Atheism

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  • All Cycles Come to an End

    Unreasonable Faith
    vorjack
    14 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    It’s been a smidge over five years since I first posted at Unreasonable Faith. It starked as a lark. I’m not sure how it stretched on for half a decade. In those five years I completed a masters degree and generally scrounged for work in the public history field. I’ve worked as a contractor for several museums now, and just recently I’ve found myself serving multiple institutions at once. I’m sure the drain on me has been observed in my writings. All that is starting to pay off for my career, but it comes at an increasing price on my time and energy. I had hoped…
  • What’s So Good About “Good Friday”?

    Debunking Christianity
    J. M. Green
    18 Apr 2014 | 12:41 pm
    It has been a few years, since I left Christianity, so when I look at it now, I can see it more through the eyes of an outsider, rather than through the god-glasses given to me through childhood indoctrination.  One thing about human nature is that we can be in situations in which things which are quite strange can appear normal, simply because they are part of our everyday experience, and because we are surrounded by people who treat these things as normal.   Such was the case with the core beliefs of Christianity.  Now, when I think about the Christian teachings about and commemoration…
  • For Years, Minister Raped Young Teens With Parents’ Tacit Approval; Manhunt Underway

    Friendly Atheist
    Terry Firma
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    “I always thought I’d be seeing him on TV,” Stanley Barnard told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, referring to his son Victor. But not like this. The son, 52, seems to have been bright and athletically gifted in his younger days. Then he became a minister and began to think of himself as someone who wielded influence, even power. It brought out the worst in him. Eventually (and allegedly), the Rev. Victor A. Barnard began recruiting young girls for sex. Now he’s a fugitive from justice, and the subject of a nationwide warrant and a manhunt. Two young women have stepped forward to…
  • Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children (CNN)

    Atheist News Discussions - Atheist Nexus
    Loren Miller
    11 Apr 2014 | 9:29 am
    Pope Francis made his strongest condemnation yet of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Friday, asking for forgiveness and pledging to impose penalties on "men of the church" who harm children. "I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests -- quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests -- to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children," the Pope said in remarks quoted by Vatican Radio. "The church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the…
  • News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Terrence Howard Says, “If I Could I Would Be A Jehovah’s Witness.”

    Atheist Geek News
    The Atheist Geek
    13 Apr 2014 | 6:08 am
    VIDEO: TERRENCE HOWARD :- “IF I COULD I WOULD BE A JEHOVAHS WITNESS I list this, in part, because there continues to be an ongoing conversation about Terrence Howard’s comments. I began following the thread after leaving a comment several months ago. They are … interesting. Watchtower continues assault on ‘devious’ and ‘hypocritical’ former believers By Cedars. The Society’s website has online versions of the articles addressed in Cedar’s commentary here. How the Watchtower Uses Undue Influence to Enforce Its Blood Policy In my introduction, I asked the…
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    Unreasonable Faith

  • All Cycles Come to an End

    vorjack
    14 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    It’s been a smidge over five years since I first posted at Unreasonable Faith. It starked as a lark. I’m not sure how it stretched on for half a decade. In those five years I completed a masters degree and generally scrounged for work in the public history field. I’ve worked as a contractor for several museums now, and just recently I’ve found myself serving multiple institutions at once. I’m sure the drain on me has been observed in my writings. All that is starting to pay off for my career, but it comes at an increasing price on my time and energy. I had hoped…
  • Romance at Mars Hill

    vorjack
    11 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    This looks to be the Ballard satellite branch of Marc Driscoll’s Mars Hill. Someone doctored a billboard with Banksy’s iconic “cops kissing” image: As good a use for graffiti as I’ve ever seen.
  • Being Agent Scully

    vorjack
    10 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    One of the “joys” of working in an archives is hearing about everybody’s research. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes it’s dead boring (hello, genealogists, I don’t care who your great-great-uncle was), and sometimes it makes me want to claw my eyes out. People come looking to us to validate their wonky theories about this or that historical person, and you have to be polite as they spin moonbeams. I’m under orders not to engage on a certain topic. I don’t mind. I’ve already discovered that if I try to argue about a certain subject then…
  • Hallquist on Eich

    vorjack
    10 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    I have to agree with Chris Hallquist’s take on the Brian Eich mess particularly his closing: There’s a tradition of arguing that, as John Stuart Mill put it, society’s informal sanctions can “a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression.” It’s possible to imagine situations where that might really be true—if there were a Pope of Liberalism, who unlike the real Pope people actually listened to, who in spite of having no legal authority could in practice have anyone ostracized for impure political views. If that were the situation, I’d agree it…
  • Purity in Mississippi

    vorjack
    9 Apr 2014 | 2:00 am
    From the LA Times: Marie Barnard was delighted when, after decades of silence on the topic, Mississippi passed a law requiring school districts to teach sex education. But the lesson involving the Peppermint Pattie wasn’t what she had in mind for her sons. The curricula adopted by the school district in Oxford called on students to unwrap a piece of chocolate, pass it around class and observe how dirty it became. “They’re using the Peppermint Pattie to show that a girl is no longer clean or valuable after she’s had sex — that she’s been used,” said…
 
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    Debunking Christianity

  • What’s So Good About “Good Friday”?

