You know something is important when TED has an entire playlist devoted to it. “The Value of Skepticism” playlist includes talks on statistics, fake news, quack medicine, courtroom persuasion, and one other topic . . . I forget what it … Continue reading How To Be A Skeptic
Atheists literally surrounded me. On a cool evening in October, during the 2016 “SASHACON” (an atheist conference where I was doing a debate), speakers and participants enjoyed dinner together on the roof of the Heidelberg restaurant, a favorite student haunt … Continue reading The “Outsider Test for Faith”
Atheist YouTuber and “Street Epistemologist” Douglas Letkeman invited me to do a live conversation online this past Monday night. We talked for an hour and 45 minutes! Over 100 people joined us in the live chat, including half a dozen … Continue reading Atheism and the Strange Library
How should a society decide what to do on the big questions? Questions like, “should abortion be legal?”, “should same-sex marriage be legal?”, or “should we build a wall?” I think there are really just two choices. We can decide … Continue reading The Importance of Civil Discourse
Our family walked down to Hillsborough Bay, where a spectacular view of the fireworks could be enjoyed. Bayshore Boulevard, with its seemingly ancient stone rail, stretched along the water, just down the street from Grammie’s house. I stood on my … Continue reading Why Are We Afraid To Talk About Our Beliefs?
Are you dreading Thanksgiving this year? Are you anticipating arguments and tension over religion, politics, and more? Well, I have the solution! Well, not THE solution, more like A solution. Well, honestly it’s not a SOLUTION so much as a way to improve things a bit. At least from your end. Right! In the video, I share how knowing what you believe and why you believe it can make a huge difference in conversation with Aunt Gertrude this year. You don’t have to live in fear of those pesky disagreements any more. If you find the video helpful, feel free … Continue reading How To Talk To Your Relatives at Thanksgiving
I debated whether to even write this post. Here’s why: many people think that ANY concession to the “other side” amounts to total defeat. For many, to admit that atheist beliefs are reasonable amounts to admitting they are correct. But this is just plain wrong, and I’ll explain why below. Nevertheless, this post may disturb some theists. Setting the Intellectual Stage I’m going to set the stage here with a few concepts. Then I’ll tell you whether there are good reasons for atheism and what they might be (if there are any). The first idea that needs stating is this: you … Continue reading Are There Good Reasons To Be An Atheist?
In the wake of recent noise about Mike Pence and his alleged conversations with the Son of God, I though I’d offer an epistemological perspective. How do we evaluate claims like “God spoke to me?” Some Guidelines First, these claims can only be evaluated inductively. That is, we can’t “prove” them true or false. We can only gather reasons and evidence for or against the claim, and then see where these reasons point us. The evidence may point so strongly in one direction as to virtually settle the matter, or it may be closer to 50/50. I’ll discuss what reasons … Continue reading Hearing from Jesus?