Welcome to the 122nd edition of the Carnival of the Godless, a collection of the absolute best writing in the atheist blogosphere*.
* the best writing that was submitted and that I picked to be showcased, anyway.
The internets is an overwhelming place. Finding content that is interesting, informative and entertaining can be a hit-or-miss affair. In the past, blog carnivals played an important role in the dissemination of information by providing a one stop shop on articles about a specific topic. That role seems to be diminishing as the blogosphere becomes more crowded and other forms of social media have achieved greater prominence. There’s a very good discussion about carnivals, the cause of their decline and what can be done to save them happening over at Atheist Revolution.
Personally, I love hosting carnivals. I’ll admit, as one of the smaller bloggers, I get a thrill out of seeing my hits spike when I host one. But a less selfish motivation is the sense of community that a carnival can bring. So on that note, I bring you a collection of atheist writers commenting on current events, the state of atheism, religion in general and whatever else tickles their godless fancy.
The atheist community is often represented by scientists. This makes perfect sense when you consider that science is the method for understanding the natural world and atheism is the rejection of the supernatural world (oversimplification, I know). The following writers show us how science and our ever increasing knowledge of how the universe operates inform their positions on atheism.
In the news recently was the appointment of Francis Collins as the director of the National Institutes of Health. This appointment raised some eyebrows. Collins is a geneticist and was head of the National Human Genome Research Institute, successfully leading the Human Genome Project to completion. He is also the author of a book entitled The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.
This is all background for Joel’s first grant application to the Collins NIH posted at Your religion is false. I’ve never submitted a grant application to the government, but I would imagine they are something like this.
With a terrific insight into both the amazing geology of the Grand Canyon and his own background, (((Billy))) The Atheist shows us the poverty of a Young Earth viewpoint. I’ve never visited the Grand Canyon, but Billy’s piece moved me to make it a priority in my life to someday make the trip.
“Intelligent Design” is always a popular subject, with science finding new information every day to poke holes in the “theory”. At The Evolving Mind, Andrew Bernardin tells us how a study involving chromosomal abnormalities demonstrates Imperfect Design and Natural Abortions Galore.
Atheism, Activism, Awareness
One of the reasons that we even have blogs about atheism is that people are making the effort to stand up against the irrational bigotry against atheism. The following authors give us their insights into promoting atheism and participating in the efforts to spread the good news of not having any gods.
One technique that is used to shut down criticism of religion is wielding the club of “respect”. This club is often used to shut down discussion of the flaws in religion by claiming that we need to have the proper respect for religions and the religious. Yunshui lets us know what he thinks that R-E-S-P-E-C-T is all about over at at Right To Think. Unfortunately for us, we won’t be hearing much from Yunshui in the near future as he is leaving the blogoworld for the time being. Congrats on the arrival of Babyshui!
Blogs aren’t the only way to promote the atheistic viewpoint. Adrian Hayter gives us good tips on How To Be A Successful Atheist On Twitter posted at the aptly named blog, The Atheist Blogger. One tip I can add is not to insult the #jaffacakes. Oh, and follow @ah8r. And @CyberLizard. That last was not so much a tip as a command.
In the world at large, being an atheist isn’t exactly the best way to make it to the top of the popularity charts. It can also be hazardous to your health. Jennifurret shares some of her family’s concerns for her well-being while out being an activist for atheism and her responses in Apparently I’m in mortal peril posted at Blag Hag. She also has another interesting piece up about the nature of atheism on teh internets – Oh noes, atheists are taking over teh internets!!11!one!!.
Not only are atheists discriminated against by individuals, there are significant efforts to either write anti-atheist bigotry into law or fight efforts to remove instances of it from current laws. Part of our goal as atheist bloggers is to make the general public aware of these efforts and to encourage and promote the fair treatment of people of all beliefs, including those with no religious beliefs.
Not every country enjoys the protections of the USA’s Establishment clause ensconced in our Constitution. Not only are many countries lacking these protections, their governments are actively passing new laws based on religion, as M. Rundkvist shows us in Ireland and Lithuania Pass Old Testament Laws posted at Aardvarchaeology.
Here in the USA, we have the nominal protection offered by the Constitution. However, that doesn’t stop those who want to promote their own religious agenda over all others from trying to sneak their bigotry into our government. Why Atheists Object to Engraving “In God We Trust” on the Capitol Visitor Center posted at Atheist Revolution by vjack gives a good overview of exactly what this supposedly innocuous national motto really means and why it needs to be removed.
Atheism isn’t just a movement or a cause. It is also a part of who we are as unique individuals. There are a great number of misconceptions about atheism and atheists in general. It is important for us to share our own personal stories in an effort to show the world that we are not (all) baby-eating monsters.
Angela84 wants to share, in her words, “Just one person’s view on religion and atheism. Please add comments! Tell me what you think, or what you believe!” with her post LORD WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS BE! at ~angela’s random thoughts~. I would encourage you to pop over and welcome her to the fold.
Love makes the world go around. Or something like that. There’s no question that love is an incredible and powerful emotion. Some theists like to think that they have the love market cornered. Stephanie Zvan gives us several examples of Atheists in Love posted at Quiche Moraine. *sniff* I love you guys! [/emo]
Religion in General
Sometimes our blogging leads us to point out the flaws in religion and religious thinking. It may come in the form of trying to reveal religion as the magical thinking it is, or it may be a post debunking the lies spouted by the creationist movement in their misguided efforts to discredit evolutionary theory. Even just recounting the historical facts of atrocities committed in the name of religion can promote our cause by countering the claims of the benefits of religion. These posts take on religion and religious thought.
Analogies are a useful tool to bring an otherwise incomprehensible idea into focus by framing it a situation or idea that we are familiar with. PhillyChief does a good job revealing the ridiculousness of the thought processes of religions in Closed-minded? posted at You Made Me Say It….
I have run into the argument that everyone’s entitled to their opinion many times. This is another tool used to stifle criticism of religion. Staks talks about his own experiences with it and his response at Dangerous Talk.
A particularly nasty fight is being waged to bring creationism into our schools. The strategies of the creationists are often full of lies and misinformation. It is very important to counteract these lies by illuminating the truth. Eric Michael Johnson debunks the attempts to discredit Darwin in Darwin’s Connection to Nazi Eugenics Exposed posted at The Primate Diaries.
“Kill them all, let God sort them out.” I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase. Did you wonder where it came from? Turns out there’s a historical basis for it, as Jason shows us in 1209: Massacre of Beziers, “kill them all, let God sort them out” posted at Executed Today. Extremely disturbing story (as are most religious stories) that reveals just one of the more egregious examples of religion being used by men to dominate others.
Of course, we’re all really in it for the lulz. And by all I mean me. If there were a god, I would hope that it would deliver something like this: Dear Joe The Plumber… posted at “Gone Fishin’: Postcards From God”.
Many atheists are converts from various religions. A large number are former christians who have gone through the ritual know as baptism. Both for a bit of blasphemous fun and as a serious statement on their non-belief, some atheists are being de-baptised. In his post on debaptism at Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop and Tea Room, Dr. Jim encourages us to C’MON OUT, THE BLOWDRYER IS FINE!
And that’s the way it is. Thanks for all the terrific submissions. If I didn’t include yours, it was either spam, I hated it, or I just ran out of room. Keep up the great work in the atheist blogosphere!
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