Is atheism like nudism?

I've been playing around with this analogy, but one of Keith Parsons's latest comments made me want to think out loud about it. Could someone defending a privileged social and legal position for religion make an analogy between atheism and nudism, and justify a limited regime of tolerance of nonbelief, excluding it from the common public sphere?Culturally, especially in conservative places such as the United States and Islamic countries, nudity is considered to be morally dubious in general, … [Read more...]

Bad news for agnostics?

While past studies have shown religious believers to be happier than nonbelievers, some new analysis shows that it's not quite so simple. Luke Galen has found that the convinced non-religious are also quite happy, but people who are uncertain are the ones who are dissatisfied. Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn has analyzed data from the World Values Survey and found some more interesting details:Religious people are both happier and unhappier. While a higher percentage of religious people report themselves … [Read more...]

The Moral Fool

Here's a nice little book I just laid my hands on: The Moral Fool: A Case for Amorality by Hans-Georg Moeller.Both our religious and philosophical traditions push us toward a notion of Morality—with a capital M. There have to be Moral Truths that are objective, absolute, binding, categorical, etc. etc. We think there is a way Things Ought To Be, independent of particular interests. A chief source of employment for our Gods is to be an Authority that underwrites Morality. And a chief source … [Read more...]

Blasphemy again

Derek C. Araujo points out that Pakistan is using the definition of blasphemy used in the recent Irish law as part of the concerted Islamic effort to get the UN to urge member states to prevent defamation of religion.Now, let me make a not-so-wild guess and predict that in the medium term, we should expect free speech to become more curtailed where criticism of religion is concerned. Conservative religious groups are strong, organized, and determined to remove offense to their sensibilities from … [Read more...]

Economic salvation

The US economy is in great shape—at least, Goldman Sachs is doing well, and politically that's what counts. Still, unemployment is worrisome. Good Christian Americans might be distracted from the excellent work they're doing in defense of health insurance companies. (At least, opposing any change in our wonderful health system seems to be a major preoccupation of the Christian radio station I listen to.)Thing is, we can't solve that problem by having Good Christian Americans actually make stuff … [Read more...]

Murderers are as bad as nonbelievers!

I've started reading yet another Muslim book explaining why True Islam is a religion of peace that utterly rejects terrorism: Terror and Suicide Attacks: An Islamic Perspective, edited by Ergün Çapan.That's fine and good: the more Muslims who reject jihadi ideology, the better. But immediately, the book gets off on the wrong foot. Fethullah Gülen, a very prominent Turkish religious leader, writes, in the first paragraph of his chapter, that "In Islam, killing a human is an act that is equal in gr … [Read more...]

Infidel Billboards

Billboards advertising churches or proclaiming a Christian message are ubiquitous in American roadsides. But there are now some newcomers. I haven't yet seen one in person, but billboards by atheistic and skeptical groups seem to be sprouting up as well. They usually appeal to the fellow nonbeliever, pointing out that they're not alone.The reason I know about the infidel billboards is that I invariably hear news about controversies and strongly negative local reactions. In fact, very often they … [Read more...]

Conservative Bible???

Leonard Pitts wrote an article a couple of weeks ago noting that the editors of "Conservapedia" are preparing a "conservative" translation of the Bible that will eliminate all "liberal bias" in extant bible translations (Damn those pointy-headed, bleeding heart, knee-jerk liberal King James translators!). Woo Hoo! I can't wait to see it! In fact, I think contributors and commentators on this site should offer to help. Here is my offering, the beatitudes for the "conservative" Bible:(FROM THE … [Read more...]


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