Herb Silverman is a native of Philadelphia. He received his Ph.D.
in mathematics from Syracuse University and has been a Professor
of Mathematics at the College of Charleston since 1976. He has
published over 100 research papers in mathematics journals, and
is also the recipient of the Distinguished Research Award.
the 1990s, after learning that atheists were ineligible, by law,
to hold elected office in South Carolina, he ran for office and
pursued overturning the law in court, succeeding with this effort
after a eight-year battle and a unanimous decision by the South
Carolina Supreme Court. He currently serves as President of the
Secular Coalition for America, and publishes, lectures, and debates.
He has also published a chapter entitled "Inerrancy Turned
Political" in The Fundamentals of Extremism.
coined a more inclusive term, Functional Atheist: One who acts
as if there is no god. These are people who do the right thing
because it's the right thing to do, not because of future rewards
or punishments. This would include deists and most Unitarians."
of us grew up learning that it was rude to discuss politics, sex,
and religion. Politics and sex are certainly no longer taboo,
but criticizing a person's faith is still socially unacceptable.
It's considered virtuous just to have religious faith, meaning
a conviction that can't be shaken by contrary evidence. Why should
we automatically show reverence to someone of great faith? Respect
for religious faith, whatever that faith might be, plays an important
role in perpetuating human conflict. We must not be so open-minded
that our brains fall out."