The Full Text of Robert G. Ingersoll's "A Thanksgiving Sermon"

0 comments
I used an excerpt of this sermon in Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails.Here is the sermon. Full text below:

If you want to get rich, you start a religion.” L. Ron Hubbard

0 comments
L. Ron Hubbard

HBO Has Hired 160 Lawyers in Anticipation of Their New Scientology Documentary


HBO is producing a new documentary on the Church of Scientology so explosive that the network has been forced to hire legal back up. "We have probably 160 lawyers (looking at the film)," HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins tells The Hollywood Reporter."

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

0 comments

Through Atheist Eyes with Frank Zindler: Books By John Loftus

0 comments

Bertrand Russell's Ten Commandments

0 comments

Poster Child For Stupid! More Captions Requested.

0 comments

Are You A Theist?

0 comments

Lowder-Vandergriff Debate On God’s Existence Now Available

0 comments
Mr. Jeff Lowder provides a nice write-up about his debate with Mr. Kevin Vandergriff, along with instructions for listening to it right here. I haven't listened to it yet, but I suspect Jeff did very well since that's his forte, so kudos to him! The issues they address are all important.

I just have one criticism. There is no such thing as Theism or Christian Theism or Mere Christianity. Until I find a group of "mere theists" who worship together at the same Basilica or Cathedral or Chapel or Church or Hall or Home or Altar or Tent or Temple or Synagogue or Mosque or Shrine then I'll see value in public debates over "mere theism." In the sane manner, until I find a group of "mere Christian theists" who worship together at the same Basilica or Cathedral or Chapel or Church or Hall or Home or Altar or Temple then I'll see value in public debates over "mere Christian theism." As one who majored in the philosophy of religion discipline, I see greater value in debunking the basis for all Christian theisms found in the Bible and the theologies based on it, along with the history of various Christianities and the harms they have caused. While we need all voices and arguments in our common cause, I think my particular focus is best if we want to disabuse Christians of their faith.

Derren Brown - Fear and Faith

0 comments
In the first chapter of Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith FailsI mentioned this video having to do with the placebo effect of faith. It is extremely well-done and thought provoking. In the end I think the placebo of faith is something reasonable adults can do without. This is a program everyone interested in faith should watch.

I Bring You Church Today!

0 comments
I bring you church today! Does anyone think these believers could be reasoned out of their faith (see below)? They aren't even interested in reading what atheists have to say! So I hold them up for ridicule instead, to anyone who might be undecided about them. Come on, do you really think this pastor can direct the Holy Spirit? If he can then why doesn't he do something more important than making people fall down and feel good? There are many sick people who need healing. There is world conflict to be solved. There are lots of natural disasters he could send the Holy Spirit to stop. But no, nothing here but the power of suggestion. Just think, unthinking believers like them vote!


More Praise From Jeff Lowder About "Christianity is Not Great"

0 comments
He already wrote a nice blurb for the book. On his blog, The Secular Outpost, he additionally said: "I know of no other book which argues in such comprehensive detail that Christianity has caused so much harm in the world." I agree but then you'd expect me to. ;-)

Jerry Coyne Recommends My Book "The Outsider Test for Faith"

0 comments
LINK. This is very gratifying for me to see.

Al Blazo Highly Recommends "Christianity is Not Great"

0 comments
I met Al Blazo at the PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference a few months ago. He was one of the organizers, a passionate man dedicated to changing the religious landscape, one of the unsung heroes for reason and science. He sent me a note highly recommending Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails.
I just wanted to say it is a terrific work. Thanks so much for bringing all those voices together in one handy book. I think the book is mis-titled though. Instead of "Christianity is Not Great: How Faith Fails" it should be: "Christianity is Not Great: Here's the Proof." As Dawkins said at the top of the front cover, it will change a lot of minds for those who "have the courage to read it." For certain. Anyone who could read the anthology and still wish to remain identified with the death cult that calls itself "Christian" is either brain dead or an apologist.

Quote of the Day, by Greg G

0 comments
There are no bad reasons to stop believing the ridiculous.
I have actually made such an argument in four parts to be read beginning here.

"Does Religion Foster Generosity?" by Roy Sablosky,

0 comments
This new paper for "The Social Science Journal" sounds interesting. Here's the abstract:
This paper reviews recent studies that claim to provide support, through statistical analysis of survey data, for the traditional proposition that being religious makes people more generous. The studies have serious shortcomings. First, the data consist exclusively of self-reports. Second, the dependent and independent variables are conceptually problematic and ill-defined. Third, even if there is a positive correlation between religious involvement and personal generosity, it may be due to selection bias. Thus, these studies do not provide serious evidence for the traditional hypothesis. Moreover, it has been directly controverted by experimental studies of economic and other behaviors. LINK.

