Welcome to the 126th edition of the Carnival of the Godless, the Summer’s End Edition. I hope you’re ready to settle down for some good, godless reading.
Today’s carnival opens with a lighthearted piece that fans of Harry Potter and Bewitched may enjoy: Susan Howe’s explanation of how one can Become a Witch in 12 Sites or Less, located at Star Costumes Blog.
Susan introduces this piece to our readers with this note: “Wasn’t sure if this is a good match, but you may find it a fun read.” Her post is a change of pace from the typical focus of this carnival, but I’ve included it as a lighthearted bit of fun for you to enjoy while the coffee percolates and the toast burns.
Our next featured post is Andrew Bernardin’s Sunday Sacrilege: Jesus — The Most Anthropomorphic Deity, posted at The Evolving Mind. Andrew says,
It seems to me that part of the appeal of Jesus is his dual nature: part human, part god. He walked the earth, had a beard, a nose, two eyes, could suffer, and perhaps even farted now and again…. But ultimately, he was a true super hero.
Go read the rest of Andrew’s take on Jesus as super hero. When you’ve finished that piece, read his second contribution to today’s carnival, Unweaving the Ineffable, where he asks,
Can you put an experience in words? No, not really. Describing what swimming in the ocean feels like is a poor substitute for the actual thing. It doesn’t come close to relaying the full richness of the experience.
Read the rest of the post to find out what else Andrew thinks about experience and ineffability.
Bing McGhandi presents Catching Heck, or, how not to plagiarize, posted at Happy Jihad’s House of Pancakes. If you missed reading Peter Heck’s argument for God’s existence, you won’t want to miss Bing’s response, which opens with these fighting words:
Seriously, do they think that I was born fucking yesterday? Peter Heck, who is of no real significance, as evidenced by the fact that his article, “No Atheists in Birthing Centers,” appeared on onenewsnow.com, has written a titanically foolish, self-stroking failure of an argument.
Admit it: that opening has you salivating for some pancakes and the rest of Bing’s post, so help yourself to both on this fine Sunday morning.
Greta Christina presents a pair of posts on racism, sexism and the atheist movement. Part one, Getting It Right Early: Why Atheists Need to Act Now on Gender and Race, is posted at Greta Christina’s Blog. She introduces her post with this thought: “Why is the atheist movement so predominantly — and so visibly — white and male? Some observations on unconscious bias, self- perpetuating cycles, and a movement that starts out being mostly white and male will tend to stay that way… even without any bad intentions on the part of anyone in the movement. (Part 1 of a 2-part piece.)”
In the second post of this set, Race, Gender, and Atheism, Part 2: What We Need To Do — And Why, Greta ponders “What — exactly — can the atheist movement do about the fact our movement is so predominantly white and male? And why should we care? Some thoughts about strategy… and some Political Organizing 101 for people who aren’t familiar with how unconscious bias can weaken a movement — and how diversity can strengthen it. (Part 2 of a two part piece.)”
I don’t know whether Sikivu Hutchinson read Greta’s posts before writing This Far By Faith? Race Traitors, Gender Apostates & the Atheism Question, in which she shares her thoughts on the same issues, but you can go to blackfemlens to read more.
The post opens with these words,
Martin Luther King, Jr. once dubbed Sunday at 11:00 a.m. the most segregated hour in America, a microcosm of the titanic divide that specifically separates black and white America.
and finishes with this thought:
Finally, in an intellectual universe where rock star white men with publishing contracts are the most prominent atheists and atheism is perceived in some quarters as a “white” thing, it is also critical that acceptance and embrace of non-supernatural belief systems be modeled in communities of color “on the ground.” Only then can secularism defang the seductions of the communal dimension of faith that defines our most segregated hour.
There is a lot good stuff to read in between those two points. Do yourself a favor and read the whole post.
Paul Fidalgo presents Augment but never persuade: Accomodationism’s lack of ambition, which you can find at Secularism Examiner. Partway through this piece, Paul says,
It probably goes without saying that this rule applies only to atheists. Religious believers are free to make their case to those of differing faiths or no faith, but preach the word that there is no Word, and a social crime is committed….
If that doesn’t whet your appetite for the rest of Paul’s post, you probably need to check your pulse.
I don’t support death penalties, but I’ve known many who do.
It’s not much different than ‘murder’ in my eyes. I have often seen a positive correlation between conservatives and the support for it… the more conservative often are in favour of death penalties and the more pious are, too.
You’ll want to read the rest of this post about morality. This is the first of three items in this carnival that address this issue.
Nearly every atheist has heard the question from the religious, “if you don’t believe in god, then what’s stopping you from just killing people?” The frightening thought is that god belief apparently is the only thing keeping someone who asks such a question from perhaps killing you or me.
Read the rest of Philly’s post to find out what else he has to say about religion and morality.
Jim Linville brings a pair of posts to us today. In the first one, which concludes our focus on morality, Biblical Ethics, oops, the lack thereof: Davies and Dawkins, posted at Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop & Tea Room, he explores several intriguing questions, such as:
Why do people believe in such nasty gods? For scholars of religion, this is a vitally important question, and I think that The God Delusion would have been a lot better book had its author wrestled with the question in a serious way.
Go read what Jim has to say about Philip Davies, Richard Dawkins, the Old Testament and morality. You’re in for an interesting read.
In his second carnival submission, Jim departs from the theme of morality and presents Atheology, Atheist Theology, Atheist Religious Studies. In pondering what atheists who study religion should call themselves, he says,
I think that atheists should not label themselves “atheologists”, but here we come to the question that Brady, Boer and MfMarx wrestled with, should an atheist describe her or himself as a “theologian”?
As you can see from this quote, Jim’s post considers the issue of atheist terminology from a perspective that atheists often overlook; it’s worth a read.
Allow me to lay it out as simply as I can. It is my view that religion and science are incompatible in a very specific and important way.
I know you’ll want to read the rest of his post – that opening is irresistible.
Finally, my contribution to this week’s carnival is the fourth installment of my Atheist Inspiration series. In this post, I looked at a passage from David Eller’s fine book, Natural Atheism, in which he tackled the question of the relationship between science and atheism. My response to Eller’s passage includes the following:
I know many believers try to combine faith and reason, and some do it in far more sophisticated ways than others. But, the degree to which faith is required to sustain religious belief is the degree to which religious belief is unreasoned.
I hope that tidbit inspires you to read the whole post.
That concludes the Summer’s End edition of the Carnival of the Godless. Thank you for reading and please consider submitting one of your blog articles to the next edition by using our carnival submission form. Equally importantly, please consider hosting a carnival in the future. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
– the chaplain