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This Week in Atheism 2018–09–02


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/09/02

“LOS ANGELES — At 59, Emma Thompson continues to shine as one of the finest actors of her generation. In “The Children Act,” director Richard Eyre’s film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name, Emma plays a judge in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Fiona Maye, who must decide a case involving a teenage boy, Adam Henry (Fionn Whitehead), and his parents who are refusing a blood transfusion on religious principle.

Emma tackles the role, complicated by the judge’s crumbling marriage as she decides on the difficult case involving a young man’s life, with depth and intelligence.

The English actress is further challenged by the fact that she has to sing and play the piano live in the movie.”


“This is from a few years back but deserves a repost because there is some debate going on here about how to define “atheism” and how I define it. Here goes…

I was recently sent a book to review, by Franz Kiekeben, called The Truth About God which is a whistlestop tour, I think, through atheism and counter-apologetics to arrive at the conclusion not that God is improbable, but that God is impossible. I will be interested to see where that goes (click on the image to buy it).

Why I mention this is that I am pleased the author started off the book by briefly sketching out the different ways of seeing atheism and stating that there is a modern trend to defining atheism as a lack of belief in God. This is something upon which I have commented in various places before, and something which I feel quite strongly about.”


“I have no wish to insert myself into the back and forth between Kenneth Kully and Doris Wrench Eisler, but I do want to correct a couple of mistakes and false assertions in Mr Kully’s letter, “Real Morality — Loving Your Enemies And Helping Them — Is A Radical Concept,” Aug. 22 — including the lazy and tiresome trope of conflating secularism and atheism with the atrocities of communist and totalitarian regimes, and the actual meanings of “atheism” and “secularism.”

“Atheism” is a position that there are no gods. That’s it. Atheism does not speak to whether religion is good or bad. Whether we should have religion or not have religion. There is no dogma. No call to action. No behaviours that must be adhered to. It is simply a position that there are no gods.

“Secularism” is the assertion that the state should be neutral on matters of religion. Not for religion. Not against religion. Simply that “the true neutrality of the state presupposes abstention in the matter of spirituality.” That isn’t just my opinion. That is the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in its 2015 Saguenay ruling — and it’s exactly this position on secularism that PROTECTS religious freedom.”


“Should atheists engage in proselytization? I solicited questions about my philosophy of atheism on Facebook and that’s the topic of the first question:

Do you think trying to “convert” people to atheism is a good idea generally or at least sometimes?

I don’t think atheism is something you “convert” to. Atheism is just one philosophical position, not an entire system of beliefs or anything like the complex set of beliefs and practices and communities that religions involve. There are religions that are atheistic and there are people with a (metaphorically) religious zeal about their atheism. There can also be atheist philosophies and communities that are not exactly religions but to one degree or another developed and organized and defined alternatives to religions.

But the real question being asked in the prompt question is whether it’s a good idea to try to get people to become atheists.”


“Dear Christians, here is how to prove God’s existence to an atheist.

In a recent Facebook video, a Christian speaker, author and apologist named Frank Turek argues that atheists are stealing their reasoning from God.

He explains that the common arguments used by unbelievers are all based on things created by God, adding that this proves that they fundamentally wrong.

Proof of God’s existence

Turek goes on to use a simple acronym: CRIMES to make his case. C stands for Casualty, R for Reason, I represents Information and Intentionality, M is for Morality, E for Evil while S stands for Science.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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