Articles about Religion

picking a fight with Catholics

Well-meaning left-leaning commentators are on the television, wringing their hands and saying that this whole issue surrounding contraception and the Catholic church has been “screwed up” and should have been handled differently. “If the President knew that there would be resistance to this, why didn’t he set the stage a little better, and get the […]

the magicians of science

“I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in [demons] (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to the belief in [God]. The ‘Life Force’, the worship of […]

AOL and the nature of religious belief

My mom has finally decided to give up AOL, after 10 years, and helping her through this transition has been a profoundly educational experience for me. For one thing, it has given me some insights about conservative evangelical Christianity. AOL is a service that provides end-to-end access to internet content. This means that AOL acts […]

Judas: saint of secular humanists

I would like to make the case for the sainthood of Judas. Specifically: Judas as the patron saint of secular humanists. His suicide was not out of regret, but rather was the ultimate protestation of the secular humanist faith. I’m certainly not the first person to think of Judas as the voice of the secular, […]

types of tolerance and respect

It is easy for me to advocate religious respect and tolerance, because I am not a religious man. When I try to imagine political tolerance, I begin to understand how difficult religious tolerance really is for people of faith. As an atheist, questions of faith and religion are abstract and intellectual, much like questions of […]

being a fundamentalist

Consider this: “A fundamentalist is someone who believes that the only way a person can disagree with him is if that person is stupid, crazy, or just doesn’t understand.” This isn’t the dictionary definition of fundamentalism, but I’d like you to entertain it just for a moment. It means that being a fundamentalist isn’t just […]

Islamic Community Centers and Lesbian Daughters

When talking to people who are against the building of an Islamic Community Center in New York City, the number one rationale I hear is that it will hurt the feelings of a great number of people who have experienced great loss. It will offend them and it will upset them. Therefore, in order to […]

the rapture and the environment

someone said:“When people take the idea of the rapture seriously, and think it could happen any day, it makes them not care about the environment. Why care about the environment when God is going to destroy the world soon, anyway?” my thought:I believe that the types of people who use the coming of the rapture […]

militant atheists

someone said:“Some traditional atheists, like Paul Kurtz, worry that the militant rhetoric of Dawkins and Hitchens and others will set the movement back.” my thought:I think there is a natural evolution, or “life cycle”, to rights movements of oppressed minorities. First, there is the “invisible” phase : the group isn’t recognized, there is oppression but […]

the definition of God
Aliens Talking

There’s a trend among “spiritual-but-not-religious” people to say things like this: “In a new age, we need a new way of viewing God. The idea of God isn’t incompatible with modern science… it just needs to be updated. Why not view God as the sum total of the forces in the universe, so intricately and […]

criticizing religion

someone said:“It is difficult to have a rational discussion that mixes politics and religion. It seems like the conversation is divided by people who are religious nuts, and people who just want to tear down religion completely.” my thought:Absolutely. Although I am a liberal agnostic, I always find myself defending religious belief against the attacks […]

"spiritual" and "religious"

someone said:“More young people today are defining themselves as ‘spiritual’ but not ‘religious’.” my thought:I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing, because I think there are at least two very different groups that tend to describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious”. On the one hand: People who have done […]

What is the difference between prayer and swearing?

And how do we define what is “appropriate”?

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