News And Links For Atheists: Chrispher Hitchens VS Frank Turek

VIDEO: Debate: Christopher Hitchens vs. Frank Turek

VIDEO: Sam Harris vs. William Lane Craig – Does Good Come From God?

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science

The Two Kinds Of Belief: Why infants reason better than adults

Proof that religious wording isn’t “secular” or “benign”

When nonreligious Americans object to the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, or to “In God We Trust” as the national motto, we often hear opponents claim that the wording is harmless, secular in purpose, and that nobody interprets the words as being a religious affirmation of any kind. Sometimes the excuse given is that such wording merely “acknowledges the nation’s religious heritage.”

Of course, just about every society has some kind of religious heritage, but even if we find it desirable to “acknowledge” America’s religious heritage one could question why we must do so by affirmatively stating that God actually exists. After all, America also has a strong secular heritage – many of our founders were quite anti-clerical, some rejected Christianity and supernatural religion outright, and certainly many of them were far outside the framework of traditional religion. Thus, would we “acknowledge” that secular heritage by affirming in our national Pledge and motto that there is no God?

Here’s a series of articles on Psychology Today where a couple of experts end up debating one another at the same web site.

When The Going Gets Tough, The Atheists Go Praying

Atheism is a luxury of the well-to-do and the comfortable.

This shouldn’t earn the author any hate mail.

Rebutting more outlandish statements about atheists

…Raghunathan’s article provides his personal opinions without going through the pesky exercise of providing supporting evidence. He declares that atheism is “a luxury” that results from having a “comfortable life.” Because atheism seems most prominent in the developed world where people rarely have to worry about their next meal, Raghunathan speculates, we can conclude that material comfort gives rise to atheism.

Gasp! Sick’em, David Niose.

Is Atheism Just Another Faith?

My recent post has attracted considerably more attention than I expected–over 150 comments (at last count) and even a repartee by David Niose. Although I am sorry that my post was offensive to some atheists (and I apologize for that), I am happy that we are at least having this debate. If it is at all conceivable, believe me when I say that my intention is not to insult anyone.

Before I address some of the objections to my thesis–that even hardcore atheists will start praying to God under a sufficiently high level of stress–I would like to state that I am not really a believer in God. More precisely, I do not believe in the kind of God that is typically depicted in most religions, as a somewhat egotistical and even vengeful entity. I should also state that, like most atheists, I believe that religion has overall been a more divisive and harmful force than it has been a unifying and beneficial one. If forced to pick a category to which I belong, I would pick agnostic rather than “believer.” In other words, I am really more closely aligned to atheists than I am to the religious.

That said, I would like to now offer my responses to the five major categories of comments/criticisms that my post generated:

You’ll have to go to the link to see the rest of his response. A similar exchange on Psychology Today can be found here.

P.S. … Today my wife and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. An atheist and a Jehovah’s Witness, and we’ve been married sixteen years. Not too crappy.

A Response To “The Argument That Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Not Cult Members”

ezine articles graphicsI recently stumbled upon an article at, entitled, “The Argument That Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Not Cult Members.” It was written by Troy Bart Simon, who is listed as a “Basic Level Expert Author.” In case you have any doubt about the exact nature of Troy’s post, the description at begins, “Jehovah’s Witnesses are often looked upon as being part of a cult, when in reality they are far from anything cult-like.” Yeah, I’m sure that won’t rile up any of my readers. Yet Troy probably thinks his statement is completely true. In fact, he’s probably one of Jehovah’s Witnesses himself.

Some at JWD have already responded to Troy’s article since it was written about a year ago. I have a few points worth mentioning, too. Note that this article spans more than one page. So don’t ignore the little numbers at the bottom if you want to read past the first one. They’re below all the “Like this post?” stuff.

Please feel free to make additions, corrections, or other points in the comments below. If I’m convinced you’re suggestions have merit, I might revise this article to include them.

Now here’s my response to “The Argument That Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Not Cult Members.”


Review: “The Karate Kid (2010)”

Karate Kid 2010 poster.I still remember seeing the original Karate Kid at the old drive-in theater with my parents. I was eleven years old and it was a great movie. Little did I know that all the sequels would blow or that, decades later, I would begin seeing advertisements for a remake of the Karate Kid. Shudder.

My reaction to this was probably the same as yours: outright denial. As I wept in my bed that same evening, I dared ignite a single spark of hope. Maybe the new Karate Kid won’t be that bad, I told myself.

Then I went back to thinking about porn like a real man.

My wife and I recently saw the Karate Kid remake on one of those movie channels the kids used to love so much before the Twitter and the iPod. Were my hopes for this movie as pointless as my fantasy about a four-way with the Charmed1 sisters? Or can you safely run your copy of the original Karate Kid through a shredder?

Click the button if you want to find out.


  1. Actually, I’d throw in Prue and make it a five way. She’s the dead one, in case you didn’t know. Hey, as long as Prue shuts her mouth, she’s more than welcome to my fantasy party! Oh, you gave me that look because you thought she’d still be dead when I was banging her? Weirdo.

Review: “Tangled”

After a burst of great movies like The Lion King and Aladdin, Disney’s cartoon movies have gotten seriously weak of late. So I tried not to groan too loudly when my wife wanted to see Tangled, which is a Disneyfication of “Rapunzel.” Luckily for me, her mother gifted her with extreme – almost pathological – cheapness. This isn’t always a plus, but it saved me from seeing Tangled in the movie theater.

I wasn’t exactly dancing with joy at the prospect of seeing Disney’s Tangled. I still wanted to like the movie, but it would have to win me over. Oh, and I could have cared less about the changes they made versus the original “Rapunzel” story. I just wanted a good movie. So I did my best to give Tangled a chance.

Was I disappointed? Did my wife squeal with glee like a teenage girl when we saw it? Stay tuned to find out.