book of Mormon' Will Convert You" said despite the sacrilege you might expect from a show imagined by the creators of South Park, the production was ultimately "pro-religion."  Or, more precisely: Ultimately, believe it or not, this is a pro-religion musical, or at least a … [Read more...]

The Mormon Test

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked.  Adam is on vacation. When in argument with Christians, it can be hard to find a good way to explain why you doubt their precepts.  John Loftus has a good idea with his Outsider's Test for Faith, but most Christians believe that their faith can pass the test; it's hard to show them how their faith looks if you haven't been steeped in it. Sometimes I've tried comparing and contrasting with other, conflicting denominations and asking why I … [Read more...]

News Round-up

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie) I just thought I’d do a quick whirl through some stories of note in the papers this week: Firstly, and probably most obviously, the Rapture failed to materialise. The herald of doom for this event, Harold Camping announced his shock and surprise that a literal, physical Rapture did not arrive in exactly the way he prophesised. Instead, the Rapture was of a spiritual nature, and we are still on track for a 21st October Armageddon. To his credit, he did … [Read more...]

Adapt or Die

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked.  Adam is on vacation. My previous two posts on mockery have drawn a lot of criticism, including charges that I am an accommodationist.  If that were the case, the definition of accommodationism had gotten way too broad.  Trying to treat people with respect is different from asserting that their beliefs are true, or, at a minimum, not actively harmful.  Accommodationists have no desire to deconvert Christians or other believers, but there's … [Read more...]

Whom Should We Mock?

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked.  Adam is on vacation. My last post on Daylight Atheism, asking non-believers to tone down the contempt for Harold Camping and his followers, and many of you disagreed.  Some commenters didn't believe there was anything intrinsically destructive about mocking others, others argued that ridicule was a necessary tactic to help people deconvert.  TommyP commented to say deconversion was catalyzed by the confrontational attitudes of unbelievers, … [Read more...]

Sex and Sensibilities

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie) Being a documentary fanboy, I've lately stumbled across a couple of interesting histories on the topic of sex, which have set me thinking about what shape our attitudes to it, so forgive me coming over all Carrie Bradshaw. Many early European cultures had a decidedly celebratory attitude to sex. Ancient Egyptians practised public fertility rituals which included open masturbation. The homes of ancient Romans were liberally adorned with explicit images of sexual … [Read more...]

Meat is Dinner?

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie) Just over two years ago, DaylightAtheism featured an essay discussing vegetarianism - though coming at it largely as an environmental issue. Seeing as so many faces on here seem new, I thought I'd tackle it again and hit the moral question head-on: can we justify eating meat? Many religions include restrictions on consuming meat, from total abstention to restrictions on eating certain animals, considered either sacred or unclean. Even the Christian Bible … [Read more...]

The Rapture of Charlie Sheen

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked. Adam is on vacation. I'm sure this is just one blog post among many in your feed to reference the Rapture predictions of Harold Camping. His apocalyptic forecast for this weekend is all over the news cycle and even snagged front page coverage in The New York Times. And why is everyone telling this story? Because it's fun to laugh at stupid people. No one outside this small group of zealots gives their claims the slightest bit of credence; they … [Read more...]


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