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...]

Disambiguating Faith: Naturalism, Materialism, Empiricism, And Wrong, Weak, And Unsupported Beliefs Are All Not Necessarily Faith Positions

Here at Camels With Hammers Eric Steinhart recently accused popular atheism with being guilty of faith in versions of naturalism, materialism, and empiricism on the grounds that their particular positions are “based on  weak arguments or no arguments at all”. But believing a position based on a weak argument is not the same thing as believing [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...]

Disambiguating Faith: Why You Cannot Prove Inductive Reasoning Is Faith-Based Reasoning But Instead Only Assert That By Faith

In the comments section of a post I asserted that, “We can say we know induction works to a high degree of certainty.” James Sweet, of No Jesus, No Peas, responds: How do we know that? The only reasons I can come up with rely either on inductive reasoning — circular argument. Remember also that [Read More...]

On Zealously, Tentatively, and Perspectivally Holding Viewpoints

In a recent post, I wrote the following: Changing people’s minds to make them stop holding positions dogmatically and instead hold them tentatively is still a change of mind one may zealously pursue. On Facebook, Greg writes in reply: I want to address the peculiarity of this statement. One may passionately pursue such a change [Read More...]

The Flexibility of the Word “Evangelical”

In a previous post, I conceded that it was acceptable to call at least some activist atheists like me “evangelical atheists” on some possible senses of the word “evangelical”.  Greg wanted to say that this could not be so because all that atheists do (or should) advocate is tentative, skeptical empiricism, and that we do not (or should [Read More...]

Is it Too Risky to Debate Morality’s Foundations in the Public Square?

Jean Kazez argues that the public square is not the place for atheists to be arguing that science and religion are incompatible. I strongly reject her position on this point because not only do I believe that ordinary people are quite capable of handling a vigorous, no-holds-barred debate about religion but because I believe the [Read More...]

Defending The Apparent Truth Of Evolution’s Mindlessness

Last Christmas Eve, I argued that the belief that God “guided evolution” was not a rationally respectable way to reconcile science with faith but rather it was essentially an effective denial of the theory of natural selection, in its scientifically explanatory sense. Part of the revolutionary character of the discovery of evolution by natural selection [Read More...]


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