This week, I’d like to explore whether atheism is based on faith in the same way that religious belief is. It’s a commonly asked question, and one that I am sure many (if not most) atheists have encountered at one point or another. On its face, it seems potentially troubling. However, I am certain that atheism is not faith-based in the same way as religion.Read More
The Supreme Court recently ruled that the town of Greece, N.Y. was not violating the First Amendment rights of its citizens by conducting prayers before town hall meetings. This was a 5-4 decision along political lines that no one will find surprising (hint of the day: the conservatives were the five who voted in favor of the town of Greece). The case was originally brought against the town by two women – an atheist and a Jew – who claimed that the prayers violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The reasoning given by the majority fell strongly upon two points: (1) the prayers did not constitute the “establishment of religion” as they were performed by various clergymen over the years, and (2) the prayers were being used for an acceptable ceremonial purpose...Read More
I notated pertinent parts of the debate found at the link above and have created a paraphrased reference guide for anyone who might be interested. I’ve provided hour/minute/second marks for the link above, though they may not translate to all versions of the video...Read More
Ray Comfort is, philosophically, a vacuous waste of space, and one of his online videos – “Evolution vs. God” – only serves to further confirm this. This video isn’t exactly new, but it did crop up again recently and it made it onto our radar here at [37G] this time around. Making it through the 38 minute video was a serious chore; it is so disingenuous in its methodology that it is intellectually offensive. Despite this, we managed to find the necessary fortitude and soldiered on through all 2,306 seconds of mental banality so that you, dear reader, could possibly avoid having to view it yourself...Read More
A trip down r/atheism lane on reddit.com can be an amusing affair, albeit a rather one-sided one. The subreddit is littered with quips, memes, and snide attacks on religious institutions, persons, and ideas of every stripe, even after a fairly recent effort to reform the subreddit into something more constructive (and less dominated by Raptor Jesus and his meme-kin). There was a pretty serious uproar at the time, though things seem to have settled down since, but I must confess I sympathize with the effort. This is not because there shouldn’t be a place that atheists can blow off some steam at the expense of their philosophical adversaries; rather, it is because – as the largest online community of atheists, and definitely one of the most visible to the world at large – r/atheism has the potential to be something more than a clearing house for religion-oriented negative emotions.Read More
Welcome to the latest installment of the [37G] book report series. This week we highlight Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. , a methodical and sustained attack on religion on both theological and practical fronts. It is interesting in its tone, which straddles the space between the rhetorical bite of Christopher Hitchens and the more scientific timbre of Daniel Dennett, though it is infused with more than a little dry, British wit.Read More
We should all be happy that a federal district court judge in Texas has struck down sections of a law that would have restricted women’s access to abortion services in that state. This is a victory for secularism, plain and simple, and its value is completely independent of abortion debate itself. Sadly, it has proven to be a temporary victory as an appeals court reinstated many of the restrictions only three days later while legal challenges are moving through the courts.Read More
It’s a little difficult for me to believe that [37G] is a year old. It’s been a productive year, with over 30 atheism/secularism-related articles and over 30 podcasts going up, along with William’s Magic: the Gathering coverage over at the Blog portion of the site. We’ve come a long way in that time, and we’ve got a lot further to go before we end up where we want to be, which makes the one-year mark a great place to reflect on what has been and what (we hope) will be.
I recently re-watched one of my favorite movies: V for Vendetta and it got me thinking about the need for vocal opposition to religion in the public sphere ... While this is obviously a fiction through and through, I believe it highlights one way in which religious people can impact the lives of the non-religious, if only in theory.Read More
There is a tendency for atheists to demean religious traditions as “mere mythologies”, but I think that this is an unhelpful criticism because there is something very human about the love of a mythos. We would be better served to understand that mythologies, both ancient and modern, are powerful narratives that help us describe to ourselves what it is to be human, and that very few of us (if any) are entirely free from them.