[Pinker] conflates scientific knowledge with knowledge as such. In his view, anybody who has studied any phenomena that are studied by science has been a scientist...If they were interested in the mind, then they were early versions of brain scientists. If they investigated human nature, then they were social psychologists or behavioral economists avant la lettre
. Leon Wieseltier pens a response
to Steven Pinker's essay
on scientism, both in the pages of the New Republic. Others
some prominent atheists
, have taken issue with Pinker as well.
posted by shivohum
on Sep 5, 2013 -
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader.
Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working
to help others
who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 27, 2012 -
This weekend , Washington, D.C. will be invaded by the voice of reason
. A free rally featuring Tim Minchin
, Paul Provenza
, Richard Dawkins
, Eddie Izzard
, Adam Savage
, James Randi
, Bad Religion
, and many others, in what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of non-believers in America.
"If we don't organize, we will be the only ones not organized. Religion will be organized. We won't be organized. That means we lose... and they win."
posted by markkraft
on Mar 23, 2012 -
A couple of Jehovah’s Witness' knocked on the door of secular parenting advocate Dale McGowan. What happened next is both funny and instructive, without being disrespectful or confrontational.
posted by COD
on Sep 27, 2011 -
A bridge builder, a student of how societies hold together; an advocate of dialogue. Standing against polarized and simplistic styles of thought. Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor is Canada's best known and most widely read contemporary thinker. In books like Sources of the Self and A Secular Age, he has attempted to define the unique character of the modern age. He maps the fault-lines in our modern identity, and points to both the pitfalls and the promise of our condition. Learn about his life, history, upbringing, and... ideas.
Now available, CBC IDEAS in five one-hour parts: the malaise of modernity
(this special program has the same title as the 1991 Massey Lecture of the same name, but is not the same [MP3's, get them now, they will go away, and then you can only stream them]).
. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on May 20, 2011 -
Dare 2 Share Ministries offers profiles and tips
on how to "share your faith" with fourteen different types of friends a teen Christian might have, such as Andy the Atheist
, Marty the Mormon
, Jenna the Jew
, Sid the Satanist
, Mo the Muslim
and Willow the Wiccan
. If none of those strategies work, they also offer articles
on how to "use the buzz in current teen culture to initiate God-talk with your friends" by "sharing your faith" through Indiana Jones
, Halo 3
, Brokeback Mountain
, Kung Fu Panda
and The X Files
posted by jardinier
on Apr 8, 2011 -
Ask the atheist
"Have a question for an atheist? Ever wonder what atheists think about morality, faith, science, etc.? How do atheists live their lives without a god? How do they know right from wrong? Are they just angry at god? Do they really NOT believe?" [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Oct 13, 2010 -
In a survey of Americans' religious knowledge
conducted by the Pew Research Center, atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons scored higher than evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions, leading the surveyors to conclude that "large numbers of Americans are uninformed about the tenets, practices, history and leading figures of major faith traditions – including their own."
posted by Houyhnhnm
on Sep 28, 2010 -
A series of Youtube videos detailing the author's separation from his faith. His diction, with...pauses, is a little odd to get used to but worth getting around.
posted by notsnot
on Nov 1, 2009 -
"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion."
~ George Washington /
"I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."
~ Thomas Jefferson /
"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion."
~ Abraham Lincoln /
"A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison /
"I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy /
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers
." ~ Barack Obama
posted by 0bvious
on Jan 20, 2009 -
The Four Horsemen:
Just in time for holidays, enjoy a pleasant chat between the world's most famous atheists - Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett.
posted by empath
on Dec 23, 2007 -
In God we doubt.
This is not an intellectual game. Even if we know what is true – and we don’t – you cannot reduce life to a set of provable realities. Humanity is too complex for that. In the end, it comes down to whether the world would be a better place without religion; and that is a matter of judgment, not certainty.
posted by veedubya
on Sep 2, 2007 -
From a Time magazine article:
A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light
(Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist." Previously
on Mother Teresa's doubt, more generally
posted by ibmcginty
on Aug 23, 2007 -
Google Video of the complete proceedings of the conference Beyond Belief: Science, Reason, Religion and Survival
, which took place on November 5-7, 2006 at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. (There are ten sessions, which average about two hours each.) Bios of the speakers
who attended. A NYT article on the conference
: "By the third day, the arguments were so heated that Dr. [Melvin] Konner was reminded of 'a den of vipers.' " Further conversation concerning the conference
, in which Scott Atran writes, "I find it fascinating that among the brilliant scientists and philosophers at the conference, there was no convincing evidence presented that they know how to deal with the basic irrationality of human life and society other than to insist against all reason and evidence that things ought to be rational and evidence based. It makes me embarrassed to be a scientist and atheist."
posted by Prospero
on Jan 9, 2007 -
Jewcy asks The Big Question--
Why Are Atheists So Angry? with Sam Harris and Dennis Prager. Email exchanges on the topic--and if you can get past the incredibly loaded and one-sided question, really interesting.
posted by amberglow
on Nov 29, 2006 -
Youtubes of Dawkins lecturing from Lynchburg, VA, reading excerpts from 'The God Delusion' in Pt.1
& an entertaining Q&A session in Pt.2
; in related news, Sam Harris
elucidates the dangers of religious moderation...
posted by Rufus T. Firefly
on Nov 25, 2006 -
"The Naked Truth"
This Google Video
is a documentary (pack a lunch, it's nearly two hours long) that systematically eviscerates the purported origins of the Old and New Testaments. Turns out, it's really all about astrology. Who knew?
The evidence is tremendously compelling, well documented, and sure to raise the ire of people whose minds are made up on the subject.
posted by wordswinker
on Jul 4, 2006 -
Do you ever get the calling to witness to atheists but don't respond because you don't know how to start? Have you ever tried, but got pulled around from one point to the next spending hours getting nowhere? Are you just too chicken to do it? Well fret no more - help is here! The Chat-O-Matic
is specifically designed to get you started on the right foot when debating skeptics on the Christian faith. It will also help you obey Jesus' command in not throwing your pearls before swine. (An Atheist Witnessing Tool for the rest of us)
posted by youarenothere
on May 1, 2006 -
Breaking the Science-Atheism Bond.
"When I was growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the 1960s, I came to the view that God was an infantile illusion, suitable for the elderly, the intellectually feeble, and the fraudulently religious."
posted by brownpau
on Jan 24, 2006 -