My Top 10 Atheist Blogs

by Luke Muehlhauser on June 25, 2010 in General Atheism,Resources

Redated from Feb. 6th, 2009.

Daniel Florien at Unreasonable Faith posted his top 30 atheist/agnostic/skeptic blogs. I’d like to post my own favorites.

I have specific criteria. My favorite atheist blogs:

  • post often about atheism, not how their holiday went or what their cat just did
  • write substantive articles, not just write quick thoughts or links to atheist cartoons
  • are generally smart and well-informed

Also, this is not a one-time list. I will update this list as blogs die or get crappy, or as I discover new ones. So if you think your blog matches the criteria, please post a link to it and I’ll skim it over for consideration.

So without further ado, here are my Top 10 Atheist Blogs (give or take a few):

  1. Atheist Ethicist (sample: What if there were a God?)
    Alonzo Fyfe might be the clearest, most careful thinker in the atheist blogosphere today. He’s a great writer, and may have made a huge contribution to ethical philosophy with desire utilitarianism (aka desirism).
  2. Former Fundy (sample: The Teachings of Jesus Contradict Penal Substitionary Theory)
    Former fundamentalist Ken Pulliam examines Christian theology with a Ph.D. and a laser eye.
  3. Atheism: Proving the Negative (sample: 100 Reasons to Disbelieve)
    Philosopher Matt McCormick puts a great deal of work into each thoughtful post, and it shows.
  4. Epiphenom (sample: What’s the connection between religion and homophobia?)
    Tom Rees reports on the latest research into why people believe in gods.
  5. Rationally Speaking (sample: How to Want to Change Your Mind)
    Philosopher and scientist Massimo Pigliucci brings the reason.
  6. Greta Christina (sample: Atheists and Anger)
    Smart, well-written, substantive articles that cover almost every topic on atheism. Always a joy.
  7. Daylight Atheism (sample: Ten Questions to Ask your Pastor)
    The legendary Ebonmuse puts out an amazing amount of high-quality content on everything atheistic, including recent news.
  8. Debunking Christianity (sample: The Darwinian Problem of Evil)
    The blog of atheist author John Loftus, a former Christian apologist.
  9. Vridar (sample: What Josephus might have said about the gospels)
    Excellent original articles on biblical studies, religion, and ethics, from a naturalist’s perspective.
  10. Dwindling in Unbelief (sample: Who has killed more, Satan or God?)
    Steve Wells, author of the amazing Skeptic’s Annotate Bible, offers acute skeptical analysis of the Bible.

Special mention to The Prosblogion, which is not an atheism blog but a high-quality philosophy of religion blog. Also, special mention to ex-apologist, who only occasionally writes substantive blog posts, but whose every post is a treasure trove of links on contemporary philosophy of religion.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt McCormick March 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Thanks for the acknowledgment.

MM
Atheism: Proving the Negative
http://www.atheismblog.blogspot.com

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Robert July 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Hey, thanks for the nod! Just found out today about this list :)

Robert – Making My Way blog

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lukeprog July 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Keep up the good work, Robert.

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Stephen August 16, 2009 at 3:46 am

Just setup a blog last night. Check it out.

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Scott December 2, 2009 at 12:55 am

Excellent list – I just wish they weren’t all so damn technical. I’m far behind in my philosophizing.

For a good comedic atheist website, try http://www.thegoodatheist.net/. They take the idea of mocking religion pretty far, and it’s often good for a few laughs. Not the deepest blog around, but funny.

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Rachelle December 2, 2009 at 8:59 am

Can I steal Stephen Robert’s quote up above??? So perfect.

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lukeprog December 2, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Rachelle,

But of course! I stole it in the first place!

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Sabio Lantz December 5, 2009 at 1:23 am

Hey, thanks for the mention Luke — glad you enjoy.
Here is a selfish request: Why not put your top sites list in your sidebar. And you might want to make a little emblem we could put on our site that links to yours.

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abdullah islam May 7, 2010 at 10:37 am

ALLAH SHOW HIS BLESSINGS MERCY AND PEACE ON YOU ALL
IF YOU KINDLY READ THIS,SO I THINK IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

CONGRATULATING AN ATHEIST
Normally, when I meet an atheist, the first thing I like to do is to congratulate him and say, ” My special congratulations to you”, because most of the people who believe in God are doing blind belief – he is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; he is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him.

My Muslim brothers may question me, “Zakir, why are you congratulating an atheist?” The reason that I am congratulating an atheist is because he agrees with the first part of the Shahada i.e. the Islamic Creed, ‘La ilaaha’ – meaning ‘there is no God’.

