God Made Me an Atheist, Who Are You to Judge?

Peter Boghossian’s A Manual for Creating Atheists is a curious and ultimately very valuable book. 

It’s curious because it doesn’t make much of a case — or at least not the sort of case I would have liked — for why we should create atheists. 

It’s valuable because, if you believe we’d be better off with more atheists, this is a remarkable tool for accomplishing that goal. 

I don?t view sloppy thinking as a great evil in itself.  read more

A New Jefferson Bible

Thomas Jefferson created his own Bible, and the Humanist Press has just republished it together with selections from what Jefferson left out, and selections labeled the best and worst from the Old Testament, the Koran, the Bhagavadgita, the Buddhist Sutras, and the Book of Mormon.

Jefferson created his Bible using two copies of the King James Bible and a razor blade.  He cut what he liked out of the New Testament, and left the rest.  What he chose to include was supposed to tell the story read more

Should More of the Blood Be on the Train Tracks?

At this year’s Veterans For Peace convention in Miami, VFP President Leah Bolger challenged members to take risks: “Many of you have risked a lot for war.  What will you risk for peace?”

One VFP member, S. Brian Willson, gave his legs and part of his skull for peace.  It was 1987, and the U.S. military was shipping weapons to port, in order to ship them to El Salvador and Nicaragua, where they would be used to slaughter the people of those nations, where, in Willson?s read more

Second Thoughts on Publicly Displaying 10 Commandments

Until now, I’ve always opposed the idea of posting the 10 Commandments on government buildings.

I don?t want a theocracy. I don?t want religion at all, even separated from government. I?m embarrassed for my species that so many people imagine we haven?t advanced at all in millennia. Must we really turn to an ancient book that sanctions slavery and rape, stonings and genocide, to find not only guidance but unquestionable dictates? I?m disgusted by the notion that read more

This World and the World Without War

The New York Times published an op-ed on May 7th by a professor here in Charlottesville, Va., arguing that celebrating the killing of Osama bin Laden is actually a good thing, because in so celebrating we are building solidarity with those we view as part of our exclusive group. Implicit in this argument is that we can do no better. Bonding over our common hatred of an outsider is better than no bonding read more

It Would Be an Honor

Review of “Honor For Us: A Philosophical Analysis, Interpretation, and Defense” By William Lad Sessions, Continuum.

William Lad Sessions is a philosophy professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. I was once a philosophy student at the University of Virginia. Both schools have honor codes for their students. I experienced UVA’s honor code as one of the most thrilling discoveries of my life. W&L’s has inspired Sessions to write a book.

I realize that nowadays read more

Why Pentagon Says MLK Would Love War Today

According to the Pentagon’s lawyer, Martin Luther King Jr., if alive today, would view the US war on Afghanistan as both the act of a Good Samaritan and as necessary self-defense.

Jeh C. Johnson, the “Defense” Department’s general counsel, said, on the one hand:

?I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation?s military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people read more

Chris Hedges' Hangup on Religion

By David Swanson

Chris Hedges is one of the best, one of the most morally useful, writers we have. He’s free of loyalty to political party or dogma. He knows war first hand and describes it without flinching. He’s an almost ideal gadfly to our corporatocracy. But he has a hangup on religion that holds him back.

Hedges will tell you that he has no use for fantasies about life after death. He?ll profess no interest in gods or prayer or a divine plan or anything of the sort. read more