What kind of people are atheists? Behind the scenes at an atheist conference

I got up early the second day of the conference, took a coffee and a pastry from the hotel lobby, and headed to the convention hall in Springfield Missouri. There was a large crowd outside today. I smiled, eager to meet new friends - until I realized they were Christian protesters. Skepticon describes itself as the "Largest Free Conference on Skepticism" in the nation, and it has been a well-known atheist convention for several years. I'd flown ...

Stairway to heaven: cosmetologist becomes Taoist master after climbing sword ladder

Taoism is one of the religions I appreciate. From the Lao Tzu's tao-te-ching we get pearls of wisdom like "Those who know do not speak, those who speak, do not know" and "Even a 1,000 mile journey starts with a single step" - what's not to like? So I was a bit disappointed when I saw this ridiculous headline on the front of the Taipei Times: Sword ladder makes cosmetologist a Taoist master (登一百零八層劍梯 美容師順利考取法師) Apparently the Beitian Temple in Hualien County’s ...

Satan’s Moral Development: making sense of Milton’s Paradise Lost through the lens of modern theory

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ABSTRACT: Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost (1667), was originally interpreted as in line with traditional Christian themes; a moral piece of literature with the final conclusion that Satan (and man) must submit to the absolute authority of God. Near the end of the 18th century, William Blake challenged this view, relating Milton’s personification of Satan to Prometheus as a creature of nobility, righteously seeking justice and freedom. Later humanists followed Blake in claiming that Milton, ...