So half my job is already done; now the only part left is ‘il lallah’ i.e. ‘BUT ALLAH’ which I shall do Insha Allah. With others (who are not atheists) I have to first remove from their minds the wrong concept of God they may have and then put the correct concept of one true God.
LOGICAL CONCEPT OF GOD

My first question to the atheist will be: “What is the definition of God?” For a person to say there is no God, he should know what is the meaning of God. If I hold a book and say that ‘this is a pen’, for the opposite person to say, ‘it is not a pen’, he should know what is the definition of a pen, even if he does not know nor is able to recognise or identify the object I am holding in my hand. For him to say this is not a pen, he should at least know what a pen means. Similarly for an atheist to say ‘there is no God’, he should at least know the concept of God. His concept of God would be derived from the surroundings in which he lives. The god that a large number of people worship has got human qualities – therefore he does not believe in such a god. Similarly a Muslim too does not and should not believe in such false gods.

If a non-Muslim believes that Islam is a merciless religion with something to do with terrorism; a religion which does not give rights to women; a religion which contradicts science; in his limited sense that non-Muslim is correct to reject such Islam. The problem is he has a wrong picture of Islam. Even I reject such a false picture of Islam, but at the same time, it becomes my duty as a Muslim to present the correct picture of Islam to that non-Muslim i.e. Islam is a merciful religion, it gives equal rights to the women, it is not incompatible with logic, reason and science; if I present the correct facts about Islam, that non-Muslim may Inshallah accept Islam.

Similarly the atheist rejects the false gods and the duty of every Muslim is to present the correct concept of God which he shall Insha Allah not refuse.

(You may refer to my article, ‘Concept of God in Islam’, for more details)

QUR’AN AND MODERN SCIENCE

The methods of proving the existence of God with usage of the material provided in the ‘Concept of God in Islam’ to an atheist may satisfy some but not all.

Many atheists demand a scientific proof for the existence of God. I agree that today is the age of science and technology. Let us use scientific knowledge to kill two birds with one stone, i.e. to prove the existence of God and simultaneously prove that the Qur’an is a revelation of God.

If a new object or a machine, which no one in the world has ever seen or heard of before, is shown to an atheist or any person and then a question is asked, ” Who is the first person who will be able to provide details of the mechanism of this unknown object? After little bit of thinking, he will reply, ‘the creator of that object.’ Some may say ‘the producer’ while others may say ‘the manufacturer.’ What ever answer the person gives, keep it in your mind, the answer will always be either the creator, the producer, the manufacturer or some what of the same meaning, i.e. the person who has made it or created it. Don’t grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.

SCIENTIFIC FACTS MENTIONED IN THE QUR’AN: for details on this subject please refer to my book, ‘THE QUR’AN AND MODERN SCIENCE – COMPATIBLE OR INCOMPATIBLE?

THEORY OF PROBABILITY

In mathematics there is a theory known as ‘Theory of Probability’. If you have two options, out of which one is right, and one is wrong, the chances that you will chose the right one is half, i.e. one out of the two will be correct. You have 50% chances of being correct. Similarly if you toss a coin the chances that your guess will be correct is 50% (1 out of 2) i.e. 1/2. If you toss a coin the second time, the chances that you will be correct in the second toss is again 50% i.e. half. But the chances that you will be correct in both the tosses is half multiplied by half (1/2 x 1/2) which is equal to 1/4 i.e. 50% of 50% which is equal to 25%. If you toss a coin the third time, chances that you will be correct all three times is (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2) that is 1/8 or 50% of 50% of 50% that is 12½%.

A dice has got six sides. If you throw a dice and guess any number between 1 to 6, the chances that your guess will be correct is 1/6. If you throw the dice the second time, the chances that your guess will be correct in both the throws is (1/6 x 1/6) which is equal to 1/36. If you throw the dice the third time, the chances that all your three guesses are correct is (1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6) is equal to 1/216 that is less than 0.5 %.

Let us apply this theory of probability to the Qur’an, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Qur’an which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct.

At the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.

The light of the moon can be its own light or a reflected light. The Qur’an rightly says it is a reflected light. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/2 and the probability that both the guesses i.e the earth is spherical and the light of the moon is reflected light is 1/30 x 1/2 = 1/60.

Further, the Qur’an also mentions every living thing is made of water. Every living thing can be made up of either wood, stone, copper, aluminum, steel, silver, gold, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, oil, water, cement, concrete, etc. The options are say about 10,000. The Qur’an rightly says that everything is made up of water. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/10,000 and the probability of all the three guesses i.e. the earth is spherical, light of moon is reflected light and everything is created from water being correct is 1/30 x 1/2 x 1/10,000 = 1/60,000 which is equal to about .0017%.

