“Pro Life” = Preventable death.

I've long been of the opinion that "Pro Life" and "Pro Choice" are entirely inaccurate labels for the positions they purport to describe. In fact, the suspicious bastard that lurks very close to the surface of my mind thinks that both labels were probably invented by those who want to deny women reproductive rights. Think about it. "Choice" versus "life"? Which one sounds like it should have priority? Exactly. Hence my extreme distaste for both labels; I really believe that facile people (and … [Read more...]

Atheism and Death.

I want to share a couple of experiences with you all and talk about the directions that those experiences have sent me in emotionally and cognitively. Here goes.About a year ago, I was involved in my first ever “crash-call”. A crash-call in a hospital setting basically means that a patient who you are not expecting to die has a cardiac arrest, and every medical professional within the sound of an emergency alarm goes into action to try to save their life. To a layperson it probably seems like a … [Read more...]

Thoughts of a Dying Atheist

by EdmanI was listening to Muse the other day—specifically the song "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist." Here's a highlight from the lyrics: and I know the moment's near and there's nothing you can do look through a faithless eye are you afraid to die?it scares the hell out of me and the end is all I can see and it scares the hell out of me and the end is all I can see Of course, it got me thinking about my own mortality, and the natural fear of nonexistence. For me, the knowledge that I will end j … [Read more...]

Why Are Americans So Credulous About Heaven?

Johann Hari reviews Lisa Miller's Heaven: In Heaven, Newsweek's religion correspondent, Lisa Miller, has written a fascinating millenniums-long history of the idea of heaven, spliced with some surprisingly mediocre reporting on present-day believers. At its core is a (very politely administered) slap to the American consensus. The heaven you think you're headed to—a reunion with your lost relatives in the light—is a very recent invention, only a little older than Goldman Sachs. Most of the bel … [Read more...]

Dead and Gone … and Lied About

by Vincent SkolnyJennifer is my daughter. She’s three.Puss-puss was my mother-in-law’s cat. It was hit by a car several weeks ago and, yes, its name really was Puss-puss.Last week Jennifer and I went for a walk. Just out of the driveway, she asked me to hold her hand because, “I don’t want to get runned over.”I explained her grammar error and obliged.Without any regard for my explanation she went on, “If I get runned over, I will be dead and gone like Puss-puss and you won’t see me anym … [Read more...]