Category The Big Questions

Why atheism?

Why Atheism?

The Big Questions, as their name implies, are questions about who we are, about the universe we live in, about our place in the universe, and more along these lines. Theistic religions, especially those that proselytize, have constructed cases for their beliefs that tend to pay a great deal of attention to these Big Questions. Sometimes widespread and culturally dominant religions even succeed in defining the terms of the questions, so as to give themselves greater assurance of their influence on the lives of their adherents and the societies in which they thrive. So far, we have considered w...

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What is Truth?

No word is perhaps so abused in our modern world as is the word truth. Politicians bend it to suit their agendas while they pound their podiums, news columnists promise to reveal it while they trade in gossip, and religious groups praise it as their central concern while they redefine it to be synonymous with charismatic personalities and inspiring texts. Like it is to the fittingly-named Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984, truth may sometimes appear as little more than a label used to give the illusion of certitude to partisan propaganda...

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why be a good person

Why Be a Good Person?

‘If there’s no God and no life beyond the grave, doesn’t that mean that men will be allowed to do whatever they want?’
‘Didn’t you know that already?’ he said and laughed again. ‘An intelligent man can do anything he likes as long as he’s clever enough to get away with it.’1

The above passage from Dostoevsky is often cited by religious apologists with the intent to either denounce atheism as immoral, or to suggest that atheists are incapable of accounting for the moral judgments they hold. James Spiegel, in his book The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief, embodies the opin...

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What happens after we die?

What Happens After We Die?

In April 1977, a woman known only as Maria was admitted to the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after suffering a heart attack. Three days later, another one would strike her while still hospitalized. On being resuscitated, Maria reported having an Out-of-Body Experience (or OBE), during which she had watched from above as doctors tried to revive her, seeing the monitoring machines around her feeding out print-outs of her life signs. She felt led out to the area outside of the hospital, specifically to the ledge of a third-floor window on the far side of the building...

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Why are we here?

Why Are We Here?

Why are we communicating? I am typing these words for you to read and you are reading them. But why are we doing this?

We might say we are communicating to better understand each other, to pass the time, to learn different viewpoints, and so on. While the answer may not be entirely clear to us, we will likely have a general idea of why we engage in this sort of behavior. We are social creatures, we enjoy each other, we have an interest in these subjects… whatever the case, most of us would agree that these are all quite valid explanations for why two people would communicate.

Now imagine that...

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