The Inaugural Patheos Atheists Blog Carnival!

The Inaugural Patheos Atheists Blog Carnival! May 17, 2013

I am so proud to blog alongside my colleagues on Patheos’s atheism channel. I am very proud to have made the initial suggestions to Patheos that they reach out to Temple of the Future, Secular Outpost, Daylight Atheism, and A Citizen of Earthand that in each of these cases the terrific writers behind these blogs have decided to make the move here. Patheos has been extraordinarily open to blogger suggestions about who we should bring on board. I have a few other suggestions I have made that hopefully one day will also come to fruition. I am proud not only to call so many talented bloggers colleagues but to consider many of them friends and, a few, close friends.

So, it is with my heartiest endorsement that I want to highlight some of my colleagues’ recent work and encourage you to delve into more of their blogs more regularly and appreciate the wealth of insights and information available on a regular basis from Patheos Atheism. Our main page is here. Please regularly stop over there, in addition to visiting the blogs you are already using to going to, so that you can discover at a glance what’s new at many of our great blogs. In future weeks and months, other Patheos bloggers will take their turns doing blog carnivals that spotlight the recent work of Patheos atheists.

In March at Permission to Live, Melissa’s wife Haley describes her experience of losing certain kinds of privilege and gaining other kinds when transitioning from presenting herself as a man to presenting herself as a woman. How do people treat you different and demand different things from you if you’re a man or if you’re a woman? Transgendered people have the greatest lived experience of this of anyone. Read her fascinating two posts on this: Part 1. Part 2.

James Croft at Temple of the Future  wrote two must-read posts on criticizing religion. In the first one he detailed with vital nuance all the things we have to pay attention to when criticizing Islam as Western atheists, if we are to do so responsibly. Then he did a spectacular job of exploring what religion really is. If every atheist deeply internalized just those two posts, the moral sensitivity and intellectual quality of atheist discourse on religion would double overnight. I am also very proud to note that James and Greg Epstein, the Patheos atheist behind the blog Good Without God, have received an exciting book contract from a major publisher, Simon and Schuster, to write a book about godless congregations. Learn about the project and about how to be in touch with James and Greg to tell them about your godless congregation, so that your experience and insights can be included in their research (and possibly their book itself).

Sierra, the atheist blogger behind The Phoenix and the Olive Branchthe excellent post-Christian patriarchy feminist blog on the “Spirituality Channel”, has an incredible post on “activism fatigue” that I wish that every activist would read and take to heart. She also has a strong criticism of the word “mansplaining”, explaining why it is incompatible with what she thinks the ideal of feminism should be, and has a multi-point takedown of the idea that rape is “natural”.

Hank Fox at A Citizen of Earth  is an atheist who wants to see atheists do something constructive to make the world a better place. He wants to see what he calls “Beta Culture” develop and he recently articulated 13 key positions on controversial questions he gets asked about his idea. Also, about the time he moved to Patheos he wrote a fantastic short story called “The Freedom of Vanishing Ripples” that I had been meaning to recommend to you.

The Secular Outpost is one of the most serious philosophy blogs online devoted to debunking theism and defending atheistic philosophy. For atheists tired of William Lane Craig’s argument that moral truth requires a God (or those simply interested in whether or how there can be such a thing as moral truth in its own right), Bradley Bowen is writing a series of brief and easily digestible posts countering the idea that the God Craig claims to prove adequately accounts for objective values, and in the process criticizing Craig’s objections to atheistic moral realism. Here are parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. And there are more to come! So stay tuned to The Secular Outpost

At Unreasonable FaithVorjack recently answered the theists’ charge that historians have an anti-supernaturalistic bias that prejudices them against acknowledging their own religion’s supernatural goings on:

When trying to get around the fact that a consensus of historians rejects their favorite sacred story, many believers will complain that historians have an “anti-supernatural bias.”  This charge fails because everyone has such a bias for religions that are not their own.  Secular historians are at least skeptical of all miracle claims equally, which means they are obeying the “golden rule” in their historical method.

Bob Seidensticker, author of the book Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey and the Cross Examined follow up blog, wrote a post called Why Does The Bible Have No Recipe For Soap?

