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The Original Tea Partier Was an Atheist

Politico: "Young called his creed 'the religion of nature' and 'the religion of nature’s God.' And he made abundantly clear that, in his own mind, this radical philosophical religion was the axis on which the Revolution turned. For him, the project to free the American people from the yoke of King George III was part of a grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 2, 2014 - 26 comments

A less intellectually lazy atheism?

Atheist bashing or tough love? A thought-provoking review by Michael Robbins of Nick Spencer's new book on the history of atheism in Slate magazine. It reads like an autopsy of the recently murdered religious/atheist dialogue, with the "intellectually lazy" new atheism atop the list of suspects. [more inside]
posted by cross_impact on Jul 9, 2014 - 369 comments

Prayers get a new blessing

The Supreme Court ruled (PDF) this morning that the town of Greece, New York did not violate the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 5, 2014 - 167 comments

Saudi Arabia declares atheists and political activists “terrorists”

The Sunni Islamic monarchy/theocracy's restrictive laws on political expression have become even stricter this year. This is in response to potentially dangerous dissidents returning to Saudi Arabia from the Syrian civil war. But the categories of offenses are so broad as to define virtually any non-Muslim as a terrorist, and to ban all independent political expression. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 2, 2014 - 48 comments

Gods of the Godless

An interview with world-renowned Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi on Lovecraft, atheism, weird tales, and cosmicism.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jan 17, 2014 - 5 comments

"My desire is, as always, to pursue the truth."

"I'm making it official and embarking on a new journey. I will "try on" atheism for a year. For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God. I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else's circumstances. (I trust that if there really is a God that God will not be too flummoxed by my foolish experiment and allow others to suffer as a result)."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 15, 2014 - 130 comments

Does God Exist?

Do we have good reason to think God exists? We do, says William Lane Craig. Craig has debated several high profile atheists, including Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.
posted by shivohum on Jan 15, 2014 - 516 comments

I contradict myself

"I am an atheist and a Quaker."
posted by anotherpanacea on Nov 7, 2013 - 79 comments

Reason is larger than science.

[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, including some prominent atheists, have taken issue with Pinker as well.
posted by shivohum on Sep 5, 2013 - 79 comments

So much talk of the god-shaped hole

"Most of us are introduced to God at about the same time as we hear about Santa Claus, but over the years our views of Santa mature and change, while our notion of God often gets stuck at an infantile level."

The NewStatesman asks "After God: What can atheists learn from believers?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 31, 2013 - 228 comments

Nagel on the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature

Andrew Ferguson explains and defends eminent philosopher Thomas Nagel, who has been stirring up outraged refutations (e.g. here or here) with his new book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. Also in the defense column is philosopher Edward Feser's extensive series on Nagel's book.
posted by shivohum on Mar 19, 2013 - 163 comments

"I went from God loves everybody to God saves everybody to God is in everybody."

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 - 163 comments

Global trends in religiosity and atheism

Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious persons or a convinced atheist? [.pdf of survey results] The WIN-Gallup International ‘Religion and Atheism Index’ measures global self-perceptions on beliefs, based on interviews with more than 50,000 men and women selected from 57 countries across the globe in five continents. The survey also provides trend data for shifts in attitudes since 2005.
posted by wilful on Aug 8, 2012 - 121 comments

The voice of reason... in Washington, DC?!

Organized irreligion! 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 - 489 comments

"a killing spree of staggering proportions"

Amnesty International believes that Iran has executed at least 600 people in 2011 in what it calls "a killing spree of staggering proportions". [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 22, 2012 - 67 comments

Religions without gods?

Atheism 2.0: Alain de Botton reviews some of the often-overlooked values that religion can have for secular society. [more inside]
posted by Misunderestimated on Jan 18, 2012 - 187 comments

You can't stop Katy Perry

Penn Jillette: An Atheist's Guide to the 2012 Election. [SLYT] Via BigThink, "A knowledge forum featuring the ideas, lessons, stories and advice of leading experts from around the world."
posted by furiousxgeorge on Dec 4, 2011 - 103 comments

So It's OK If I Stone My Kids?

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. Part 1 Part 2
posted by COD on Sep 27, 2011 - 209 comments

One Religion coming up. Would you like God with that?

Varieties of irreligious experience - modern believers "may not accept the idea of God as an actually existing entity, so arguments for atheism will not disturb them"
posted by Gyan on Sep 16, 2011 - 932 comments

"I suppose people can go through an entire lifetime without questioning God and a religion that they were born into"

A few months ago, The New Statemen asked a number of public figures "why they believe in god." Last week, they asked a number of public figures "to explain why they don't."
posted by bardic on Jul 31, 2011 - 194 comments

The man in the middle, Or, The Truth About the Muslim Plot Against Pea Soup

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]). One, Two, Three, Four, Five. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on May 20, 2011 - 4 comments

"Have friends who are atheists? Agnostics? Into Wicca? Or New Age?"

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 - 299 comments

Hitchens Harris Rabbis Afterlife Debate

Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris Debate Rabbis David Wolpe and Shavit Artson on the existence of an afterlife (video) [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Mar 9, 2011 - 92 comments

Russell's Teapot = the crazy watering can?