    J. M. Green
    18 Apr 2014 | 12:41 pm
    It has been a few years, since I left Christianity, so when I look at it now, I can see it more through the eyes of an outsider, rather than through the god-glasses given to me through childhood indoctrination.  One thing about human nature is that we can be in situations in which things which are quite strange can appear normal, simply because they are part of our everyday experience, and because we are surrounded by people who treat these things as normal.   Such was the case with the core beliefs of Christianity.  Now, when I think about the Christian teachings about and commemoration…
  • A Postscript on My Post about Evidence for Dinosaurs and Jesus

    Harry H. McCall
    17 Apr 2014 | 7:14 am
    What scholars like Bart Ehrman don’t tell you (likely because they don’t fully comprehend it themselves) is that the Jewish-Christian world was totally awash with forged stories of divine divine men of miracles.  Ancient Biblical figures from Israel’s mythic past had either written new books about themselves or were written about by unnamed Jewish authorities who were in the know.  Although I did my under graduate work in Bible and graduate work in Christianity while having been an active Church member most of my life, I had never realized, nor was I told, that there were more than…
  • Leave No Stone Unturned - An Easter Challenge For Christians (from Dan Barker)

    Brian Wilson
    17 Apr 2014 | 3:25 am
    "I HAVE AN EASTER challenge for Christians. My challenge is simply this: tell me what happened on Easter. I am not asking for proof. My straightforward request is merely that Christians tell me exactly what happened on the day that their most important doctrine was born.."If you know any believer up to the challenge, send them the link:An Easter Challenge for ChristiansRead more »
  • We Know From Hard Evidence Dinosaurs Existed 66 Million Years Ago Yet We Have No Objective Evidence Jesus Existed Just 2 Thousands Years Ago

    Harry H. McCall
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:58 pm
    A. We have no firsthand testimony from anyone who knew Jesus or wrote anything about him during his life time. (All the Gospels are late and anonymous). No person living in Roman Palestine neither saw, knew of, nor heard of either Jesus or his followers. Read more »
  • Coming Tonight on DC: 16 Simple Reasons Why the Gospel Jesus Never Existed

    Harry H. McCall
    16 Apr 2014 | 6:22 am
    According to Tim O’Neill :“The arguments of the Jesus Mythicists, on the other hand, require contortions and suppositions that simply do not stand up to Occam's Razor and continually rest on positions that are not accepted by the majority of even non-Christian and Jewish scholars. The proponents of the Jesus Myth hypothesis are almost exclusively amateurs with an ideological axe to grind and their position is and will almost certainly remain on the outer fringe of theories about the origins of Christianity.”Tonight I’ll list theses and let you decide who has really upheld Occam…
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    Friendly Atheist

  • For Years, Minister Raped Young Teens With Parents’ Tacit Approval; Manhunt Underway

    Terry Firma
    19 Apr 2014 | 9:00 am
    “I always thought I’d be seeing him on TV,” Stanley Barnard told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, referring to his son Victor. But not like this. The son, 52, seems to have been bright and athletically gifted in his younger days. Then he became a minister and began to think of himself as someone who wielded influence, even power. It brought out the worst in him. Eventually (and allegedly), the Rev. Victor A. Barnard began recruiting young girls for sex. Now he’s a fugitive from justice, and the subject of a nationwide warrant and a manhunt. Two young women have stepped forward to…
  • The Gospel Isn’t Gospel

    Hemant Mehta
    19 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    NonStampCollector points out that the most sensible explanation for some of the contradictory statements in the Bible is also the one that tend to be rejected by believers: If only that last column were an acceptable option for most Christians…
  • An Atheist’s Guide to Mortality

    Hemant Mehta
    19 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Kirk Israel has written what he calls the “Skeptical Nerd’s Guide to Your Own Mortality.” The entire thing is online (with illustrations by UK artist James Harvey) at the chuckle-worthy website SoYoureGoingToDie.com: I’d love to see this turned into a physical book!
  • A Discussion Between Atheists and Mormons: Exposing Myths and Dispelling Stereotypes

    Hemant Mehta
    18 Apr 2014 | 6:00 pm
    As a prelude to the American Atheists National Convention taking place this weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, a panel discussion was held Wednesday night between atheists Dave Silverman and author Joanne Hanks and Mormon authors Drs. J. B. Haws and Richard Holzapfel: I haven’t had a chance to watch the full 85-minute conversation but if anything stands out to you, please leave the timestamp/summary in the comments!
  • Someone’s Been Messing with Westboro Baptist Church on Google Maps…

    Hemant Mehta
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:00 pm
    I don’t know which one of you is messing with Google Maps, but I have to admit these labels in Topeka, Kansas are pretty accurate: (Thanks to @JakeBe5 for the link!)
 
