Some Explanations for Our Universe

by Eric Steinhart The following is a quick-and-dirty survey of the current literature on explanations of our universe: It is widely thought that our universe is highly unusual. It has certain features that make it lovely. Note that the term “lovely” is merely a term of art. It has no connotations beyond designating that our [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: How Faith Poisons Religion

There are many wonderful parts of life that billions of people experience through a religious framework, at least partially to their benefit. Spiritual experiences mean a lot to many people and many people interpret their spiritual experience within the symbols, concepts, rituals, metaphysics, and community of their religious group. Rituals enrich people’s lives by giving [Read More...]

On the Dangers of Inflation

by Eric Steinhart It’s been great to get feedback from so many readers! I appreciate the time and effort you’ve taken here. One shared concern is that I’m trying to compel people to believe some abstruse doctrine. I’m not — at least not yet! All I’ve said so far is that an atheist has no [Read More...]

An Atheistic Evolutionary Metaphysics

by Eric Steinhart Here’s an argument for an evolutionary metaphysics: (1) Our universe is very complex and congenial (it is lawful; it starts in a low entropy state; its laws are finely tuned for the planetary evolution of life, etc.). (2) Anything that is very complex and congenial requires an explanation. (3) The best explanations [Read More...]

An Example of Atheist Faith

by Eric Steinhart Here’s a nice statement of atheistic faith by Carl Sagan: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” (1980: 1). Such a statement is as faith-based as any statement in the Bible or in Christian theology. After all, it’s just a mirror-image of the statement that God [Read More...]

Evolutionary Metaphysics is not Faith

by Eric Steinhart I’ve advanced this thesis in some previous posts: every question that used to be answered by appealing to God can be answered better by appealing to some form of evolution. It’s hard for me to understand why that slogan would be a matter of faith. The fact that some thesis is speculative [Read More...]

Contra-Steinhart: Why We Should Not Identify As "Evolutionists"

While I agree with Eric Steinhart’s claims that atheists need to take metaphysics seriously and while I would be open to considering evolutionary models for answering metaphysical, ethical, and cosmological questions if they are promising, below I am going to briefly surmise several serious reservations I have to Eric’s suggestions that we ditch the term [Read More...]

Why Atheists are Obligated to Hold Positive Speculative Beliefs

by Eric Steinhart Many atheists come to atheism through skepticism. And sometimes that skepticism is radical. It’s hostile to anything that doesn’t meet the alleged standards of our best science. It’s hostile to any theory that is merely speculative. Of course, to be consistent, these radical skeptics ought to apply their skepticism to themselves. If [Read More...]

On Evolutionary Atheism

by Eric Steinhart Here’s a nice way to deny theism by offering a positive alternative: Every question that used to be answered by appealing to God can be answered by appealing to some form of evolution. I doubt that any theists would agree with that statement. And it’s worth stressing that biological evolution by natural [Read More...]