The Great Courses

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The "Son of God" Survey

Feb 27, 2014 10:01:30 AM
Feb 27, 2014 10:10:37 AM
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The religious website BreatheCast has an article about Diogo Morgado, an actor in the new film "Son of God," and his assertion that this latest on-screen version of the Christ tale has atheists feeling "touched" and even prompted to re-examine their non-belief.Having seen the "Son of God" trailer (another misty rehash starring Sebastian Knapp's hairstylist and a host of constipated-looking Z actors), and knowing a bit about atheists, I'll just say it outright: Either Diogo Morgado is lying wh...

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A Random Act of Kindness

Feb 7, 2014 8:16:56 AM
Feb 7, 2014 8:20:12 AM
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I was informed by a Facebook friend that she had picked up a stranger's breakfast tab at McDonald's yesterday. When Tonya shared the experience on Facebook, I found myself smiling, as I'd done something similar the day before at the drive-thru of a Taco Bueno and mentioned the encounter on my page. In both cases, the recipient didn't even know what was happening until we had slipped anonymously out of the picture.  We could only imagine the look on their faces when they were informed, "Actua...

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A Scary Dilemma

Jan 27, 2014 8:58:55 AM
Jan 27, 2014 9:11:07 AM
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I recently saw a heartbreaking article on Ex-Christian.net titled, "My Scary Dilemma."  And unfortunately, it echoed much of what I see in my inbox.A young woman calling herself "Scaredy Kat," a 17-year-old in a Christian home, came to the realization that she could no longer accept the religious teachings of her family and church.  Terrified that the announcement of her apostasy might devastate her parents and potentially derail her future, she asked the online community for advice.  Many...

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Why Should Atheists Want "Community?"

Jan 18, 2014 10:58:53 AM
Jan 18, 2014 11:11:30 AM
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A question/comment emerged on the Facebook page, and I hear it echoed so often that I wanted to formally address it here.Why do we need community, as atheists? Why would we mirror the hideous gatherings of the fundementalist "thinkers"? The answer is simple: Human beings are relational creatures.  The church doesn't have a monopoly on community. The church didn't invent community. It just happens to do community really, really well. Gathering to share common interests and pursue common goal...

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Morality and the MPAA

Jan 14, 2014 11:14:09 AM
Jan 15, 2014 8:50:17 AM
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I saw an eye-opening documentary on Netflix recently called "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," which (finally!) asked the question: Who are those anonymous and unaccountable censors at the Motion Picture Association of America? Well, according to the findings of a tenacious private investigator, they're largely religious, and the MPAA appeals board includes 2 members of the clergy. {Sigh.} So essentially, we have a dozen unaccountable mystery men/women potentially basing a film's rating and releas...

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Bill Nye and the Creationist Guy

Jan 10, 2014 7:53:58 AM
Jan 10, 2014 8:01:26 AM
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In the matter of the upcoming debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, my friend AronRa has absolutely nailed it in his short clip on the subject, stating:____"...debating Bill Nye lends him {Ken Ham} credibility, no matter what happens."Whoever wins or loses in public debates is decided by audience response, and Ham has the home field advantage. As long as he has control of censorship and editing, it doesn't matter how well “the science guy” does against him. The faithful flock will still c...

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Hate Can Make You Do Nice Things?

Jan 1, 2014 1:06:21 PM
Jan 1, 2014 3:51:15 PM
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I'm in conflict over this one. Doug Stanhope did something amazing by spearheading a campaign which raised over $126,000 to benefit Rebecca Vitsmun in the wake of her "I'm actually an atheist" interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. His proactive effort is one of the main reasons Rebecca and her family have a new home and a bright new chapter. For this, Stanhope has my admiration. What grates on me is the acidic attitude (which may be part of his shtick, but still). In a recent video on his chan...

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If It Walks Like A Duck...

Dec 22, 2013 9:54:34 AM
Dec 22, 2013 9:59:43 AM
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Recognize these folks? You're looking at the Duck Dynasty family in 2001. ("Today" did a feature on this awhile back.) Now, while everyone's wailing about the controversy in regard to Phil Robertson's recent comments in GQ Magazine, it might behoove the adoring DD fans to look beyond this controversy to ask themselves whether they've bought hook, line and sinker into this "real life" Beverly Hillbillies story. Sure, the show has its charms. Sy makes me laugh out loud on occasion. And congrats...

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Put the Cronus Back in Christmas!

Dec 17, 2013 2:52:23 PM
Dec 17, 2013 2:59:03 PM
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This is a familiar sight every December.To those protesting so adamantly that we should keep the Christ in Christmas: Do you also keep the Moon in Monday (Moon's Day)? Thor in Thursday? On Halloween, do you don your Druid priest robe and summon the ghosts of the dead? Oh. Those are ancient myths, rituals and customs that no longer apply to the current acknowledgment and/or celebrations of those days?  Fine. Welcome to Christmas. If you're going to keep the original meaning of the holiday, yo...

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The Deadly Miracle

Dec 4, 2013 5:19:33 PM
Dec 4, 2013 5:21:10 PM
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The headline has gained world attention:  Nigerian Man Survives 3 Days at Bottom of Atlantic Of course, the story ends in rescue and praises to God, which makes sense only if you've left your reasoning powers at the bottom of the Atlantic.  Let's recap. 1) A tugboat in Nigeria sinks. 2) 11 crew members drown. 3) The ship's cook finds an air pocket in the sunken vessel. 4) Rescue divers find and retrieve him 3 days later. 5) The survivor says his rescue is divine deliverance. To assert that ...

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