Bakari Chavanu
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About Me:
Freelance writer and staff writer for
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Why are you here?
To engage in discussion, share opinions, and help build community.
The religion you left
Why you left your religion.
The concept of god is based on mythology and mysticism.

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Bakari Chavanu's Blog

My son debates the existence of God at school

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 12:30am 3 Comments

School started back for my fourth grader last week, and I was taken aback when he came home and told me about a little playground debate he had with his classmates about the existence or nonexistence of God.

My son knows that I'm an atheist, while his mother is a God believer. We've had several, mostly, civil debates about God and religion, but I have never forced my views upon my children. And besides taking them to church on occasion, my wife doesn't push her beliefs onto them…


It's really too bad that when Christine O'Donnell...

Posted on September 30, 2010 at 11:25pm 8 Comments

It's really too bad that when Christine O'Donnell and other God-believing nuts die, that they won’t finally get realize that there is no God, heaven, or afterlife.

I mean it's one thing for them to have their own private personal convictions,…


Nightly or Weekly Atheist Twitter Chat?

Posted on December 29, 2009 at 11:28pm 1 Comment

I was just reading this article about how to hold a Twitter chat and I'm wonder if something like this already exist for the topic of atheism on Twitter? I think it would be an interesting extension of this site.

What do other think?

Anyone reading Atheism Advanced, by David Eller?

Posted on July 4, 2009 at 8:00pm 2 Comments

I have been slowly reading a good but challenging book titled Atheism Advanced. Though I am only up to chapter 4, it seems that the author is trying to argue that we atheists are not effectively debating religion because we're debating god believers on their own terms.

Eller took on the difficult challenge of arguing that religion is not a real entity, but he goes on to explain how the concepts of gods, supernatural ideas, and other belief systems have evolved over time, as if… Continue

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At 4:31pm on July 19, 2009, Serotonin Wraith said…
You posted your comment on your own page so I didn't catch it until now, sorry. I'll get busy on the group discussion.
At 2:15pm on July 14, 2009, Bakari Chavanu said…
Hey Serotonin, I'm nearing the end of the book, but it would be good to sorta go back and discuss the book as you and others read it. The best parts of the book for me is when he's addressing the issues of atheism itself, particularly in terms of suggesting ways we might change the nature of the religious debate.

The chapters in which he goes into sorta the history, tenets, and culture of religions seem to drag on too much for me. So I skimmed through those chapters a little. Maybe I should go back and read the chapter on "Religion and Violence", but in my cursory read of it I didn't quite see where he was going with it.

Chapter 6 is where his "atheism advanced" thesis really starts develop for me. I have all types of underling and notes in those chapters.

So basically, do think we should start a group for this book so that what we discuss can be made available to other members and possible readers of the book?

I for one think this book is essential reading for serious atheists. It raises serious questions and suggestions, some of which atheists might disagree with.

If a discussion group is okay with you, I'll start it. We can maybe post discussion questions for particular chapters of the book and/or we can just point out what we agree or disagree with. Let me know.
At 12:41pm on July 14, 2009, Serotonin Wraith said…

My signed :) copy of Atheism Advanced arrived today. Do you want to discuss it here or by email? Let me know which is best for you.

Do you want to take it one chapter at a time? I've read the introduction and will be finished with chapter one within two days.

Showing there is no difference between their god and the thousands of others people have believed in can be a good tactic, but I feel there is also room for pointing out the flaws in their particular religion.

Say they can be shown the Christian god doesn't exist, I don't think they're going to jump to one of the religions they always believed was mythical. If anything, they'll go to deism, then perhaps to atheism.

It might even be inevitable to talk about their particular one. They'll say 'Those are myths and mine is real because...'. It does no good to just respond with 'No, they're all the same'. Their reasons have to be shown to be bad reasons.

I'll have to see what else he has to say on that.

The other point I find hard to get onboard with is the idea that atheism has to mean more than it currently does. One of the arguments we hear is that so-and-so evil dictator had an atheist worldview. No, the person in question was an evil person who happened to be atheist. Atheism said nothing about his actions, and didn't help form his views in any way, just as his disblief in monsters under his bed had no impact.

I've heard it said to Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens in debates - 'you want to replace our Christian worldview with your own personal atheistic one' and 'you say: those atheists who did terrible things weren't following MY brand of atheism'.

A word already exists for the kind of worldview Eller wishes were more popular - 'humanism'. There's also 'rational', and many others. An anti-smoking campaign says nothing about their views on obesity, so a different choice of words, 'health conscious' for example, covers the smoking and obesity and other things a lot easier.

One of the things I like about being atheist is that I get to be more of an individual. I am against religion, but that's out of choice. I'm comfortable in trying to help people out of their delusions, but that's a choice too. My atheism didn't have to lead to that. I could have not believed but thought religion was mostly hamless and wished these 'new atheists' would shut up.

But again, I'll have to see what else he has to say on that. The list of quotes was fun to read, I'm glad they were included.
At 5:41am on July 5, 2009, Serotonin Wraith said…
I've ordered Atheism Advanced. Not sure when it'll get here as it's travelling across the pond, but I'll chat about the ideas in it with you if you like. From the info you've given so far, I'd agree that some ways of debating are better than others - i.e. "Which god are we talking about?" is better than "I don't believe in God."
I wouldn't agree that atheism is a lack of beliefs altogether. Just gods. You can be an atheist and still believe in ghosts, for example - you just wouldn't be a very rational atheist. That's based on my understanding of atheism, but I'm open to hearing what he has to say.
At 3:52pm on June 19, 2009, Matthew said…
Re: We didn't ask to come here. I think you make some interesting points as far as trying to change the argument. I've decided to stop responding to SerpentDove on your post. He is unable to reason or use logic and I don't want to give him the attention he wants. It was a fun ride though!
At 8:56am on May 19, 2009, Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. said…

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