Message to everyone who came to this blog because of the DJ Grothe controversy

My post defending DJ Grothe is now, by a significant margin, the most-read post in the history of (this incarnation of) this blog. I have mixed feelings about this. I’m glad I said what I said and that so many people read it, but (while it’s not the first time I’ve done so) commenting on fights within [Read More...]

I support DJ Grothe

This is probably going to be a long post. I’m going to try to keep it from getting TOO long, but that will require not explaining some things in as much detail as I’d like, so be warned of that in advance. Also, I’m going to link to a couple posts on my old blog, [Read More...]

The Catholic Church’s contemptuous attitude towards its “flock”

Christopher Hitchens once pointed out how insulting it is for religious leaders to describe themselves as “shepherds” leading a “flock,” since the metaphor which implies their followers are sheep. (Hitchens also commented that he once heard a pastor in a country where sheep were unknown refer to his followers as “swine.”) Now Adam Lee has [Read More...]

The Outsider Test for Faith And How to Take It

What follows is an excerpt from the draft book chapter I posted yesterday In chapter 1, I wrote: “If a child, say one who’d just watched Disney’s Hercules, asked me if the Greek gods are real, I’d say ‘no’ rather than hedge my bets by saying I lack a belief in them. And I don’t [Read More...]

Beta testing a book: Chapter 4: This Is What Your Religion Looks Like to Me

Here’s the link to this week’s chapter of the book I’m working on, Angry Atheists?: Why the Blacklash Against Dawkins, Harris, and the Rest Is Silly. In this chapter: How to refute your religion in three easy steps Mormonism: racism, archaeology, goofy beliefs, and more! Why you should leave the Catholic church Avoiding philosophy [Read more...]

Homophobia, racism, and the value of inexact analogies

I got quite a bit of traffic from Reddit over the weekend for my post about excuses for homophobia vs. excuses for racism, but it didn’t come from /r/atheism but from /r/lgbt. That’s great! But there was one comment in the Reddit thread complaining about “appropriationism,” linking to a post titled “Queer History vs. Black [Read More...]

Coming out as an atheist Eagle Scout

This is a story I’ve only told to a few people. I’ve been meaning to tell it in a blog post for a while, but Greta’s call for atheist coming-out stories just pushed me over the edge.  So here it goes. [Read more...]

Skeevy conference presenters and anti-harassment policies

I shot off a couple tweets on this topic, but didn’t blog about it because I didn’t think I had more than a couple tweets worth to say about it. But now I realize I do. So background: Jen made an off-hand comment at a talk about male speakers being skeevy at atheist conferences, and it [Read More...]

From the archives: Plantinga’s ontological argument, take three

Plantinga’s ontological argument is an annoying argument in that it relies heavily on jargon that’s unintelligible to the average person, including using “possible” in a somewhat unintuitive way. As a result, even though I think it’s a terrible argument, someone without training in the relevant philosophy is likely to make wrong guesses about what’s wrong with [Read More...]


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