Michael Nugent understands idolatry but gets heaven wrong

The Irish atheist Michael Nugent has some interesting things to say about the use and abuse of faith in a recent opinion piece published in the Irish Times. Faith ceases to be a virtue when it has little connection with facts of reality, he asserts, and points out that placing our faith in secular "gods" (like the banks or capitalism in general) can be as irrational as placing faith in religion or priests. He goes on to make an interesting statement: "all 'gods', whether religious or secular, … [Read more...]

Of Atheists and Apophatics…

An interesting article recently appeared in the New York Daily News, by one of the "celebrity atheists," Daniel Dennett: The Unbelievable Truth: Why America has become a nation of religious know-nothings. In this article, Dennett argues that non-believers — agnostics and atheists — are, generally speaking, more knowledgeable about religion than are those who believe.I'm not quite ready to accept the triumphalist way in which Dennett interprets his data. He suggests that atheists know more than … [Read more...]

To be “open and free” with one’s views?

Longtime readers of this blog know that I am fascinated by the atheist critique of Christianity. Sometimes that gets directed at me specifically, as in this comment — by a skeptic who posted several comments here at the Website of Unknowing, and then made the following observation about this blog on the Darkness Forum: One of the things that bothers me about this blog and many others is that there is no real discourse between spiritualism and scepticism. Many of these people are deluding t … [Read more...]

The New Atheist Crusaders and their Unholy Grail

The New Atheist Crusaders and their Unholy Grail: The Misguided Quest to Destroy Your Faith By Becky Garrison Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007 Review by Carl McColmanAs I hope readers of my blog have figured out by now, I rather like atheists. Not that I agree with them, but I admire their willingness to be honest about their doubts and dislikes when it comes to religion in general (and Christianity in particular). Just like the fool in the king's courts of old, every religion needs a … [Read more...]

Atheism and Anger

I had a conversation with a friend last night — the same friend I've written about before — who is undergoing a crisis of faith. He told me last night that reading the "new atheists" — folks like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens — makes him so angry. "I came to see that I have been duped by the church, and that the church is in the business of duping people."My friend is a good and honest man, sincere in his zeal to find truth. Perhaps a bit too zealous, for I fear that he … [Read more...]

Nasty

The other day I took a walk with a friend of mine, about my age, who is going through a spiritual transition. He was at one point a very devout Christian, going to seminary with the hope of becoming a missionary. But a crisis of faith cut that journey short, and launched him on an unexpected trajectory of criticism toward organized religion that has finally resulted in his declaring to me, just the other night, that he has begun to wonder if perhaps he is an atheist. It became clear from our … [Read more...]

Lyra Skywalker

So we went to see The Golden Compass last night. And now I am more convinced than ever that Bill Donohue needs to get a life. The guy is worth millions of dollars but all he does is fuss about movies he doesn't like. Sheeesh.Granted, the word on the street is that The Golden Compass suffered the same fate as The Da Vinci Code: all of the most controversial elements in the book were disemboweled from the screenplay. Sure enough, the Magisterium comes across about as blandly sinister as the … [Read more...]


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