In this largely autobiographical account of why he is now an apostate, James McCartney reflects on the difference between a mere skeptic and former believer who undergoes a kind of deconversion over time. McCartney recounts how his first school teacher, his diligence at Presbyterian Sunday School, and a poem by Robert Burns led him to reject the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and those of other churches like it.
America is now losing religion faster than any other nation. American churches lost 20% of their members in the past two decades. Two-thirds of teens raised in church drop out in their twenties. Southern Baptists lost two million members since 2005. Mainline Protestantism is fading to a shadow. Meanwhile, churchless Americans began soaring in the 1990s and climbed past one-fourth of the population. They tend to hold compassionate social views and have become a powerhouse in "Left Coast" politics. If they continue rising as a progressive political force, America will be a better place for it.
Ritual is one of the most universally enjoyed human experiences, but it is often tangled up in supernatural claims that are insulting to our intelligence. Hiram Crespo, founder of the Society of Friends of Epicurus, discusses how the contractarian theory of Epicurean philosophy may be applied to the creation of rites of passage that retain their utility while being purged from superstition.
In this article explaining why he self-identifies as a humanist, Leslie Allan first explains what he found attractive enough about humanism to adopt its label. Then he outlines what he takes to be humanism's three guiding principles. Finally, he explores a humanist view of what gives our lives meaning and purpose.
The Internet provides a worldwide haven for freethought—and it also creates more freethought. If in-person meetings can't make a sanctuary for doubters, cyberland can. Religions spent centuries draining believers' resources to build a trillion-dollar global labyrinth of cathedrals, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, etc. Skeptics have only a few physical citadels. But, with little investment, the secular movement is making a worldwide intellectual home in the scientific marvel of cyberspace.
In "Why I Am Not a Christian (and Am an Atheist... and Antitheist)," David W. Smith first provides his basic reasons for rejecting Christianity, then his reasons for rejecting religion in general. In their place he offers a modified Apostle's Creed.
"Banished from Eden" is the story of my efforts to find religious answers to the brutal murder of my son. It's an in-depth emotional and intellectual journey from my struggles to reconcile religion with reality to my rejection of religion as an answer to anything.
According to Collins Dictionary, secularism is "a system of social organization and education where religion is not allowed to play a part in civil affairs." Among its fundamental principles are the separation of church and state, a secular court system, fully secular state organizations, and a fully secular education system grounded in modern science, psychology, and philosophy. As the winds of religious fundamentalism get stronger, discussion about secularism becomes increasingly important.
In the last century, many religious, autocratic and punitive traditions have been challenged by atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and human-rights activists who want to create a democratic, secular and humanist world. The irony is that while some communities are becoming more liberal, others are becoming more fundamentalist. In the last few decades, thousands of men and women have been arrested and punished under blasphemy laws all over the world. In some countries, people have taken the law into their own hands and killed those accused of blasphemy.
The Left, unashamedly, allies itself with Islamists in North America in the name of politically correct cultural relativism that says that the social and moral values of immigrants should be interpreted in the terms of the culture they have migrated from. It is quite ironic that the Left that is in constant struggle against the Christian Right on issues like abortion, gay marriage, teaching evolution in public schools, etc. is engaged in this unholy alliance with Islamists who have an identical social agenda as the Christian Right.
By simply being reactive, nontheistic debaters have allowed religious organizations to set the agenda. The time to create a freethought debate circuit, where both sides have fair legal representation and adequate debate preparation, has finally arrived!