Soap wasn’t known to the ancients, but it’s not hard to make. Why no recipe for it in the Bible? Can we stop with “God has his reasons,” or does this say something about the truth of the Bible?

At Token Skeptic , Kylie Sturgess interviewed the accomplished skeptic author Daniel Loxton about his new piece “Why Is There A Skeptical Movement” (.PDF), which she describes as “meticulously-researched chapter-length explorations […] into the roots, founding principles, and purpose of scientific skepticism”. Also at Token Skeptic guest blogger Jonny Scaramanga wrote about the issues raised by claiming that randomised controlled trials could be applied in education in “Ben Goldacre’s Bad Education”.

Chris Hallquist’s philosophy blog The Uncredible Hallquist had a guest post by Luke Muelhauser author of Common Sense Atheism and Worldview Naturalism, and Executive Director of Machine Intelligence Research Institute. In a blog post entitled “What should skeptics believe about the singularity?”,

Luke does not intend to persuade skeptics that they should believe everything he does about the technological singularity. Rather, he aims to lay out the issues clearly so that skeptics can apply the tools of skepticism to a variety of claims associated with “the singularity” and come to their own conclusions.

SO, read the post and come to your own conclusions already, will you?!

Adam Lee at Daylight Atheism is ambitiously blogging his way section by section through Ayn Rand’s deeply influential and highly problematic book Atlas Shrugged. So far he has written the posts, “A Novel for the 1%”, “In Medias Res”, “Signal Passed At Danger”, “Intellectual Property”, “Beauty Equals Goodness”, “World’s Worst Boss”, “Rearden’s Family Values”, and “Corporate Philanthropy”.

Libby Anne at Love Joy Feminism is prolific and brilliant as ever. She is always running multiple fascinating projects on her blog. In her “Judaism 101” series Jewish readers are educating her and her predominantly ex-Christian and Christian readership about their faith in posts like “Born Jewish?”, “The Torah and Other Sources of Holiness”, “Creation Stories”, “Sexism and Violence in the Torah”, “Thoughts on Passover”, and the series meta post “Minorities, Appropriation, and Privilege Checking”. She also is doing a fantastic job fisking Debi Pearl’s disturbingly influential guide to being a perfect patriarchal Christian woman Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover How God Can Make Your Marriage Glorious. See Libby Anne’s full table of contents for that must-read series. Or read the answers to questions that she has posed to a panel of adults who were raised in Christian patriarchy about their experiences. Or catch up on the “Forward Thinking” series in which Libby Anne and I have solicited and collected insightful bloggers’ views on civic responsibility, pluralistic collective mourning, talking to teenagers about sex, punishing one’s peers, the limits of one’s debts to one’s parents, pride, the purpose of marriage, and responsible responses to public violence. There is still time this weekend to write a blog post on the purpose of public education and send it to Libby Anne at lovejoyfeminism at gmail dot com for inclusion in Monday’s “Forward Thinking” round up.

Friendly Atheist remains the front page for ardent atheists everywhere, and particularly the activist minded ones. If you want your consciousness raised and to keep abreast of the goings on in the world of atheism, it’s the daily must read. They should change their slogan to “If you don’t read Friendly Atheist, are you sure you’re even an atheist?” The blog’s resident sage Richard Wade recently did a three part series, “Atheist Sons and Their Mothers”, in which, with Mother’s Day approaching, he answered letters from apostate young men struggling with their mothers. Read his responses to a Muslim apostate, a Jewish apostate, and a Hindu apostate.

At Vyckie Garrison’s vital blog No Longer Quivering they monitor the oppressive purity extremism of the Christian patriarchy movement. In this post, they quote a representative of that movement who does not think that the popular Christian abstinence “True Love Waits” program goes far enough. No, even this leads people to follow in Satan’s footsteps.

JT Eberhard of What Would JT Do thoroughly fisked the persecution complex on display in the viral video below, starring a group of adamantly theocratic and factually misinformed Christian teenagers, who in all likelihood will be supremely embarrassed that this is out there when they wind up angry atheists in ten-thirty years:

Last but (I hope!) not least, I have had a busy month here at Camels With Hammers. Probably the post I am most excited by was the one where I tried to convince the almost-atheist still hugging the dream of remaining a believer tight that it is best to just let go.

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