Skeptic Gal and Logic Lad

Superheroes who answer the call of irrational debates and emotional spats everywhere. Correcting faulty logic and bad arguments in an effort to make the world a better, more rational place to live, love and disagree--respectfully.

Following the Evidence of Man-Made Religion

When people ask why I'm an atheist, I often say it's because there is no evidence for the existence of a supernatural god or gods. But that really only tells half the story. The other important piece of my reasoning is that the evidence we do have about religion shows that it is man-made.

Early religions filled a void

From our earliest ancestors, evidence shows that human beings have used religion as a way to make sense of the world around them. Creation myths tell the story of how the world (life, universe, etc.) began, while other stories explain various natural "mysteries" such as the movement of tides, solar eclipses, foodborne diseases, droughts, illnesses, and successful or failed crop production. Things that we can now easily explain through science.

How the Duggar Scandal Could Be a Rallying Cry

With media coverage of the Duggar scandal expanding, there is plenty of schadenfreude to go around. It's hard to resist feeling a bit smug, or somehow vindicated, when someone who discriminates against others loses their credibility. On the other side, some steadfast supporters--like POTUS-hopeful Mike Huckabee--are digging in with their own reasons for defending the Duggar family.

The resulting media coverage has focused largely on whether Josh Duggar can, or should, be forgiven. But by turning this into a matter of conservative vs. liberal (or Christian vs. atheist) viewpoints we're missing an opportunity to deal with an issue that affects all of us, regardless of politics or religion.

Responding to "I'll Pray for You"

As an atheist, I don't particularly like to hear "I'll pray for you" or "You're in my prayers" but, when it is a sincere expression of sympathy, I'm grateful for the kindness behind the words. It's the other "I'll pray for you," the one that silently adds because you are an atheist who is going to burn in hell, that offends me.

Let's consider these two general expressions separately.

What Counts as a Bible?

Author of the Brick Bible, Brendan Powell Smith, has just announced that she is transgender. She has changed her legal name to Elbe Spurling and her legal gender to female. Her story of acceptance and pride is nice to hear and I wish her all the best for continued happiness.

The interesting thing (to me) about the comments on her announcement is that several people are upset, not about the trans issue, but because she also said that she is an atheist. It turns out that they were buying the Brick Bible for their kids and are upset to learn that it was written by someone who doesn't believe in god.