The Silver Lining in Fake News
Don’t lament the loss of the “free media.” On the contrary, embrace the post-truth world as a wake-up call.
Enlightenment in the Arab World 2.0
The Arab world must return to the scholariship and cosmopolitanism of Bayt Al Hikma. The Internet may show the way.
Now there’s proof that supernatural claims of religion hardly suit.
Populism and Its Discontents
It’s been a cliché of political campaigns for decades that liberals are effete snobs, while conservatives are salt-of-the-earth workin’ folks constantly wounded by the scorn of the pointy-headed intellectuals (a.k.a. the Jews).
Trump in Warsaw and the Long Shadow of Charles Martel
On July 6, 2017, Donald Trump delivered a speech in Warsaw that was clearly intended as a landmark in the fog and swirl of geopolitical debate. The Warsaw speech evoked a vision of global politics, and it gave a suggestion of what Trump’s confusing presidency stands for.
The Blight of Monotheism
Like other U.S. presidents before him, Donald Trump has vowed to defend Western civilization against the menace of Islam. Other presidents defined the values of the West as liberty, democracy, and the rule of law, but Trump has defined them as Christianity, culture, and tradition.
If we’re going to fight the rise of hard Right bigotry in the United States and around the world, we need to be willing to get uncomfortable.
Only the Truth Will Prevent Harm
Nothing is as destructive to a political ideology as a hypocrisy exposed. An accidental hypocrisy indicates ignorance, and ignorance, thankfully, can often be remedied with evidence and reason.
Censor Social Media and Lose the War Against Terrorism
I recently made a joke on Facebook about both ISIS and the absurdity of New Age religions and positive-thinking cults by saying that “If you don’t like ISIS, join them because change comes from within.”
What If We’re Wrong?
I’m not asking this question in a general skeptical sense. I’m not asking what we do when we suspect that we’re wrong, how we examine whether we’re wrong, or how we know when we’re wrong. I’m asking a very specific question.
Religion is Not the Solution to America’s (or Russia’s) Problems
Secularization continues to make big gains. Those Americans who rank themselves as nonreligious and those who qualify as atheists (broadly defined as those who are not theists) each ballooned by a tenth of the total population in just ten years.
The Problem with ‘Privilege’
The concept of privilege as used by the activist Left is problematic.
The Hadza: A People without Religion
“For all we know, lots of Ice Age hunter-gatherers were not religious. The problem is that there’s no way to tell.”
Springtime for Bullies
“We think of bullying as something children and adolescents do to each other, but really it’s pervasive.”
“1517 is usually taken as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, and this year is its five hundredth anniversary.”
Conservatism and Calamity: From Plato to Bannon
“Conservatives yearn for the fixed, unchanging order that belongs to God or nature, but their actions often precipitate radical disruptions.”
God and Men Behaving Badly
“UNFPA reduces worldwide maternal mortality.”“More countries, including all of America’s traditional allies, contribute to UNFPA than to almost any other United Nations humanitarian agency.”
A sense of purpose is available to all, no faith required.
Saving Speaker Ryan… and Unshackling the Bern
“The Democratic Party establishment is not innocent when it comes to prejudice against atheists.”
Celebrating the Post-Truth World
“The media should affirm the post-truth world as an antidote to the childishness of the feel-good propaganda in which they have basked for so long.”
Panic and Emptiness
“It’s a humiliation for the whole country and all of us in it to ave an ignorant, dim-witted, narcissistic bully as head of state, one without even a façade of grown-up decent behavior.”
Keep Dissent Nonviolent
“While I understand the shock and fear—and indeed, I feel some of it myself—we mustn’t allow it to cloud our thinking.”
We Need To Say ‘No!’
“A hard-Right ideology ramps up gradually—and so does tolerance to it.”
Toward a Rational Muslim Immigration Policy
Secular Bengali bloggers are hugely valuable, because they contribute intellectually to the war of ideas against jihadists.
Doomed to Repeat?
There was another election remarkably similar to this one…
Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom
“In past centuries, religious wars, persecutions, and cruelties were common.”
This Is Not a Drill
“We are looking at the very real possibility—even the likelihood—of the rise of fascism in the United States.”
The ‘Nones’ Weren’t Strong Enough
“The prospect of returning America to the ugly era of illegal back-alley butchers is horrifying. What made it possible?”
The Nones Become Many More
“Why did the majority of respondents who ‘just stopped believing’ do so?”
Yes—Oh, Dear, Yes—Don’t Ban the Burkini
“Basic ideas of free speech require that people be at liberty to express their commitments in public.”
The Foxification of American Democracy, Part 2
“Fox News legitimizes violent insurrection—and invites calamity. How did it come to this?”
The Christian Moral Code, Part 5: Love
By the time of Jesus, the commandment to “love thy neighbor” was already part of most religions and also Greco-Roman philosophy.
“What I would like to learn from Shriver’s critics is how cultural appropriation differs from what we call ‘education.’”
Humanists have a special obligation to defend the humanities, in education and in society.
St. [Mother] Teresa and the Miracles Game
If the Church wishes to honor a doctrinaire nun, let it do so without an affront to science and reason.
Sense and Sensibility
“Humans are not so constituted as to be able to function in world of pure rtionality.”
Not (Just) a Tragedy! Fanatics and Their Atrocities
Words such as tragic are inadequate to describe premeditated acts of murder motivated by religious or political fanaticism.
The Foxification of American Democracy, Part 1
Fox News is fact-free. Yet some of its critiques—only some—cannot be dismissed.
Rituals and Traditions
Ritual and tradition: Are they supporting ribs for our lives, or more like prison bars? Sometimes the answer is unclear.
The Christian Moral Code, Part 4: Hell and Achievement
The idea of Hell encapsulates much that is contradictory and perverse in Christianity.