An Atheist Reads The Book of Job: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

One of the great questions of humanity is why do good things happen to bad people? Why is there war, famine and genocide? Why are rich and powerful people often dishonest and criminal? Why do innocent people suffer poverty and disease? Why are terrible injustices often unpunished? These are questions that have challenged humans throughout history and many religions and philosophers have struggled to answer. The Book of Job is dedicated to discussing this question and to my surprise it is actually entertaining. Continue reading

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Why We Need The European Union

In two weeks time, Britain will vote on whether or not it will leave the European Union, a major decision which could have wide reaching ramifications. Even though as an Irish citizen I cannot vote, the decision will have a large impact on both Ireland and myself. Leaving aside the specifics of Brexit (whether Britain could still have access to the common market and whether it would still be bound by EU regulations) and political ironies (the same people who opposed Scottish independence are making essentially the same agreement in support of leaving the EU) I think it’s worthwhile to discuss the EU as an institution in general and consider whether it is beneficial or not. Continue reading

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My Life As An Esperanto Volunteer

During Christmas, I returned home and met some friends who asked I’m up to nowadays. “Well,” I said, “I’m working in an Esperanto office.” They didn’t believe it. What is Esperanto? Why would anyone want to speak it? Is it some sort of cult? Why don’t you just speak English, the language that everyone speaks? Is Esperanto even a real language? Have I lost my mind? Continue reading

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An Atheist Reads The Book of Esther: Treat Others As They Would Treat You

The book of Esther is a short book and a quick read (which is a big plus when reading the Bible). Interestingly, it is one of the few books not set in Israel and one of the only that doesn’t mention God. In contrast to almost every other story in the Bible, God doesn’t actually do anything in Esther, instead the approach is very humanist, the people must solve their own problems. In fact, God isn’t even mentioned in the book! Continue reading

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An Atheist Reads The Bible: The Importance Of Racial Purity

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are rather dull books, focusing mainly on administration. They are very short and not much really happens in them, but they are important milestones. The book of Kings ends with the destruction of Israel and the deportation of the Israelites, so it is natural that these books cover their return from exile. They also mark the end of the “historical” section of the Old Testament (even if it was riddled with inaccuracies) and the shift towards the speeches and poems of prophets. Continue reading

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Could Gary Johnson Be Relevant in 2016?

It’s not easy being part of a third party in America, the electoral system strongly discourages more than two parties, so most people don’t even know that there are other parties let alone their polices. In 2012, the Libertarian nominee for President, Gary Johnson, got 1% of the vote and considered this a success. Yet there is talk that this year could be different, that the polls indicate this time the Libertarians will have a breakout success. While Johnson obviously won’t win, perhaps this year the Libertarians will gain national significance and even swing the election. Continue reading

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An Atheist Reads The Book of Chronicles: The Most Unnecessary Book In The Bible

To be honest, I don’t see the point of the first and second book of Chronicles. Sure I don’t have much respect for the rest of the Bible, but these two books are particularly pointless. Not because the stories are any worse than the other parts, but because we’ve already heard them. The Book of Chronicles is just a summary of the Books of Samuel and Kings, like those old tv shows that would take clips from old episodes and combine them together to make a “new” episode. Continue reading

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