Tagged: atheism

Christopher Hitchens and the atheist Nazis myth

With reference to my last post about the Pope and his repetition of the atheism=Nazism lie, here’s Christopher Hitchens. He begins by saying, “Atheism is not a moral or political position of any kind,” which of course it isn’t. Yes, there are some nasty atheists, but Hitler wasn’t one of them. He was just nasty.

“Absence of evidence where there ought to be evidence is evidence of absence”

Review: The New Atheism – Taking a stand for Science and Reason, by Victor J Stenger. Prometheus Books NY.
Michael Imison

Victor Stenger is an American particle physicist, now retired to Colorado University, where he is an adjunct professor of philosophy. This book is the latest of ten or more well-received popular polemics he has written exploring the interface between physics and religion.

In this work he takes as his starting point the series of best-sellers which started with The End of Faith by Sam Harris (2006) and continued with Dawkins’ The God Delusion, Dennett’s Breaking the Spell, and Christopher Hitchen’s God is not Great. To this group Stenger himself contributed God the failed Hypothesis which reached the New York Times bestseller list in March 2007. It can be said that all these works have a self confident tone which more or less implies that science has settled forever that there is no God (which many of us believe). It should have been foreseen perhaps that this would promote a backlash from the religious and in particular religious scientists anxious to show this view mistaken.

American Humanists in the White House

Yesterday, representatives of the Secular Coalition for America met White House officials to discuss issues of concern to American atheists, humanists and secularists. Before the meeting, they said,

… it will be the latest indication that the secular movement is gaining significant momentum, and that secular Americans, numbering in the tens of millions, are a constituency that must be included.

Predictably, fundamentalist Christian right-wingers have reacted as though President Obama was making a pact with the devil (who doesn’t exist, though try telling them that).

Theos research class, education and atheism

Andrew Brown of the Guardian made a lot of readers cross when he wrote that atheists are all middle-class, Aga-owning snobs. Now Theos, the public theology think tank, says that

Although atheists have historically been drawn from upper social grades and higher education levels, the research shows that converts to atheism are disproportionately drawn from groups with no educational qualifications whereas converts to theism are disproportionately drawn from higher socio-economic grades and from people with a masters degree or higher.

An Atheist’s Guide to Christmas

Atheists GuideAn Atheist’s Guide to Christmas is in the shops now (and if it isn’t, it jolly well should be). Edited by the lovely Ariane Sherine, of Atheist Bus fame, a whole bunch of atheists, including some very funny ones, have contributed their thoughts about the festive season, including how to avoid it.

The royalties will go to the UK charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, which seems particularly appropriate now that Pope Benedict, that homophobic old goat*, is about to visit the UK with his message that condoms shouldn’t be used in countries where AIDS is rife.

You can buy the book now at Amazon, or take a trip down to your local bookshop and demand that they put it in a window display.

*Actually, I take the goat insult back – I like goats.

Less agreeable?

Via the NSS, ‘A new survey by the Center for Inquiry entitled “Profiles of the Godless” (pdf), examines both the preferred labels that non-believers attach to themselves and the personality types that tend to be connected with those labels.’

It notes that ‘non-religious people tend to be highly educated, unmarried males who are intellectually adventurous but personally “less agreeable”.’ Surely not!

US fundamentalists are boring bigots

Fort Lauderdale Christian fundamentalists have been demanding the removal of a billboard message that affirms you can be good without God.

In Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Atheist and Secular Humanist Society has paid for a billboard stating: “Being a good person doesn’t require God. Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone.” Local “community activist” Big Mama said, “Nothing else matters, but that sign needs to come down. In the name of Jesus.”