Islam and Free Fall of Salon.com Into the Intellectual Abyss

0 comments
 Every single time that I think the intellectually lazy leftist outlets have hit rock bottom in their brainless, Reza Aslan/esque defense of Islam (shall we call it "Islamophilia"?), they manage to stun me by smashing their own record of inanity. This time Salon.com again goes after Bill Maher for daring to point out the elephant in the room-Islam-as the root cause of violence committed by self-professed Islamic(!) militants (which would make up for over 80% of global terrorism, as it happens). But the "logic" of criticism against Maher is this time is downright insane.

Dr. Kenneth Howell Asks US About Scientism

0 comments
Dr. Howell is the author of God's Two Books: Copernical Cosmology and Biblical Interpretation in Early Modern Science.As a Christian he was kind enough to write a post-publication blurb of my anthology The Christian Delusion,saying, "I liked Richard Carrier’s chapter on science. I see within it hope for an advancement of knowledge. When dealing with the ancients, Carrier is superb."

Anyway Dr. Howell values my opinion and the opinions of the commenters here at DC enough to ask us all a question pertaining to an upcoming book. It's about the notion of scientism. I'll comment on it later, but for now, have at it. See if you can explain what it is and why you either embrace it or not. Provide links if you wish. Cheers.

What's The Only Alternative To The Outsider Test for Faith (OTF)?

0 comments
The answer? The Insider Test for Faith (ITF). How does the ITF work? Believers should test their faith against any evidence to the contrary, and against any perceived internal inconsistencies. That's not a bad test. It does work. It worked for me, and many others. But it has serious deficiencies.

Examples of Ridicule

12 comments
Recently I've defended the use of ridicule. Good ridicule must be based on some truth, otherwise it wouldn't be funny. It must also bring home an important point. Some of it is gentle humor while some of it is quite mean-spirited. Some people focus on ridicule while others focus on elaborately reasoned arguments. If you think ridicule is unbecoming of an atheist, or anyone for that matter, then you cannot like the comedy style of Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, or even Jay Leno or David Letterman. Look at the following good examples and then try to honestly tell me ridicule has no place in our cultural wars. [Click on the tag "Ridicule" below for more on this topic.]

An Excellent Example of Ridicule!

0 comments
James Lindsay said theism is done, won't last into the future. Victor Reppert responded by saying a bit sarcastically: "Oh yeah, theism is losing adherents, it's down to 74% in the latest Harris poll." Then Lindsay, well, ya gotta read this short play:

The Best Metapologetics Taxonomy

0 comments
I'm writing a book on Christian apologetics, how to do it right, if it can be done at all. Several Christian apologists have offered their own classifications, or taxonomies, of apologetical methods, and like most things Christian, they cannot even agree on how to classify them. I won’t rehearse them here. Rather this is what I consider the best way to categorize metapologetics based on their primary approach in defending Christianity, using five headings: 1) Apologetics Based On Supposed Evidence; 2) Apologetics Based On Rationalistic Theistic Proofs; 3) Apologetics Based On Assuming That Which Needs To Be Proved; 4) Apologetics Based On Private Subjective Experiences; and 5) Eclectic Apologetics.

Does Religion Cause More Harm Than Good? Valerie Tarico Says Yes!

0 comments

Through Atheist Eyes with Frank Zindler: John Loftus On William Lane Craig

0 comments

Questions in Genesis (part 1): Entrapment in Eden

0 comments
Fundamentalist and evangelical Christians believe that we live in a world gone wrong, and controlled by dark spiritual forces.  They think that  a host of things we face today, including death, disease, predation, violence, painful childbirth, thorns and thistles, and Miley Cyrus’ twerking can all be traced back to a Very Bad Thing which happened once upon a time in a garden called Eden, where a rebellious woman listened to a talking snake, ate a forbidden fruit, and led her husband into eating his way into God’s bad graces.
 (image credit:  Forbidden Fruit by Amanda Chervinko - amandachervinko.com)

Adam Vigansky Deconverts, Writes Excellent Letter Explaining To Family & Friends Why He Did

0 comments
Dear friends,

I want to let you know about some important things which have transpired in my life over the past four years. But before I begin, I only ask that you read the entirety of this letter before replying to me, if you do. As you know, I was a devoted believer in Christianity. I was raised in a very religious environment. I went to a Christian school. I was in church a few times a week. At the age of twenty I made a serious commitment to Jesus Christ. I soon moved to Pensacola, FL to earn a degree from the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry (now called F.I.R.E. School of Ministry). I went on mission trips to Uganda, Kenya and Greece. I toured Israel and Jordan. I lead street evangelism teams for two years in Pensacola. I was an active part of the Evangelism Team at my home church. After that, I married, moved to Kansas City, MO. to be a part of a house church plant team. We were actively a part of this for seven years and having four amazing children along the way.

