Atheism, Anarchism, and Authority

Yesterday, a bunch of atheists tried to talk about the future of atheist communities on Twitter.  It didn't go so well, and though I think the overlapping, abbreviated medium didn't do us any favors, I was still able to suss out some points of contention I'd like to address. Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard got some coverage for hosting weekly gatherings of atheists that are meant to supply some of the community resources we miss out on by not being part of a church.   … [Read more...]

Handling Sexism Among Skeptics

This is a continuation of a post from this morning about an incident of possible harassment at a skepticism conference.  Read that one FIRST.Even among people who agreed that not all harassment has to result in physical assault to be threatening and dangerous, there was a lot of disagreement about the appropriate way to handle the incident and the ongoing discussion in the atheist blogosphere.  Some of the people I disagree with have premises about privilege and gender that are too out of tou … [Read more...]

The Perils of Decentralized Philosophy

Last week, a gunman opened fire during a school board meeting in Florida.  Luckily no one was hurt, but, naturally, the story got a lot of press coverage.  Although the crime had no religious component or motive, as far as anyone could tell, some news outlets reported on his religious views according to facebook: humanism.Hermant Mehta, of Friendly Atheist, took umbrage: Clay Duke was obviously not a Humanist — Humanists are not violent people.The Humanist Manifesto III states: Humans a … [Read more...]

Can There be an Atheist Agenda?

After I got into a disagreement about tactics with John Loftus of Debunking Christianity, I ended up in a discussion of what, if anything, an atheist agenda should consist of and whether atheists had anything at all in common beside their disbelief in God.First, the posts dealing directly with my dispute with LoftusWant to help write a book? -- Loftus solicits possible questions for a Christian apologist and I offer a few thoughts Why do atheists ask the boring questions? -- Loftus's q … [Read more...]

Why I Treat Atheism as a Team

There have been a number of interesting comments on my "Are Atheists a Side?" post from earlier this week, and, when I started to reply, I realized I'd need a new post to flesh out my response.  Since there have been a number of interesting discussions sparked over the past two weeks over how atheists should frame arguments, I've collected those posts into a series here.  As always, you can browse all post series under the Featured Series tab. March Hare wrote: Many (vocal) a … [Read more...]

Update on Glee, Gays, and in-Groups

While I wait to see if my post yesterday ("Are Atheists a Side?") satisfies Dom, the commenter I was trying to address, I thought I'd share thoughts a recent piece I wrote for HuffPo (especially as I've written about Glee here before) and I've asked a few questions about religious communities at the end of this post.The article, titled "Glee's Gay Suicide PSA: It Got Worse" focused on the troubling example Kurt, the gay character, set for viewers, when he decided he had a duty to confront th … [Read more...]

Are Atheists a ‘Side?’

After reading through my disagreement with John Loftus over appropriate tactics for debunk religion, Dom had a few questions: If atheism, in and of itself, is a fairly slim and uninteresting belief (which, as an atheist, I think it is), and the interesting bit comes from the positive framework you build on top of your atheism, then what does it actually mean to talk about any atheist "side" to this debate that defines itself positively rather than negatively, as furthering an intellectual … [Read more...]