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    Atheist News Discussions - Atheist Nexus

  • Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children (CNN)

    Loren Miller
    11 Apr 2014 | 9:29 am
    Pope Francis made his strongest condemnation yet of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Friday, asking for forgiveness and pledging to impose penalties on "men of the church" who harm children. "I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests -- quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests -- to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children," the Pope said in remarks quoted by Vatican Radio. "The church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the…
  • Celebrity Snake Handling Pastor Dies from Snakebite

    John Jubinsky
    19 Feb 2014 | 11:49 am
    Jamie Coots who was starring in the reality show, Snake Salvation, died as the result being bitten by a snake he was handling. He was trying to prove that his faith would protect him. Is the outcome likely to discourage his followers? Per the article: Many wonder what effect Coots's death will have on his followers. The most likely answer, surprisingly, is none. Their religious belief is what in logic is called non-falsifiable; that is, it can't be proven wrong or false. No matter the outcome of snake handling, it's God's will: if he gets bitten and dies, it's fine because God called…
  • UN Report Vehemently Attacks Vatican Handling of Child Molestation

    John Jubinsky
    5 Feb 2014 | 3:13 pm
    The United Nations has released a report that severely criticizes the way the Catholic Church has handled sexual abuse of children by its clergy. Per the article:  In an unprecedented report, a United Nations committee slammed the Vatican's handling of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and accused the church of protecting itself rather than the victims….It calls for the church to immediately remove all known or suspected abusers from its ranks….Clerics have been involved in the sexual abuse of "tens of thousands" of children, the report says, and the United Nations is…
  • Chicago Archdiocese Hid Decades of Child Abuse

    John Jubinsky
    21 Jan 2014 | 12:44 pm
    The Chicago archdiocese of the Catholic Church released documents today revealing that it had hidden decades of sexual molestation of children by priests. The documents were only released in order to settle a law suit against the archdiocese by the victims and, as part of the settlement, did not include numerous other such documents. The documents that were released, however, revealed that Church officials as high in rank as cardinals had been involved in the cover-ups. It does not appear that any of the molestations had been reported by the archdiocese to the police. Per the article:…
  • UN Grills Vatican on Child Absuse

    John Jubinsky
    16 Jan 2014 | 4:45 pm
    The United Nations questioned Vatican officials on Thursday about the appropriateness of the way that child abuse by priests was handled by the Church when it became known to higher Church officials. Needless to say, it's about time. History has shown that in the absence of such investigations the Church would do almost nothing to stop the abuse. Wouldn't it be nice if the whole iceberg rather than just the tip becomes known about this. http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/16/world/europe/un-vatican-sexual-abuse/?hpt=wo_c1 
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    Atheist Geek News

  • News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Terrence Howard Says, “If I Could I Would Be A Jehovah’s Witness.”

    The Atheist Geek
    13 Apr 2014 | 6:08 am
    VIDEO: TERRENCE HOWARD :- “IF I COULD I WOULD BE A JEHOVAHS WITNESS I list this, in part, because there continues to be an ongoing conversation about Terrence Howard’s comments. I began following the thread after leaving a comment several months ago. They are … interesting. Watchtower continues assault on ‘devious’ and ‘hypocritical’ former believers By Cedars. The Society’s website has online versions of the articles addressed in Cedar’s commentary here. How the Watchtower Uses Undue Influence to Enforce Its Blood Policy In my introduction, I asked the…
  • Review: “Doctor Who Christmas Special 2013: The Time of the Doctor”

    The Atheist Geek
    7 Jan 2014 | 10:16 am
    I watched the new Doctor Who Christmas Special 2013, called The Time of the Doctor, the day after it first aired. For my money, Doctor Who has always been one of the more uneven TV shows out there (please don’t burn down my house) and the Christmas Specials even more so. Alas, some of them have been truly awful, while others have been truly great. I realize that part of this is because Doctor Who is first and foremost a kid’s show. But I’m not a kid. I have, at times, wished for a more adult version of Doctor Who. And no, Torchwood isn’t it, so don’t even go…
  • Review: “Ender’s Game”

