October 28, 2006

I’m sorry to report the death of Philip Paulson. Paulson was an outspoken atheist and humanist and a Vietnam veteran, author of the essay “I Was an Atheist in a Foxhole”, which I have long linked to from Ebon Musings. He was also the chief litigant in a multi-year and still ongoing legal fight to remove an intrusive and unconstitutional Christian cross from public land in Mount Soledad, California, a case I mentioned in my March post “Walled Gardens”. According… Read more

October 27, 2006

To my readers, A remarkable thing has happened recently. In the past few weeks, I’ve received, by my count, no fewer than four independent (as far as I know) e-mails asking me if I intend to seek publication of my writings in a format beyond this website. I have responded to these inquiries individually, but thought it would be best to address this issue in public. Some of my correspondents have pointed out the startling success of several recent pro-atheist… Read more

October 25, 2006

The End of Faith Summary: An incendiary polemic against unjustified belief. Many strong points, strongly made – but what on earth is that endorsement of psychic powers doing in there? With the 2004 publication of his book The End of Faith, Sam Harris has probably become one of the best-known and most influential atheists in public discourse today. In this review, I will briefly summarize this book and then offer some remarks. Chapter 1, “Reason in Exile,” talks about the… Read more

October 24, 2006

Wired has recently published a long article, titled Battle of the New Atheism, about the inroads made by prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett and the attacks they have launched against faith. The article does not treat their views inaccurately or with malice, but nevertheless the author, Gary Wolf, seems scornful and dismissive of the idea that he or anyone else should actually pick a side in the debate. He begins and concludes his essay… Read more

October 23, 2006

“The book (The End of Faith) has spent nearly 20 weeks on bestseller lists… Presale orders of ‘Letter to a Christian Nation’ earned the book a spot among Amazon.com’s top 10 a month before its Sept. 19 publication. It debuted at No. 7 on the bestsellers’ list and is now in its sixth printing with 110,000 copies in print and a mammoth $200,000 ad campaign behind it.” —Gina Piccalo, “Oh, dear God – it’s him again”, The Los Angeles Times,… Read more

October 21, 2006

In the United States of America today, churches and religious groups are treated with enormous sensitivity and deference by politicians and the media, a deference they have not earned. Far too often, the government and society in general bends over backwards to accommodate and encourage religious beliefs even when there is no rational reason why they should do so. The most egregious example of this is the sweeping tax exemptions granted to religion. It is not just one tax that… Read more

October 19, 2006

It’s been far too long since I first examined the lunacy that is the CAP Alert site. Interestingly, the site seems to have fallen on hard financial times: it is plastered with ads, and virtually every page contains text begging for donations. Their recent reviews show that the majority of movies released in the past few weeks were not reviewed because no one “sponsored” them to do so. The site’s owner claims that it costs him an average of $350… Read more

October 17, 2006

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the… Read more

October 15, 2006

“Should Franks be elected in November, one would have to conclude that he will hold true to his out of touch ‘atheist’ belief system and ignore the laws and Constitution of Texas.” —Mary Alice Robbins, “GOP Raises Religion in Court Race, Calling Democrat an Atheist.” Law.com, 9 October 2006. In Paradise Lost, published in 1667, John Milton labels Satan and the other rebel angels “the atheist crew”, despite the fact that they were in Heaven at the time fighting against… Read more

October 13, 2006

In every age, there have been moral visionaries – great thinkers such as Robert Ingersoll or Tom Paine, who had the courage to stand against the majority and oppose widely accepted moral wrongs. Their courageous and steadfast opposition to then-prevalent practices such as monarchy, slavery, racism and sexism earned them great hatred and enmity during their lifetimes, and put them decades ahead of most of their contemporaries. Today, we have made progress enough to recognize many of the evils of… Read more

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