The Language of God: From Atheism to Belief

The Language of God, Chapter 1By B.J. MarshallThe chapter begins with a description of Collins' experiences growing up. His parents shrugged off the business world and lived an agrarian life on huge tracts of land in the Shenandoah Valley. His father went on to teach at a women's college. Collins was homeschooled, and faith did not play a part in his upbringing. He went to an Episcopal church, but it was more for music appreciation than theology. OK, so we have a picture here of an ardent … [Read more...]

The Language of God: And So It Begins

By B.J. MarshallIn The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Francis Collins presents what he believes to be the strongest arguments for theism: what he calls the "Moral Law," the origins of the universe, and life on earth. In a nutshell, Collins sees the ubiquity of morality to be the work of God on our hearts; he sees the marvelous universe and the nature of reality to be "an insight into the mind of God" (p.62); and he sees life on Earth to be the handiwork of God. … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Atheist’s Creed

(Editor's Note: This review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)Summary: A scholarly survey of the atheism of dead white guys.Much like Christopher Hitchens' The Portable Atheist, Dr. Michael Palmer's The Atheist's Creed is intended as an anthology of atheist thought from historical to modern times. Beginning with the ancient Greeks, Palmer traces the development of atheist thought to the European Enlightenment, then branches out into … [Read more...]

The Bible’s Failed Covenant

In the entire Old Testament, there are no verses more significant than the ones in which Yahweh establishes his covenant with the Jewish people. He pledges to make the Israelites his chosen, to show special favor to them above all other nations and races, and to grant them a peaceful and prosperous home in the promised land. Even today, after several millennia, these passages still play a pivotal role in shaping Jewish identity, consciousness, and culture, as well as exerting a major influence … [Read more...]

God Kills A Baby

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie)I'm sure that this title is neither new information nor in the slightest bit shocking to those familiar with the atrocities found within the so-called Good Book (of which, Ebonmuse, this site's author, has amply documented). After all, this is the God who cheerfully devastates armies, obliterates nations and once even drowned every living thing on Earth bar a boatful of humans and animals.And yet for all that - and maybe this is just me - I've always found big … [Read more...]

Could Creationism Be Rational After All?

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie)I thought I'd kick off the guest posts with a little philosophical thought experiment (hark, is that the sound of you all clapping your hands in glee?). When I wrote the following, I mean it fairly light-heartedly, but with an eye to the fact that we should perhaps remember we have less reason to be sure of ourselves than we may think.Despite the insistence of many who champion it, Creationism does not qualify as a scientific theory under any reasonable … [Read more...]

The Jewish Prophecy of Exile

In a previous post, "An Unserious Response to the Theist's Guide", I poked fun at a religious apologist - apparently a Jewish rabbi - who made a set of obviously insincere demands for what evidence he would require to become an atheist. So much for that. But our friend the rabbi also thinks that he has convincing evidence for the existence of God. In this post, I'll consider his claims and see how they hold up.The following quotes were given before the Israelites entered the Land of Israel … [Read more...]

Book Review: Half the Sky

Summary: A wrenching chronicle of the injustices and preventable evils committed against women around the world. The bright spots are few and far between, but that should only instill readers with a greater sense of urgency to do something about all this. I felt intense pangs of conscience while reading this book; you probably will too.In January, I reviewed Michelle Goldberg's book The Means of Reproduction. That was an outstanding work of consciousness-raising, one which enlightened me to … [Read more...]

God’s Failed Land Promise

In the early chapters of Genesis, Yahweh makes a sweeping promise to Abraham, forefather of the Jewish people:"In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates."—Genesis 15:18As I've mentioned in the past, this was no small matter: the land that God promised to Abraham would encompass most or all of the modern nations of Israel, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. … [Read more...]

The Dimension of Divinity

I just finished reading The Happiness Hypothesis, a book by Jonathan Haidt, who's a professor in the new science of "positive psychology" at the University of Virginia. Most of the book is a straightforward distillation of scientific research on what truly brings happiness and contentment in life, illustrated with quotes and references to famous philosophers and sages of the past who taught similar lessons. There's nothing to object to about this - I think it's a laudable thing for science to … [Read more...]


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