FAQ: Do You Ever Still Worry About Hell?

A friend of mine who still identifies as a Christian wrote me to ask me whether or not I’m still bothered by Pascal’s Wager. In case you’re not familiar, Pascal’s Wager refers to that age-old notion that a person, whether or not he fully believes it, should choose to live as if God were in fact real [Read More…]

Dear Church, You’re Weird

This past weekend I did something I haven’t done in nearly six years: I attended Sunday morning worship at my family’s church. On Easter, no less. It was an interesting experience. I came away from that experience with a number of strong impressions, and I’d like to share them with you because I feel something can be learned from [Read More…]

Maybe Fighting God Isn’t the Point

Not every development in human evolution serves to perpetuate the species. Not every variation benefits us in more ways than it harms us. There ultimately is no rhyme or reason to what happens from moment to moment—there is only order in what remains over the long haul because only those things beneficial to the preservation and [Read More…]

Note From a Pastor: Finding Meaning in Our Myths

This past weekend I got an email from a Presbyterian pastor (PCUSA) asking some really good questions, and I’d like to share them with you here in abbreviated form (with permission, of course). I think they’re good appetizers for a better-than-usual discussion about how faith and religion function in the world, and about the consequences [Read More…]

Can You Choose NOT to Believe?

I try not to get sucked into too many arguments about religion in my friends’ social media spaces because I never know how personally their friends and relatives will take the discussion. Arguing in the comment section of a blog or on Reddit is one thing, but when you’re on people’s Facebook walls you may be crossing [Read More…]

Are We All Born Atheists?

During an interview last night for an upcoming documentary on atheism in America, I was asked to tell the story of my deconversion. I get that question a lot, so I’m pretty accustomed to explaining how I got here. Only this time there was a bit of a polemical twist to the wording of the [Read More…]

An Atheist’s Take on the “Spirituality” of Sex

This month, Patheos is hosting a cross-channel discussion about the spirituality of sex, asking people from each religious tradition to weigh in on what their faith has to say about the subject. What kinds of rules does each tradition establish to manage and guide our sensual and romantic experiences? Are there any definitive texts that [Read More…]

When Neither Atheists Nor Christians Offer You a Safe Space

Despite what many atheists would say, a lot of problems within Christian and other religious groups are mirrored in atheist groups. Both groups claim to be open minded, but there’s a reluctance to explore certain kinds of ideas within each camp. When exploring your beliefs while in a Christian group, they are certain that the [Read More…]

Skeptrack Panel Discussion: Firebrands vs. Diplomats (Video)

This past Labor Day weekend, I had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion at Dragon*Con in Atlanta between proponents of a more confrontational (a.k.a. “firebrand”) approach to atheism and those of us who take a more conversational one (a.k.a. “dipolomats”). I wrote out my own thoughts about that discussion a few days later: [Read More…]

Genesis Three and the Dangers of Thinking Too Much

I really meant it last week when I said that going quickly through the first three chapters of Genesis is like sprinting through a museum. We could spend hours in front of each passage, picking apart all the influences and nuances of meaning, the historical settings and the authorial intent(s). I suppose we could also create [Read More…]