How "just another homework assignment" (slyt) can (maybe even without the creator's knowledge) easily explain an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) "Russell's Teapot" (wiki)
posted by MrBCID on Jan 23, 2011 - 17 comments

Ask the atheist

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 - 211 comments

Well I'll be damned

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 - 116 comments

A Chaplain and an Atheist Go to War

A Chaplain and an Atheist Go to War
posted by JeffL on Sep 4, 2010 - 76 comments

The Thinking Atheist

The Thinking Atheist Another atheism site on the internet, featuring a handy list of bible contradictions, a forum, etc. Most notably, they feature a series of slickly produced videos on various religious topics. [more inside]
posted by Uther Bentrazor on Jul 21, 2010 - 215 comments

At least we know what we don't know

An Agnostic Manifesto.
posted by homunculus on Jun 28, 2010 - 350 comments

Religion and America's Academic Scientists

Science vs. Religion: a new book, Science and Religion: What Scientists Really Think by Rice University sociologist Elaine Ecklund, discusses the results of her detailed study of 1,646 scientists at top American research universities. Among her findings: ~36% of those surveyed not only believe in God but also practice a form of closeted, often non-traditional faith. They worry about how their peers would react to learning about their religious views. Interview with the author from the Center for Inquiry's Point of Inquiry podcast. Also, here's a webcast from an author discussion forum held at Rice University on April 7th. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 30, 2010 - 89 comments

Losing my Religion

Deconversion 2.0. 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 - 37 comments

Ireland Passes Blasphemy Law

Who asked for Ireland's blasphemy law? Ireland's sweeping new defamation law, passed in the Dáil on the 9th, "introduces a new crime of blasphemous libel." The creators of Father Ted want some clarification. And at their recent AGM, "...Atheist Ireland members voted to test the new law by publishing a blasphemous statement, deliberately designed to cause offence. The statement will be finalised in the coming days." Across the sea, comedian and co-author of Jerry Springer, the Opera Stewart Lee asks: "What's Wrong With Blasphemy?" [40 minute documentary] [more inside]
posted by milquetoast on Jul 13, 2009 - 68 comments

Culture & Barbarism

Metaphysics in a Time of Terrorism. (via)
posted by Dumsnill on Apr 17, 2009 - 39 comments

Humanism

The Virtues of Godlessness. "It is not the most religious nations in our world today, but rather the most secular, that have been able to create the most civil, just, safe, equitable, humane, and prosperous societies."
posted by plexi on Feb 1, 2009 - 108 comments

A nation of nonbelievers

"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 - 270 comments

Polly Toynbee

My Christmas message? There's probably no God.
posted by chuckdarwin on Dec 28, 2008 - 165 comments

Swimming upstream.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism is a book released last month by Tim Keller. Its faired reasonably well (NYT, login req'd), which is interesting, considering the wide success of books preaching the opposite message, as of late (Dawkins, et. al.). [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Mar 5, 2008 - 155 comments

The Four Horsemen

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 - 79 comments

10 Things Christians and Atheists Can (And Must) Agree On

10 Things Christians and Atheists Can (And Must) Agree On. "Celebrating the death of somebody you disagreed with pretty much makes you a dick."
posted by Avenger50 on Dec 16, 2007 - 243 comments

turning of an atheist

The Turning of An Atheist. "The British philosopher Antony Flew was one of the West’s most influential nonbelievers. Then came news — from conservative Christians — that he had recanted. But his change of heart may not be what it seems."
posted by shotgunbooty on Nov 6, 2007 - 60 comments

Jonathan Haidt on the "Five Foundations" of Morality

"From a review of the anthropological and evolutionary literatures [Edge.org]... there were three best candidates for being additional psychological foundations of morality [embedded video], beyond harm/care and fairness/justice. These three we label as ingroup/loyalty (which may have evolved from the long history of cross-group or sub-group competition...); authority/respect (which may have evolved from the long history of primate hierarchy, modified by cultural limitations on power and bullying...), and purity/sanctity, which may be a much more recent system, growing out of the uniquely human emotion of disgust, which seems to give people feelings that some ways of living and acting are higher, more noble, and less carnal than others. [more inside]
posted by McLir on Sep 11, 2007 - 19 comments

In God we doubt

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 - 241 comments

Mother Teresa's lengthy, unresolved crisis of faith

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 - 110 comments

This Void? Does it Vibrate?

AtheistFilter: Excerpts from Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Excerpt two: "Was Muhammad Epileptic?" Three: "Mormonism: A Racket Becomes a Religion" (via)
posted by bardic on Apr 27, 2007 - 75 comments

What goes around comes around

Krazy... Katheists? We see plenty of stories about religion in schools crossing the line. For good reason -- it's pretty topical. This time, though, it's an atheist teacher who crosses the line.
posted by gurple on Feb 22, 2007 - 191 comments

it's been agreed that results of the debate are to be binding on all religious and nonreligious people.

Sam Harris, an atheist, and Andrew Sullivan, a Catholic, debate whether moderate religion makes any sense. Harris: "Religious moderation is the result of not taking scripture all that seriously." Sullivan: "Blogger, please."
posted by ibmcginty on Jan 25, 2007 - 85 comments

Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief. 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 - 114 comments

guess who comes off as more angry (and more insulting)?

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 - 246 comments

AtheistFilter (oh God not again!)

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 - 250 comments

Why do atheists care about religion?

Why do atheists care about religion? (youtube). Some of this video is factual, however some states do not have these clauses in their constitutions. However, not even being able to testify in court because you are an atheist is downright frightening.
posted by triolus on Oct 20, 2006 - 74 comments

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