May 7, 2012

Does skepticism = cynicism?

No.

In fact, most skeptics are actually happier people because we recognize that we have only the here and now and nothing later, so we treat each day as a gift and make the most of our lives. We love our children because we know that once we breathe our last breath we won't see them again. We take nothing for granted because we know we get just one life and we make the most of it. Knowing these things encourages us to live our lives as we truly want to as opposed to putting up with suffering now because we think the real reward will come in the next life. No, skeptics aren't cynics. We're realists.

Quote of the day:

"Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense."
- Voltaire

April 17, 2012

Tribute to Hitchens.

Wonderful video tribute to Christopher Hitchens put together for the 2012 Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia. He was truly one of a kind.

Quote of the day:

"To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true."
- Bertrand Russell

April 13, 2012

Happy birthday, Christopher Hitchens.

Christopher Hitchens was born on this day in 1949. Until his death, this past December, he was constantly at the forefront in the battle for knowledge and reason. He was absolutely relentless in his pursuit of truth, whether the subject was religion, politics, or foreign affairs. He had the courage to rethink his positions when new evidence was presented and he was completely unapologetic about offending those whose views he disputed. Even on the odd occasion when I disagreed with something he wrote I had to respect the argument that he made, and he forced me to rethink many of my own views over the years. Although he died, perhaps in the prime of his life professionally, he left the world richer than he found it for his work. His words and ideas will forever benefit the civilization that appreciates reason.

Quote of the day:

"Principles have a way of enduring, as do the few irreducible individuals who maintain allegiance to them."
- Christopher Hitchens

April 9, 2012

Sam Harris on free will.

Very interesting talk by author Sam Harris on whether or not we have free will.

Quote of the day:

"What worries me about religion is that it teaches people to be satisfied with not understanding."
- Richard Dawkins

April 1, 2012

Reason Rally video from The Thinking Atheist.

Seth, over at The Thinking Atheist, put together a fantastic video about his experience at the Reason Rally. If you couldn't attend, this is a great overview of what you missed, but if you did attend, it's perhaps even better as a reminder of what the day meant. Check it out here.

April Fool's quote of the day:

"There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore."
- Pat Robertson

Every April Fool's Day I will quote a fool. At first I thought of this as a joke, but after reading through a bunch of quotes, I realized that you can learn as much from Pat Robertson as you can from someone like Hitchens, Dawkins, or Shermer, just not for the same reasons.

March 30, 2012

The Reason Rally (long version).

As I mentioned a few days ago, I attended the Reason Rally in Washington DC last Saturday, March 24. For those not familiar, it was a secular rally to show law makers that non-believers are growing in number, we demand to have our voices be heard, and we demand that they maintain separation of church and state. Additionally, it was also an opportunity to show the faithful, and closeted non-believers that secularists do not have horns and hooves, despite what they may have heard. We are your neighbors, your co-workers, your fellow citizens, and even your family members, and there is no need to fear or hate us.

On the flight out, I wondered if anyone on my plane was headed to DC for the rally. I sat next to a young guy and overheard part of a phone conversation before we took off that led me to think he might be going, but I'm a fairly introverted person who is uncomfortable making small talk with strangers, so I didn't ask, but wished I had. Later, on the shuttle to my hotel, I sat next to a guy who was a giant - probably 6'4 and close to 300 lbs. I overheard him making small talk with some people behind us who, if I understood correctly, were in town because their children sang in a church choir that was invited to perform at some event. They then asked the big guy why he was in town and he replied something to the effect that he was just in town for a few days. That put my radar up because it sounded like he was being coy in response to their mention of a religious organization. After everyone else got off the shuttle he looked at his phone and lamented, possibly to himself, the fact that it was supposed to rain the next day (the day of the rally). I mentioned that I was disappointed to hear that because I was planning to be outside the whole day. He asked me what I was town for, and I thought for a split second, should I tell him or keep it to myself? I decided to just tell him and hope he wasn't an angry protester, so I said, "I'm in town for the Reason Rally." He gave me a stern look and determinedly said, "Fuck yeah", and shook my hand. We talked for the last few blocks about how it was awkward to know how to talk to people about religion and/or atheism in person. His name was Ben, and he was a cool dude from Texas. I bumped into him at a restaurant later that evening, but never did see him at the rally.

