A Critique of Noble Lies And The "Theologies" They Create

In this long post, I begin by explaining Plato’s formulation of the concept of a noble lie for those unfamiliar with it and then I explain in detail numerous problems I see with employing noble lies and with attempts to persuade people through “theological” arguments. I think all theology is either an explicit or an [Read More...]

You Are Not So Smart

The website You Are Not So Smart does an outstanding job of explaining all sorts of cognitive errors for a lay audience in an engaging way. Last week Dave McRaney, the site’s author, released a book version called You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly [Read More...]

A Debate About The Wisdom of Trying To Deconvert People

Jaime: So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how best to debate the existence of God with religious believers… Kelly: Why would you do that? Jaime: Do what? Kelly: Debate the existence of God with religious believers. What’s the point in that? Jaime: What do you mean, “what’s the point?” We live in the [Read More...]

Love Religious People (Tip 10 of 10 For Reaching Out To Religious Believers)

Top Ten Tips For Reaching Out To Religious Believers: 1. Don’t Call Religious Believers Stupid. 2. Make Believers Stay on Topic During Debates. 3. Don’t Tell Religious Believers What They “Really Believe”. 4. Clarify What Kinds of Evidence Warrant What Kinds of Beliefs. 5. Help Break The Spell Of Religious Reverence. 6. Don’t Demonize Religious [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: How Religious Beliefs Become Specifically *Faith* Beliefs

Faith is the deliberate will to believe, in advance of all future evidence and investigation, what one perceives to be either unsupported by evidence or even outright undermined by evidence. In this way faith is essentially a matter of will and not just belief.  Simply having a belief that is unsupported or undermined by evidence [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...]

Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die

The thoughts of Gregory W. Lester (as edited down by John W. Loftus) (okay, now I feel like calling myself Daniel W. Fincke): Because senses and beliefs are both tools for survival and have evolved to augment one another, our brain considers them to be separate but equally important purveyors of survival information….This means that [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith Which Exploits Infinitesimal Probabilities As Openings For Strong Affirmations

Pete C. argues that because our comprehension is limited, it is hubris for us to rule out faith in things that alleged to go beyond it: I’m not sure where I fall in the spectrum of agnosticism (if i belong there at all) so I can’t really self identify. But I will offer an explanation [Read More...]

TOP Q (7): When, If Ever, Are Intellectual Mistakes Morally Culpable?

Can we morally blame people for failing to pursue the truth well enough or for employing irrational methods of belief formation?  Is belief something not in our volitional control at all?  Is it an entirely passive thing to “just believe” something?  Or even if we have some volitional control over what we believe, does it [Read More...]


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