    The Atheist Geek
    22 Nov 2013 | 12:51 pm
    I read Ender’s Game, a novel written by Orson Scott Card, some years ago. It’s the only thing written by Card that I really liked. So giving Ender’s Game the movie a thumbs up … or the bird … depends, in part, on whether it respects the best aspects of the original story. Exploiting Ender’s brilliance to save the human race from an armada of evil bugs is pretty much the center of the story’s structure. But what about the personal stuff, like Ender fighting his way through Battle School against older kids who literally wanted to kill him? Or the…
  • News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses And Atheists: Richard Dawkins on the Bill Maher Show – Overtime

    The Atheist Geek
    3 Nov 2013 | 10:31 am
    VIDEO: Richard Dawkins on the Bill Maher Show – Overtime VIDEO: Caller Pastor George on The Atheist Experience VIDEO: The Atheist Experience Discusses the Difference Between Indoctrination (Cults) and Socialization Children of religious parents at ‘more risk’ of abuse Countering JW Shunning: How the Implications of Stanley Milgram’s Work May Suggest Using a Different Approach In an attempt to force abandonment of the cruel practice of shunning, we’ve seen countless impassioned pleas from ex-JW members who point out how cruel and emotionally-painful it is for THEM, the…
  • News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: The Jehovah’s Witnesses

    The Atheist Geek
    25 Sep 2013 | 4:15 am
    AUDIO: The Jehovah’s Witnesses John Hoyle on Blog Talk Radio! AUDIO: BTR Guest: Author & Cult Expert Steven Hassan Reason on the Facts New from AAWA. Practicing what they preach has never been a virtue of the Watch Tower Society! That fact was reaffirmed in capital letters in the November 2012 issue of the The Watchtower magazine in an article titled, “Is Religious Faith an Emotional Crutch?” The reasonable (but damning) piece of evidence reads: The Lawsuit Landslide: Irwin Zalkin representing ELEVEN child abuse victims against Watchtower They were there to voice their backing…
 
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    About.com Agnosticism / Atheism

  • Is Godless a Slur? Is it Slander, Libel to Accuse One of Godlessness, Atheism?

    18 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    Who is more of an immoral bigot, the person who uses "Jew" as a slur or the person who files a lawsuit against having that label applied to them? Is it the person who uses "homosexual" as a slur or the person who goes to court over it? That's a hard question to answer, and the same is true when comparing someone who uses "godless" or "atheist" as a slur and the person so offended by the label that they file suit in court for damages when the godless label is applied to them. Read Article: Is Godless a Slur? Is it Slander, Libel to Accuse One of Godlessness, Atheism?
  • Existentialism: Existentialist Psychology

    17 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    Although the influence of existentialism on literature, art, and philosophy is not very surprising, its influence on psychology might be to some people. Understanding it better should help make it ...Read Full Post
  • Forum Discussion: Religion as a Drug

    17 Apr 2014 | 1:00 am
    To what extent do people join a religion or just remain in a religion because of the positive, even pleasurable, feelings it provides? This is an interesting question from the ...Read Full Post
  • Christian Privileges: Hidden Ways Christians are Privileged in American Society

    16 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    The concept of "nonconscious ideology" was created to describe those ideologies whose implicit, unreflective, and uncritical acceptance help maintain their dominance in society. Sexism and racism are nonconscious ideologies in ...Read Full Post
  • Unskilled and Unaware: Overconfidence in Self-Assessment

    15 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    Being mistaken about something is not by itself a flaw in a person's reasoning process, and neither is being unskilled when it comes to constructing and analyzing logical arguments. However, ...Read Full Post
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    Daylight Atheism

  • Atlas Shrugged: Publish or Perish

    Adam Lee
    18 Apr 2014 | 4:18 am
    Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter I The last few industrialists of Colorado are disappearing, and the John Galt Line has been reduced to mostly-empty trains pulled by rickety, coal-burning locomotives. Having run out of leads in her quest for the magic motor, Dagny has finally resorted to contacting Robert Stadler. He comes to New York [Read More...]
  • On Retconning Biblical Violence

    Adam Lee
    16 Apr 2014 | 3:48 am
    In 2009, I wrote “The Twisted Moral of Passover“, about how this major Jewish holiday is really a celebration of genocide: the mass killing of the Egyptian children that preceded the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery. (The very name of the holiday refers to how the Israelite slaves supposedly marked their doors with blood so that [Read More...]
  • TV Review: Cosmos, Episode 6

    Adam Lee
    14 Apr 2014 | 7:05 pm
    (I’ve decided to review the new Cosmos series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson that’s airing on Fox. If you missed it, you can stream full episodes online.) Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Episode 6, “Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still” After the last two strong episodes, there was bound to be a clunker sooner or later, and I’m [Read More...]
  • The FRC’s Bizarre Prayer Barrage

