Monday, October 23, 2017

The Insidious Indoctrination in our Pledge of Allegence

When it comes to “movement atheism” there are a few things that I regarded as pet issues that the movement would collectively try to take some action on that I considered superficial or silly.

One of those things is the inclusion of “under god” in the pledge of allegiance here in the US.

Our original pledge went: 

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
It was amended in 1954 to interject some religion into it because of the Red Scare of godless communism:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Of course they also changed our national motto from “E pluribus unum” (Latin for out of many, one) to “In God We Trust”, which is now printed on our currency.

When movements to remove reference to the imaginary deity from our supposedly secular government pledge or currency failed, I didn’t consider it to be that big a deal. I mean, who really cared, there are bigger fish to fry.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Conservative Chrsitian Lies About Consent Based Sexual Ethics

Sometimes it’s staggering to me to see how misrepresented non-Christian moral codes are in Christian and rightwing media outlets.  

The latest example is by David French in the National Review in what’s now a right-wing trope that tries to use the Harvey Weinstein scandal to repudiate non-Christian moral codes when it comes to sexual behavior.

What’s worse is that French’s central premise is based entirely on his misrepresentation of consent based sexual ethics.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Request for Info on Pro-Choice Arguments

I wanted to ask my readership for some help on arguments related to abortion rights. I am pro-choice, but I haven't delved particularly deeply into the nuances of the arguments for/against abortion and I was wondering how one would respond to the kinds of arguments used by Ben Shapiro, detailed here.

The short version is to say that even if one holds that consciousness is what gives a human being their value, not just "being human" genetically speaking, then anti-abortion folks will argue that if it is OK to kill a non-conscious fetus, it should be OK to kill a person who is in a coma where it is reasonable to believe they will wake from given time.

Typically I do hold that a person's consciousness is what gives them their value, but I do wish to affirm the idea that potential consciousness is enough to establish that a human still has value.

So if one wishes to argue for the right to an abortion is it just wrong to go down the path to say that since a young fetus/embryo is not conscious it therefore has no value and doesn't need to be preserved?

Does the argument as a whole just move towards the primary of bodily autonomy of the mother, which can grant the intrinsic value of the fetus - and that is where the bulk of the modern argument takes place?

I'd appreciate some responses from those more familiar with the arguments on this topic.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Prescriptive Oughts and Atheism: Round 3

Sometimes I miss comment replies for a while.

Then I will notice them and note that I should write something in response, but life happens and I forget.  This is one of those times.

I was having an enjoyable exchange with apologist Maverick Christian (referred to as MC), and his last comment on that thread was left unanswered.  Since the exchange is interesting I've decided to put another actual post on the topic up rather than leave good content buried in a comment thread.

I actually hope that MC doesn't mind my responding so late in this fashion, and I apologize for there being such a delay.  That all said, lets begin.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Outrageous Statements and their Defenders

Note: This post has been updated, per the request of John Loftus to include an additional exchange.

With a title like this, you'd think I was going to have a rant about a shitty Christian apologist making outrageous claims about atheism.

Except I'm about to go on a rant about two atheists that I'd otherwise admire making outrageous and indefensible claims about theists.

I'm talking about David Silverman and John Loftus.

There's been some buzz because Justin Schieber publicly criticized this meme from David Silverman's book Fighting God, which was created by Dr. David Madison:

This prompted some rather astounding defenses of Dave Silverman on Twitter from one John Loftus:
So rather than go back and forth with John Loftus on Twitter, I had a brief window of free time to give a full treatment to the criticism of this idea.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Are Atheists celebrating Intellectual Regression?

I had shared the following atheist meme on Twitter, which prompted some reaction from some theologians/apologists I follow.

The strongest reaction coming from Randal Rauser who penned a post about the topic which reveals more context to the quote which I wouldn't endorse.  I'd recommend reading his article.

I posted the following as a comment on his blog, but I liked the themes here so much I decided to include it as a post of my own so as to not lose it. Hopefully it's helpful to others who can strongly relate to the meme, as I do. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Randal, Reductionism, and Something About Mary

So I was having a pleasant little bit of a Twitter back and forth with theologian and apologist Randal Rauser on philosophy of mind.  Then I went about part of my holiday weekend and when I checked Twitter again I had my mentions blown up and saw that our exchange had attracted some others and got more than a bit testy, and I think confused.

Bad things happen when you try to discuss something like philosophy of mind on a platform like Twitter.

Randal then wrote a blog post regarding the discussion with others on Twitter, which prompted me to finally make good on my comment to Randal about writing my own post about why I thought reductionism wasn't all that implausible.