Satan is Good, God is Bad: our shifting moral compass and why atheists are throwing the Devil under the bus

I went to Skepticon 5 expecting a group of heretics that would get a kick out of my inversed reading of Milton's Paradise Lost, which claims that Satan is the hero of the story (which was actually the mainstream reading before it became the "mistaken reading", and is now coming into vogue again by top Milton scholars). I was surprised to find that Satan makes atheists uncomfortable. Atheists already have a huge image/perception problem, with the ...

$50 Blasphemous Halloween Costume Contest for Atheists and Heretics: What are you Wearing?

Halloween is for everybody, but it seems like atheists and non-religious people would particularly enjoy dressing up as devils, monsters and witches (role-modelling their true heroes on the only socially acceptable day for it). It's also an opportunity, depending on your level of daring, to make a funny, obnoxious or controversial irreligious statement with a loud costume choice. But what are you going to wear? I searched for Atheist Halloween ideas for awhile but couldn't find ...

Is Kevin Costner an Atheist? The Religious Implications of the History Channel’s “Hatfields and McCoys”

Is Kevin Costner an Atheist? This thought crossed my mind a few times while watching the History Channel's 3 part special "Hatfields and McCoys". While based on a historical family feud, a few key themes in the plot and dialogue seemed specifically focused on the relationship between violence and religion. So what exactly does the mini-series have to say about religious belief? Let's find out. Kevin Costner plays Anse Hatfield, opposite Bill Paxton who plays Randall McCoy. The ...

Guy Fawkes is Satan: The Truth About Anonymous and the Digital Revolution

I'm surprised I didn't see it before. I've been working on a research book about Satan as a revolutionary hero: a tradition of liberal rebellion against totalizing and corrupt government, starting from Prometheus, going through Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, the Modernist and Romantic Movements, ending in today's Super Heroes. I've already considered contemporary revolutions as part of this same tradition: I can prove that The American Revolution, the Free Rights, Gender Equality, Racial Tolerance and all ...

The Poetry of Atheism: Emily Dickinson Celebrates International Blasphemy Day

Oops, it's 2:56AM here in Taiwan and I was just reminded that September 30th is International Blasphemy Day. Luckily, since most of the world is half a day behind, I still have time. I decided to celebrate by dusting off this post about Emily Dickinson I've been meaning to publish for about a year. It vexes me to see Christians and other religious people quote Emily Dickinson's Poetry in support of their faith, when she spent ...

Red Lights Review 2012: Simon Magus confronts Doubting Thomas about Paranormal Phenomenon

"I just need to know how he does it." This is the consuming passion of Psychologist Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) as she investigates a world-renowned blind psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro), who has resurfaced after decades for a final appearance. The movie builds and builds, with supernatural attacks leading up to the death of Margaret. Her partner Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) takes over the case, determined to solve the mystery. "Forget about Silver, there are certain things it's ...

Sound of my Voice 2012: Christianity is a Cult, is Jesus a Fraud?

If you need a mystery to solve itself by wrapping up all loose ends, you might not like Sound of my Voice, the new movie directed by Britt Marling, who also plays the main role as Maggie -- a time traveler from the future sent back to save the ones she loves from the coming economic and ecological collapse. The plot follows Lorna and Peter, a young couple determined to do something important with their lives, ...

Why the End of the World Makes us Feel So Good: Revolution Season Premiere vs Hunger Games

Procrastinating from work (which I always feel to be a colossal waste of my life, yet necessary to prolong it in comfort) I downloaded the Series Premiere of a new TV show called "Revolution". It's just beginning. It shows a modern family: toddler playing with an Ipad, daughter zoned out watching cartoons on a plasma screen, mother on her phone with daddy, and another pair of guys driving and sexting someone. Suddenly, all the power goes ...

The Other Side of Evil: The Truth about the Fall of Lucifer and the Tyranny of Heaven

Several months ago I stumbled across a book on Amazon. A mediocre cover, no reviews, but I flipped through it and it caught my interest: speeches by Satan defending himself, a topic close to my heart (and my research). This week, stalling on some other projects and feeling inexplicably lazy, I spent most of my time on my antique oriental couch absorbed in what turned out to be one of the greatest books I've read, ...

How to Profit From the Coming Rapture

I started writing this post a couple years ago as a response to a very silly book called "How to Profit from the coming Rapture". Here's the description: "Taking the familiar form of a how-to investment guide, HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE COMING RAPTURE instructs those readers who will certainly be left behind (Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, less ardent Protestants, and many more) on how to exploit the inevitable demise of the world in order ...

Is Diablo III the Bible of our Times? How Video Games are “Corrupting” our Youth

Stories have always had the magical power to give our lives meaning and perspective. Stories about how the world was created, why there is evil in the world, why we should be good even when no one is watching, and what happens after death. Around 2,000 years ago, some guys cobbled together a book of recycled pagan stories and pinned it to a Jewish cosmology of Good and Evil, resulting in the Christian Bible. Good people ...

How a beautiful book cover made me a “hater of Christ”

I wish Christian books came with warning labels. I had a strange experience recently. I downloaded a book and hated it so much that I had to get out of bed and write a scathing review, starting with the title "How did this trash get on my Kindle." Since I rarely write reviews, and even then feel bad giving less than 3 stars, what did this book do to piss me off? I've discovered that bad reviews are ...