The Qur’an speaks about hundreds of things that were not known to men at the time of its revelation. Only in three options the result is .0017%. I leave it upto you, to work out the probability if all the hundreds of the unknown facts were guesses, the chances of all of them being correct guesses simultaneously and there being not a single wrong guess. It is beyond human capacity to make all correct guesses without a single mistake, which itself is sufficient to prove to a logical person that the origin of the Qur’an is Divine.

CREATOR IS THE AUTHOR OF THE QUR’AN

The only logical answer to the question as to who could have mentioned all these scientific facts 1400 years ago before they were discovered, is exactly the same answer initially given by the atheist or any person, to the question who will be the first person who will be able to tell the mechanism of the unknown object. It is the ‘CREATOR’, the producer, the Manufacturer of the whole universe and its contents. In the English language He is ‘God’, or more appropriate in the Arabic language, ‘ALLAH’.

QUR’AN IS A BOOK OF SIGNS AND NOT SCIENCE

Let me remind you that the Qur’an is not a book of Science, ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ but a book of Signs ‘S-I-G-N-S’ i.e. a book of ayaats. The Qur’an contains more than 6,000 ayaats, i.e. ‘signs’, out of which more than a thousand speak about Science. I am not trying to prove that the Qur’an is the word of God using scientific knowledge as a yard stick because any yardstick is supposed to be more superior than what is being checked or verified. For us Muslims the Qur’an is the Furqan i.e. criteria to judge right from wrong and the ultimate yardstick which is more superior to scientific knowledge.

But for an educated man who is an atheist, scientific knowledge is the ultimate test which he believes in. We do know that science many a times takes ‘U’ turns, therefore I have restricted the examples only to scientific facts which have sufficient proof and evidence and not scientific theories based on assumptions. Using the ultimate yardstick of the atheist, I am trying to prove to him that the Qur’an is the word of God and it contains the scientific knowledge which is his yardstick which was discovered recently, while the Qur’an was revealed 1400 year ago. At the end of the discussion, we both come to the same conclusion that God though superior to science, is not incompatible with it.

SCIENCE IS ELIMINATING MODELS OF GOD BUT NOT GOD

Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher, has rightly said that a little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God. Scientists today are eliminating models of God, but they are not eliminating God. If you translate this into Arabic, it is La illaha illal la, There is no god, (god with a small ‘g’ that is fake god) but God (with a capital ‘G’).

Surah Fussilat:

“Soon We will show them our signs in the (farthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?”

[Al-Quran 41:53]

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matth June 26, 2010 at 1:44 am

you continue to impress with your links to great content, still making my way through your favorite podcast post, philosophy bites has been very satisfying

keep up the great work, it is appreciated

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lukeprog June 26, 2010 at 1:48 am

Thanks, matth!

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Tyson koska June 26, 2010 at 4:47 am

Since I know you must probably read a lot of religious blogs as well, you should post a list of what you consider to be the best ones…. Although it’ll be importent to define what “best” means in this context :)

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Lorkas June 26, 2010 at 8:31 am

“The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.”

Sorry, but the Qur’an gets this one wrong. The Earth is not spherical, it’s a slightly asymmetrical oblate spheroid. Therefore, Allah does not exist. BOOYAH.

But seriously, we’ve all heard this argument about scientific facts in the Qur’an, and we’re unimpressed. Thanks for the congrats though. La ilaaha.

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ConsiderAtheism June 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

These are some good blogs! Hopefully one day I will get some acknowledgment. Baby steps, I guess.

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Ken Pulliam June 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Good list, Luke, but you left off my #1 atheist blog. It is done by a young man who has wisdom beyond his years.
CommonSenseAtheism

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lukeprog June 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Ken,

You are too kind. :)

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piero June 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Yes, CommonSenseAtheism ftw!

You also left out Abdullah Islam’s Islamic Research Foundation; I’m sure no other site has converted so many people to atheism.

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Rhys Wilkins June 27, 2010 at 12:10 am

piero,

What about Ray comfort’s Atheist Central? ;)

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Sabio Lantz June 27, 2010 at 12:50 am

Since this post has been updated, my above comment no longer applies. I got knocked off the list. No surprise. There are lots of fantastic sites up there — I shouldn’t have been on there the first time. It was a nice ride though. ;-)

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John W. Loftus June 27, 2010 at 5:32 am

For substantive posts see also Stephen Law’s Blog. Lately I find myself defending and promoting my books so I’m not surprised at my lower ranking as of this time. I too like Luke’s website very much! I subscribe to it. I’ll tell you this though, even though “The Friendly Atheist” doesn’t write many substantive posts he’s probably the premier atheist blogger right now and the hub for all things secular. If there’s a news story about atheism he’s on it. PZ Myers too. I don’t know how they keep up, I really don’t.

