Nones and Mystics

There have been nuns who have been mystics. But that’s not what this is about. It has been common for religious freethinkers of various types to be labeled atheists by their religious opponents, and then claimed as such by atheists as well. But in many instances, these individuals are spiritual and may not sit comfortably in the [Read More...]

Sam Harris the Powerful Philosopher

I was unaware of Existential Comics’ unofficial comic section until someone drew the gem below to my attention, which rather mercilessly satirizes the New Atheists who simply ridicule religious thought where more serious critics in the past have recognized worthy adversaries even when they adamantly disagreed with them: [Read more...]

Whose Fault Is It?

The Facebook page Science and Scripture has been making and sharing a number of interesting images. This one nicely sums up an important point about the false antithesis between Christianity and science, and the falsehoods about science, that young-earth creationists peddle. They tell people they have to choose between the Bible and science, and then they [Read More...]

News Flash: Right-Wing Fundamentalists Don’t Understand Islam

Hemant Mehta drew attention to angry outbursts on Twitter, from conservatives who are upset that president Obama did not mention God in his 4th of July address. These two particularly baffle me: @BlissTabitha He’s an atheist with Muslim tendencies. — Troy Ellison (@blayne_troy) July 4, 2015 [ Military ] Open Question : Obama removes God from [Read More...]

Neither Side Will Be Happy

Reality often challenges our assumptions. Sometimes evidence strongly favors one conclusion over another – there is no need to be a relativist. But just as often, we pigeonhole and stereotype when people and things are much more complex. I’ve been delighted to see some great instances of members of groups objecting when the group that they are [Read More...]

The Tuning Station

I had the chance to endorse Chris Crawford‘s novel, The Tuning Station, and since today is its official release date, I want to share what I wrote about it here, and to recommend it to readers of this blog. There have been plenty of debates between a Christian and an atheist in fiction. But only [Read More...]

Would Discovering Extraterrestrial Life Make us – and them – Platonists, Mormons, or Atheists?

The Week featured an article a while back which suggested that the discovery of alien life would turn us all into atheists or Mormons. Matthew Ferguson recently mentioned a number of issues which would, at the very least, raise issues for traditional Christian theology. In an article which quoted me (even if it gets my name and [Read More...]

Self-Defeating Religion

Hemant Mehta drew attention to the fact that what some conservative religious people in the United States today want – namely to obliterate the separation between church and state – is arguably the most self-defeating course of action they could pursue. In Europe, countries where Christianity is the national religion have seen Christianity decline significantly. Baptists, in [Read More...]

How to Become Humble

I saw this offered on Reddit as “How to Become an Atheist.” One problem is that atheists sometimes turn the critical gaze they probe religions with on their own worldview, and find that it is not without those same human imperfections, shortcomings, and unanswered questions that religious worldviews have. Using the “outsider test” (as John [Read More...]

Fact-Checking Fables

When the above cartoon appeared on Gavin Rumney’s blog, it struck me that it is a great depiction of the viewpoint of a variety of fundamentalisms. The cartoon captures as well the fact that, while the one who is fact-checking might believe themselves to be wise, they are in fact immature, and failing to appreciate the [Read More...]

Religion: Powerful and Dangerous Medicine

The purveyors of religion insist that their product is so powerful it can transform a life, but somehow, magically, it has no risks. In reality, when a medicine is powerful, it usually has the potential to be toxic, especially in the wrong combination or at the wrong dose. And religion is powerful medicine! – Marlene [Read More...]