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Posted inThe Secular

What is an atheist, really?

Reading Time: 2 minutes In ages past, an ‘atheist’ was the one unsure of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman pantheons. He doubted the fairies and the forest elves too. No matter the time period, the atheist’s theological suspicions were aroused. And time after time, time proved the atheist right. Suppose an ancient Egyptian doubted the existence of his […]

Posted inThe Secular

20 secular moral beacons

Reading Time: 15 minutes Mother Teresa. The Dalai Lama. Martin Luther King. Gandhi. If you ask most people to think of prominent individuals who represent the highest of moral activism, the apex of humanitarianism, the aspirational essence of care, compassion, and justice —these are the names that will spring quickest from their lips. It’s a fine list. Aside from […]

Posted inBooks

The weirdness of being secular

Reading Time: 4 minutes Is organized atheism too much like a religion? Is it okay for secular people to participate in rituals? If a humanist holds beliefs, is this dogmatic? Can a nonreligious person say “bless you” after someone sneezes? Probably every atheist or nonreligious person has, at some point in their lives, asked themselves or been asked questions […]

Posted inThe Secular

Less grey, less white: How to reach younger, more diverse seculars

Reading Time: 4 minutes We are a social species, and we do our best work together. But without a church, synagogue, or mosque in which to congregate, secular people must depend on local, state, and national organizations to create opportunities to network. National conferences occupy an especially large role in fostering engagement. I attended the 2021 Freedom From Religion […]

Posted inThe Secular

The secular corner of South America

Reading Time: 8 minutes In recent years, international scholars have been developing new methods to understand two challenging belief categories: religious believers without affiliation to any religious institution, and those who define themselves as unbelievers—the “nones.” Several quantitative studies have reported clear disparities among the countries in Latin America. This article explores the characteristics of these two groups based […]

Posted inCritical thinking

The atheist case for free speech

Reading Time: 10 minutes It was about 15 years ago, at Pitzer College, a small liberal arts institution in California, in my Sociology of Religion class. The morning’s lecture was “The Origins of Mormonism.” A main point of the lecture was to illustrate the way in which this recently-established world religion emerged not because of any supernatural magic, but […]

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