Pilate Mythicism

This meme was drawn to my attention in a comment on an earlier post. It focuses too broadly on atheists in general, and it is simply incorrect about what the coins say. But its main point retains some validity nevertheless. While it may be appropriate to withhold judgment about a matter if the evidence seems [Read More…]

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What Isn’t Religion?

I had a hard time even figuring out what to call this post. My friend and colleague Brent Hege gave a wonderful lunchtime talk today about religious freedom, during which he mentioned the difficulties that face attempts to define religion, and the ways in which the definition of religion assumed in discussion of such matters as separation [Read More…]

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Atheism: Good Enough for Some Idiots

When I came across this meme, I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. The image is labeled “ATHEISM: Good enough for these idiots” – yet it includes famous people who were Deists, agnostics, and a pantheist, as well as at least a couple of individuals whose beliefs are simply unclear. I am happy to say that, as far as [Read More…]

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The Atheist Game of Telephone

A friend shared this meme, together with the comment, “Showing that whatever else atheists are, they are not students of history and historical criticism.” The irony is that the claims in the image above themselves circulate and circulate in the manner of the telephone game, among atheists and other self-proclaimed “skeptics” who are nothing of [Read More…]

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Maybe God Put Contradictions In The Bible To Weed Out Dishonest Christians

Kent Hovind has suggested that God may have put difficulties in the Bible to weed out the atheists. I’d like to suggest that it is more likely that God put them in there (if indeed God is to blame) in order to see which Christians would be honest enough to acknowledge them, and which would [Read More…]

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Satan’s Ethical Code vs. God’s?

It has been funny to see what atheists have had to say about the Seven Tenets posted online by a Satanic Temple. You can read them below. What is interesting to me is the way these newly-minted tenets of a newly-minted religious group are used as a basis for mockery, saying something like “Look, Satan’s ethical code [Read More…]

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That’s Not (De)conversion

If someone moves from fundamentalist religion to fundamentalist atheism, or vice versa, they haven’t actually converted or deconverted. It is only when you move from fundamentalism to a more mature and balanced view that you’ve actually undergone a fundamental change. I wrote the above words when sharing Allan Bevere’s tips for diagnosing and curing unreformed [Read More…]

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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…]

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What Would It Take To Get You To Read Richard Carrier’s Book?

A commenter on this blog mentioned how useful it would be if scholars in Classics, ancient Jewish history, or Roman history were to read and give their impressions of Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. The truth is that, just as I am perhaps going to [Read More…]

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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…]

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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…]

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