The Rally was held on the National Mall, between 14th Street and 12th Street with the Washington Monument towering above behind the stage. I went with a couple of like-minded friends, and as we got close, we saw crowds of protesters handing out religious tracts and angrily shouting on bullhorns. On one of the tracts I was given, the organization even went so far as to steal the logo from the Reason Rally website and clumsily add the word "real" so it read, "The Real Reason Rally". Ironically, the text on the back was anything but reasonable, asserting that only the Christian religion is logical, and that non-believers needed to repent their sins immediately to avoid going to Hell. Outside the cordoned off area things were pretty chaotic, but once we got inside the rally area it was completely different. People were smiling, laughing, and clearly enjoying themselves. There was a line about a hundred people long to get into the welcome tent. It was cloudy and cool, but not raining (yet). We caught the very end of singer Andy Shernoff's set. What we heard was good, irreverent and funny.

We watched activist Ronnelle Adams give a really impassioned speech, and then Australian singer Shelley Segal sang a couple of her songs that dealt trying to get out from the oppression of religion.

After Segal's set we decided to check out the welcome tent. The line was still really long, but take note for next year if they do it again, we went around to the back entrance and there was no line at all. The tent was packed with tables manned by the various groups that helped organize the Reason Rally, like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Secular Student Alliance, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, the James Randi Educational Foundation, and many others. We had the good fortune to bump into author and Skeptic magazine publisher Michael Shermer (a personal hero of mine), as well as James Randi, who were both kind enough to take pictures with us. The organizations were giving away a lot of free swag, like bags, pens, stickers, buttons, etc.

We went back out to listen to more speakers and performers, and while the weather got worse, the crowd never really lost any enthusiasm. Jessica Ahlquist, a high school student from Rhode Island, who filed a lawsuit against her school for promoting prayer, came on next. She told her story and talked about the hostility that she has faced from students and others in her community because of it. Rhode Island State Representative Peter Palumbo referred to her as an "Evil Little Thing" and there were "Evil Little Thing" t-shirts all over the rally. When she was done speaking, Jesse Galef from the Secular Student Alliance presented her with a check for $65,000 - money that was donated by secularists, and proceeds from the t-shirt sales to help Jessica pay for college. She was a very impressive young lady and she seems to have a great future ahead of her. The crowd's reaction to her was really touching, and she was visibly moved by the way she was treated by 20,000 strangers.

Some of the other standouts on stage were event host, Paul Provenza, who was very funny and did a great job of keeping the ball rolling, Adam Savage, from the TV show Mythbusters, author and blogger Greta Christina, comedian Tim Minchin (who was as irreverent and thought-provoking as could possibly be, but the linked clip is not suitable for work or playing around children), one of my personal favorites, author Michael Shermer, magician and professional debunker James Randi, founders of the Freedom From Religion Foundation that fights so doggedly for the separation of church an state, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, the black sheep of the infamous Phelps family who make up the Westboro Baptist Church (who were there protesting the rally), Nate Phelps, who gave a very moving speech, and of course, last but not least, the great Richard Dawkins.

There were a couple of disappointments for me, personally, though. The scheduled video tribute to the late Christopher Hitchens, who most certainly would have been there had he not lost his battle with cancer last December, had technical issues and they were only able to show about a minute of it. Also, shortly after Richard Dawkins finished, my friends and I thought we had seen everyone we wanted to see, and we had to get moving because were soaked and freezing, so we left. It wasn't until we had gotten almost to the Lincoln Memorial that I realized that I'd forgotten the biologist PZ Myers was scheduled to speak, so we missed him. We were, however, lucky enough to meet him out in the crowd and get pictures taken with him, though.

In his speech, Richard Dawkins said:

"I hope that this meeting will be a turning point. I'm sure many people have said that already. I like to think of a physical analogy of a critical mass. There are too many people in this country who have been cowed into fear of coming out as atheists or secularists or agnostics. We are far more numerous than anybody realizes. We are approaching a tipping point, we're approaching that critical mass, where the number of people who have come out becomes so great that suddenly everybody will realize, "I can come out, too." That moment is not far away now. And I think that with hindsight this rally in Washington will be seen as a very significant tipping point on the road."

