On the Morality of: Investing

I haven't written a post on morality in a while, and this one's a little different than past entries. This is an issue where I haven't made up my mind, and I'm hoping that people's comments can illuminate the issues and help me reach a final decision.Through the economic chaos of the past two years, I have to admit I've been more fortunate than a lot of Americans. I have a high-yield savings account with ING Direct - that is to say, I had one. I still have the account, but since the subprime … [Read more...]

Words Worth Reading: The Mother’s Day Proclamation

As you probably already know, today is Mother's Day. But I learned something very interesting about the holiday from a sermon today at the Unitarian Universalist church my wife and I attend, and I'd like to share it with you.Given how rampantly commercial Mother's Day has become, you might be forgiven for assuming, as I did, that it was dreamed up by the jewelry and greeting-card companies. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Although the holiday did become commercialized soon after … [Read more...]

The Language of God: A Final Word

The Language of God, Closing ThoughtsBy B.J. Marshall Collins' final word comprises two points: that there is joy and peace in God's creation, and that the war between science and spirit should end. In this post, I'll discuss these two points. I'll conclude by giving a final word of my own as my journey of blogging through a book closes.Collins' first point fits perfectly well whether one holds to science or … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Truth Seekers

The Language of God, Chapter 11By B.J. Marshall Aside from summarizing the points he's made in previous chapters, Collins uses this final chapter as his last chance to be a Christian apologist, but he surprisingly leaves the door open for other options.First, I feel compelled to highlight Collins' honesty. He states that, after twenty eight years as a believer, "the Moral Law still stands out for me as the strongest signpost to God" (p.218). I appreciate the candor because it's sometimes … [Read more...]

Video! See My Speech at Columbia

Last night, I made my debut as a speaker for the Secular Student Alliance, appearing before the atheist student group at Columbia University to discuss the history of church-state separation. It was a short talk, about 20 minutes with Q&A, which suited me just fine for my first foray into public speaking. But I'm very happy with the way it turned out, and I'm hoping there will be more and longer engagements in the future. My thanks again to everyone at Secular Columbia for inviting me. … [Read more...]

Defending Genocide, Redux

A while back, I wrote a post about professional Christian apologists who defend genocide as a moral and holy act. As revolting as this is, it's unsurprising on one level: these people have devoted their careers to defending Christianity, and as such, their living depends on not admitting any flaws whatsoever in Christian doctrine. If the Bible commands an act as evil as genocide, they have no choice but to defend it, even if it means doing violence to all rational notions of morality.But as I … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Biologos: It’s All Greek to Me

The Language of God, Chapter 10By B.J. MarshallAfter formally laying out his premisses and his conclusions, Collins muses why Theistic Evolution (TE) hasn't caught on. He surmises that it simply isn't widely known that one can mix science and religion harmoniously, that the position is in effect invisible in the harmony it creates by blending the two harmoniously, and that "theistic evolution" is just a terrible name. He introduces BioLogos as a humble alternative.There simply aren't very … [Read more...]

Movie Review: Agora

When I wrote my review of Creation last year, a commenter suggested I see Agora, the 2009 film by Alejandro Amenábar about Hypatia of Alexandria. It took me a long time to get around to doing that, but I've finally seen it, and it was worth the wait. It only had a very limited theatrical release in the U.S., but if you have Netflix or similar, I strongly encourage you to see it.Agora is set in Alexandria, Egypt, in the late fourth century CE. Egypt is a Roman province in this age, and … [Read more...]

A Guide to God-Spotting

Some of my favorite atheist writers have been jousting over the issue of whether any imaginable evidence could convince them of the existence of God. Among those who answer in the negative, the consensus seems to be that God is such a nebulous and unfalsifiable hypothesis, it's impossible to test in any meaningful way.This is a topic I've spent some time contemplating myself, and though I think differently than they do, I'm sympathetic to that objection. Despite millennia of cogitation, … [Read more...]

The Language of God: The Irony of Misunderstood Agnosticism

The Language of God, Chapter 7By B.J. MarshallThe final part of this chapter on the godless takes aim at agnosticism. Collins first gives Huxley's coinage of the term, and then he proceeds to misunderstand agnosticism in a way that's rife with glaring contradictions.Collins gives a lengthy quote of Huxley's from Wikipedia, which you won't find in the Wikipedia article he references! His citation doesn't even mention when he accessed that page. Time to rant here: I have a friend who is a … [Read more...]


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