Repression of atheists by the religious right

The Economist Magazine reports this morning that the number of people who identify as Atheists in the United States population has grown five-fold in the last five years. They derived this information from a Gallup poll which reinforces a year-old Pew survey, the latest in a series of such polls taken over the years. Read on…

Historical Humanists- Amiel, Henri Frédéric

“We are always making God our accomplice so that we may legalize our own inequities. Every successful massacre is consecrated by a Te Deum, and the clergy have never been wanting in benedictions for any victorious enormity.”

“A lively, disinterested, persistent liking for truth is extraordinarily rare. Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not to be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism or doubt.”
– Henri Frédéric Amiel Read on…

Famous Humanists- Baldwin, James

“Christianity has operated with an unmitigated arrogance and cruelty — necessarily, since a religion ordinarily imposes on those who have discovered the true faith the spiritual duty of liberating the infidels.”
“If the concept of God has any validity or use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.”
– Baldwin, James Read on…

No Place in Europe for Islam

In stark contrast to the British and American attempts to push back the march of Secularism, France’s rhetoric against Islam has strengthened. The French president, Nicholas Sarkozy, is now fighting a desperate battle against the French Socialists and the far right to keep his job, and maintain the powerful Franco-German union at the reigns of power in the EU. Read on…

Famous Freethinkers- Adams, Douglas Noel

AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Mr. Adams, you have been described as a “radical Atheist.” Is this accurate? DOUGLAS ADAMS: I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “Atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘Agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean Atheist.”…I really do mean Atheist. I really do not believe that there is a god – in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a … Read on…

The African Religious Conflict

On Christmas day the west opened their presents under pine trees and celebrated over large family meals an occasion which has been celebrated for thousands of years, far back into the first societies in Europe. However, for the Christians of Nigeria it was a time of fear and violence. Thirty died as a bomb went off near the Nigerian capital of Abuja in just one of many attacks across the country on the Christian holy day. The attacks come only … Read on…

Reflections on the Nature of Human Evolution

I remember once asking my late son William, “What is the purpose of life?” William, a schizophrenic, was babbling nonsense, but he stopped and in a moment of clarity gave me a quirky smile and replied: “The purpose of life is to relieve God’s boredom”. Read on…

The Allure of Religious Violence

On the 21st of February, soldiers disposing of tools used by Afghan prisoners to exchange messages dumped a large volume of papers and books into a garbage pit to be burned. Amongst the texts were a number of Qurans. A superior, noticing the incredible error, doused the fires to retrieve what remained. But too late. Passing Afghan workers had spotted the thoughtless gesture, and within the day riots had spread across the capital. Over the past weeks protests have erupted … Read on…

The War Against Secularism Rises

“They want to disown the traditions and heritage of the majority, including the Christian faith and the English language”. Surprisingly enough this quote does not come from the Bible-bashing deep south of America, but from the Local Government Secretary of the UK, Eric Pickles, following the visit of his colleague to show solidarity with the Vatican last week. Who lead this delegation? Baroness Warsi, a Muslim. The series of proclamations of faith and anger at the secular movement marks the … Read on…

Francis Fukuyama: Why Civilization Is not Going to Hell

Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man, taught me a lot about the world. In 1999, he authored The Great Disruption. This refers to the current, and third, major discontinuity in humanity’s way of life. The first was the emergence of agriculture; second, the Industrial Revolution; and now, transition to a more highly technological, “information society.” Each entails social disruption. Fukuyama sought to assess those consequences of our current civilizational upheaval. He recognizes a lot … Read on…