Showing posts from February, 2015

Let it be (Beatles cover)

Here is one of my all time favorite song covers done to my favorite Beatles song.

A Message from a "Loving" Christian

A person who hides behind the pseudonym Smokey McBongwater sent me this lovely message today: "Tristan Vick you are these things: Filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful. In fact you rejoice the fact that one of your fellow Atheists murdered three innocent Muslims. In truth you support the Atheist called the Chapel Hill Shooter because you support this sin of murder that he committed because not only will you do the same, but you take pleasure in him that did this evil as well." ***For the record, I have made no public comment at all about the Chapel Hill shooting / tragedy. I'll let the petty, spiteful, hate-filled, demeaning, and judgmental atti

The People Have Spoken! (The Advocatus Atheist book cover winner)

Edward T. Babinski, Mike Doolittle (aka The A-Unicornist) and a hand full of other friends were critiquing my book cover designs over on Facebook as I posted them. They all agreed that a personal cover that would signify atheism isn't just some cold and detached philosophical view but a personal and relatable ideology was in order. Atheists are people too, after all. So, finally I made one using my big ugly mug--and they loved it. I guess its looking as though this will be the cover (it won the informal voting contest I held on FB). When a dozen or so people all vote for it and none of my other covers get a vote... that says something to me about which cover people will most likely stop to look at on the store shelf. And if I want to sell books, well, I better listen to what the people want. The people have spoken. But.... wait.... for it. UPDATE! This morning a got a message from a higher authority. In this case, a professional artist. He said stick with the

Never satisfied #2: The Advocatus Atheist Book (Update)

It was suggested by a couple of people that the bridge image was too busy and a little jittery for the eyes. Although I personally liked it, I could see how some would definitely find it too much. So I went and scrounged up another, softer image. Hey, don't say I never listen to constructive criticism. Now, as I compare the two images side by side, I see they were right. This image is much softer, much nicer on the eyes, and would look beautiful as a paperback book on a shelf.

Never Satisfied! (Re-did The Swedish Fish cover)

I wasn't entirely satisfied with the Swedish Fish cover. Something about the balance, the resolution, the font choices... whatever it was... it just wasn't clicking in my mind. Every time I looked at it, I thought, it's almost something good. But it didn't have that little extra oomph needed to make it pop. So I tried some things, tweaked it, played with it a bit, and presto, poof , a much nicer cover!

Now We're Talking! (Advocatus Atheist: The Book)

I am going to have the E-book ready for a March 1st release. Stay tuned for updates on that and the eventual paperback release!

A New Book ... Already?!

I was browsing through the few years of blog posts here at The Advocatus Atheist and felt they dovetailed nicely in terms of tone and style.  The subject matter is less about religious criticism and more about being self reflective. It reads somewhat as a memoir and something like a personal journal of my thoughts and opinions regarding a full range of topics.  Naturally, I thought it would be fun to put the best of the best over the past 3 years into a book and publish it just for the hell of it. Here's the mock cover I whipped up. I kind of like it. As for which essays and articles I chose to include, they are as follows: Preface Why Are Atheists So Angry?  Why I Ran Away from Christian Apologetics  Answering an Agnostic in Crisis  On Pro-Choice: Why It’s the Only Moral Choice  Belief Doth Compel Thee  Questions About God  On the Ben Affleck, Bill Maher, and Sam Harris Debate (Debacle)  To Whom It Offends  Ignosticism: A Short Recap (What do you m

Why are Atheists so Angry?

It's often said that atheists are angry. Especially the Internet "village atheist" sorts who gravitate toward certain firebrands and gather online to bash religion. I could see how that might make atheists appear angry. We're always so worked up about everything that we constantly need to vent. But maybe that's healthier than keeping it all inside? After all, many of us suffered decades of religion -- and some experienced genuine trauma and hardships -- so, I think it helps to talk about it. Such anger, the kind that lets us get it off our chests so we can begin the healing process, is a positive thing. It's how we cope with the psychological damage. In fact, I am personally still coping with how religion ruined my views of sex and relationships. It's not always an easy thing to get over. For a long time after my deconversion from Christianity, my family and friends (most of whom were highly religious) said I became overly argumentative and seemed a

Why I Ran Away from Christian Apologetics and Never Looked Back

One thing you may not know about me is that I trained to be a Christian apologist. My sophomore year of college I was enrolled in several theology classes, a few biblical history courses, and was in the process of switching my major to Religious Studies. Luckily one of my professors, a Professor of Religion, strongly urged me not to do it.  He said that in academia religious studies was already pretty much a dried up area of research -- that is, there was nothing new to learn. He added that there were virtually no job opportunities in the field apart from being a religious apologist, and he couldn't bare to see me waste my gift of words in such a way that I would never gain recognition for the talent he saw in me. I listened, because I really respected this teacher and his words of wisdom. He knew more about religion than anyone I've ever met, and he was telling me that if I became an apologist I would never reach my full potential. I'd get stuck rehashing the sam

QOTD: Procrastus

A commenter over at Debunking Christianity using the handle Procrastus paid me one of the best compliments I've ever recieved. " I read Vick's response to Rauser's book when he published it in serial format on his web site a year (?) or two (?) ago. Good stuff. He's got a penchant for taking complex philosophical concepts and explaining them in a way that's understandable to those of us who do not have PhDs in philosophy. I worked for 30 years in college textbook publishing and Vick is the kind of author we always looked for - someone who had an excellent grasp of the subject matter and could explain concepts in a clear and concise way that undergraduates, exposed to the discipline for the first time, could grasp. The "best" textbooks, as determined by which sold the most copies, were usually NOT written by the most famous researchers and academics in the field. Some of the best-sellers were written by people teaching at community colleges or average

The Swedish Fish: Chapter 13: Which Pill Will You Choose? The Red or the Blue?

13 Which Pill Will You Choose? The Red or the Blue? Our friend Sheridan, the quintessential atheist, posits that consciousness is a byproduct of neurons firing in the brain, like smoke is a byproduct of fire burning. Randal informs his atheist friend that epiphenomenalism isn’t so simple, and that it’s greatly complicated by “free will.” Before I get into chapter fourteen, “The Pastry I Freely Choose,” and Randal’s discussion on free will, let us just take a moment to reflect on the fact that traditional epiphenomenalism has largely been rejected. [1] The theory of mind and along with it the modern branches of cognitive science, including neuroscience, have mainly evolved out of our desire to tackle and answer this question. Meanwhile, free will is still nowhere near a given. At best, the existence of free will is still an open-ended debate. [2] Furthermore, it could be that both positions are mistaken, as the philosopher Daniel Dennett has cautioned in his boo

The Swedish Fish: Updated Bibliography

Here is the revised bibliography to  The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver and Working the Rabbit's Foot . If you catch any errors be sure to let me know asap so I can fix them. It's always difficult to do a book almost entirely on your own. But it's also highly rewarding. (And yes, I did read all of these books articles over the past several years. Some of them I read a while back, others I read specifically to do research on this book.) It's been a lot of long hours, but I can say that The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver and Working the Rabbit's Foot succeeds in presenting a charitable deconstruction of Randal Rauser's book The Swedish Atheist. In fact, nearly every chapter I found things to agree with Randal on, but I also found many things we disagreed on. I was sure to point them out and then explain why I disagreed. I can't say I beat him on every point, but I just leave it to the reader to decide who they think made the stronge