When writing my first post about why astrology is pseudoscience, I had the intention of ending it by suggesting the Myers-Briggs Personality Test as a more accurate way to identify people’s traits. I was surprised to find that while personality types are more valid than zodiac signs (or their popular equivalent in Asian countries of categorizing personalities based on blood type), they are still far from perfect. For example, I once took my own Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test and found that I was an INTJ, but when my husband took the same test about me, we found that in his eyes I was an ISFJ. (I’ve also gotten INFJ and INTP.) This was my first hint that personality tests might not be all they’re cracked up to be. Knowing that, and having seen how ubiquitously popular the Enneagram test has become, I decided it was time for me to put personality types to the test. They’re not as bad as astrology, but they’re by no means an exact science. Where do they land?Read more
It can be easy to assume that old books don’t say much. The books themselves often serve as rustic decorations. I’ve definitely been guilty of buying old books with the primary intent of showing them in my collection and a secondary intent of actually reading them. But when I bought The Causes and Cure of Unbelief last fall, I knew I wanted to eventually read the whole thing. After doing so, I learned why some ideas best remain forgotten.Read more
If you hang out in the atheist part of the Internet, then you’ve probably come across at least a handful of some of our cringey memes. They’re some of the more shameful creations that you’ll see from our community. You get everything from ugly fonts, low image quality, and multiple layers of filters on screenshots, to fallacies, oversimplification of philosophical questions, and things that are really just mean. Below are a few popular memes that I’ve seen since I started my Twitter, and why I think they should probably just not exist. Enjoy!
Let me tell you a story.
I was twenty years old, and a junior in college. I was in one of Grove City’s required classes called Civilization and the Speculative Mind, a class about worldviews, philosophy, and Christian theology. I wrote my term paper for this class on why naturalism does not inevitably lead to nihilism. It was a response to the claims made by James W. Sire in the class textbook The Universe Next Door. He had made three “bridges” between naturalism and nihilism which I had set out to debunk. They were:Read more
There are a handful of famous arguments for the existence of a god. Some have been around for centuries, and new arguments are popping up every day. One such argument is the kalam cosmological argument. A classic which has recently been re-polished and re-popularized, it has withstood the test of time in its field.
The kalam cosmological argument sounds a lot more complex than it really is. There’s not much more to it than a simple, yet flawed, syllogism of three steps. They are: Read more
I love books. It’s debatable whether I love reading more than I love browsing at bookstores and just hoarding books, but book collecting has probably become my #1 hobby. I’d say that reading itself is a close second.
A few weeks ago, I chronicled “my life in books,” shared what kinds of young adult fiction I was into as a teenager, and told a little about when I started reading again when I got The God Delusion in college. Since then I’ve bought over 130 other “atheist” books, which might sound crazy, and honestly, it probably is. But almost all of my books are used, and most were less than $5 each.Read more
When someone finds out that a loved one is an atheist, they tend to have a lot of questions. One question I was asked when coming out was “If you don’t believe in God, then what do you believe?” I was confused by the question at the time. What do you mean, what do I believe? I thought. About what? Morality? Science? The cosmos? Music? Pineapple on pizza? After thinking about it further, I think that “So, what do you believe?” is a pretty good question to ask an atheist, since all you can assume to know about an atheist is that there’s one thing they certainly don’t believe in, and that’s a god or gods. Everything else is up in the air. Read more
If you’re familiar with the online atheist superpower Atheist Republic, then you’ve probably heard of their book Why There Is No God, written by their founder Armin Navabi. I’ve had this book for a while, and I decided this weekend to finally read it and give my opinion here on my blog! Read more
Last year, we lost a man who was possibly one of the greatest scientific minds to date. Stephen Hawking took after Albert Einstein in a quest to discover how the universe works, even in the face of the greatest adversity. Hawking was a pioneer on the quest to reconcile quantum physics with Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and his specialties were the study of black holes and how we might be able to reverse what we know about them to find out how the Big Bang occurred. Brief Answers to the Big Questions was the first book I read by Hawking, but I already feel like I’ve learned so much. Read more
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (and happy birthday to me)! Last week I gave my review of Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, and this week as everything slows down during the holidays, I’m giving my blog post over to him. Here are 32 of my favorite Dennett quotes from Breaking the Spell! Read more