(A transcript of Dawkins' full speech can be found here.)

I certainly hope that he's right. I have been trying to think of a way to describe what it was like to be there, but everything I write comes across as "cheesy" when I read it back. It was simply the most inspirational event I have ever attended. I have never experienced anything like the feeling of being around that many like-minded individuals. I was nearly two-thousand miles from my house, but it a strange way, I felt like I was home, among my people. See? Cheesy, but I'll just have to pass out some crackers because there's no other way to describe it. I don't know if there are plans to ever do it again, but I hope it becomes an annual celebration. We atheists, non-believers, free-thinkers, secularists, humanists - whatever you want to call us - need to know that we're not alone, and that there are others who feel the same way we do. Hopefully some day we won't need a rally to know that.

Quote of the day:

"America was not founded on God and religion. America was founded on reason."
- Michael Shermer at the Reason Rally

March 28, 2012

Richard Dawkins' Spectrum of Probability of the Existence of God.

Richard Dawkins created this spectrum to illustrate the different ways that people think about the possibility of there being a god. Most non-believers I know consider themselves a 5 or 6.

  1. Strong theist. 100 percent probability of God. "I do not believe, I know God exists!"
  2. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."
  3. Higher than 50 percent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."
  4. Exactly 50 percent. Completely impartial agnostic. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."
  5. Lower than 50 percent but not very low. "I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."
  6. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
  7. Strong atheist. "I do not believe, I know God does not exist!"

Quote of the day:

"I know of no society in recorded history that ever suffered because it's people became too reasonable."
- Sam Harris

March 27, 2012

Quote of the day:

"I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."
- Isaac Asimov

March 26, 2012

Reason Rally.

I got back from Washington DC late last night and am still exhausted, but I just wanted to make a quick post about the Reason Rally. It was even better than I had expected. While I initially thought that the amount of time given to the speakers was too short, it turned out to be the perfect amount of time. That might not have been the case in a nice auditorium with comfortable seats, but when standing outside in the rain and wind, ten to fifteen minutes was ideal. Despite the bad weather, the attendees were in great spirits. This event should go a long way to put an end to the "angry atheist" moniker. The people there seemed exceedingly nice and considerate, unlike the Christian protesters who were trying (in vain) to drown out the speakers with their bullhorns.

I'll post more later, but kudos to the organizers for putting on such a great event. As Richard Dawkins said, with luck, one day we'll look back on this event and see it as the start of a big change in this country.

Quote of the day:

"I have concluded through careful empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me, keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less than I ought. Giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I'm capable of. I believe they know everything that I do and think, and they still love me me, and I've concluded, after careful consideration, that person keeping score is me."
- Adam Savage, at the Reason Rally

March 22, 2012

Movie recommendation: "The God Who Wasn't There".

Filmmaker Brian Flemming directed this intriguing documentary which illustrates that Christianity is but another myth in a series of myths in human history. He interviews authors Sam Harris, Richard Carrier, Robert Price, and Professor Alan Dundes, among others. There was a very interesting section on the heroic characteristics that Jesus shares with so many saviors of other religions that pre-date Christianity.

The film is available on Netflix Instant, or can be purchased online here.

Two days till the Reason Rally!

The forecast calls for thunderstorms. Perhaps we've angered someone : )

Quote of the day:

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."
- Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger

March 19, 2012

Reason Rally schedule posted.

The organizers of the Reason Rally posted the schedule of speakers today. It's quite an impressive list. My only criticism is that perhaps there are too many participants. I would rather see fewer speakers and more stage time given to people like Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, James Randi, and other atheist luminaries.

Full schedule here.

Quote of the day:

"What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof."
- Christopher Hitchens

March 17, 2012

Quote of the day:

"Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense."
- Voltaire

March 16, 2012

Reason Rally attendance projected to be over 30,000.

