Jim Downard

Jim Downard is a Spokane native (with a sojourn in Southern California back in the early 1960s) who was raised in a secular family, so says had no personal faith to lose. He's always been a history and science buff (getting a bachelor's in the former area at what was then Eastern Washington University in the early 1970s).

A secular guide to favorite classic holiday films

There is a long tradition of reflecting the Christmas holiday season in film, and why not? The festivity of it acts as a reminder of not only what we want to be but what we are not, the often ironic disjunction between the upbeat celebratory character of the season and the often melancholy realities of life.

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Ask An Atheist: How can an atheist judge someone as good or evil?

The natural world doesn't have morality. Just as the iceberg the Titanic slammed into had no intention to cause trouble for the ocean liner's passengers, no matter how creepy it may seem to us (as beings capable of moral perception and reasoning) a parasitical wasp injecting its young to feed on a paralyzed host grub isn't doing "good" or "evil" in that action, it's just being a wasp, no more conscious of its actions that your toaster browning an English muffin.

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Ask an Atheist: Is atheism a faith?

From a nonbeliever's perspective, it is the absence of strong "proof" of a particular religion's truth that is the problem. At no time have I ever received a revelation from non-god to declare that non-god doesn't exist. So one can ask why the atheist doesn't find the "proofs" of a particular god persuasive (and hence the reason for not believing in it).

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