    Adam Lee
    14 Apr 2014 | 3:43 am
    As you probably know, I don’t believe in the efficacy of prayer. There’s neither empirical evidence nor logical argument to support the proposition that a supernatural being is listening to our requests and can be persuaded to grant them if asked politely enough. Still, when believers pray for the healing of the sick or the [Read More...]
  • Atlas Shrugged: Intrusions of Nature

    Adam Lee
    10 Apr 2014 | 5:57 pm
    Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter I After a brief detour through the glorious disaster that was the Atlas Shrugged: Part I movie, we’re ready to dive into the second part of the book. When we last checked in, Ellis Wyatt had blown up his oil wells and vanished. Part II raises the curtain at the [Read More...]
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    ExChristian.Net -- encouraging ex-Christians

  • The Godfather

    18 Apr 2014 | 6:46 pm
    By Carl S. ~ The biblical Abraham is used as an example of virtue and its reward in three Abrahamic religions. Have you read the whole story of Abraham‘s test, in detail? Sure, children are taught he is to be emulated as an example of obedience to his god; indeed, he is, according to the text, exceedingly rewarded beyond his expectations. I looked into the story, in my Bible, as written in Genesis, ch.22. It begins:God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your ONLY son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah…
  • Why Jesus Never Married

    18 Apr 2014 | 6:46 pm
    By Carl S. ~ If you follow what's said about him traditionally, Jesus never married because he was totally committed to his mission of evangelizing. Like many other things about Jesus, it flies in the face of what was an obligation for every young Jewish man, which was to get married and procreate. But there might have been other reasons why we never hear of Jesus marrying. And these might be more related to the expectations of the potential wives around him. Why wouldn't they take him up on an offer of marriage, if, say, by any chance in hell he proposed? We asked Rebecca. She grew up in…
  • Update on "Good" Friday

    18 Apr 2014 | 6:45 pm
    By Marlene Winell ~ This is not often a fun weekend for Reclaimers so I have a gift for you.  Someone had to do it!With love and hugs, Marlene
  • My Christian Faith is Mortally Wounded

    18 Apr 2014 | 11:34 am
    By Matt ~ So I’m not an atheist yet but am not a Christian either. I’ve done investigation and am convinced that there are miracles, believe that prayer has power, and that there is some providential power greater than myself caring for me.Well over the last two years, whatever Theism I embraced has been dwindling. I would rather there was no God than one like the one that is portrayed as punishing people for ever.Would rather there was no God if God is the angry Czar who wills people should wail and gnash their teeth for eternity because of the mistakes they make in this brief life.
  • I Hate Easter

    18 Apr 2014 | 11:34 am
    By summerbreeze ~ Well, Easter is soon upon us. It's my least favorite Holiday. In fact, I hate it. With it coming in March or April, and in our neck of the woods, that means the snow has mostly melted, and the ugly fast-food paper bags, cups, wrappers, french-fry holders, combos bags, empty cigarette packs, beer cans, one boot or one shoe laying by the road (it's always one...why is that?) plastic bags, and who knows what all, is right there to see and be appalled by.Then there's the mud, cloudy skies, and no flowers and no leaves. And if there IS snow, it's covered with dirt.What a perfect…
 
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    Atheist Revolution

  • Zombie Jesus Weekend is Finally Here

    Jack Vance
    18 Apr 2014 | 1:20 pm
    You might think I'd have grown tired of the Zombie Jesus meme by now, but you'd be wrong. I continue to be fascinated with the zombie genre and the notion that someone who returns from the dead is in fact a zombie. I also continue to think that a belief system that is both irrational and destructive might have earned a bit of gentle mocking.Today is Dead Jesus Day, and I enjoyed the day off work. Actually, I still worked but did so from home, and that beats the hell out of having to go to work. The day did kind of creep up on me this year. I've been so busy that I almost forgot that this is…
  • Atheism and the Decline of Religion in the U.S.

    Jack Vance
    17 Apr 2014 | 2:59 am
    United States (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)There is some evidence that certain indicators of religiosity appear to be going through a slight decline in the United States. That is the good news. The bad news is that the size of the apparent decline in most of these indicators is quite small and tends to be limited to comparisons between generational cohorts (e.g., the so-called Millennials aged 18-29 vs. other generations). And the really bad news is that some of us (and I can find fault with myself here too) seem determined to spin the numbers as being far more meaningful than they probably…
  • Technology Undermining Religion

    Jack Vance
    15 Apr 2014 | 3:23 am
    This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Farsi Wikipedia for the 13th week, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Even though we all benefit greatly from technology, we are also quite fond of complaining about it. It is becoming almost cliche to complain about how technology is supposed to make our lives easier but has instead introduced all sorts of new problems that end up detracting from how we live. There is some truth to this, at least in the sense that technology has become something besides a tool for simplifying the way we do tasks. It has transformed the way we live, and some…
  • Easter is Coming, Churches are Advertising

