News And Links For Atheists: Atheist Asks Obama About Faith-Based Absurdities

Thought I was dead, didn’t ya? That’s the problem when you blog for a hobby. You write whenever the hell you feel like it.

VIDEO: Atheist Asks Obama About Faith-Based Absurdities

VIDEO: Christopher Hitchens Debates Is the Catholic Church A Force Of Good In The World?

VIDEO: Senator Franken Shames Homophobic Imbecile

A large list of awesome female atheists

I swear I didn’t post this just to get me laid.1

Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

The site’s creator believes that atheists can use Wikipedia entries to help further skepticism throughout the world (or at least the web) while minimizing belief in superstitions and quack science. Her web site tells us how this could work.

The Christian Delusion

Since Richard Dawkins’ landmark book, The God Delusion, was published in 2006, one frequent criticism that has been levied against it is that the treatment of Christianity is insufficient and too naive. Professor Dawkins has very little of a religious background, and I would agree that it shows in his book. The same may be said for Christopher Hitchens and god is not Great or Sam Harris and Letter to a Christian Nation. While there is still plenty to appreciate about each of those books, they have not offered a thorough refutation of Christianity. Although several other authors have produced wonderful works criticizing Christianity, this ex-Evangelical minister, John Loftus, has compiled an outstanding anthology of scholarly essays that strive to expose The Christian Delusion.

Scientologists, Catholics and More Money Than God

We do not need these books to tell us that money and religion make for a poisonous combination. But it is of some interest to see that ancient truth confirmed in both a church as relatively new as Scientology and one as ancient as Roman Catholicism. Even religious leaders develop a certain swagger when they know they are backed by bundles of cash. When a French court fined Scientology nearly a million dollars, one of its officials shrugged that off as “chump change.” And when the Vatican ran a deficit of nearly 2.4 million euros in 2007, an Italian journalist familiar with the church’s finances dismissed the debt as “chopped liver.” Chump change or chopped liver, both churches have bigger sums they can get to and use, and few outsiders are given a look at how they do it. These two books trace the cash source of theological confidence.

As an ex-Witness, I would find it neat if they wrote something like this about the Watchtower Society. Still, it’s good to keep things in perspective. The Society may be rolling in cash by any sane human standard, yet the bank accounts of the Catholic Church or the Church of Scientology would crush theirs like a bug.

Apathetic Atheism

Are you an “apatheist?”

Judge suspended for requiring church attendance as bail condition

Anti-Porn event – emotional appeals and dangerous misinformation

Sensory Perception Linked to Conceptual Perception

An inability to distinguish between internally-generated and externally-generated physical sensations appears to be linked to having trouble distinguishing between delusions (generated internally) and facts (that exist externally). This means that there seems to be a bond between sensory perception concept generation — between our ability to perceive the world through our senses and our ability to organize what we understand of the world through our mental concepts.

Victory for evolution in Texas

I Do Not Think This Means What They Think It Means…

Nor do I.

Pat Robertson is Bat Shit Crazy

1947 heat wave caused Catholic school girls to go wild

Someone filmed my dream. Again.

Atheist Barbie

How to get people to quit using homeopathic medicine

I have an in-law I’d like to try this one on.


  1. But I totally would have if I thought it would work. Alas, few things do.

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.

News And Links For Atheists: Bad Apologetic Evangelism

VIDEO: Bad Apologetic Evangelism: The Video

To say that this video is bad is putting it mildly. I’m not even sure what the exact point of her argument is. If the atheist is a 5 year old, it might shake them up a bit. Otherwise, it just seems very condescending and sad. If she had gone just little bit farther, it would have been a funny as hell. Please, someone, poke fun at this video. I guarantee you a link as soon as I hear about it.

VIDEO: Pre-Blessed Food

This one is intentionally funny.

VIDEO: Glenn Beck: “I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet”

Glenn Beck is always hilarious. I think the title says it all, though.

VIDEO: The Poetry of Science: Neil deGrasse Tyson & Richard Dawkins

This one’s pretty cool as far as discussions go. (It’s not a debate.) Tyson pretty much dominates the event.

The thing about these two is that Tyson represents an aspect of irreligion in a way that I actually favor over Dawkins. Yet Dawkins is able to get a message out there through the media by being controversial, even though he also cheeses a lot of people off in the process. I suspect many people only think of Tyson as a scientist with a lot of charisma. I’m not even sure if he’s an atheist or not. When it comes to the question of how one should approach spreading secularism and atheism, what’s an outspoken atheist to do?

Dawkins vs. Timonen

You may remember the flap over the richarddawkins.net forums that happened early this year. Peter Harrison was one of the moderators who felt hard done. At the center of the controversy was a man named Josh Timonen, who ran the official website. It’s apparent that Richard Dawkins trusted him and allowed him free reign.

When in doubt, shout – why shaking someone’s beliefs turns them into stronger advocates

A good thing to keep in mind. Not only for outspoken atheists, but evangelicals at well. I’m looking at you, my in-laws!

Christopher Hitchens: ‘My life is my writing … my children come later’

Morals Without God?

Perhaps it is just me, but I am wary of anyone whose belief system is the only thing standing between them and repulsive behavior. Why not assume that our humanity, including the self-control needed for livable societies, is built into us? Does anyone truly believe that our ancestors lacked social norms before they had religion? Did they never assist others in need, or complain about an unfair deal? Humans must have worried about the functioning of their communities well before the current religions arose, which is only a few thousand years ago. Not that religion is irrelevant — I will get to this — but it is an add-on rather than the wellspring of morality.

Damn right.

Michael Behe’s son has a surprise

What Do New Atheists Actually Believe?

If you feel like being offended and rolling your eyes in frustration, go to the link. You can even offer your own answers to the questions the site poses to atheists, which might make you feel better. If you want to feel better sooner, go here.

Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity draws atheist group

‘Evangelical Atheists:’ Pushing For What?

Last Friday, a New York Times headline declared: “Atheists Debate How Pushy to Be.” This ongoing debate among atheists — “Just how much should we confront the religious?” — is nowhere near resolution.

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

Believers don’t know belief

This one is really about the pole mentioned in the previous one.


One Month Left To Enter CFI’s Campaign For Free Expression Video Contest!

Check this out. I got this email from the Center For Inquiry about their Free Expression Video Contest:


Campaign for Free Expression

The right to freely express oneself is vital in a modern society.
We would like you to tell the world why.

As part of the Center for Inquiry’s Campaign for Free Expression , our Public Service Announcement Video Contest is underway.

Campaign for Free Expression Video Contest

Example videos can be found on our CFI Youtube page

:


Campaign for Free Expression Video

Participation is easy: create a short public service announcement style video about the importance of free expression, upload the video to YouTube, and tag it with “Campaign for Free Expression Video Contest”. Videos must be submitted by September 20th, 2010, and on International Blasphemy Rights Day, September 30th, 2010, we will announce the top three winners.

Third place will get $500,
second place gets $1,000,
and first place walks away with $2,000.

Please see the full instructions and rules

before creating your entry.

Help spread the word! Find the Campaign for Free Expression on Facebook

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For more information, or if you have any questions, please visit www.centerforinquiry.net/campaign_for_free_expression/ or email videocontest@centerforinquiry.net.

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