Tips for Avoiding Theological Arguments

1 college freshman

I sometimes get emails from readers asking for advice. In this post, I want to reprint an email I received yesterday, offer my thoughts, and ask for your input. Hello,I'm a freshman in college, about to come home for spring break. As a current atheist who was raised Catholic, I have a question about how to interact with family friends and church acquaintances.What should I say when they ask questions about (what they assume to be) my faith, like "Is your boyfriend/roommate/best … [Read more...]

I Am One Lucky Atheist: On Location and Belief

college-town

I am a graduate student in a humanities field, living in a progressive college town. Because of this, not believing in God doesn't cause me any trouble at all in my day to day life. No one cares. No really, no one cares. The people I interact with on a day-to-day basis are atheist, agnostic, "spiritual," or, less commonly, some form of progressive Christian.There are the mothers of Sally's daycare friends that I've gotten to know: One is lapsed Catholic who is now agnostic, another is a … [Read more...]

Sometimes People Change Their Minds

Change-your-mind

It's a funny thing that happens, when an atheist says she was once a Christian and then Christians jump up and down saying "no you weren't! you never truly understood Christianity!" I've seen it happen the other way, too, when a Christian says he was once an atheist and then atheists assert that he must not have ever really been an atheist. And it happens with a myriad of other issues too, including abortion, creationism, and feminism.But here's the thing. I believe that people can and do c … [Read more...]

The Camels with Hammers Civility Pledge

civility

Dan Fincke of Camels with Hammers has written a civility pledge. He has requested that interested bloggers repost the pledge, following it with any amendments or caveats they would add. So here's Dan's pledge, followed by my thoughts: The Pledge:1. I commit that I will engage in all public arguments with a sincere aim of mutual understanding, rather than only persuasion.I will make being honest, rationally scrupulous, and compassionate my highest priorities. I will conscientiously … [Read more...]

Freedom of Speech =/= Speech Free from Consequences

free speech

Seriously, I'm really getting tired of people griping about how their FREEDOM OF SPEECH is being violated because people don't like what they're saying and say as much. Look, you are perfectly free to call a gay person a pervert. Really! But that does not mean I can't call you out for that, or that I have to be buddy buddy with you, or that I have to endorse your hate. Heck no. And you know what? You are perfectly free to call a woman you don't like a c***. Really! But if you do that, be ready … [Read more...]

Creating Spaces for Collective Mourning

funeral

Last week Dan Fincke introduced this prompt for Forward Thinking: If it were up to you to design one or more basic models for messaging and for ritual through which people were to regularly mark deaths together, what would such ceremonies be like?  This isn't a topic I've thought very much about, or had much experience with, but I'll try to pull together a few tentative thoughts nonetheless. Funerals, even more than weddings, can be complicated when there are people of a variety of religious be … [Read more...]

Assorted Thoughts on Civility

jumble

I have a bunch of stuff in my mind right now and I sort of want to just dump it all out here in a semi-organized fashion. After this I'm planning to take a hiatus from writing about civil discussion and tactics because, to be honest, I find it fairly boring compared to what I usually write about. Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I am off of whatever high horse I sometimes get on (sorry!). This is just me trying to sort through this in my mind, and I'm most interested in your … [Read more...]


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