The Reason Rally's FaceBook page is claiming that the Park Service has upped it's estimated attendance to over 30,000 people. Truly amazing.

Quote of the day:

"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake."
- Bertrand Russell

March 15, 2012

Quote of the day:

"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason."
- Immanuel Kant

March 14, 2012

Reason Rally Spotlight: PZ Myers.

Biologist PZ Myers on the fallacy of Creationism. It's long, but well worth watching. Myers' Pharyngula blog is highly recommended too.

Quote of the day:

"God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time goes on."
- Neil deGrasse Tyson

March 13, 2012

Quote of the day:

"The danger of religious faith is that it allows otherwise normal human beings to reap the fruits of madness and consider them holy."
- Sam Harris

March 12, 2012

Quote of the day:

"Reason is the enemy of faith."
- Martin Luther

March 11, 2012

Reason Rally Spotlight: Shelley Segal.

Australian singer/songwriter Shelley Segal singing "Saved" from her debut album "An Atheist Album". I like her. She's saucy!

Quote of the day:

"The more you know, the more you know how much you don't know."
- Michael Shermer

March 10, 2012

Quote of the day:

"A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men."
- Bertand Russell

March 9, 2012

Debate: Are science and religion compatible?

The Huffington Post is featuring a debate between Dr. Kenneth R. Miller, and Dr. Michael Shermer on whether science and religion are compatible.

Some argue that it has to be one or the other--that either you accept scientific dogma or give yourself over to dogma of the religious sort. Others see no contradiction between reason and faith, and are just as comfortable with the Big Bang as with the burning bush.

They set it up, more or less, as an Oxford-style debate so that you get to choose your position on the subject both before and after the debate and the winner is the debater that has swayed more opinions. Since I haven't done it yet, I don't know if it's video, audio, or text, but my position is that science and religion are NOT compatible. I will post an update after I've finished it. Here is a link.

UPDATE: The debate is in the form of a short essay by each participant. Dr. Shermer made the argument that science and religion are not compatible, and not surprisingly, I still held that opinion after reading both points. When I finished the debate, Shermer was leading with 4% of the participants having been swayed. 60% agreed with his stance before reading the debate, and 64% after, versus 30% siding with Dr. Miller before and 32% after. Shermer made several good points about how religion and science have occupied the same role - explaining the world around us - but that science continuously replaces mythology with fact, and eventually (hopefully), religion will disappear completely. Miller, on the other hand, sticks to his point that science has a long history of having been advanced and promoted by religious institutions, so science wouldn't have enjoyed the progress it has without the backing of religion. I would argue that science has progressed in spite of religion, not because of it, but then I'm probably biased.

Quote of the day:

"Within a decade, maybe two or three, Christians will come around to treating gays no differently than they now treat other groups whom they previously persecuted — women, Jews, blacks — but not because of some new interpretation of a biblical passage, or because of a new revelation from God. These changes will come about the same way that they always do: by the oppressed minority fighting for the right to be treated equally, and by a few enlightened members of the oppressing majority supporting their cause. Then what will happen is that Christians will take credit for the civil liberation of gays, dig through the historical record and find a few Christian bloggers or preachers who had the courage and the character to stand up for Gay rights when their fellow Christians would not, and then cite those as evidence that were it not for Christianity gays would not be equal.""
- Michael Shermer

March 8, 2012

What makes a good parent?

My post from March 5 about Kirk Cameron's anti-homosexual statements have caused quite an interesting discussion. What I'm noticing is that people who agree with him don't seem to want to come right out and say that their opposition is faith-based. Likely because they know that their opinion doesn't have a leg to stand on. I've heard a litany of arguments making claims that same-sex couples aren't capable of being good parents simply because they are the same sex. I don't understand this line of reasoning. Being a good parent has everything to do with providing a loving, nurturing, and safe home environment, and nothing whatsoever to do with the ratio of penises to vaginas.

Reason Rally Spotlight: Richard Dawkins.

Evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins delivering his TEDTalk entitled, "An Atheist's Call To Arms". If you've never read any of Dawkins' books, you owe it to yourself to do so. Here is a link to his collection on Amazon.com.

