Patrick Appel objected to Dan Dennett’s recent piece in The Guardian countering those faitheists who do not actually have religious beliefs themselves but believe in the necessity of religious beliefs for others to achieve various social goods.  In reply, a reader wrote the following to him: Ironically, I don’t see any support in the quote you cite for the certainty with which you state your own opinions, i.e., that Dennett is disturbed by tolerance, or that some atheists have certainty… Read more

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 his readers wrote back: I take issue with the “certainty of some atheists and most fundamentalists deeply grating” business. Equating atheists and fundamentalists is absurd… Read more

An hour or so ago, I explained my reasons for agreeing with Daniel Dennett’s recent attack on the “belief in belief.”  But Patrick Appel was less thrilled with Dennett’s piece.  Appel wrote: 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. Despite calling myself an atheist for somewhat political, moral, and anti-religious reasons,… Read more

But it’s just the woman who voices him using his voice for their nefarious purposes: Fox is having a cow over an automated voicemail message left by Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, recruiting attendees for a Church of Scientology event, reports USA TODAY’s Gary Levin. In the message, Cartwright, who introduces herself as Bart in the character’s voice, says she is “now auditing on new OT 7,” and invites recipients to Scientology’s “Flag World Tour” event in Los… Read more

During Andrew Sullivan’s absence, this last week at The Daily Dish, there has been a flurry of discussion around issues related to Daniel Dennett’s recent attack on “belief in belief”. In a series of posts, I want to go through a number of these interesting lines of thoughts that have been raised and possibly bring in discussions on the themes raised from elsewhere on the internet. First, however, let’s put Dennett’s definition of “belief in belief” on the table and… Read more

Amazing: Thanks to Unreasonable Faith and Gizmodo Read more

Robert Wright makes an interesting argument: Consider this innocent-sounding verse from the thirty-second chapter of Deuteronomy as rendered in the King James Version, published in 1611: When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. This verse, though a bit obscure, seems… Read more

Jen, an atheist blogger, makes an interesting case why not to and what should be done instead: Steve and I were both raised in secular families. Our parents didn’t go to church, didn’t talk about religion, didn’t explicitly teach us anything about God or Christianity, didn’t force some sort of belief system on us. So why do I think Steve ended up a Christian while I ended up an atheist? Because there was one thing my parents taught me that… Read more

until recently that is: Last Tuesday, amazed keepers discovered a clutch of unhatched eggs in his “bachelor” pen in the Galapagos Islands. No wonder they were amazed – a team of scientists have been doggedly coaxing the sullen creature to mate since 1993, when they introduced two female tortoises of a different subspecies into his pen. Until now, George, the last known Pinta Island tortoise had shown little interest in his companions. But at age 90, George, now said to… Read more

The cartoon portions are rather lame but the pastor is rather enjoyably religulous. Read more

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