Atheism’s Lack of Values is a Bug, Not a Feature

Exploring Ethics

Recently the Friendly Atheist blog kindly hosted an article of mine arguing that Humanists should proudly reclaim the tradition of social justice which has historically animated their work. Focusing on recent events in Ferguson and St. Louis, the article sought to recognize important  critiques of organized Humanism – that it focuses on too narrow a slice [Read More...]

Beyond the Moral Horizon

Exploring Ethics

There is a scene in the movie Lincoln in which Congress is debating the 13th Amendment The debate is passionate, raucous, each side denouncing the other in the strongest moral terms. Then George Yeaman, Representative from Kentucky, takes the floor, and says: “Although I’m disgusted by slavery, I rise on this sad and solemn day to announce that [Read More...]

We Must Criticize Islam – Responsibly

Humanism - Reason, Compassion, Hope

On Monday I helped coach a group of leaders from all around the world in the opening session of the Harvard Kennedy School’s “Global Change Agents Executive Education Program“. It was an inspiring day: participants from all continents and numerous nations shared their stories, explaining  what called them to change the world. One story particularly [Read More...]

Leave the Satanists Alone!

Satanic Temple Logo

A visit to the website of The Satanic Temple threatens, at first glance, to reaffirm one’s worst prejudices. A rich red background is stamped with a livid symbol of a horned goat superimposed upon a pentagram. Scanning the page reveals an illustration of Paradise Lost by Gustav Dore, showing Lucifer’s expulsion from heaven: the angels, feathered wings unfurled, are [Read More...]

Secularism is the Best Response to Greece v. Galloway

Yesterday a divided Supreme Court ruled that sectarian prayer – even prayer which promotes one religious faith the vast majority of the time, at the expense of people of other religions or none – can be held prior to legislative sessions of government bodies in the USA. I am not a lawyer or a legal [Read More...]

How to Check Your Privilege in 5 Excruciating Steps

Dialogue

Recently, I changed my mind. Challenged over my uncritical reposting of a secular argument against abortion, I was forced to examine my assumptions, reflect on my identity, and consider how my actions might look from a different vantage point – in other words, I “checked my privilege”. The exhortation to “check your privilege” is common in [Read More...]

On the Privilege of Discussing Abortion

In April 2012 I was asked by a Secular Student Alliance affiliate to represent the pro-choice side in a debate on the morality of abortion at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I was wary to accept. As a gay man, I reasoned I was less likely than most to be intimately affected by a [Read More...]


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