April 3, 2015

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March 29, 2015

Because I’ve been working on a paper where this is relevant and it’s fresh in my mind, let me start with an illustrative example (which you can probably skip past the line-break if you’re lazy). I don’t talk about this very often, but I work with Dan Ariely at Duke University, which is fucking dope because Dan Ariely is fucking dope and my lab is smart and great and we work on awesome projects. I try to avoid wearing I-work-for-Dan-Ariely on my… Read more

March 28, 2015

I’ve been thinking about friendship and male intimacy for a few years now, prompted by a talk I saw as an undergrad and further developed by reading Catholic writers like Patheos’s Leah Libresco and Eve Tushnet (I’ve always liked to read Catholic writing on friendship; I suspect it’s because they trace their views through Aquinas to Aristotle, but this is admittedly a bit outside my expertise). My latest for The Daily Beast on the topic went up this morning. Men don’t touch each other anymore,… Read more

March 25, 2015

Last night, two friends and I watched the CNN atheist special, and I spent from about 10-2 AM writing up my thoughts. They went up this morning at The Daily Beast:  One couldn’t help walking away from the program with the sense that atheists are a roughly unified group. They might have a lot of different labels, but they’re alike in what matters. Phillips spoke with Greg Epstein, a humanist chaplain at Harvard and author of the New York Times bestselling book, Good Without… Read more

March 24, 2015

My good friend and founder of this blog, Chris Stedman, got into a lot of controversy a few years ago when he called New Atheism toxic, and frankly people were pretty petty and cruel in response (Seriously, people wrote about Chris Stedman eating shit-corn. That was about the level of intellectual discourse back then). A recurring point I’ve often made is that online atheist spaces are not representative of atheism as a whole. Looking at online atheist spaces, it’d be difficult to imagine… Read more

March 18, 2015

Timberwraith had a great comment on yesterday’s piece about atheism, Islam, and race: The notion that dominant racial, ethnic, and cultural groups in predominantly Christian and/or European countries have been treating Muslims in ways that strongly resemble the social patterns of xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and racism isn’t some wooly concept which Vlad pulled out of a magicians’ hat. It’s not just another heated topic du jour on blogs and Twitter feeds. The subgroups that a society treats as racial, ethnic, and cultural… Read more

March 17, 2015

There’s a fantastic post at Vox discussing the racial fall-out of recent controversies surrounding Ferguson and the SAE chant. It touches on a point I think many of us often miss, particularly in the atheist community. Jenée Desmond-Harris writes: Many people believe racism has to be spelled out or said out loud to be taken seriously or punished Racist songs about lynching are shameful, and it’s disheartening that people alive in 2015 think they’re fun and appear to be thrilled with their… Read more

March 13, 2015

I’ve been struggling to figure out the intended purpose of belief driven billboards. For example “Jesus is Lord: And You Know It”or “Reason over faith, always” or “Jesus is Muslim (yes we used the present tense.)” Who exactly is the intended audience for such billboards? Taken at face value the obvious answer is others—in these cases nonChristians, nonatheists, and nonMuslims. In the case of the first two slogans the message is clearly proselytizing. But does anyone believe this proselytizing tactic actually… Read more

March 12, 2015

Usaid Siddiqui at Al Jazeera America published a fantastic editorial on the tendency of New Atheists to be selective with holding certain ideologies responsible for violence: The Feb. 10 killing in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, of three Arab-American students, allegedly by atheist Craig Stephen Hicks has led some to compare militant atheism to Islamic militancy. Atheists are not happy with thecomparison. “The deluge of claims of equivalence between this crime and the Charlie Hebdo atrocity and the daily behavior of a group like ISIS… Read more

March 10, 2015

My latest for The Daily Beast went up this morning. I had the pleasure to meet James Corwell, a certified master chef and founder of Tomato Sushi, at a recent vegan conference I spoke at. I interviewed him and discussed some of the issues that lead him to seek a plant-based alternative to delicious staples in Japanese cooking: According to the most recent assessment in 2014, the southern bluefin tuna spawning biomass—what scientists call the amount of fish actually able to reproduce—is at less… Read more

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