    Jack Vance
    13 Apr 2014 | 5:57 am
    I scanned the image to the right after it showed up in my mailbox last week in the form of a slick 5x7 postcard. The back is an invitation to attend Easter services at the largest Southern Baptist megachurch in the town where I live.Based on the quality of the thick card stock and the colorful, glossy image, I have to assume these were not inexpensive to print and mail. It seems like something far more positive than boosting their attendance for a day could have been accomplished with this money. Then again, I suppose increased attendance would likely lead to increased donations.How cynical…
  • Some Opinions Are Better Than Others

    Jack Vance
    11 Apr 2014 | 2:41 am
    Opinion (Photo credit: Kevin Steinhardt)We all have opinions. Some of our opinions are based on reason, critical inquiry, and even time-consuming research to learn more about the world around us. These are the sorts of opinions we can defend because we have a reasonable basis for them. We have taken care in how we formed them, doing so with deliberation. We can intelligently explain them to others, and in doing so, we might actually convince them that our opinion is valid even though this does not necessarily mean they will come to share it.Other opinions reflect nothing more than our…
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    Divided Under God

  • Fred Phelps Created the Monster that Betrayed Him

    Don Yonker, Contributor
    28 Mar 2014 | 8:35 am
    Image courtesy indecisionforever.com One can only wonder if the phrase, “et tu, Brute” ran through Fred Phelps mind when the congregation he nurtured and, in most cases, literally spawned, excommunicated him from the Westboro Baptist Church.  The sense of betrayal must have been crushing. As Fred’s estranged son Nathan Phelps said, “They took the one thing that meant everything to the man…That old man and his reason to exist have gone away.”  Nathan Phelps also reported that prior to his father’s death he had been moved to a new house and watched over so he would not harm…
  • Twisting Freedom of Religion Into Religious Freedom

    Jim Phynn, Contributor
    21 Mar 2014 | 7:23 am
    Image courtesy thinkprogress.org If there is a single unifying theme that spans the entire career of the late, great comedian George Carlin, it is the importance of the words we use.  As far back as his original list of the seven words you can’t say on television, he spoke of the power of words, and warned us all that those who would manipulate language can easily manipulate thoughts. I was reminded of the relevance of Carlin’s warnings during the recent fight over the nameless Arizona SB 1062 bill, which Governor Jan Brewer (thankfully) vetoed.  This was the bill that would have…
  • A Dying Fred Phelps Will Be Silent — Let’s Keep It That Way

    Jim Phynn, Contributor
    19 Mar 2014 | 10:49 am
    Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images In the mid-1990s, I was one of the owners of the Humor listserv centered out of the University of Georgia, which was dedicated to sharing humorous anecdotes and jokes of all kinds, via email, in those early days of the Internet.  There were two groups of people in this particular listserv: those who received the humor emails, and those authorized to post the jokes.  My responsibilities included monitoring the traffic and analyzing and reporting on statistical trends associated with the subscribers.  This position made me…
  • AHA Forces Removal of Memorial Cross — Atheist Community Divided

    Kevin Davis, Head Writer
    10 Mar 2014 | 6:55 pm
    Image courtesy of Christian Post On March 6th, AnnMarie Devaney of Riverside, CA was forced to remove a 5-foot tall cross from a Lake Elsinore roadside — a memorial to her son that had been in place for almost two years.  The cross was on government property and had been ordered to be removed in January but, as of early March, was still in the place where Devaney’s son, Anthony, was hit by a car and killed while crossing the street in 2012. After receiving complaints from residents, the American Humanist Association wrote to government officials in Lake Elsinore, urging them to…
  • FoxNews’ Todd Starnes Attacks Atheists with Misleading and Irresponsible Article Title

    Kevin Davis, Head Writer
    18 Feb 2014 | 7:34 am
    He’s at it again. Todd Starnes, the Fox contributor who has been known to champion made-up claims of anti-Christian persecution, has desperately gone the way of sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed by using a ridiculous article title in order to lure readers in and pump up his hit count.  The difference is that his article is not a mindless distraction for procrastinators like you’d see in a typical Buzzfeed article such as You Need To See This Photo Of Queen Elizabeth And Helen Mirren.  (Chance are, those of you who clicked that Buzzfeed link saw the picture and then thought…
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    An American Atheist

  • 109: The Case for Faith (Part Two)

    Christopher Thielen
    15 Apr 2014 | 5:57 pm
    Tom Beasley and Chris Lazare wrap up our discussion of Lee Strobel’s infamous book The Case for Faith. Strobel’s book covers an important selection of faith-altering concerns Christians may have about their beliefs paired with faith-saving arguments from various academics. Needless to say, the atheists on our panel have a few words they’d like to […]
  • 108: The Case for Faith (Part One)

