Should Atheism Be A ‘Comfortable’ Belief?

Greta Christina put up a really thought-provoking post today at FreeThought Blogs ("Will Atheism Become Easier?").  Greta's not talking about the boring question (will atheists be less stigmatized in the future -- pretty clearly yes), she's wondering whether it will be more comfortable, personally and socially, to subscribe to a godless philosophy.  Here's the conversation that got her thinking (I'm jumping around a little bit in my blockquoting, so do try and read the whole thing in c … [Read more...]

Reason Rally Wrap-Up

Since it's been two weeks since the event, I'm collapsing some of my other experiences at the Reason Rally into a few brief thoughts:What do we want? ______ When do we want it? Now!The Reason Rally, to the best of my knowledge, didn't have a public policy ask. We weren't gathered in DC to demand anything from Congress or the President. So I had some of the same mixed feelings that I had about A Week. For the attendees who are already out, what comes next?Some of the stories of … [Read more...]

How Much Good Does Atheism Do?

In one of my Reason Rally posts, I talked about why atheists feel such an urgent need to change other people's beliefs.  If false beliefs aren't generally accepted, it's easier to catch and help people before they take dangerous action based on their incorrect views of the world.  (The example was a woman who cut her son's throat because she believed he was possessed).  Iota had a good follow-up question in the comments: [Is it] reasonable to expect that, simply by ousting religion/theism*, you … [Read more...]

Picking the Boring Fight

[UPDATE: I've just started a hopefully non-boring fight with a couple Dominicans reading Edward Feser's defense of Aristotle and Aquinas. You can keep track of all posts in that series here: The Last Superstition Index Post]In the comment thread for my Hitchens post, Lukas complained that he found god is Not Great unreadable and linked to a critique from First Things.  David Bentley Hart has a number of complaints about Hitchens's book and a collection of essays titled 50 Voices of … [Read more...]

Is Atheism Ever Not Boring?

R. Joseph Hoffman, a professor at the New England Conservatory and blogger at The New Oxonian has some harsh words for the New Atheists in a recent essay "Atheism's Little Idea." I mention Skepticon because to my mind the meeting is further evidence of the crisis that besets atheism. It cannot quite embrace humanism at the margins, the solution to which for certain ecumenical atheists is to fiddle with the definition of humanism by rolling out the dough ever thinner. It cannot represent … [Read more...]

Proud to be Atheist?

It's A Week!Uh, perhaps I should clarify.  It's essentially Atheist Pride/Awareness week (the Supreme Council of Atheists didn't contact me for naming advice).  The organizing group recommends you set the image above as your facebook profile picture for the week to remind your friends that atheists are all around and are "good without God."  It's basically analogous to the British campaign to remind atheists to check "No Religion" (as opposed to Jedi) on the Census.The instructions are … [Read more...]

Points (for once) to P.Z. Myers

I'm not normally a fan of P.Z. Myers, since, although I appreciate his pro-education, pro-science activism, his agent provocateur shtick tends to be grossly offensive for the sake of being offensive.  His deliberate sacrileges make it impossible for him to have any positive impact on religious people, and, if his demonstrations are intended to stir up atheists, he's catering to the lowest denominators of distrust and anger.  It's poisonous for everyone involved.So with those rather large cave … [Read more...]