Is Atheism Unnatural?

"This persistence is what any scientific attack on religion must explain — and this one doesn't. Dawkins mentions lots of modern atheist scientists who have tried to explain the puzzle: Robert Hinde, Scott Atran, Pascal Boyer, DS Wilson, Daniel Dennett, all of them worth reading. But he cannot accept the obvious conclusion to draw from their works, which is that thoroughgoing atheism is unnatural and will never be popular."—Andrew Brown, "Dawkins the dogmatist" (emphasis added)In a r … [Read more...]

The New Atheists Fight Back

Wired has recently published a long article, titled Battle of the New Atheism, about the inroads made by prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett and the attacks they have launched against faith. The article does not treat their views inaccurately or with malice, but nevertheless the author, Gary Wolf, seems scornful and dismissive of the idea that he or anyone else should actually pick a side in the debate. He begins and concludes his essay in much the same … [Read more...]

Tipping the Scales

"The book (The End of Faith) has spent nearly 20 weeks on bestseller lists... Presale orders of 'Letter to a Christian Nation' earned the book a spot among Amazon.com's top 10 a month before its Sept. 19 publication. It debuted at No. 7 on the bestsellers' list and is now in its sixth printing with 110,000 copies in print and a mammoth $200,000 ad campaign behind it."—Gina Piccalo, "Oh, dear God - it's him again", The Los Angeles Times, 2 October 2006In a recent post, "The Quiet … [Read more...]

The Atheist Crew

"Should Franks be elected in November, one would have to conclude that he will hold true to his out of touch 'atheist' belief system and ignore the laws and Constitution of Texas."—Mary Alice Robbins, "GOP Raises Religion in Court Race, Calling Democrat an Atheist." Law.com, 9 October 2006.In Paradise Lost, published in 1667, John Milton labels Satan and the other rebel angels "the atheist crew", despite the fact that they were in Heaven at the time fighting against God and the … [Read more...]

Book Review: The God Delusion

(Author's Note: The following review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: A witty, razor-sharp attack on religious belief of all varieties. As one might have expected, Dawkins pulls no punches whatsoever and does not hesitate to heap scorn on foolish beliefs where appropriate. Atheists will cheer it; believers will probably be appalled and bypass it, which is unfortunate, since this book presents a great deal of legitimately new and … [Read more...]

Newsweek Discovers Atheists

P.Z. Myers of Pharyngula draws my attention to a Newsweek article by Jerry Adler, "The New Naysayers", about several prominent atheists and the impact they have had on American culture and society.In sum, I agree with Myers: this article was terrible. (Newsweek in general has a poor track record when it comes to atheism.) Although any attention paid to atheists is welcome, Adler's article was characterized by the heavy-handed application of logical fallacies and an intrusively opinionated tone … [Read more...]

Watch This Space

Offered for my readers' amusement, I recently came across the following humbly named site: The True Bible Code. As with all devotees of the Bible code, this site works by randomly stringing together letters from randomly chosen chapters of the Bible until they manage to come up with one pattern that spells something and that seems applicable to future events.Their latest startling prediction runs as follows:The UN in Midtown Manhattan will be hit by a sea borne nuclear bomb sometime in the … [Read more...]

Winning Hearts and Minds

In the post Should Atheists Evangelize?, back in March, I argued for the conclusion that nonbelievers should, in fact, seek to spread the good news of atheism under certain circumstances. Since then, I have built on this foundation by proposing a plan for how best to achieve that. In previous posts of this series, I have addressed how to respond to religious distortions (Shattering Stereotypes) and how to present atheism to an audience unacquainted with it (Atheism as a Positive Worldview). In … [Read more...]

Fossil Fuels

For more than a hundred years of human history, the words "the 21st century" were used as shorthand for the distant, advanced future. Utopians and futurists looked forward to an era of transformation, when knowledge and will would reshape human society almost beyond recognition. Now we are in the 21st century, and we can see for ourselves how those prognostications have fared. In many ways they have fallen short. We still have war, crime, disease and poverty; we do not have flying cars, … [Read more...]

Shattering Stereotypes

In a previous post, Should Atheists Evangelize?, I defended the position that nonbelievers should speak out publicly in defense of atheism. It seems obvious to me that, if we are to act in accordance with that principle, we should come to a general agreement on how to go about it and what methods are most effective. With that in mind, this post will be the first in a three-part series on evangelizing for atheism, offering suggestions on how we should present ourselves and how to deploy our … [Read more...]


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