Evil is a high hurdle for theists. Given the savagery of moral evil (what humans do to humans) and the horrors of natural evil (earthquakes, tsunamis, disease), how could an all-powerful and all-good God exist? Philosophers offer defenses (evil and God do not contradict) and theodicies (reasons why God allows evil). The problem is the sheer amount of evil. Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviews Michael Shermer, for CloserToTruth.com.
Let’s understand the arguments of atheism. Let’s examine both kinds of anti-God arguments: those that refute the existence of God and those that promote the veracity of atheism. There are many diverse arguments in both categories. Which are the best? What is the prosecution by atheists? What is the defense by theists? Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviews Michael Shermer, for CloserToTruth.com.
In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an excerpt from Mitchell Stephens’ new book, Imagine There’s No Heaven: How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World: a comprehensive history of atheism starting with the ancient Greeks. Michael Shermer called it “the most thorough chronicle to date” that he has read. We selected a portion of the book related directly to what led to the current state of unbelief in America and Western Europe today, but we encourage you to read the entire book to get the full context of what intellectual currents came before us. This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Palgrave Macmillan, and appears in Skeptic magazine issue 19.1 (2014).
In a nation whose laws protect free speech we easily forget that many places in the world hold atheism and the expression of religious skepticism to be a crime—a thought crime—punishable by jail. The following article, by Dr. Avijit Roy, reminds us that we need to be vigilant in our quest for freedom of speech everywhere in the world.
Michael Shermer’s speech given at the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2012: the world’s largest gathering of skeptics, atheists, humanists, nonbelievers, and “nones” (those who tick the “no religion” box on surveys).
IN THIS REVEALING TALK based on her compelling new novel, the award-winning writer and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Rebecca Goldstein (Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton and author of The Mind-Body Problem, Properties of Light, and studies of Kurt Gödel and Baruch Spinoza), reads from her new novel and speaks about how she uses her characters to explore the tension between belief and skepticism.
Carbon Comic, which appears in Skeptic magazine, is created by Kyle Sanders: a pilot and founder of Little Rock, Arkansas’ Skeptics in The Pub. He is also a cartoonist who authors Carbon Dating: a skeptical comic strip about science, pseudoscience, and relationships. It can be found at carboncomic.com.
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Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?
What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?
Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…