Quote of the day:

"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."
- Thomas Jefferson

March 7, 2012

Quote of the day:

"It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas"
- Carl Sagan

March 6, 2012

That golden oldie.

I've had many discussions with Christians lately, who believe that morality wouldn't exist without religious faith. As someone who has never really been a part of any organized religion, but who also considers himself to be a moral person, and is considered by others to be a moral person, I'm always dumbfounded by this assertion. They inevitably go on to cite "The Golden Rule" as the perfect model of Christian ethics. The problem with that argument is that "The Golden Rule", or the "ethic of reciprocity" as it is also known, predates Christianity. It has been a part of just about every societal organization, religious or secular, in recorded human history. Compassion is a natural human trait, and it could be argued that it has been helpful to the survival of our species. Humans are not the only higher mammals that exhibit compassion, either. Many species of apes (besides humans) show compassion toward one another as well.

The reply to this is usually, "Well, we're all God's creatures." As I quoted Christopher Hitchens once here, "Time spent arguing with the faithful is, oddly enough, almost never wasted." Almost is the operative word.

Quote of the day:

"Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it. But if they called everything divine which they did not understand, why, there would be no end of divine things."
- Hippocrates of Cos

March 5, 2012

Sorry, Kirk, dirt is much, much older than marriage.

Actor/born-again Christian Kirk Cameron recently spoke to Piers Morgan about same-sex marriage and homosexuality, and said:

Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the Garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don't think anyone else should either.

Dirt could technically be as much as 4.6 billion years old, or older, while marriage has probably been around for no more than ten thousand years, give or take. Marriage does, however, predate Christianity.

When asked if homosexuality was a sin, Kirk went on to say:

"I think that it's unnatural. I think that it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization."

And when asked what he would do if one of his children came out of closet he said:

"I wouldn't say 'That's great, son, as long as you're happy.' I'm going to say, There are all sorts of issues we need to wrestle through in our life. Just because you feel one way doesn't mean we should act on everything we feel."

So, in other words, if you happen to be a homosexual, hide it and pretend it doesn't exist. Here's hoping that none of Kirk's children are gay, for their sake. Father of the year award selection committee, I think we found our winner!

Throughout the history of mankind, homosexuality has been present in most of the world's cultures. Attitudes have run the gamut between disapproval all the way to acceptance and even encouragement. The argument about procreation is now, thanks to science, moot as we live in a society where procreation between same-sex couples is not only possible, but possible with a variety of options. The only argument left against homosexuality is the religious view that it is a sin, and that is not even worth discussing. What we're really talking about is simply allowing people to live their lives happily in a way that does absolutely no harm to anyone else. To allow a dusty old book of fairy tales written by people who were completely ignorant to the realities of the world decide who among us is allowed to be happy and who is not would be a crime.

Quote of the day:

"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh."
- Robert Heinlein

March 2, 2012

In defense of the faithful - really?

Yes, really. In the current big brouhaha about whether or not Obamacare should be able to force Catholic institutions to provide contraception to their employees when it goes against their beliefs, I side with the Catholics. I'm as shocked as you are, believe me, but I feel that if we are to have freedom of (and from) religion in this country, it has to mean something. That may occasionally mean supporting ideas you find utterly ridiculous.

The bigger picture in my mind is that the government shouldn't be providing health care in the first place, but that's a whole other discussion.

Quote of the day:

"A philosophical opinion about the nature of the universe which is held by the vast majority of top American scientists, and probably the majority of the intelligencia generally, is so abhorrent to the American electorate that no candidate for popular election dare affirm it in public. If I'm right, this means that high office in the greatest country in the world is barred to the very people best qualified to hold it: the intelligencia, unless they are prepared to lie about their beliefs. To put it bluntly American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest."
- Richard Dawkins

March 1, 2012

May I suggest "Bobby's Angels"?

Anderson Cooper featured the good Reverend Bob Larson and his trio of hot teenage exorcists on his "Anderson" talk show recently, who claim that we are surrounded by devils all the time, and they can help. Apparently you can tell a person is suffering from demonic possession because they have unexplained headaches and their pupils dilate rapidly (likely when a light is shined in them). Worried you might be possessed by a demon? Just visit Reverend Bob's website to take an online test for the low, low price of only $10.00, which is just to cover expenses, of course. (Note: I would provide a link but I don't want to help this charlatan make any money.)

