San Francisco LGBTQI Pride: A Humanist Reflection

If you are anything like me,  last Friday's SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality completely overwhelmed you. Tears of joy were present with me throughout the day. Since not all NonProphet Status readers live in a city quite like San Francisco, where Pride is celebrated in a very major way, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few photos from my weekend.  Every year, the secular communities of the San Francisco Bay Area come together to march as a large contingent in the LGBTQI Pride p … [Read more...]

A Reason to Celebrate: An Incomplete List of Not-So-Holy Days

For some reason, when I first became an atheist, I began distancing myself from rites of passage, celebrations of life or anything that resembled religious ritual. Early on, my atheism took the form of rebelling against the dominant Christian norms that prevail here in the U.S. It was my way of living into my new label of choice. My phase of ‘opting out’ did not last long however, as I began to see the very real necessity of celebration.What is life without the joyous acknowledgement of this … [Read more...]

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Where Vlad has been

It's probably past the point where a New Year's post is timely or relevant, but I've been gone a fair bit and it seems only appropriate to say where I've been, so here we are.Physically, I've spent the holiday and the first few weeks of January home in Durham, mostly working. I've been really academically productive, which has been hard but encouraging. I've started the first round of edits for a paper I spent most of last semester collecting data for, and I can't wait to wrap this project u … [Read more...]

How Andreas accidentally undermined scientific arguments for moral principles by dissing Kanye West

Yesterday, I finished my time working at the North Carolina State Fair. My lab set up our department's mobile research center, and I spent about 100 hours over the last 10 days administering surveys to three or four thousand people in exchange for enough money to make a small dent in the North Carolina GDP. I mention this not only to explain where I've been for the last week and a few days, but also to preempt any suggestions that the argument I'm about to make comes from a place of not caring ab … [Read more...]

It’s Caturday!

At NonProphet Status, we love dogs. We love dogs a lot. We love their faces and their fur and the way their stupid little noses sniff and bury into everything. But some of us like cats, too.In the interest of promoting interpet literacy, we bring you... Caturday! —1. Dean's princess unicorn, Darla, is a cat; or, Dean's cat, Darla, is a princess unicorn— Some context, from Dean:This is Darla's unicorn princess halloween costume. She loves wearing it so much that if you try to take it off … [Read more...]

One month at Patheos, looking back

It's been a little more than a month since our humble blogfam joined the atheist channel here at Patheos. The entire process moved very quickly---Dale McGowan, the Managing Editor of the atheist channel[1. AKA our blogdad] reached out to us to see if we'd be interested in relaunching NPS at Patheos. Though Chris Stedman, the founder of our blog,[2. AKA our other blogdad] had moved on to blogging at his Religion News Service site and couldn't join us, we all agreed to join the network.On the f … [Read more...]

Lessons from Kanye West: Atheistic inspiration can come from the religious

At NPS, we believe that critical contributors are missing from the conversation and culture around atheism. We recognize that popular scientists aren’t the only ones who have relevant things to say about what it means to live life without religion, and significant voices might be found where we least expect them. One of the aims of this blog is to identify cultural and artistic work, as well as lived experiences, which can provide inspiration, aspiration, and comfort to nonreligious folk in ways … [Read more...]

More Humanist Reflection (and technical difficulties)

You may or may not have noticed but the site has gone a bit wonky. We've run into some technical troubles on our end and are working to take care of it ASAP, so please bear with us as we sort that out. You might notice a bit of the skeleton peeking through and some of our fancier features failing, but other than that it shouldn't affect the site too much.In the mean time, I thought I'd provide a bit less of a cerebral reflection for World Humanist Day and share a poem I think that has a par … [Read more...]

Vlad’s Duke Event Audio

To anyone who was waiting for a recording of the dialogue I had with my friend Neil Shenvi last week, the audio is now online, hosted on Neil's website.I listened to it this morning while walking my dog and the audio came out surprisingly well. It's not without its issues (some clipping here and there, a few moments where it cuts out during transitions, and so on), but definitely listenable.My opening statement starts at around the 18 minute mark, and our conversation starts after a … [Read more...]

NPS: Lenten Reflections 2013

It's been nearly a week since the end of our 40-odd days of Lenten fasting, and we'd like to take some time to briefly reflect about the process. This post will be updating as we get more perspectives, and it seemed like a good place to aggregate all the links and writing we've done on the topic for easy reference.Our inaugural post this year.A defense of Lent as a secular practiceVlad writes about secular Lent on the Huffington PostA reflection on how we ought to treat religious … [Read more...]