In What Sense Religious Scientists “Shouldn’t” Exist

Unqualified Offerings lives up to its moniker with this post: I often hear people explain that it is simply impossible to be a scientist and religious. They have eloquent arguments for why there shouldn’t be any people who are religious and also accomplished scientists. It’s a great, well-argued, self-consistent theory with impeccable logical foundations. There’s [Read More...]

On What Counts As A Theological Position

Anderson Brown has an interesting post arguing that agnosticism is not a theological position because it is the claim that one cannot make a metaphysical assertion about the existence or non-existence of God and, therein rejects both the possible alternative theological positions (that there is a God and that there is not one): A “theological [Read More...]

The Evolutionary Advantages And Present Disadvantages Of Our Conformist Minds

John Wilkins has a good post on the value of our minds’ readinesses to defer to authorities from an evolutionary standpoint: The evolutionary justification for this is, of course the following: if evolution were a designer, trying to ensure that thinking beings learned and knew what they had to to survive, a cheaper rule than [Read More...]

For God or Morality? On Those Who’d Hold Morality Hostage For Faith

In his recent critique of Francis Collins, the Christian Evangelical and geneticist recently appointed by Obama to head the National Institutes of Health, Sam Harris referenced the slides from one of Collins’s speeches.  I want to take two posts (but possibly more if there are comments or if I otherwise have extra relevant ideas on [Read More...]

Psychotic Reasoning, The Will To Believe, And Religious Interpretations Of The Mentally Ill

Yesterday morning, The Friendly Atheist’s Hemant Mehta analyzed stories of mothers who murdered their babies under religiously interpreted delusions with a critical eye towards the religions which put certain fantasies in their heads.  In reply to criticisms of his making this connection that came from skeptigirl (in this terrific post on psychosis you should read), [Read More...]

The Epistemological and Metaphysical Case Against Obama’s Birth Certificate

Heretical Ideas just rocked my world: It might seem, to the average person, that the “Birthers” must have a tough time proving their case. After all, Barack Obama has released his Certification of Live Birth (pictured above), which meets all the requirements for proving one’s citizenship to the State Department. The authenticity of the certificate [Read More...]

When (And How) Should We Bother To Push The Issues?

Njustus offers a probing challenge to my recent post in which I defend Daniel Dennett’s argument that atheists should stand up for atheism rather than take the attitude that the religious beliefs that they do not share are good for their neighbors and should be encouraged.  I argued that Dennett’s position is not “ideologically narrow” [Read More...]

Does Faith Make You An Idiot?

In reply to my recent posts on atheism and fundamentalism, a friend writes to me privately: Alright, first of all, I won’t pretend to have read everything with the thread or understand it all, but I do think I grasp the basic argument: Is it moral for atheists to try to get others to conform [Read More...]

On The Alleged Intolerance Of The New Atheists Towards “Faitheists”

In reply to Daniel Dennett’s attack on “belief in belief”, Patrick Appel wrote the following: I consider myself an agnostic or pantheist depending upon how you define such labels but still have an acute nostalgia for my Catholic upbringing. I find the certainty of some atheists and most fundamentalists deeply grating. In reply, one of [Read More...]


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