    Christopher Thielen
    17 Mar 2014 | 8:46 pm
    Tom, Chris Lazare, and Christopher Thielen discuss Lee Strobel’s book The Case For Faith, dissecting the eight objections Strobel believes every person of faith should be able to comprehend. References: Sam Harris debates William Lane Craig [anamericanatheist.org] Lee Strobel [wikipedia.org] Corrections: David Hume lived in the 18th, not 19th, century. It is estimated that billions of humans, […]
  • 107: The Science Delusion

    Christopher Thielen
    17 Feb 2014 | 6:16 pm
    Is science an ideology? Does society follow scientism to a fault? Robin, Colin, Chris Lazare, and Christopher Thielen discuss an interview with cultural critic Curtis White, author of a new book The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers. References: The Science Delusion: An Interview with cultural critic Curtis White […]
  • 106: Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA)

    Christopher Thielen
    10 Feb 2014 | 7:40 pm
    Colin and Chris discuss Stephen Jay Gould’s famous paper, Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), which asserts that science and religion are not in conflict with one another. References: Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA) [stephenjaygould.org] Stephen Jay Gould [wikipedia.org] Non-overlapping magisteria at Rational Wiki [rationalwiki.org]
  • 105: Suffering

    Christopher Thielen
    20 Jan 2014 | 7:48 pm
    Why is there suffering? What does the Biblical tradition have to say about suffering and how have those answers affected even our secular sense of morality? Our panel discusses these questions through the light of Bart Ehrman’s book God’s Problem. References: Bart Ehrman [wikipedia.org] God’s Problem [amazon.com]
 
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    The Angry Atheist

  • The Angry Atheist #141 w/ Andrew Wilson

    Reap Paden
    17 Apr 2014 | 10:26 pm
      Andrew Wilson joins the podcast to talk about  the story of Noah’s Ark and some of the obvious problems with the arguments used by  young earth creationists. Andrew was so deep into the church he actually applied to be a minister and was accepted he talks about what happened when he was interviewed for the position. How important is it to be an atheist versus being a skeptic? Science has one strength that religion lacks what is it and are we teaching science the proper way? You can find Andrew on about.me here or on twitter @Stooshie     The podcast is also 3 years…
  • The Angry Atheist #140 w/ Terry Sacrey

    Reap Paden
    26 Mar 2014 | 9:21 pm
    Terry Sacrey joins The Angry Atheist podcast for the second time to talk about what has changed from the last time he was on way back in podcast #54 Is mankind doomed to fail? Will technology save us or doom us? Do people always need someone to help them see the world in a skeptical way?  Make sure you check out Terry’s blog The Analyzed Atheist here. You can also hear Terry on ReapSowRadio
  • The Angry Atheist #139 w/ Bruce Gerencser

    Reap Paden
    17 Mar 2014 | 10:40 am
    The Angry Atheist spends an hour with writer Bruce Gerencser Bruce Gerencser was an Evangelical pastor  for 25 years. Bruce left the Christian faith and is now a secular humanist blogger who lives in a small town in Ohio. Bruce spent a lot of years leading people to god but ended up an atheist. He shares the story of how he came to be an atheist, how it effects his family members in public, and what it has done to the relationships he has with extended family members. You can find Bruce’s blog The Way Forward here     Don’t forget to share this podcast and remember to…
  • The Angry Atheist #138 w/ Brian Allen

    Reap Paden
    3 Mar 2014 | 11:53 am
    Brian Allen the owner of Apartment J Entertainment and co-host of ReapSowRadio  hangs out for his 2nd time on the podcast. Brian talks about some of the ways his activism and opinions have changed since his first time on the podcast back in 2011. Don’t forget  to share the podcast and thanks for listening.
  • The Angry Atheist #137 w/ Lucien Greaves from The Satanic Temple

    Reap Paden
    13 Feb 2014 | 9:34 am
    The Angry Atheist spends an hour hanging out with the spokesman for The Satanic Temple. He discusses some of the details of their attempt to level the playing field at the Oklahoma Capital. We also talk about the different types of responses to that action. Lucien thinks it is the right time for Atheistic Satanism to rise up to the challenges presented by other supernatural belief systems and he could very well be correct.  The fact of the matter is that Satanism has taken on a new face and is  purpose driven as opposed to previous  groups who preferred to keep Satanism out of the public…
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    Deity Shmeity

  • God Offers No Choice

    14 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    God's judgment, as seen by most theists, can only be just if those judged choose to sin or be saved. I believe we are not free to choose anything if our present and future is known by an omniscient being. Allow me to show my work by analogy.Just before his death, Lincoln seemed to have made a choice to go to Ford's Theatre. From the President's perspective he felt he had a choice, but look at it from our perspective. Lincoln's action is an historical event which is known. Lincoln, essentially as a character in a history book, has no choice but to go to Ford's Theatre because any action on his…
  • An Interview with Tjaart Blignaut

