The primary function of religion is to help people feel better about their lives. Competing feel-good products include psychotherapy, anti-anxiety drugs, and entertainment. As the number of competitors grows in developed countries, religion declines in importance.
This is a continuation of my conversation with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, who I met just months after he arrived in the United States for the first time f...
Atheists in America face some measure of discrimination, and we want a way to talk about that discrimination so that it's taken seriously. But our approach thus far is setting us back, and may even be putting us in conflict with identity groups who could and ought to be alongside us in a struggle towards pluralistic understanding.
The absurdity of God condemning non-Christians to hell is enough to destroy the childhood faith of many a thoughtful adolescent. A God who created the universe by merely wishing it into existence is almost as fatal.
Let's take a moment and celebrate, this is a victory for equality and another fight lost by the Christian Right. Yet this fight is far from over. Many other states are attempting to pass similar measures, some even harsher than Arizona's.
We sow the seeds of fundamentalism whenever we pretend our representations are real. It is a mistake of logic to apply literalism to something that can only be apprehended symbolically.
Humanists and other secular-minded people of every level need to understand that "isms" like sexism and racism don't go away just because we identify as atheists or humanists. We need to unpack our privileges and cultural baggage in order to stop discriminatory behavior.
Why do religious people trash some implausible beliefs but keep others? Perhaps they get something out of the beliefs they keep.
Atheists want the benefits of a secular society, but too many refuse to do the work. They are more concerned with a dictionary definition of atheism that they forget what is at stake.
I honestly think humans gets so hung up on living forever because we feel like we don't have enough time. We think that one lifetime just isn't enough. We cling to the idea of eternity because it feels secure.
Faith is not reserved for the religious, nor does any religion have a monopoly on it. To the contrary, at one level, faith is a common and important psychological coping mechanism used every moment of our lives to allow us to function as normally as possible.
Religion may be declining in certain social groups, but this trend shouldn't be enough to let us assume that we can simply watch religion fade into the twilight. With that in mind, here are five reasons why it's important -- perhaps now more than ever -- to be religiously literate.
When you consider that he has been at the top of his profession, has had a lifetime to prepare, and has recently published a book on these themes, it is quite surprising to see how weak his case is. Don't take my word for it. Let's plunge in.
We are living in two Americas at once. While we are arguing about the word God on a dollar bill, the religious right is dismantling secularism one brick at a time.
A fundamentalist is unwilling to consider the unsettling possibility that the universe is more complex, mysterious, and multi-dimensional than anything our symbol systems, descriptions and analyses can apprehend.
What is the proper response to bad religion? Some argue that the answer to bad religion is no religion. A growing number of "new atheists" argue that since religion can be toxic, we need to get rid of faith altogether. But that's a weak argument.