A friend wrote me a couple of days ago and posed a question every formerly religious person has to wrestle with at some point or another. I’ve been having a mini freakout at the reality of consciousness ending when I do. I KNOW there’s no life after death, but for some reason the finality of that just hit two days ago. I’m feeling grief and a kind of existential terror at this reality becoming real to me in a cogent manner… Read more

Whenever people who never truly bought into the hype about Jesus cast their gaze upon his most vocal fan clubs, what they see there alternately amuses and enrages them. They find the claims of Christianity implausible at best and emotionally manipulative at worst, but that in itself is no skin off their backs. What really irks them the most, however, is when people within this one religion presume to tell the rest of the world how to live regardless of… Read more

In case you weren’t aware, there is a thing called the “atheist movement,” and it is a subculture of its own kind. Like most subcultures made possible by the Information Age, most days out of the year this community exists only online. Periodically, though, it manifests itself and assumes physical form when a conference date rolls around, as in fact it is doing this very weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. Right now my newsfeed is filled with pictures of friends… Read more

I wasn’t active in the skeptic movement long before I discovered how different my perspective on religion was from that of other atheists. In time I came to understand that people who have never been religious come to the subject as outsiders who cannot always sympathize with those who formerly were. But I most definitely was religious. Except I never would have used that word to describe myself. In fact, I would have recoiled from that word as I had… Read more

This summer I’ve been trying to work my way through outlining a book I’ve been wanting to write for several years now, but didn’t feel ready to begin. The biggest holdup, I think, was that I wasn’t sure which of two or three directions I wanted to go with the book. Truth be told, I probably have at least three or four books in me trying to get out. But for now, I’d prefer to start with the one that… Read more

I’ve gotten into more than my fair share of interchanges with people on the internet arguing over whether or not faith is a matter of personal volition. Can you simply choose to believe in God or Jesus if you don’t already? And do people who leave the faith of their youth do so by choice? Or does it happen in a way that is beyond their control? I “came out” as an atheist four years ago by participating in something called… Read more

A retired friend of mine who now considers himself an agnostic has been struggling for some time to navigate his relationship with his children and grandchildren, all of whom are still religious themselves. In particular he’s been working through his differences with his daughter, now a thoroughgoing Calvinist, which precipitated a heated interchange over the phone a couple of weeks ago. In that conversation, my friend expressed frustration over the negative messages he knows his grandchildren are hearing about their… Read more

Followers of this blog have noticed a dropoff in posts over the last few weeks, and my friends on social media have additionally noticed I temporarily deactivated my personal Facebook account, leading a number of friends to check in on me to make sure I’m still alive. Lest anyone suppose that transhumanism is something that exists only in sci-fi novels peddling dystopian visions of the future, I’d recommend deactivating your Facebook account for a few days to see how people respond. It’s… Read more

I suppose I started celebrating Father’s Day a day early when I took my nine-year-old bowling yesterday, but of course that won’t stop me from doing it again today when I take her to my favorite place for catfish and hushpuppies (not a normal fare for a guy trying to keep from putting back on the 50 lbs or so he worked off a few years back). Her three older sisters are all at a Christian camp this Father’s Day,… Read more

A few weeks ago I attended my family’s church because my oldest was being recognized among the seniors graduating from high school (yes, I’m old enough for such things). Attending the church of my youth is always interesting and entertaining, and most likely in all the wrong ways if what they’re hoping is that I’ll come under the Holy Spirit’s conviction, exclaiming that “Surely the Lord is in this place!” What I sense whenever I visit is something other than… Read more

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