Learning our history

So … I get email. Email I signed up to receive, usually. I’m subscribed to the GotQuestions.org “Question of the Week” email newsletter, because that’s occasionally been interesting blog fodder. From time to time the organization uses the newsletter list to send out fundraising requests or, somewhat less often, promotions for other Christian resources. I […]

Believing what you want

The Pew Research Center recently released an interesting report about identity, beliefs, and culture among US Catholics. Roman Catholicism is striking in its combination of (1) a large amount of doctrine and dogma specifying proper behavior and beliefs, (2) a very centralized hierarchy responsible for maintaining that doctrine, and (3) a large number of believers […]

On “warped thinking and terrible doctrine”

Commenter Luke Holzmann wrote in response to a recent post: [For] me, the teachings of Christ (if not the Torah itself) — long before secular humanism — gave us reason to value both body and soul. It is warped thinking and terrible doctrine that believes those coerced into the Kingdom of God are part of […]

What is a metaphor?

I think we could use an English class refresher here. Let’s look at our trusty old Merriam-Webster, shall we? Metaphor: : a word or phrase for one thing that is used to refer to another thing in order to show or suggest that they are similar : an object, activity, or idea that is used […]

Better Angels: From souls to lives

Here’s another interesting and relevant bit from Stephen Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature. (Previous post here.) In Chapter 4, “The Humanitarian Revolution,” Pinker presents a section on “Superstitious Killing: Violence against Blasphemers, Heretics, and Apostates.” (This is in contrast to superstitious killing of the “Human Sacrifice, Witchcraft, and Blood Libel” variety, which he […]

Why care about accuracy in scripture?

There are many points of disconnect between how atheists talk about religion and how religious people think about their own beliefs. I’ve written about various ones several times before (just a few old posts, but there are plenty others). However, while I’ve discussed contradictions and errors in scripture as reasons why I don’t believe — […]

Better Angels: Religious hypocrisy

I’ve recently finished reading Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, via a recommendation from Adam Lee (and subsequent enthusiastic endorsement from my husband). In it, Pinker lays out the evidence that, although it might feel like the modern world is worse than ever, violence has been on the decline for centuries and we’re […]

I’m back again! I missed you!

Yes, I’m actually coming back to blogging. I’m writing this in July but holding on to it until I have a couple weeks’ posts in the queue. Hopefully that buffer will allow me to keep up a consistent posting schedule. In my last post, I was highlighting what had changed for the atheist movement between […]

Look how far we’ve come

This is a set of three posts I wrote back in September and October of 2008, for another blog I used to write at (which no longer exists). As 2013 draws to a close, I thought it would be neat to look back on where (in my view, at least) the atheist movement stood five […]

Apologetics and apologies

This is a post I wrote back on January 30, 2009, for another blog I used to write at (which no longer exists). Some of the references are a bit dated, but the ideas are as true as ever, and I thought the content would likely be interesting to NFQ readers. I’ve always been into […]