July 7, 2006

Most religions that exist today are of ancient origin, and their scriptures and creeds reflect the immoral beliefs of their times. However, social progress in the civilized world has led to widespread recognition of the immorality of those practices, and many churches today are in the awkward position of disavowing such evils while simultaneously maintaining the sacredness and inerrancy of the texts that teach them. The Bible, for example, explicitly states that women must remain silent in the presence of… Read more

July 4, 2006

The Fourth of July occurs during this week, the United States of America’s Independence Day. On this day we remember the ideals America was born to uphold, the ideals that generations of patriots have fought and died for: liberty of speech, liberty of belief, and eternal freedom from every form of tyranny over the mind of man. Sadly, there are still some ungrateful people who reject these wonderful blessings, and live in this land and take advantage of the freedom… Read more

July 3, 2006

Two juxtaposed articles in the June/July issue of Scientific American Mind offer some intriguing insights into how theistic beliefs may have first developed in the human species. First, an article titled Preschool Determinists: When cognitive scientists Laura E. Schulz of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jessica Sommerville of the University of Washington tested preschoolers, they discovered that the kids were thoroughgoing “causal determinists.” The children assumed that everything happens for a reason. Schulz and Sommerville showed the kids toy… Read more

July 1, 2006

I have often described atheism as a positive and hopeful worldview, and I stand by that description. I truly do believe that humanity has the potential to inherit a future glorious beyond imagining – not an imaginary heaven, but a real and genuine utopia existing in this world, one built up by our hands and our effort. But I cannot deny that this vision still lies far in the future, and some days it seems as if it is receding… Read more

June 27, 2006

The founding fathers of the United States of America wrote freedom of the press into the very first amendment of the Bill of Rights. As their own quotes and records show, they did this because they felt that a free, independent press was one of the most vital checks on the power of government, and the only way to impart to ordinary citizens the information they need to be responsible decision-makers in a democracy such as ours. In the United… Read more

June 25, 2006

I realize this has been an eventful day on Daylight Atheism, but it’s come to my attention that today is also a very special day, one that I’d be remiss if I failed to commemorate. From the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s daily Freethought of the Day e-mail bulletin: On this date in 1949, Dan Barker was born in California. His father, Norman Barker, a talented trombonist, played with Hoagy Carmichael, and has a cameo with Judy Garland in the movie… Read more

June 25, 2006

One of the most widespread delusions of our society is the belief in self-proclaimed psychic mediums who assert that they can speak to the spirits of the dead. John Edward, Sylvia Browne, James van Praagh, and Allison Dubois are some of the most popular, and command considerable fame and wealth for their alleged abilities, attracting attention such as prime-time TV shows, best-selling books, and personal consultations for which they charge hundreds or thousands of dollars per hour. However, so far… Read more

June 24, 2006

I’ve been aware of The Raving Atheist since before I created Daylight Atheism. For a time, his was one of the few atheist blogs I read regularly. However, I gradually soured on him, and by the time I had created this blog, I had decided that on balance he was a detriment rather than a credit to the cause of atheism, and resolved never to link to him. There were several reasons for this. First of all, I strongly disliked… Read more

June 23, 2006

Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers and interested lurkers, I’d like to introduce you all to a group that holds a unique place in my memories: the ChildCare Action Project, or CAP for short. I mentioned in a previous post, A Personal Journey to Atheism, that one of the last things I did before confirming myself as an atheist and humanist was to seek out an evangelical Christian group and invite them to present their best case to me. Well, now… Read more

June 21, 2006

The Politics of Atheism posts back in April inspired a healthy debate with several regular commenters who advocate a libertarian political philosophy. One of the major claims of this philosophy, defended both on this blog and by prominent libertarians such as Timothy Sandefur, is that “taxation is theft” and that any taking of property from any individual, by the government or by anyone else, without that individual’s consent is an immoral act even if done with the best of intentions…. Read more

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