    20 Mar 2014 | 10:12 am
    The following is an interview with Tjaart Blignaut of Massive Activity.Over time, your blog has taken a much greater focus on atheism. Why this change of focus? Have you always been an atheist?I have been an atheist since about the age of twenty one or twenty two. I spent quite a lot of time being quiet about my atheism, because I thought that beliefs were something personal that shouldn't be disturbed. My mind was changed gradually when I became aware of Richard Dawkins' out campaign. When I came out I realised that atheism was very much misunderstood, and I became troubled by the fact that…
  • More Short-form Thoughts

    13 Mar 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Religious apologists when arguing for the Kalam Cosmological Argument accept and promote the scientific consensus regarding the Big Bang Theory, yet totally devalue the scientific consensus regarding modern evolutionary synthesis when arguing for the Design Argument (and to a lesser degree a variety of other arguments for God.) Convenient.When I believed in a supernatural creator, it bothered me that other people believed in supernatural creators before the one I believed in was a thing.Especially since those people's beliefs are seen as B.S. nowadays.One of the great double standards…
  • For Christians: God's Second Holocaust

    25 Feb 2014 | 3:57 am
  • A Shaming Process

    18 Feb 2014 | 7:00 am
    I’ve been observing and taking part in on-line arguments regarding the existence of God for three years now. These interactions should be evaluated primarily by the value of their content, but I’ve also noticed a trend in their civility. Atheists, on average, are more douchy than theists. I don’t like admitting that the stereotype of the angry atheist is more often fulfilled than not, but I can’t deny it...and neither can I condemn it.Unlike most theists, atheists don’t have an obligation to a doctrine of charity. We can be mean without being hypocritical, but should we?My answer…
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    Laughing in Purgatory

  • A Quick Atheist Dad Joke

    Andrew Hall
    17 Apr 2014 | 5:27 pm
    The kids and I were talking about Easter, and the conversation drifted to transubstantiation -- the magical metamorphosis when the communion wafer actually turns into the body of Christ.And here is the joke.
  • Americans more Skeptical about the Bible

    Andrew Hall
    13 Apr 2014 | 7:44 am
    Here is a real story that offers some hope to atheists in America.The percentage of Americans who treat the Bible as just another piece of literature or myth is rising according to the American Bible Society's survey of the State of the Bible.Now there are just as many Americans skeptical of the Bible as there are engaged with the Bible. There's more to that first paragraph, but I just want to point out the obvious: You can be engaged with the Bible and be skeptical of it at the same time. I like reading about vampires (don't judge me!) and quite engaged in the genre, but at no point do…
  • Saudi Arabian Secret Agents Steal Nietzsche's Body for Trial

    Andrew Hall
    10 Apr 2014 | 5:33 pm
    Clerics in a secret meeting. All four agree thatthe name of The Gay Science alone is worth damnation.Riyadh, Saudi Arabia The body of Friedrich Nietzsche, 19th century German philosopher, was publicly tried, condemned, and then stoned by an angry crowd. The crime? In the official declaration by the Chief of Sharia Courts was that Mr Nietzsche had committed blasphemy in 1882 when he wrote in the groundbreaking book, The Gay Science, that God is dead.Allah is not dead. Mr Nietzsche is dead, and now we are going to show all the glory, love, and justice of Allah when we stone Nietzsche's…
  • I was on the Barely Domesticated Podcast

    Andrew Hall
    7 Apr 2014 | 5:29 pm
    It was a Thursday night at 8:30 when Jack Matirko started recording the Banned in Saudi Arabia episode of the Barely Domesticated podcast. To tell you all the truth, standup comedy is easier to do in some ways than being on a podcast because the audience is always kind enough to let you know how much you suck (or don't). Sure, Jack laughed at my godless/nerdy shenanigans, but would anyone else?I think so. With the amount of caffeine I drank it was either be funny or get a heart attack.Test my assertion I ask you, dear reader, and listen to the evidence.Click here to listen to the Banned…
  • 10 Mistakes New Atheists Make

    Andrew Hall
    4 Apr 2014 | 3:51 pm
    Freshly minted atheists come in all shapes and sizes. Some come from very religious backgrounds, and have survived a lifetime of indoctrination. Others atheists come from a casual, a la carte religious background where church focused on Gentle Jesus only and not his angry dad.Regardless, there are some basic fallacies that new atheists tend to make. Here are a few.10. Assuming That Facts Matter.Not really. Not when you're talking to indoctrinated people. Religion is an emotional relationship between a believer (as the name implies, belief is first, thinking somewhere after that), and their…
 
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