Boko Haram Is an Islamic Terrorist Group

I would have thought some facts were too obvious to need proving, but if these past few years of atheist blogging should have taught me anything, it's that no excuse is too far-fetched for those who bend over backwards to excuse religion from blame for every evil it gives rise to. Such is the topic of today's post. Boko Haram is, of course, the violent insurgency in Nigeria that's gained global infamy after it kidnapped several hundred girls and vowed to sell them as slaves, the latest … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 2

This is part 2 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my first post and Andrew's reply. Andrew, Thanks again for your fairness and hospitality at the Midtown Scholar debate last month. It was a pleasure for me as well! You'll have to come out to NYC some time in the coming months so I can repay it. So, with your assent, let's table the debate about morality for now and turn to this question of how it is that people come to be … [Read more...]

God Doesn’t Solve the “Who Sez?” Problem

I've finished reading Timothy Keller's book The Reason for God. It was a hard slog, especially the last section, in which he announces he's not going to argue for God's existence any more because everyone already agrees with him whether they admit it or not (yes, he actually says that), and instead devotes his time to writing theological fan-fiction about how happy and glorious and wonderful everything will be when Jesus comes back. I've addressed Keller's arguments regarding inherited … [Read more...]

More Than the Sum of Our Senses

I'm still reading Timothy Keller's book. He's very much a fan of presuppositional apologetics, like this one in which he argues that an intelligent being that came about through evolution wouldn't be able to trust its own reasoning abilities: Evolutionists say that if God makes sense to us, it is not because he is really there, it's only because that belief helped us survive and so we are hardwired for it. However, if we can't trust our belief-forming faculties to tell us the truth about … [Read more...]

The Untrustworthiness of Inherited Beliefs

I read apologetics books every so often just to keep in practice, and this week I'm tackling Timothy Keller's The Reason for God. So far, I'm supremely unimpressed: it's mostly just reheated C.S. Lewis leftovers (seriously, his answer to almost every question is a quote of Lewis), spiced with that old apologist standby, blatant dishonesty (e.g., he writes that medieval slavery only occurred "over strenuous papal opposition"). I did see one argument that I don't think I've addressed before, so … [Read more...]

Human Love and Divine Hiddenness

PrayingChairs

Back in June, I felt compelled to respond to a blog post by one of my Patheos colleagues, Bad Catholic, offering an apologetic for the argument from divine hiddenness: God is love. What merit is it to know of God's existence as a man knows the existence of his right foot? God doesn't want our observation, nor our pitiful attempts to "prove" his existence — he wants our love. This is one of the most obviously question-begging arguments out there. As I wrote in "One More Burning Bush", … [Read more...]

The Compliment of Taking Religion Seriously

FaithVsReason

Tanya M. Luhrmann, an anthropology professor at Stanford, wrote an op-ed last month titled "Belief Is the Least Part of Faith", arguing that belief in the supernatural doesn't play the pivotal role in religion that secularists think it does. This, she claims, makes philosophical debates about God's existence largely irrelevant. (Unmentioned in the piece, Luhrmann has been a beneficiary of the Templeton Foundation, which explains a lot.) Why do people believe in God? What is our evidence … [Read more...]

The Biggest Challenges to Staying Christian

Sunrays2

On Patheos' evangelical Christian channel, Peter Enns has been soliciting comments from his readers about what the greatest challenges are to remaining Christian. He got hundreds of responses, and he's compiled a list of five common themes in the answers: 1. The Bible, namely inerrancy. This was the most commonly cited challenge, whether implicitly or explicitly, and it lay behind most of the others mentioned. The pressure many of you expressed was the expectation of holding specifically … [Read more...]

My Interview on the Jesse Lee Peterson Show

OnAirSign

Earlier today, I was on a radio show hosted by Jesse Lee Peterson, an ultra-right-wing black conservative minister who's defended slavery and advocated an end to women's suffrage. We talked about how I became an atheist, my book, and my petition to advance feminism and diversity in the atheist community. You'd better believe it was a lively hour! If you didn't get the chance to listen live, you can hear an archived version through iTunes … [Read more...]

The Menace of Hipster Atheists

DanielDennettSmall

Over on One News Now, Peter Heck is very concerned, in a column entitled "As Atheism Rises, America Declines". Like the Catholic apologists I wrote about earlier this week, Heck has noticed that atheists are making demographic gains - but his diagnosis of the cause leaves something to be desired: A prosperous society built upon the back of the very values espoused in the Judeo-Christian worldview inevitably yields to satisfaction, complacency and arrogance - the belief that our material … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X