Ask an Atheist: Why Don’t You Just Call Yourself an Agnostic?

When I engage in a philosophical or religious conversation with some of my peers, a common phrase reiterated is, “Oh, I’m not an atheist; I’m an agnostic.” Though it may appear insignificant, this statement actually holds a lot of weight. It can seem unimportant, but “atheism” and “agnosticism” are more than just arbitrary labels — […]

Is Spirituality a Good Alternative to Religion? 

Because it is purposefully a vague term, it is difficult to get a good idea of exactly what spirituality may mean. It’s a term that has appeared in many cultures and eras, influencing and being influenced by a very diverse group of people. What all strains of spirituality share, though, is a rejection of institutional […]

East vs. West: Ask an Atheist Sizes Up World Religions

Prompt: Do Eastern religions provide any benefits that Western ones might not?   In the Western world, or at least in the United States, religions of the Orient have increasingly come to take on an “exotic” and “mystical” flavor. People try these belief systems on as one might try on a new fashionable hat from […]

Are Atheists Islamophobic?

Lately, the New Atheist movement has come under fire in the news, as is inevitable with movements such as this. Consisting of popular figures like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, New Atheism advocates actively opposing religion through rational argument whenever possible. This movement, as well as atheism in general (New Atheism does not represent all […]

No Scrooges Here! Why Most Atheists Don’t Object to a Little Holiday Cheer

Question: Do atheists celebrate religious holidays?   The answer is simple: There is no reason not to. Even if I don’t believe in the event being celebrated, many of my family members still believe in it, and I am willing to put aside our differences for the day to spend time with them. Without time […]

Good Times and Good Deeds: Secularists Can Have It All, Too

Question: Can religion offer something that secularism cannot?   If someone were to say that religion is nothing but pure evil, I would have to reply that that person is absolutely, positively, undoubtedly wrong. From their respective origins to the current day, different religions all around the world can be seen to have common benefits, […]

Minorities May Not Rule, But They Still Deserve A Say

Why do atheists try to exert so much influence on public opinion if they know they are a minority?   In brief, you don’t need to be in a majority to have principles worth sharing. Whether or not skepticism spreads at the rate that we’d like, it’s still important to speak our minds when opinions […]

Does Atheism Constitute A Worldview?

A worldview is effectively a set of beliefs and assumptions through which someone interprets the world around them. Whether or not a philosophy qualifies as a worldview is really a matter of how pervasive that ideology is to them. Since it’s a leap from the mainstream to call yourself an atheist, crossing that threshold means […]

How Do Evolution and Natural Selection Affect Morality?

To answer the question bluntly, we simply wouldn’t have morality without evolution or natural selection. However, being fair to morality, we probably wouldn’t have survived as a species without it either. If we consider morality to be a defined system of ideas about right and wrong shared by a group of people, then it is […]

How Do Atheists Account for the Commonality of Supernatural Beliefs?

Supernatural belief is an evolutionary adaption with a long and varied history that led to the continued survival of our ancestors. Shared belief systems within early societies likely increased cooperation and led to a greater survival rate for the group. In a larger sense, shared beliefs and moral values, across cultures, may have increased survival […]

Can You Justify Atheism Without a Scientific Understanding of the Origin of the Universe?

Topics like the formation of the universe are always contentious because there isn’t a universally accepted theory, and they can’t all be right. For that reason, it isn’t a bad thing when someone has the humility to not believe in something that can’t be proven. While science only tangentially supports atheism with concepts like evolution, […]

For Golly’s Sake! When Words Turn to Sticks and Stones

Q: Is it acceptable to prohibit blasphemy in consideration of public safety?   Happy belated International Blasphemy Rights Day! Recent events have made this quasi-holiday associated with September 30 more important than ever. Leaders of the Islamic community have recently petitioned world leaders to ban blasphemy, especially that which might incite violence, following the release […]

Feminism and Atheism: An Unholy, But Tenable Marriage

Prompt: How can atheism be beneficial to women?   My first thought is to say that yes, atheism does benefit women. The rejection of a god or gods along with the misogynistic traditions and beliefs that are present in many religions should be beneficial to women. However, misogynistic themes that are perpetuated by religion have […]

What Do You Think Is the Most Interesting Logical Fallacy or Contradiction in Religious Dogma?

God is all that there is and all that there ever will be. He was around before time itself, around even before existence existed. With intention, God created the universe and all the things in it, including us. He has a plan for every galaxy and every star, every human, every tree, rock and flea. […]

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 […]