Interacting with an Atheist


There have been some thought provoking responses to my Year Without God. I have several that I intend to respond to, even two months after the fact, because I think they engage with some important ideas. There have also been some pretty bad responses. Not bad in that they disagree with me. All sorts of people disagree with me. But bad in the sense that they they don't present very compelling ideas.Last week I shared the Adventist Review's response to me, in the form of a bizarre … [Read more...]

Humanism at Yale Week

The Yale Humanist Community just announced it's Humanism at Yale Week, April 5-12, 2015. It's a wonderful line up of speakers and events and I'm honored to be a part of a panel on Monday, April 6, called "Do Atheists Believe in Nothing?" The other members of the panel are Dr. Laurie Santos, Associate Professor of Psychology at Yale University  and Director of Yale’s Comparative Cognition Laboratory;  and Leighann Lord, comedian and co-host of StarTalk with Neil de Grasse Tyson. Chris Stedman, Exe … [Read more...]

When criticism becomes harmful

mackintosh article

I've had my share of critics over the past 13 months or so. To recap, in case you haven't been keep score at home, there have been outspoken critics from both sides. Initially, atheists were highly skeptical of my intentions. From where I stand now I really understand why. They were just doing their job, being good skeptics. I'd probably look on my former self skeptically, too. Some went a good ways beyond skepticism to being cruel and ungracious. Even then I've tried to understand why a person … [Read more...]

I’m headed to Texas

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I'm excited! I get to visit two cities in Texas that I've never been to before, and I get to meet the amazing freethinkers, skeptics and atheists in those communities. If you live in San Antonio or Austin I would love to meet you while I'm there. Here's my schedule:Saturday, March 712:30 pm | Freethinkers of Central Texas, San Antonio Radius Center, 106 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, TX7:00 pm | CFI Austin Location TBDSunday, March 812:00 pm | Atheist Community of Au … [Read more...]

Ideology kills

chapel hill shooting

There has been a great deal of soul-searching in the past 24 hours around the triple homicide in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It's so upsetting that I almost can't make my fingers do this typing but I think it's important. It's possible you've read exactly what I'm going to say here somewhere else, but I want to say it anyway.As many philosophers, social scientists and even theologians, have pointed out, religions tend to intensify in-group loyalties and out-group hostilities. This tension … [Read more...]

Bertrand Russell on the good life


Here's a wonderful quote I ran across this weekend about "the good life" by Bertrand Russell. This quote comes from his essay, What I Believe." My view is this:The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.Knowledge and love are both indefinitely extensible; therefore, however good a life may be, a better life can be imagined. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. The entire essay is remarkable and ahead of its time. I was … [Read more...]