That’s Not (De)conversion

If someone moves from fundamentalist religion to fundamentalist atheism, or vice versa, they haven’t actually converted or deconverted. It is only when you move from fundamentalism to a more mature and balanced view that you’ve actually undergone a fundamental change. I wrote the above words when sharing Allan Bevere’s tips for diagnosing and curing unreformed [Read More…]

Nones and Mystics

There have been nuns who have been mystics. But that’s not what this is about. It has been common for religious freethinkers of various types to be labeled atheists by their religious opponents, and then claimed as such by atheists as well. But in many instances, these individuals are spiritual and may not sit comfortably in the [Read More…]

What Would It Take To Get You To Read Richard Carrier’s Book?

A commenter on this blog mentioned how useful it would be if scholars in Classics, ancient Jewish history, or Roman history were to read and give their impressions of Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. The truth is that, just as I am perhaps going to [Read More…]

Neither Side Will Be Happy

Reality often challenges our assumptions. Sometimes evidence strongly favors one conclusion over another – there is no need to be a relativist. But just as often, we pigeonhole and stereotype when people and things are much more complex. I’ve been delighted to see some great instances of members of groups objecting when the group that they are [Read More…]

How to Become Humble

I saw this offered on Reddit as “How to Become an Atheist.” One problem is that atheists sometimes turn the critical gaze they probe religions with on their own worldview, and find that it is not without those same human imperfections, shortcomings, and unanswered questions that religious worldviews have. Using the “outsider test” (as John [Read More…]

Religion: Powerful and Dangerous Medicine

The purveyors of religion insist that their product is so powerful it can transform a life, but somehow, magically, it has no risks. In reality, when a medicine is powerful, it usually has the potential to be toxic, especially in the wrong combination or at the wrong dose. And religion is powerful medicine! – Marlene [Read More…]

Attacking Religion at Easter

It isn't actually an attack on religion. But that is surely how it will be depicted by some, and misconstrued deliberately by others, when the ad below appears in the New York Times tomorrow, sponsored by an organization whose name says it is seeking freedom from religion.   The cause of keeping religion and state [Read More…]

Does Evangelicalism Make You A Better Person?

In a recent post about why Evangelical Christianity doesn’t make you a better person, Neil Carter wrote the following: Evangelical Christianity Has Messed Up Priorities The evangelical Christian vision of heaven is based on right belief, not on right behavior.  For evangelicals, it’s not the loving, caring, hard-working people of the world who get into [Read More…]

Is Panentheism Atheism?

In the video above, Henry Neufeld asks a question which was also discussed here on this blog recently: is panentheism atheism? Hemant Mehta also discussed a book by Nancy Abrams, about a God that atheists might be able to embrace. The book is called A God That Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of [Read More…]

Embarrassed by Mythicism/Antievolutionism

Have you ever wondered why the two New Testament scholars to write books directly tackling mythicist claims are Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey, both of whom happen to be atheists? I don’t think it is a coincidence. As atheists, Ehrman and Casey have the most to be embarrassed about when fellow atheists uncritically embrace views that [Read More…]