ELSEWHERE: Here Are 20,000 Reasons Harris Won’t Give up His Scientism

While our James Hoskins has pointed out that Steven Pinker could stand to take a few theology lessons, Ross Douthat's been straightening out Sam Harris on his confused scientism. Apparently he thinks that science can determine human values in a meaningful way, to such a degree that he's willing to pay $20,000 to anyone who can refute his central argument. Of course, that gives him 20,000 reasons to not buy the argument. … [Read more...]

Pope Misspoke: How Faith and Goodness Are Tied to One Another

Can men and women be good without God? Pope Francis would say no—God is the source of all that is good. However, it seems that he would not respond the same to this question: Can men and women be good without believing in God? Francis has quickly proven himself far more proficient at public relations than his predecessor. Following the model of Christ, he extends warmness and charity to men and women from all walks of life—the privileged and the marginalized, Easterners and Westerners, tra … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Expelled for Atheists

Do you all remember that documentary Expelled with Ben Stein? If you don't, it was a pretty popular film explaining Intelligent Design. Well, atheist buddies Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion) and Lawrence Krauss (author of A Universe from Nothing) are making their own film called The Unbelievers and it seems to be arguing the polar opposite. Is it going to be any good? Stay tuned. … [Read more...]

Music Matters: Death, The End of All Things and Hope Laid Up in the Heavens in Muse’s “Exogenesis Symphony”

Each Tuesday in Music Matters, Matthew Linder explores the intersections of music, culture and faith."Our wonder will become realigned to God’s grace and our hope is not in escaping this earth but making our stand here as the God of the universe one day will bring heaven down to us."From the day we are born, all of us are spiraling towards one thing—death. Yet in most Western cultures we rarely think about death on a personal level. Not many of us wake up in the morning struggling “wi … [Read more...]

Music Matters: David Bowie, Still Not Quite an Atheist

Each Tuesday in Music Matters, Matthew Linder explores the intersections of music, culture and faith."All clichés are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God--so do I buy that one? If all the other clichés are true..." David Bowie Last week, Jimi Hendrix reigned in the number two spot on the Billboard 200 and this week that position is filled by David Bowie's new album The Next Day. It is only fitting that one of Bowie's s … [Read more...]

Music Matters: The 21st Century Return of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Church Music

Each Tuesday in Music Matters, Matthew Linder explores the intersections of music, culture and faith.“It’s funny how most people love the dead, once you’re dead you’re made for life.” – Jimi HendrixPeople, Hell and Angels, the final posthumously released album from Jimi Hendrix, debuted on the Billboard 200 at the number two spot. Hendrix died over 40 years ago, yet surprisingly, he is still able to garner enough attention to land him on the top of the charts beating out Bruno Mars, M … [Read more...]

Will Atheists Find What They’re Looking for in Their Temples?

Some common ground has been found for atheists and Christians. It’s called "awe."A recent Good.is article by Tom Greenall (an architect at DSDHA and studio tutor at the Royal College of Art) details how he and several colleagues teamed up with Alain De Botton, who was writing Religion for Atheists, to explore what atheists and secularists might learn from traditional theist practices. Together, they worked “to develop designs for a series of 'temples to atheists,' which would feature in his b … [Read more...]

A Christian walks into a Church for Atheists…

In recent years, there has been something of a trend in some unbelieving circles to not throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to religion. While atheists disparage the supernatural aspects of religion, some are beginning to see value in its other aspects, such as its ability to build community and support structures for people, or to encourage people to approach life more contemplatively and selflessly. Perhaps the most famous recent example of this is Alain de Botton's Religion f … [Read more...]

Where are humanists when it hurts?

Writing for the New York Times, Samuel G. Freedman is asking how humanists can and should respond to tragedies like the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The funerals and burials over the past two weeks have taken place in Catholic, Congregational, Mormon and United Methodist houses of worship, among others. They have been held in Protestant megachurches and in a Jewish cemetery. A black Christian youth group traveled from Alabama to perform “Amazing Grace” at several of the ser … [Read more...]

Glee's "Grilled Cheesus": Is Religion Beyond Reason?

The writers behind Glee understand that faith and spirituality is a deeply profound and personal concept. They understand that each person struggles with questions of faith and that those questions must not be trivialized or stifled. They get that many of us find a need to pray to a higher power, to believe in something bigger than ourselves, and to devote our lives to something great. That's why they thought long and hard about a storyline to open up the episode with and provide a context for … [Read more...]