Category Archives: atheism

Gregory Paul on the rise of nonbelief in the U.S.: it’s happening faster than you think

This article by Gregory Paul in the new journal Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism (click on screenshot for pdf) argues, based on polling data, that the proportion of Americans who are atheists is rising by 5-10% a decade, leading to the conclusion that within a century America will comprise mainly nonbelievers. (Note that the […]

A woman who lost her faith deals with the death of her son

This piece by Amber Scorah in today’s New York Times tore at my heart, arousing all sorts of emotions that I’d prefer would stay dormant. Fear of mortality, fear of loss, frustration at not being able to believe what might make me feel better, and so on. This is the gamut of emotions that Scorah […]

The New Yorker praises atheism (sort of)

UPDATE: James Wood has responded politely to this piece in a comment below, which you can find here. ************* The article below (click on screenshot), by New Yorker literary critic and Harvard English professor James Wood, is a review of Martin Hägglund’s new book, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, but also a paean […]

How many atheists are there in the U.S.? A new paper says about 26% of the population

The estimate given in the title suggests a much higher number of American atheists than estimates from other studies relying on self-report (e.g., “Are you an atheist?”). Those self-report estimates range between 3% and 11% (the authors of the paper below define “atheists” as “people who disbelieve or lack belief in the existence of a […]

The U of C discussion on religion with Reza Aslan and Dan Dennett

In January I attended a four-person discussion on the “place of faith in our changing world”, featuring Reza Aslan, Dan Dennett, religious ethicist William Schweiker, and moderator David Nirenberg, interim chair of our Divinity School. To me it was frustrating, as speaker after speaker (except for Dan) mouthed Deepities about religion without once laying out […]

Kate Cohen: Don’t mix religion, morality, and politics

There are two things that most of us have learned about religion and morality: 1.) People don’t really get their morality from religion—or at least most of it. That is, people don’t judge what is moral versus immoral behavior solely from the dictates of their faith, but rather from extra-Biblical sources that are antecedent to […]

An ID advocate, lacking scientific arguments, claims that atheism saps life of meaning

Intelligent Design (ID) advocate David Klinghoffer, an Orthodox Jew, spends a lot of time attacking me on the Discovery Institute Website Evolution News. It’s almost an obsessive animus, for he regularly trawls this site looking for ammunition. But I pay little attention to the man. First of all, his criticisms of me have nothing to […]

A philosopher at the NYT writes about the incoherence of most people’s theism

It’s surprising that the New York Times would publish an atheistic op-ed showing that most people’s notion of God is incoherent, but the piece below (click on the screenshot), is actually Unsophisticated Atheism in at least part of its argument. And the parts that aren’t weird are old and familiar arguments. Well, perhaps believers need […]

Dawkins’s Darwin Day lecture for Humanists UK: “Taking Courage from Darwin to Fight the Hubris of Faith”

Reader Michael called my attention to Richard Dawkins’s Darwin Day Lecture to Humanists UK (HUK). Richard is introduced by Humanists UK President and evolutionary biologist Alice Roberts, who was the moderator when I gave this lecture a few years ago. Richard’s lecture was just posted today, and as I write there are only 194 views. […]

Michael Shermer’s take on the question “Is New Atheism dead?”

The haters, shade-throwers, and draggers continue to publish articles saying that New Atheism is dead because the “self-appointed leaders” are all old white males who are alt-right-ish and bigoted, and because the movement itself, having failed to wed itself with social justice and embraced misogyny and conservatism instead, has driven away its adherents. As I […]