One of my first exposures to overtly atheistic reasoning was in some required reading for my 7th grade English class. In the forewords and epilogues of Anthem, a short novel by Ayn Rand, I encountered a primer on Objectivism. The appeal of a worldview that was not based on any notion of the supernatural and which loudly proclaimed that I was morally obligated to not do anything I didn’t want to do was substantial for a teenage boy who really did not enjoy yardwork. For a little while, I lived in a frame of mind that would have leapt at the name “libertarian” on hearing it described. Fortunately, I got better.
For the uninitiated, libertarianism might be thought of as the political outgrowth of Rand’s Objectivism
, though it’s actually based on older modes of thought
. It is a political philosophy that places personal liberty as paramount, standing in opposition to all forces that would limit or circumscribe that freedom. At least, that’s what its claimants would like us to think it is. And that is the last charitable thing I will say about it or them.
Continue reading “The Moral and Intellectual Bankruptcy of Libertarianism”
As the vast majority of the world undoubtedly heard far too much about, 2012 was a national election year
in the United States. The voting led to the reelection of the United States’s first African-American president, the defeat of “rape guys” Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock
, the election of the first open bisexual
(who’s also non-religious!) to the House of Representatives, and a variety of other impressive firsts that give people like me hope that this political cycle will be at least a little less bad than the previous ones. There’s one bit of news that’s worth examining in a bit more detail, though, and that’s the news out of Puerto Rico.
But what’s Puerto Rico? And didn’t we hear something about some Pacific islands? Let’s have a look at a map.
Continue reading “Shifty Lines: New Stars, Old Stripes”
In case anyone has avoided the bevy of mentions on this site and elsewhere, CFI Ottawa
’s end-of-the-world-themed conference, Eschaton 2012, was a few weekends ago, and it was AWESOME. Recordings of the conference’s talks and panels should be up on AtheismTV in a short while, but for now I want to draw attention to the words of Eric MacDonald of Choice in Dying.
The text of his presentation is available here
Take a moment to read that.
Take a moment to read that in Eric MacDonald’s sonorous, quavering voice.
Continue reading “There. Now You Have a Country.”
I wrote this shortly after my grandmother died in February 2008. There aren’t enough examples of non-religious grief on the Internet, so I thought I would post it again. Some recent events make this kind of thing seem appropriate; more on that in future posts. (The version below is edited for style.)
Continue reading “Do Not Go Gently”