The Case for a Creator: Belief and Decision

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 10The essence of science isn't test tubes or lab coats, but a special kind of scrupulous intellectual honesty. It's the willingness to try to prove yourself wrong, to subject your own ideas to the most rigorous, make-or-break tests you can conceive of. Equally as important, it's the willingness to consider every plausible alternative and weigh them all fairly - and if a competing hypothesis explains the data better than your own, to acknowledge that and respond … [Read more...]

An Unserious Response to the Theist’s Guide

I've received another response to my essay on Ebon Musings, "The Theist's Guide to Converting Atheists", which challenges theists to explain what they would accept as proof that their religious beliefs were mistaken. For the record, I'll point out that this essay has been publicly available since June 2001, almost nine years, and in that time - counting the response just received - I've gotten a total of three replies.What's ironic is that this latest response underscores, rather than … [Read more...]

Beware of Pastors Bearing Gifts

Late last year, an evangelical Christian pastor in Brooklyn announced that he had secured a major grant totaling millions of dollars from the massive evangelical charity World Vision. The pastor, Isidro Bolaños, promised to use this money to hire people from the community to do faith-based social work:Mr. Bolaños, pastor of the Christian Church of El Dios Vivo, has reassured employees that the enterprise, called Community Project, Brooklyn Pilot Program, is ready to send them into n … [Read more...]

Demanding the Right to Discriminate

The Supreme Court heard arguments recently in a case out of California, in which a Christian student group at a public law school sued because they were denied recognition and funding by the school. The reason for this denial is that the school requires student groups to be open to all members, and the Christian Legal Society wants to ban - you'll never see it coming - people who are guilty of "unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle". That means gays and gays … [Read more...]

The Contributions of Freethinkers: Richard Leakey

Atheists have a great number of famous names to our credit. We can justly claim renowned composers, scientists, musicians, civil rights leaders - and conservationists, as we'll see in today's post on the contributions of freethinkers.Richard Leakey was born in Nairobi in 1944, son of the famous archaeologist Louis Leakey. The elder Leakey was a strong supporter of racial equality, and Richard's upbringing reflected that belief. He started school soon after the Mau Mau rebellion had been … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Credential Inflation

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 10Chapter 10 of Case, which concerns human consciousness and the brain, is an interview with J.P. Moreland, a Christian philosopher and theologian. Like many of Strobel's other interview subjects, Moreland is not a scientist and has no scientific credentials to speak of - this despite Strobel's initial boast that he'll be interviewing "authorities" [p.28] in the relevant fields.I've already pointed out how Strobel tries to put a positive gloss on his … [Read more...]

Meet a Foundation Beyond Belief Member

Editor's Note: Last month, I wrote an essay encouraging atheists to join the Foundation Beyond Belief, a new charitable group doing good for human beings and the world in the name of freethought. I also offered to write a front-page post interviewing anyone who agreed to join the Foundation as a result of hearing about it on my site. This is the next in that series of interviews, which will be posted each weekend. Please welcome Alex Weaver!Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, … [Read more...]

Victory for FFRF!

I wrote in 2007 about the National Day of Prayer, a ridiculous ceremony created by Congress in the 1950s to urge all Americans to pray. That obviously unconstitutional objective would be bad enough, but what makes it even worse is that official National Day of Prayer events, held in city halls and government offices across the nation, are overrun by evangelical religious-right groups who claim the day as their own and don't allow members of the "wrong" religions to participate.Well, I'm … [Read more...]

Holding the Pope to Account

Every time I think we've seen the worst of what the Roman Catholic church and this pope are capable of, they come up with a way to sink lower still. Back in January, when Benedict reinstated a misogynist, Holocaust-denying bishop, I could never have imagined that that would be the least offensive and disgusting thing they'd have done this year - yet it seems like that may very well be the case.The newest evidence of this comes via this story from the AP. I previously detailed a case where the … [Read more...]

Apologetics that Annoy Me

If you debate theists very often, there will soon come a point where you'll start hearing the same arguments over and over again. And although I do my best to bear in mind Greta Christina's wise words on patience and remember that most proselytizers have never been exposed to an effective atheist critique, some of these claims annoy me more than others. Usually, this is because the logic behind them is so patently flawed, or the fallacies so obvious, that even an evangelist with no formal … [Read more...]


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