On Traditions, and How I Approached My First Humanist Wedding

On March 2, 2014, I had the honor of performing my first marriage ceremony. There is a relative paucity of resources for self-conscious atheists and humanists eager for help in planning weddings that reflect their values, break with religious forms they conscientiously object to, and yet also feel in keeping enough with existing traditions to feel [Read More...]

Atheism and Tradition Building

This year on 9/11 I saw a number of my atheist friends dismissing the whole notion of memorializing that nationally traumatic day or even of taking its ten year anniversary as an opportunity to reflect on its impacts on our nation’s values and history in the last decade. For some it was a spirit of [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Faith As Tradition’s Advocate And Enforcer, Opposed To Merely Provisional Forms Of Trust

David appeals to MacIntyre to raise a really interesting question: What is your assessment of faith as the starting point of tradition constituted inquiry as understood by MacIntyre? This is accepting the standards of argument, explanation, justification internal to and partially constitutive of the extended argument that constitutes what MacIntyre calls a tradition. In this [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith By Soul Searching With Clergy Guy

Please don’t dismiss this post as too long to take a shot on reading through.  The debate it features promises to be candid and thorough and, I hope, thought-provoking for believers and unbelievers alike.  I hope you find it as worth your time to read as I found it worth mine to write.  It set [Read More...]

What’s In A Name? On Redefining Belief In God Rather Than Rejecting It

VorJack summarizes Robert Jensen’s thesis that God is mystery itself, rather than a principle that hopes to explain them: Jensen is not saying that God is a mystery. Instead, he is saying that God is mystery itself. God is what we call all those things about the universe that we don’t or can’t understand. Let [Read More...]

In Defense Of Mocking And Embarrassing Religion

Unreasonable Faith just profiled this interesting looking documentary on a tour of debates between Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson. In the comments section to that post, Custador wrote the following about Christopher Hitchens: Generally I find his demeanor to be too confrontational to be productive. It’s like he’s trying to embarasse theists into seeing reason. [Read More...]

Religion As A Morally and Politically Ambivalent Force

Two weeks ago, I profiled various remarks from Jerry Coyne for the incisive way they challenged assumptions that (1) religion is indispensable for moral progress, (2) that religion is even on balance usually an aid to moral progress, and (3) that moral progress is even something observable over the course of history.  Coyne’s remarks were written [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: The Threatening Abomination Of The Faithless

Faith is a form of loyalty. But more than that, faith is a form of trust which does not calibrate itself to objective standards of trustworthiness but trusts people despite their limitations as provably trustworthy people or even despite counter-evidence to the notion that they are worthy of trust at all. Even more than that, however, faith [Read More...]

Disambiguating Faith: Blind Faith: How Faith Traditions Turn Trust Without Warrant Into A Test Of Loyalty

Tuesday, I began my series of posts attempting first to disambiguate the various senses of the word faith, to explore how the various practices referred to under this one word’s umbrella all relate to each other and how they can be ethically and epistemologically assessed, both as they occur individually and in various combinations with [Read More...]


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