Oh, and this group of crusaders has a reality TV show in the works, so that's something to look forward to. Larson has many videos on YouTube, but I think they fit better into the comedy genre than the reality genre.

Full article with video clips here.

Quote of the day:

"The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason."
- Voltaire

February 29, 2012

"Where Are All These Atheist Politicians?"

Patrick Caldwell, writing for The American Prospect:

"Out of 538 members of Congress, California Rep. Pete Stark is the only self-avowed atheist. For as much as Republicans opine about the secularist goals of Obama's presidency, he has stocked his cabinet with Catholics and other gentiles. The highest court of the land has six Catholics and three Jews."

Perhaps atheists can claim tax-free status because of this, a la "no taxation without representation"?

Full article here.

Quote of the day:

"[T]here are no forces on this planet more dangerous to us all than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism, of all species: Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as countless smaller infections."
- Daniel Dennett

February 28, 2012

Reason Rally Spotlight: James Randi.

James Randi exposing charlatans Uri Geller and Peter Popoff. Randi was also featured recently on the Thinking Atheist podcast.

Quote of the day:

"Just because science so far has failed to explain something, such as consciousness, to say it follows that the facile, pathetic explanations which religion has produced somehow by default must win the argument is really quite ridiculous."
- Richard Dawkins

February 27, 2012

Rick Santorum's America: a theocracy, apparently.

"What kind of country do we live in that says only people of nonfaith can come into the public square and make their case?"

The better question, in my mind, is, why do the faithful feel the need to bring their beliefs into every discussion? I can kind of understand a religious perspective on issues like abortion, but what do one's beliefs about the creation of the universe and whether or not there is an afterlife have to do with topics like economics, or national defense? The answer should be "nothing" but true believers like Santorum seem to feel otherwise.

Quote of the day:

"Faith is rather like a rhinoceros, in fact: it won't do much in the way of real work for you, and yet at close quarters it will make spectacular claims upon your attention."
- Sam Harris

February 24, 2012

Reason Rally Spotlight: Tim Minchin.

Comedian/musician Tim Minchin on religion. He will be performing at the Reason Rally later this month. NSFW due to language, by the way.

Quote of the day:

"The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason."
- Benjamin Franklin

February 23, 2012

Michael Shermer speaking at the Reason Rally.

Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic Magazine, among other things, was added to the roster for the Reason Rally in Washington D.C. in March. As both an atheist and a libertarian, Michael Shermer is one of my personal heroes, and a very welcome addition to the Reason Rally line up.

Quote of the day:

"If we want to postulate a deity capable of engineering all the organized complexity in the world, either instantaneously or by guiding evolution, that deity must have been vastly complex in the first place. The creationist, whether a naive Bible-thumper or an educated bishop, simply postulates an already existing being of prodigious intelligence and complexity. If we are going to allow ourselves the luxury of postulating organized complexity without offering an explanation, we might as well make a job of it and simply postulate the existence of life as we know it!"
- Richard Dawkins

February 22, 2012

What I'm thankful for.

I've been listening to The Thinking Atheist podcast recently, and it makes me realize how lucky I am to not have had parents who thrust their beliefs on me my whole life. I really feel for people who have grown up in extremely religious households and are wracked with guilt once reason has won them over.

Quote of the day:

"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines."
- Bertrand Russell

February 21, 2012

Headed to the Reason Rally.

The Reason Rally is an event sponsored by many of the country's largest and most influential secular organizations. It will be free to attend and will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 24th, 2012 from 10:00AM – 4:00PM at the National Mall. There will be music, comedy, speakers, and so much more

I'm really looking forward to this event. Speakers include Richard Dawkins, Adam Savage, James Randi, and many, many others. Here's more info.

Quote of the day:

"Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it."
- Christopher Hitchens

February 20, 2012

Quote of the day:

"Time spent arguing with the faithful is, oddly enough, almost never wasted."
- Christopher Hitchens

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