ZJ gives a kick ass, concise, precise, logically strong, awesomely robotically delivered refutation.  Seriously, it’s brilliant and thorough and you really really really should watch it: (via Toomanytribbles) Your Thoughts? Read more

Hemant Mehtamakes the case that even more than strong debating points, atheists really need to draw people as “salt and light” if you will: Yes, there are arguments against any god’s existence and arguments against the truth of any religious text. We shouldn’t stop making them. But I don’t think these arguments, as logical as they are, appeal to the masses. What will convince more people to lose their faith? Hearing a philosophical debate featuring an articulate atheist or witnessing… Read more

In a previous post, I wrote the following of Rod Dreher’s decision to inculcate in his children a faithfulness that would safeguard their faith against intellectual faltering: I can say that it is utterly depressing you could be so self aware about inculcating your children to believe regardless of truth or falsity, to put faithfulness above truthfulness as a fail-safe against their daring to break away from a faith about which you are profoundly intellectually insecure. In short, you read… Read more

Earlier today, I challenged Rod Dreher’s recent post wherein he lamented the difficulties we have in overcoming our minds’ propensities for rationalizations.  In that same post he had argued from the experience of his own loss of Catholic faith that the intellect was an insufficient ground for religious beliefs and that the will needed to be prioritized instead and that that was why he was raising his children to be faithful first and foremost to his newer Orthodox faith. I… Read more

In reply to Rod Dreher’s recent post explaining his decision to train his children’s wills to be faithful since the intellect was not a firm foundation of faith, I critically characterized his position as essentially boiling down to the following: So, the solution is not to train your children to be intellectually scrupulous but to deliberately prioritize faithfulness to what they would otherwise intellectually eventually see as false. You want to train your children’s wills to be prejudiced towards what… Read more

In a previous post, I discussed how theist Rod Dreher was led to some introspection and cultural criticism based on reading he was doing  about the pervasiveness of distortive rationalizations in our thinking.  In that context, he tried to compare religious and atheistic rationalizations as similar in kind, as both kinds of faiths.  In that last post I challenged that assessment of the situation. In the same piece I was quoting from he had gone on to reflect on whether… Read more

Rod Dreher confronts psychological research which illustrates the pervasive role of rationalization in our thought processes, which leads us reflexively to seek out information that confirms preexisting beliefs rather than challenges them among other techniques for seeing only what we want to see.  Turning to the implications of the realities of rationalization for the religious person’s self-understanding of his religious beliefs, Dreher writes: for believers who consider religious claims to be objective truths that can only be approached and appropriated… Read more

Full video of Sandel’s talk: Your Thoughts? Read more

Hi! I’m Sendai Anonymous. Recently, Daniel and I have been having a bit of a back and forth about Christianity and Islam, and the way the believers choose to interpret their holy books here, and I thought it’d be best if I briefly summarised my views, too. In his post, Daniel writes that Islam is, in general, inherently more recalcitrant to secularization because of the sorts of limits the religion places on rational criticism of the faith or the Koran…. Read more

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