February 14, 2021

If you missed yesterday’s Global Atheist News, the weekly review of how religion impacts humanity, it’s here – just click on the pic to view, or click here  https://youtu.be/y5eYz735gag In the show we had items from Australia, Nigeria, the USA, Italy and the POTUS!  All in 20 minutes. That was followed by a live episode of Ask an Atheist, our interactive show in which we quiz a guest about a religion.  This week’s guest was Max Kammerling, who describes himself as a… Read more

February 11, 2021

NB this blog is now sponsored by freethought.city I often get challenged on what is considered to be ‘evidence’ so, some years ago, I wrote this on my Patreon, (it’s rather longer than my usual posts): Let’s ask ourselves some questions about evidence: What’s it for? What qualities would we like it to have? What counts as evidence? What doesn’t count as evidence? Whether we are on trial for some criminal offence or trying to discover the answer to an… Read more

February 10, 2021

“How do atheists overcome Hume’s problem of induction?” was an original post on a Facebook site. It reveals that the writer imagines, like Hume did, that induction has a problem because it cannot be thoughtfully justified.   Induction has to rely on generalizing about a class of things e.g. “all swans we have seen are white, and, therefore, all swans are white”, (this was true before the discovery of black swans), and that things that happen in the future will obey… Read more

February 9, 2021

  Materialism could be defined as something like “nothing but particles exist.” Religious believers would claim otherwise (life after death, etc, continuing existence as a non-physical entity, the “soul”, “spirit”, etc.) Of course in philosophical analysis, anything can be considered on a ‘hypothetical’ basis. There’s also the argument (John Searle*, Bertrand Russell** et all) that an immaterial entity can not be realised unless it materialises. Of course, if it materialises, it would need to have been composed of something, but… Read more

February 8, 2021

  Uncertainty is not our comfort zone.  Ignorance is NOT bliss; it leads to doubt.   When we are doubtful we don’t know how to react for the best and we have to make snap decisions, some of which turn out to have been bad choices.  Consequently, most of us prefer a safe and predictable existence.  That’s why ‘jobs for life’ (as enjoyed by the clergy!) are reckoned to be a good prospect when they are available.  Oddly, though, even… Read more

February 6, 2021

  Well, it’s ‘tonight’ in the UK!  Elsewhere it will be shifted forwards or backwards according to your own timezones… (20:00 UK, 15:00 EST, 12:00 PST) We are trying to set up a regular weekend program of shows for atheist viewers, and it’s coming together. Gather your friends, open the popcorn and have a watch party at Atheist Alliance International’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, or on Atheism UK’s Facebook page. The event starts with Global Atheist News at 20:00… Read more

February 5, 2021

Gwyneth Paltrow makes it easy for you.  She calls her company ‘Goop’.  Goop is not a scientific word. And it, probably intentionally, sounds like ‘gloop’, the non-Newtonian solid made from cornflour and water for kids to play with. Antibiotic is a scientific word and so is vaccine.  Goop is not a scientific word and that’s a clue!  This is not just about medications, it can apply to clergy too – I wrote an article on ‘Telling Quack Preachers from Real… Read more

February 4, 2021

Ask an Atheist returns to Saturday this week and my guest is Tavian Oladapo. I’ve known Tav for some years, his passion is fossils and we’ve visited the Natural History Museum together. Following last week’s show with ex-Muslim, Harris Sultan, it seemed right to invite an ex-Christian in the interests of balance. Tav has been on an interesting journey which still involves visiting Nigeria to see his family when travel is possible. He is a vociferous advocate of the need… Read more

February 3, 2021

  In my opinion, many religious people have an unreasonable willingness to believe what they are told. This is the mentality that caused some to believe that the US Presidential election was stolen, leading to them storming the Capitol. Many of these insurgents came from the evangelical wing of Trump’s core support. It’s the same childlike trust that, back in 2016, enabled some electors to believe that Hillary Clinton led a pedophile gang located in the basement of a restaurant… Read more

February 2, 2021

One of the great features of the internet is the podcast.  You need never miss anything. Even live streams turn into podcasts afterwards and you can continue to interact in the comments. Yesterday’s Ask an Atheist show with guest ex-Muslim Harris Sultan was watched by a large live audience and has been viewed by hundreds now. You can see it here  https://youtu.be/FpJxaOLexXA Harris is very articulate and extremely knowledgeable about the Islamic world, I’m very pleased to say he has agreed… Read more

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