Reading Time: 4 minutes The passage below, quoting “Anna,” the traumatized child protagonist in Jodi Picoult’s disquieting novel, My Sister’s Keeper, sets the messy table for this essay: My parents tried to make things normal, but that’s a relative term. The truth is, I was never really a kid. To be honest, neither were Kate and Jesse. I guess maybe […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes I wanted to like it. I really did. But I just can’t.
Soccer’s first white card was given during a game in Portugal’s professional league this past weekend. To compliment—or, maybe, counterbalance—soccer’s punitive yellow and red cards, the white card aims to reward good behavior and “improve ethical values in sport.”
I’ve taught Ethics for 23 years, and I use sport to illustrate key concepts. And for me, the white card draws a red card.
Reading Time: 8 minutes There’s a common idea in dogmatic religious circles, that “there are no atheists in foxholes”: that the moment an atheist is in serious peril, they’ll call out for divinity. That hasn’t been true to my experiences as an adult: even when robbed at gunpoint, or unfortunately when violently assaulted, I’ve never magically flipped a switch […]
Reading Time: 5 minutes Among many juicy tidbits in British royal Prince Harry’s newly released tell-all memoir, Spare, is his recollection of treating his frost-bit penis, suffered during a 2011 Antarctic expedition, using cream his late mother used on her lips. Wrote Daily Beast senior editor David Fallon in a rollicking, light-hearted essay on the salacious if peripheral revelation: […]
Reading Time: 6 minutes There is a phenomenon that has been taking place, particularly in the US, with greater regularity over the last few decades—the behavior of “church shopping.” The congregant attends a church and listens to the pastor making moral-political statements, and they think to themselves, “This pastor is off the track here. I need to find me […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes At some point during our merry journey through secularism, we all encounter some benighted religious people who make arguments that only seem to work if you already accept their conclusions. Whenever Christians send messages about creationism to my atheism blog, they tend to be religious, faith-based arguments. I try to use scientific, evidence-based arguments in […]
Reading Time: 7 minutes “See that man?” said the principal during our lunch interview, pointing a few tables down. “He is a good man, a man I admire, because he is a man of God first, a family man second, and one heck of an athlete. Do you understand what I am saying?” I didn’t know at the time that it’s illegal to ask someone their religion in a job interview. This was his way of trying to ensure that I understood what was important to him, and by extension, the school. I needed a job, so I said nothing.
Reading Time: 12 minutes To understand why atheists might be seen as a threat, it’s worth asking what functions religion has served. The centrality of religion to cooperation and morality over cultural evolutionary time suggests that atheists might be seen as threats to those values. So how does that play out in individuals?
Reading Time: 3 minutes Mystery and intrigue make for great entertainment, especially when it ends with an answer to a burning question or the exposure of a hidden truth—or in the case of a stripper, body parts. When I stepped out onto the stage and into the fake smoke and black lights, I scanned the faces of my audience, […]
Reading Time: 6 minutes Throughout our history, but particularly since 2016, when Donald Trump first rode down that ill-fated escalator at Trump Tower to announce his presidential candidacy, it has grown ever clearer that Americans have a serious problem with atonement. We tend to run hellbent away from public accountability. It’s not just Trump, who is still trying mightily […]