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...]

Compiling the Apologist’s Handbook

Last summer, I had a long e-mail conversation, spanning several months and thousands of words, with a thoughtful, intelligent, but strongly committed conservative Christian named Daniel who came across my site. There was one exchange we had that I found illuminating and that stuck in my mind, and I want to talk about it today.I wrote that when atheists commit a misdeed, we can't just ask God for forgiveness; we have to seek out the people we've harmed and try to make things right. Daniel … [Read more...]

Doubting the Bible on a Christian Forum

A helpful Daylight Atheism reader (thanks, Rowan!) pointed me to this thread on Christian Forums, about a believer who's losing his faith after reading the Bible. From past experience, these threads tend to have the same lifespan as posts on Chinese web forums criticizing the government (and for the same reason), so I advise checking it out while you can. I've also saved a snapshot in case the site's administrators flush it down the memory hole.The user who started the thread claimed to be a … [Read more...]

The Bottomless Hole of Prayer Requests

Lately, I've been spending some time reading Unequally Yoked - a blog about a Catholic/atheist interfaith relationship from the atheist perspective, which is a great concept, and tends to attract interesting commenters from both sides of the theological aisle. There was one recent post, Reading and Praying... One of those I can do, which I left a comment on that I'd like to expand into a post.The author, Leah, wrote a post about trying prayer at her boyfriend's suggestion, which didn't sway … [Read more...]

Answering More Questions for Atheists

Michael Egnor, a creationist working for the Discovery Institute, has posted a list of questions for atheists (HT: Sandwalk). Ironically, the post which contains the questions has comments disabled, so it's impossible to answer Egnor directly. This is probably another piece of evidence for whether whether creationists actually want answers to the questions they ask.Be that as it may, I've decided to write answers to Egnor's questions. He does say "I want to learn more about what New Atheists … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Joy and Wishful Thinking

The Language of God, Chapter 2By B.J. MarshallCollins continues on his theme of the universal search for the divine with an argument from emotions. He cites his beloved C.S. Lewis, who describes this in his book Surprised by Joy. Lewis relates how this search, this intense longing, is triggered by moments of joy, which he describes as "an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction" (p.35). After reading this line several times, I still have no idea what … [Read more...]

Rebutting Reasonable Faith: The Atheists Are Multiplying!

Since I've been busy the past year and a half answering Lee Strobel's Case for a Creator, I haven't written any posts responding to William Lane Craig's "Reasonable Faith" columns. But I'm done with Strobel's book now - and Craig has avoided my fire for far too long!Today I'll address question #170, in which Craig answers a correspondent who frets that there are just so damn many atheists at his university, and he doesn't know how to respond to them all:Dr. Craig, I attend Louisiana State … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Ultimate Meaning

The Language of God, Chapter 2By B.J. MarshallIn this section, Collins poses the questions of whether the near-ubiquity of the search for the existence of a supernatural being represents "a universal but groundless human longing for something outside ourselves to give meaning to a meaningless life and to take away the sting of death" (p.35). The search for meaning in one's life is an important question, but I don't think the search for the divine stops there. We have a curious approach to … [Read more...]