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piero June 27, 2010 at 8:01 am

Rhys:

What about Ray comfort’s Atheist Central? ;)

True. Maybe Luke should do a ranking of The 10 Most Effective Theistic Blogs in Turning People to Atheism.

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lukeprog June 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

Sabio,

You don’t write enough about atheism, anymore, to qualify. Still a good blog, just not on the subject relevant for this list!

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lukeprog June 27, 2010 at 11:33 am

piero,

Lol, that’s funny.

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Sabio Lantz June 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

You are right, Luke. My site is more of a Triangulation within the variety of mind spaces. Not-believing-in-YWHW is only a small part of that. But correct me if I am wrong, for even using your criteria of “post often about atheism” it seems your rubric’s specificity is a bit weak. For instance:

# 1. Atheist Ethicist posts far more on his ethical system than on Atheism per se.

# 2 & 8. Former Fundy & Debunking Christianity are combating one very specific theism.

Whereas I am an Atheist exploring many kinds Gods: varieties of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and hyper-rational Atheism. How does one post on Not-Believing? Smile! Either way, no matter what the rubric. The blogs on your top 10 are superb, and your blog is high in my “Educational Atheist” sites on my side bar.

But alas I am sad to have fallen of your anthropocentric list — after all, you only stopped at 10 because you have ten digits on your hands, no? (smile)

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reuben rebello November 21, 2010 at 10:20 am

all the so called gods were the greatest MAGICIANS of their times. i would say CRISS ANGEL&DAVID BLAINE are gods

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Mike Gage November 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I notice your blogs of choice have a very philosophical bent. I have an atheist blog and I’m a graduate student in philosophy, but I’ve found the more technical posts don’t receive as much readership. So I’ve kept it a bit pop. What are all of your thoughts on the in depth philosophical points which require some basic understanding of the literature versus engaging a general audience who have never heard of Plantinga nor care to? Of course you can give a crash course in your intro but that ignores the finer points.

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Luke Muehlhauser November 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Mike Gage,

That is a very hard thing! Wish I knew what the proper balance is.

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Richard Elliott April 13, 2011 at 4:42 am

Hey I have a philosophical poem. here : HUMANBEING
I’m a manifistion of a long forgotton diety .Yes I am the power that turns immagination to reallity .
Look into my eyes and you shall see oblivion.Yes I am the one who controlls the beging ,meddle,and the end.
Heros of the past and Heros of the now.
I gave them the power and I showed them how.
Do you see me as a God?
Or do you see me as a demon?
NO if you thought more clearly you would see I’m a HUMANBEING.
If everybody understood that they held the power maybe we could stop wasting all these percious hours on who is right and who is wrong, whos the real god and who don’t belong.
If we just opened our eyes we would see we’re the real GODS after all ……
The builders of our own REALITY.

written by Richard keith Elliott

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Citizen Atheist August 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Thank you for considering adding my blog to your top-10 list. The blog is new, but I’m very passionate and add new material as I discover new information.

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Ian Kahn September 20, 2011 at 12:43 am

Please check this link
and help me refute it logically
can the so called facts in this book can be really verified or rather preferentially nullified

http://www.booktalk.org/blogs/strangebook/2011/09/20/strange-book/

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rat November 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I don’t understand the necessity of trying to out atheist each other. I don’t think I have ever seriously believed so maybe it wasn’t such a traumatic big deal to make the transition. For those of you raised under the thumb of a well meaning fanatic I understand your joy at escaping.

I don’t argue or debate with anyone. Believer or non. I don’t care what they think and feel no responsibility to be their mentor while they make the transition from religious idiocy to sanity. My time is better spent finding new restaurants to enjoy and other forms of entertainment.

When you fanatically argue your non belief who are you really trying to convince. You know “I think thou dost protest to much”

the rat

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Atheist Crusader December 19, 2011 at 9:54 am

The blog The Absence of God, http://jesusmustbestopped.blogspot.com/ is my personal favorite. While they write 1 page articles, they are full of substance and always make good points. Their essays never feel repetitive and they keep their message simple, Religion is bad for the world.

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Joy R. Lynskey January 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Awesome list! This post actually drove me to make a blog for a very dear and very intelligent atheist friend! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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