The Last Big Bang: ‘Ask an Atheist’ Reflects on How It All Began

When I was a second-year, I attended a meeting of Scientific Understanding and Reasoning Enrichment (SURE) and met, among others, a guy named Cameron Moody. Moody was the one who had the big idea to write a column in the Nexus about atheism. At that point, I would not have even identified myself as an […]

The Difference Between Cynicism and Skepticism

I (an agnostic atheist) often find myself being dismissed as either “a skeptic,” “a cynic,” or both, as though those are both naughty words. In fact, not only are the two not interchangeable, but they are also not necessarily bad things to be. A skeptic is properly understood as someone who demands evidence to support […]

The American Story : Founding A Secular Government in A Religious Society

It’s not easy to pin down what acolytes of the Christian Right mean when they assert that our nation is founded on “Judeo-Christian principles.” Who, exactly, are these “founders?” No consistent answer is given. Sometimes it is the 17th-century pilgrims, other times the general public after the Revolutionary War, but most often it is those […]

What Do I Say When My Parents Pressure Me to Accept Their Theistic Arguments?

Hey Connor, I was hoping to ask for a bit of advice from you since you seem much more practiced in debating religion than I am. I was hoping there were a few common logical fallacies you could point out to me. I feel my Dad using them all the time, but sometimes it can […]

Should All Nonbelievers Unite Under the Common Banner of ‘Atheism’?

How many atheist politicians can you name? Naming Scandinavians is cheating; stick to the U.S. of A., please. Tough, isn’t it? Pete Stark, congressman for California’s 13th district, is the only openly atheist member of either house. Way to go … uh … Fremont, Newark and parts of Oakland! That brings the total for representation […]

Without a Written Moral Code, What Inspires Atheists to Live Morally?

It’s an unfortunately common thought that in order for one to be a moral, ethical person, one must also be a religious person. More precisely, it’s believed that one becomes moral only from being religious. Thus, a man without religion is an immoral man. I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that this is a widely held […]

Wasn’t Atheism Responsible for Most 20th Century Atrocities?

The important part of any discussion as to whether a belief system has “caused” tragedies in the past or will do so in the future must be based on the logical connections between the tenets of the position and the resultant actions of the position’s holders. We can yell at each other all day that […]

Is a Gay-Friendly Interpretation of the Bible Possible?

Of the many sins stridently denounced by the “divine” words of the New Testament — murder, theft, deceit, lust, envy — there is included among them a trait which is inborn and utterly insulated from free choice. The sin to which I refer is of course homosexuality, the innate sexual orientation of some of my […]

How Do I Talk My Friends Out of Their Religious Beliefs?

In the vast majority of cases, if you talk religion with friends or family, all you will likely accomplish is hurt feelings. Most people don’t want their beliefs challenged on any topic that matters to them. However, every friendship and every set of circumstances is different, so we will assume some set of unusual circumstances. […]

Are Eastern religions a good alternative to Western ones?

If you ask Rick Santorum he’d say no, because Christianity is the only true way a human should live — there is no “good alternative” to the truth. And if you ask a devout Buddhist which is better, Eastern or Western, he’ll affirm his own faith, because karma is manifest in all our actions, and […]

If Heaven Is Factored Out, Does Only Dread Remain?

I am often asked how I can “live with” believing that there is no heaven or hell awaiting me after my death. Similarly, atheists are often asked why they do not simply kill themselves, as they believe that there is no meaning to their lives and no immortal future toward which they can look. These […]

Embracing Jesus But Denouncing Religion Reveals Hypocrisy

Just over one week ago, a handsome and allegedly humble Christian unleashed upon YouTube a performance of spoken-word audaciously titled, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” that he wrote “to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion.” After its seventh day of infecting the Internet, the video’s YouTube page now has over 14 […]

A Tribute to Hitchens

Always with the New Year’s beginning are there people who view it as a mark for new and better things to come. We see room to move forward, and we allow the old and worn to fade so the new and fresh can redefine and reshape us. Personally and collectively, most of us envision how […]

Opinions Warrant Respect, Just Not in Equal Measure

This week’s question: What is there not to respect about someone’s opinion about religion?   Whether it’s about that movie you watch that just never gets old or about how you thought the last midterm went, we seem to form opinions frequently and naturally throughout the course of a day. These however are usually not […]


Santa Claus, Easter Bunny Send Youth Mixed Signals

This week’s question: How would you go about introducing fictions like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus to your children? It’s entertaining, the gullibility of a child. They’ll believe almost anything you say so long as it seems remotely plausible, and for a child, what counts as remotely plausible is pretty wide open to all […]