This blog post stems from a reply I made to a T|A discussion about death.
The prospect of death doesn't worry me. But the prospect of physical suffering and pain certainly does. When I die, I just hope it's as painless as possible. The brevity of life doesn't bother me either. It's nature's way of telling me to enjoy myself or achieve something or help somebody in need.
The way I see it, it took hundreds of millions of years before the first stars died; coughing up…
The problem with free will, as I see it, is that people have the wrong impression of what it means. Free will is not all it’s cracked up to be but there’s no doubt we have a modest form of it. I prefer to call it “self-determinism”. This self-determinism is empirically proven every time we conceive and execute a plan. I've found this is hard to explain because so many people assume that any free will must contradict causality and, thus, determinism. I claim that the only free… Continue
Over on Facebook, a Christian, named Shawn, attempted to challenge my atheism. He said: “The way I look at it you have a 50/50 chance of being right. So what happens if you are wrong? I will even ask you this: what happens if you are right?”
The following is my reply . . .
You’re paraphrasing Pascal’s wager, Shawn. According to Wikipedia . . .
Pascal’s Wager (or Pascal’s Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher,…
I thought this story was interesting because of the alliance between parties on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
AP: Dutch consider banning religious animal slaughter by Staff The Associated Press
One of Europe's first countries to allow Jews to practice their religion openly may soon pass a law banning centuries-old Jewish and Muslim traditions on the ritual slaughter of animals. In the Netherlands, an unlikely alliance of an animal…
Free will can be a very contentious topic. People can't seem to agree on what it means, exactly. Much of the difficulty arises from the use of the word, "free", in the term, "free will". To be truly free would require supernatural agency. We CAN'T act contrary to natural law, so we are constrained by nature.
Free will, therefor, exists in context of the most basic of natural laws: causality. Free will constrained by causality? To those who believe… Continue
Added by Atheist Exile on November 24, 2010 at 10:00pm —
Now that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pronounced multiculturalism a failure, it's time to look at why. I don't think it's any mystery that what she's really talking about is Muslim immigrants. When she speaks of integrating into the community and adopting German values, she's speaking of Muslims. It's about time she's recognized that Muslim immigrants, as a whole, don't really care about Germany or it's values -- other than its welfare programs, of course.
I wrote a blog post, a few months back, that wondered if nature's prime directive (survival) could be used as the basis for morality. Since then, I've realized that I missed the most important point of all: survival of our species depends on cooperation. Survival is the purpose of cooperation, so survival is still the basis of morality but the operative principle is cooperation. This is because we are intelligent social animals who can choose to cooperate instead of fight or kill. Nature may be… Continue
With license from God to wipe out cities, kill all the males and take all the females, the Old Testament is every bit as violent and hateful as the Quran (if not more so). But modern Judeo-Christian religions and their adherents ignore these antiquated verses. Islam, on the other hand, has not enjoyed the same kinds of reforms that Christianity and Judaism have. Extreme violence might be shared by both scriptures but, as a percentage of text, the Quran exhorts the faithful to violence more than… Continue
I ran across this (rather long) public domain essay by Robert Ingersoll (a 19th century atheist) and found that it's still contemporaneous. I kept thinking of Islam as I read this, even though it's really directed at Christians. There are some really good points covered: particularly the secular nature of our constitution and the the break it represents from the divine authority previously assumed…
How's your trivia skills where quotes from religious leaders are concerned? I just created a new quiz that tries to show how difficult it is to know which fundamentalist said what -- because they all think alike in some very essential ways. Check it out, here.
The following blog entry developed out of an online discussion elsewhere. I wondered how others felt about the subject, so I'm blogging it.It's funny how there's a virtually infinite number of ways to combine musical notes into a song, yet only a select few styles and genres dominate popular music at any given time. Until the advent of free (or pirated) .MP3 music files, I used to think the limited variety of popular music was due to record labels and… Continue
I’m almost half-way through my second reading of the Quran and find myself wondering what it would take to make Westerners understand Islamic ideology. I could explain how Islam is a religious, legal and political framework for life . . . but others have already written books about that. So I decided I’ll just frame the problem of Islam as briefly as I can and let the reader consult the Quran if they doubt me. If this leads to just one person… Continue
If you're unfamiliar with Anjem (Andy) Choudary, then check out my prior blog post before reading this one. Anjem is every Muslim apologist's nightmare . . . a real piece of work. I first learned of him a day or two ago when Ayaan Hirsi Ali introduced me to him, via FaceBook. Suddenly, I'm running across him everywhere.
I haven't watched any Pat Condell videos for awhile, so I went to YouTube… Continue
The "clash of civilzations" is often denied by Islamic apologists. It is, in fact, for real.
Here's the FaceBook intro from Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
Hat tip to my friend Sam Harris for posting this video - "British Islamist Anjem Choudary: Freedom and Democracy Are Idols That Must Be Destroyed and Replaced with Obedience to Allah." In my upcoming book Nomad - release date May 18th in the U.S. - I discuss how the power of Dawa – in English, that is the… Continue