Religion and Death

Hemant Mehta drew attention to a statement by Larry King, to the effect that religion is entirely a response to fear of death. Here is the most relevant quote: I think the only reason for religion is death. If you didn’t die, there’d be no religion. I have to disagree, since in the case of [Read More...]

Attacking Religion at Easter

It isn't actually an attack on religion. But that is surely how it will be depicted by some, and misconstrued deliberately by others, when the ad below appears in the New York Times tomorrow, sponsored by an organization whose name says it is seeking freedom from religion.   The cause of keeping religion and state [Read More...]

Is Panentheism Atheism?

In the video above, Henry Neufeld asks a question which was also discussed here on this blog recently: is panentheism atheism? Hemant Mehta also discussed a book by Nancy Abrams, about a God that atheists might be able to embrace. The book is called A God That Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of [Read More...]

A Hole-Shaped God

It’s not so much that we’ve got a God-shaped hole inside, it’s more that we’ve got a hole-shaped God. We made him to suit our own wishes, so of course he fits them like a hand in a glove, or rather a glove over hand.  We’ve been duped about which one made the other. Neil [Read More...]

Embarrassed by Mythicism/Antievolutionism

Have you ever wondered why the two New Testament scholars to write books directly tackling mythicist claims are Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey, both of whom happen to be atheists? I don’t think it is a coincidence. As atheists, Ehrman and Casey have the most to be embarrassed about when fellow atheists uncritically embrace views that [Read More...]

Fifty Shades of God

The above graphic came to my attention on Facebook. I appreciate attempts to introduce nuance into discussions of beliefs and views. The above does better than the “Dawkins Scale.” But the color coding doesn’t seem like it is going to be useful. Can you imagine the conversations? “You’re indigo on the existence of God? As [Read More...]

Is This Atheism?

Dale Tuggy posted not that long ago on the late Marcus Borg’s view of God, declaring it essentially a form of atheism. This is a very old accusation. Mystics in the Islamic tradition were accused of pantheism, which Richard Dawkins famously declared to be nothing more than “sexed-up atheism.” Hume depicts the mystical theist Philo [Read More...]

Was Religion a Factor in the Chapel Hill Shootings?

The above cartoon came to my attention via Facebook. I actually had a very interesting discussion about religion and violence in my “Speaking About Religion” class yesterday. We discussed the Chapel Hill incident as well as the one in Copenhagen. We did some Googling to see what the internet had to say about which ideology was [Read More...]

YEC Connect the Dots

The image above appeared on the blog Friendly Atheist. It makes a number of points – not least of which is that the dishonesty and special pleading of young-earth creationists makes them a subject of deserved mockery. But it also engages in some sleight of hand itself. Creationists – meaning anyone who believes in a Creator – [Read More...]

Older Conversation from the Pale Blue Dot

Someone asked me today if I am the same James McGrath that appeared in a podcast in 2010 of “Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot.” The answer is yes, and so I thought I’d share the podcast here. You can also download it from the Internet Archive. [Read more...]

Atheism Isn’t Skepticism

A recent IO9 article indicated that more people in Britain believe in ghosts and aliens than in God. IO9 also highlighted a science experiment that might offer an explanation of why people see/feel ghosts (which Smithsonian also reported on), talked about spirituality and pseudoscience in science fiction, and shared an infographic of misconceptions which are widespread, [Read More...]


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