The Great Courses

Blog posts with "atheism"

Displaying 1-10 of 27 results.

Science Isn't Perfect

Nov 18, 2014 10:35:34 AM
Comments

To the "Science Always Makes Mistakes" crowd:People a few hundred years ago couldn't conceive of the advances we've made, and those advances have been made in the teeth of religious dogma. (Remember that the Catholic Church imprisoned Galileo for daring to suggest that the sun didn't revolve around the earth. This is a single symptom of the epidemic, anti-science nature of religion, and it's been going on for centuries.)The advances we've made as a species? They came from science. They came f...

Read More

International Blasphemy Day

Sep 30, 2014 8:55:55 AM
Comments

Today is International Blasphemy Rights Day. Some don't like the provocative nature of it, but personally, I find it liberating to declare, publicly, that ideas and claims aren't guaranteed respect simply because 1) someone holds it dear and/or 2) it's part of a "sacred" religion. Think about blasphemy in the Christian context, as it's the one sin God will not forgive. Ever. “I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are...

Read More

Free Will

Apr 28, 2014 11:35:23 AM
Comments

I was recently asked to comment on a discussion about Free Will (a common argument from apologists declaring that humans essentially choose damnation when salvation is an option).   Free Will is a cheat. It excuses God on pretty much everything, and it plays into the "battered partner" syndrome that the church so often falls into. ("It's our fault. He only harms us because he loves us. We get our worth from him. We just can't leave him.") If I invite a child to my front porch and say, "OK. Y...

Read More

Doctors Treat. God Heals. (Really?)

Apr 8, 2014 12:33:43 PM
Comments

To those asserting that God uses doctors as part of his design for your healing, I'd like to draw a few things to your attention. If God sees through time and exists beyond time, he saw your sickness or malady before it ever occurred or took root. Yet he said and did nothing to prevent it, which would have been the more efficient and effective course of action. If God sees your body afflicted with disease or injury and withholds his hand of divine healing until the proper petitions are offer...

Read More

The Legacy That Fred Phelps Never Intended

Mar 16, 2014 11:07:43 AM
Mar 19, 2014 12:35:01 PM
Comments

Nathan Phelps just made a sobering Facebook post about his father, Fred Phelps, who is in hospice and near death. _____  I've learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the "church" back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas.  I'm not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made. I ...

Read More

"I'd Like to Thank God (and the Academy)"

Mar 3, 2014 10:43:23 AM
Mar 3, 2014 3:56:31 PM
Comments

I realize last night's Academy Awards telecast often fell into the same cliched rythyms that countless others have.  The swooning red carpet hosts.  The pampered, millionare celebrities talking about their "craft."  The light show of sequins and bow ties and all manner of glamor.      Fine.  It's Hollywood.  And as a movie lover (like so many of you), I actually enjoy ticking off my laser-jet-printed ballot at home to test my own instincts about the Academy's biggest day.  And I act...

Read More

The "Son of God" Survey

Feb 27, 2014 10:01:30 AM
Feb 27, 2014 10:10:37 AM
Comments

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...

Read More

A Random Act of Kindness

Feb 7, 2014 8:16:56 AM
Feb 7, 2014 8:20:12 AM
Comments

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...

Read More

Why Should Atheists Want "Community?"

Jan 18, 2014 10:58:53 AM
Jan 18, 2014 11:11:30 AM
Comments

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...

Read More

Morality and the MPAA

Jan 14, 2014 11:14:09 AM
Jan 15, 2014 8:50:17 AM
Comments

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...

Read More