Category Archives: atheism

Quote of the month: Bertrand Russell on why we shouldn’t believe in fictions that supposedly make us behave better

Most of you have heard of Russell’s Teapot, the hypothetical but undetectable orbiting object that Bertrand Russell used to show why we shouldn’t believe things for which there is no evidence (i.e., “religion”). But perhaps you don’t know where that simile came from.  While futzing around on the Internet, I came across Russell’s essay “Is […]

New talk by Dawkins on taking courage from Darwinism

Reader Michael called my attention to this 40-minute talk from October’s CSICon in Las Vegas that was posted just this morning by the Center For Inquiry. There are only 150 views so far. First, the YouTube notes: Compare two ways of knowing the world. On the one hand theologians claim that the universe and all […]

Therapist advises atheists to lie to their kids, pretending there’s a god and a heaven

The Wall Street Journal is of course a conservative venue, but this time it’s exceeded even the normal right-wing love of religion. The article below, by psychoanalyst Erica Komisar, is behind a paywall, but I’ll give some quotes. And judicious inquiry might turn up a copy. Komisar’s argument is based on a 2018 study showing […]

An atheist espouses godlessness at HuffPost!

The title has an exclamation mark because I wouldn’t have expected HuffPost to publish a piece by an avowed atheist. In this case the author is Jennifer Furner, and her article is below. I’m presenting it not because there’s anything new in the text, but at the strong negative reaction of some commenters, who criticize […]

David Attenborough: an atheist or an agnostic?

As sometimes happens when one is surfing around on YouTube, I came across two videos of David Attenborough discussing his beliefs in God. Although I don’t have a dog in his fight with belief, I was curious to see whether a man who’s spent his life touting the marvels of naturalism (e.g., evolution) had any […]

Thoughts and prayers: what are they worth?

Everyone knows about the “thoughts and prayers” sent out after tragedies as a quotidian feature of the daily news. And all of us nonbelivers disparage not only the use of prayers (shown in a Templeton-funded study to not have any effect on healing after surgery), but also the uselessness of thoughts—unless conveyed directly to the […]

In a Channel 4 interview, Richard Dawkins describes his new book

Although I heard rumors that Richard Dawkins was publishing a new book, I wasn’t aware that it was already finished and scheduled for publication. But Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide is will be out October 8. I haven’t seen it, but it’s apparently intended for young people. And I’ve put below a 45-minute video interview […]

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 […]