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 If you didn't get the chance to listen live, you can hear an archived version through iTunes … [Read more...]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...]

Rebutting Reasonable Faith: The Evangelical Conspiracy Theory

In "The Aura of Infallibility", I mentioned William Lane Craig's belief in something he calls the "self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit", which he considers to be the most persuasive, crowning argument for Christianity. Basically, all it boils down to is that Craig has a really strong feeling that Christianity is true, and he believes that that feeling should be privileged above any and all evidence.As Craig himself puts it, in question #136:For not only should I continue to have … [Read more...]

The Mormon Test

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked.  Adam is on vacation.When in argument with Christians, it can be hard to find a good way to explain why you doubt their precepts.  John Loftus has a good idea with his Outsider's Test for Faith, but most Christians believe that their faith can pass the test; it's hard to show them how their faith looks if you haven't been steeped in it.Sometimes I've tried comparing and contrasting with other, conflicting denominations and asking why I should f … [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...]

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...]

New on Ebon Musings: The Apologist’s Handbook

Earlier this year, I called on readers to help me compile the "apologist's handbook", a list of responses given by lay and professional Christians to common atheist objections, in order to point out how some of those answers directly contradict each other. There were dozens of suggestions, some of them very good indeed.Well, I've now compiled the best of those responses into a new essay on Ebon Musings. Go check it out! … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Collins vs. Dawkins

The Language of God, Chapter 7By B.J. MarshallThe next part of Francis Collins' discussion of atheism is largely an attack on Richard Dawkins. Given that The Language of God is about biology, I suppose it would seem natural to attack an evolutionary biologist like Dawkins.Collins' first attack is that Dawkins, in The God Delusion, argues that evolution fully accounts for biological complexity so there is no more need for God. "While this argument rightly relieves God of the responsibility … [Read more...]


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