Ridicule is a Type of Peer Pressure That Changes Minds

0 comments
We know that peer pressure changes minds, even against what seems quite clear to someone with a different opinion. We KNOW this. If you doubt that then watch this four part ABC Dateline Program, What Were You Thinking? Go ahead. Watch it. Ridicule is a type of peer pressure. If a person says she doesn't agree with belief A that tells you something important, even if this is all she says. But if she laughs at belief A that tells you she doesn't have any respect at all for belief A. Now imagine most of the people you know laughing at belief A. That would get your attention and could indeed change your mind. Peer pressure works. Ridicule is a type of peer pressure. Ridicule changes minds. Ridicule from lots of people has more power to change minds. It's quite simple really, such that anyone who disagrees is ignorant. There are other questions to address, but let's start with baby steps.

"I Waited Until My Wedding Night To Lose My Virginity And I Wish I Hadn’t"

0 comments
This is an eye opening essay by Samantha Pugsley! It begins with these words:
At the age of 10, I took a pledge at my church alongside a group of other girls to remain a virgin until marriage. Yes, you read that right — I was 10 years old.

Let’s take a look at who I was as a 10-year-old: I was in fourth grade. I played with Barbie dolls and had tea parties with imaginary friends. I pretended I was a mermaid every time I took a bath. I still thought boys were icky and I had no idea I liked girls, too. I wouldn’t get my period for another four years. And most importantly, I didn’t have a clue about sex.

The church taught me that sex was for married people. Extramarital sex was sinful and dirty and I would go to Hell if I did it. I learned that as a girl, I had a responsibility to my future husband to remain pure for him. It was entirely possible that my future husband wouldn’t remain pure for me, because he didn’t have that same responsibility, according to the Bible. And of course, because I was a Christian, I would forgive him for his past transgressions and fully give myself to him, body and soul. LINK.
For a ridicule of the whole idea see this.

Ridicule! Who Says We're Not Supposed to Play God? ;-)

0 comments

Quote of the Day On Ridicule, By Doug Krueger

0 comments
Doug Krueger is the author of the excellent book, What is Atheism? On Facebook he said:
We should ridicule the ridiculous. This is sometimes more effective than arguments because believers often substitute emotion for argument, which is why they are so resistant to evidence.
He joins an ever growing list of other atheists. See tag "Ridicule" below.

Jeffery Jay Lowder: It's Self-Defeating to Ridicule Beliefs

0 comments
Jeff is once again disagreeing with me. That's okay as far as it goes and expected sometimes, but I truly find his ignorance surprising. On his Twitter account (@SecularOutpost) Jeff boasts of being "Paul Draper's Bulldog." I think Draper is the reason we disagree on the issues we do. Draper is wrong on those issues even though I too have a respect for him. I really do not understand Jeff's claim that it's self-defeating to ridicule beliefs, and he certainly failed to defend that claim. Recently I argued that ridicule has value in our cultural wars, right here. Jeff commented:

Sir Winston Churchill on the Bible and Alcohol: A Quote

0 comments
During the Temperance Movement, Winston Churchill (who was famous for his constant use of alcohol) would visit American where he happened to cross paths with a conservative preacher from the Christian Temperance Union. The preacher confronted Churchill about his use of alcohol by quoting him Proverbs 23: 31 – 32:

 “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” (KJV)

 To which Churchill responded: “I’ve been seeking a drink like that all my life!” 

 Reference: The Diane Rehm Show  (Time mark: 11:10 – 40)

Quote of the Day On Ridicule, By Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

0 comments
"Our best hope for progress is for atheists to speak out and (as politely as possible) tell any theists who will listen why religious beliefs are ridiculous." -- Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, in Louise Antony’s anthology, Philosophers without Gods, p 78.
Sinnott-Armstrong joins a long list of philosophers, pundits and essayists who see the value of ridicule. <-- Take a look see! The people being ridiculed don't like it, okay, but that cannot be a reason against doing it. Anyone who argues against the importance and value of ridicule is just an ignorant person. I can see no reason not to do it, nor can anyone argue consistently against its value. Christians have been ridiculing atheists for centuries. Now that they are on the receiving end they look silly when they argue against doing what they've been doing way too long. It just goes to show you they'll say anything in defense of the indefensible when it comes to faith, for faith itself is irrational. So let them continue to argue against the use of ridicule. That in itself is ridiculous!

Warning: A Sequel Movie to "God is Not Dead" Coming at Easter

0 comments
Brace yourselves for another blockbuster movie about God at Easter, and more ignorance too. This time they're filming in my backyard, Indianapolis. Shit. LINK.