Ask an atheist: Does the universe have a purpose?

All that matters is the here and now.

  • While bestselling author and skeptic Michael Shermer doesn't believe in God or any outside force that cares about us, he also doesn't think that the existence of one would give our lives meaning.
  • Shermer argues that it is up to us to create purpose for ourselves in various ways, including through meaningful work, familial and romantic relationships, and a connection and respect for the wonder of nature.
  • "It doesn't matter what happens billions of years from now or whether there's a God or not, whether there's an afterlife or not," he says. "It's irrelevant. This is the life that matters."

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What are the chances that God is actually good?

Philosophy professor James Sterba revives a very old argument.

Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash
  • In his book, Is a Good God Logically Possible?, James Sterba investigates the role of evil.
  • Sterba contends that if God is all-powerful then he'd be able to stop evil from occurring in the world.
  • God's inability (or unwillingness) to stop evil should make us question his role, or even his existence.
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U.S. court approval of ‘IM GOD’ license plate is a victory for atheists

A federal court ruled that the state of Kentucky was wrong to deny a man's request for a personalized license plate reading "IM GOD." Here's why that's a win against atheist discrimination.

Photo provided by the Freedom From Religion Foundation
  • After a three-year legal battle, a federal court last week cleared the way for a man in Kentucky to obtain a customized license plate declaring "IM GOD."
  • The Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicles rejected the plate in 2016 claiming it violated the state's rule against religious messages on license plates.
  • A state/church watchdog organization says the court's decision to approve the plate highlighted the bias the state of Kentucky was displaying toward religious non-believers.
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Why America’s Christian foundation is a myth

A new book by constitutional attorney Andrew Seidel takes on Christian nationalism.

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  • A new book by attorney Andrew Seidel, 'The Founding Myth: Why Christian nationalism Is Un-American', takes on the myth of America's Christian founding.
  • Christian nationalism is the belief that the United States was founded as a Christian nation on Christian principles, and that the nation has strayed from that original foundation.
  • Judeo-Christian principles are fundamentally opposed to the principles on which America was built, argues Seidel.
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Yet another American divide: 'crunk' vs 'bible studies'

How deep are America's cultural fault lines? Depends on which data you crunch.

Image courtesy of Boyd L Shearer Jr / OutrageGIS
  • America is a divided nation, but perhaps its divisions are as much in the eye of the beholder.
  • This map charts the geographic fault lines between 'crazy drunk' America and 'bible study' America.
  • Strangely, Las Vegas falls in the latter category – and Salt Lake City in the former.
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