When I posted Inaccuracy, Eurocentrism, and Antitheism in Carl Sagan’s Cosmos last month, it caused a bit of a stir among Carl Sagan fans (especially on Reddit). Not the least constructive of the criticism was the point that Carl Sagan was not even an atheist. Of course, I already know that he did not identify as an atheist, and in that post I never said he did. I suppose that people who used that as a rebuttal were assuming that one can’t be antitheistic without even being an atheist.Read more
For most of the time I’ve spent as an atheist, I’ve also identified as a secular humanist. However, the label of “humanist” has spent most of that time in the backseat. Even though I was a humanist, I preferred to use descriptors like “skeptic” or “curious atheist”. While I am still all of these, I’m beginning to really embrace my identity as a humanist for the first time.Read more
If you’ve read Cosmos by Sasha’s father, and you’re wondering what the universe’s immensity and grandeur mean for humanity, then you will love this book. The title comes from a quote (from Carl’s novel Contact) written by Ann Druyan, Sasha’s mother and Carl’s wife. The quote says in its entirety, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” Cosmos explores the vastness. Sasha’s book explores the rest: how we, the small creatures, can use love to make it bearable. The subtitle, Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World, gives us a hint on how to do that.Read more
Atheists are often represented by those of us who are famous for their unbelief, namely Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. When atheists began to speak up against religion and this was classified and demonized as “new atheism”, these four men emerged at the forefront of the movement. For years now, it has been common for atheists to be generalized as belonging to the same ilk as these four men. As someone young in her atheistic studies, I’ve looked up to them for being so steadfast in their unbelief, so sure, and so well-versed. At this point, though, I’ve read books by three of the four of them, and I don’t know that they’re all they’ve been built up to be.Read more
If you’ve been following my rather tumultuous experience being an “undercover” atheist taking Apologetics 101, then you’ll know it’s been a rough ride. My professor tends to teach his opinions as facts, make up completely unfounded statistics, and give a lot of plain wrong or illogical information.