How to Think About the Objectives of Organized Atheism

In response to my last post on the American Atheists billboard ads, two people posted comments about the goals of organized atheism. Both of these comments show why organized atheism would greatly benefit from thinking about its fundamental objectives. Before I get into that, however, let me quote the authors. First, here is Chris Hallquist.The problem here is that we're trying to do several things at once. We're trying to convince people we're not evil. We're trying to have our legal … [Read more...]

American Atheists Billboards and Ridicule of Religious Ideas

Prior to my earlier posts on American Atheists's billboards, an atheist, whose opinion I respect, mentioned his support for the ads. To paraphrase, his argument was something like this.Religious beliefs should not get special protection from ridicule and doubt. They have had this protection for far too long and this needs to stop. Our society needs to get used to cherished religious beliefs being subject to the same kind of criticism and ridicule as that faced by any other belief. For example, … [Read more...]

Potential Hypocrisy in American Atheist Billboard Campaign?

It seems like virtually every atheist site with a focus on the culture ways has been happy to report an increase in the percentage of Americans willing to vote for an atheist for President. Presumably virtually all atheists would like all Americans, atheist or not, to be willing to vote for an atheist for President.Now consider the following statement by American Atheists' Dave Silverman."Presidential conventions are for ideas, not ideology – platforms, not platitudes," Silverman said. "If a p … [Read more...]

American Atheists Doesn’t Speak for This American Atheist

CNN.com this morning reported on the latest billboard ads paid for by American Atheists. Here are the ads.What was the purpose of the ads? Here is Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists."Presidential conventions are for ideas, not ideology – platforms, not platitudes," Silverman said. "If a person believes stupid things, we have every right to question his or her judgment, and that directly impacts how the nonreligious voter votes.”I am no expert on politics, but it seems to me that pr … [Read more...]

Index: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

"Part 1: The Bayesian Interpretation of ECREE": a Bayesian interpretation and defense of ECREE"Part 2: Is ECREE False? A Reply to William Lane Craig": Craig's objection to ECREE is based upon an misinterpretation of ECREE. "Part 3: Is ECREE False? A Reply to Kurt Jaros": ECREE emphasizes the common sense notion that the more implausible (i.e., antecedently improbable) we initially regard a claim prior to considering the evidence, the greater the evidence we will require to believe the … [Read more...]

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence (ECREE), Part 4: NT Reliability, Extraordinary Claims, and the Base Rate Fallacy

I want to re-visit the issue of "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (ECREE), by considering a type or class of argument for miracles based upon the historical reliability of the New Testament (NT), hereafter "the argument." According to this argument, the general historical reliability of the NT provides sufficient evidence to make the historicity of NT miracles more probable than not. I shall argue, however, that this argument commits the base rate fallacy and therefore is … [Read more...]

Rationally Speaking: The Community of Reason: A Self-Assessment and a Manifesto

LINK … [Read more...]

Are You a Current or Former BSA Member? If So, MSNBC Would Like to Hear From You

A journalist at MSNBC is interested in hearing from current or former members about the membership policies of the Boy Scouts of America. Since her reporting up to this point has focused on the BSA's exclusion of homosexuals, I think it would be valuable for her from current or former members about the BSA's discrimination against nontheists also.Her contact info is at the end of the article … [Read more...]


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