No Good Without Evil?

My students recently submitted assignments on the problem of evil. The reading on this topic included J. L. Mackie’s famous essay “Evil and Omnipotence” (not “Evil and Impotence,” as a student wrote in an essay for a colleague of mine). Mackie discusses the argument that good is a statement of contrast, and thus that there [Read More...]

Evolution is Not the Problem

It frustrates me that any religious believer thinks that evolution is somehow at odds with the goodness of God in a way that a theism which rejects evolution is not. If one thinks about the birth defects, illnesses, and other things highlighted in this video which Hemant Mehta and PZ Myers both recently shared… …it [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror

“The Crimson Horror” brings together a team of characters to tackle a somewhat stereotypical evil, but with some interesting religious elements to explore for those interested in the intersection. Spoilers ahead! The story is set in the Victorian Era, with Vastra, Jenny, and Strax providing heroism and laughs. It begins with a mystery – dead [Read More...]

The Dark Knight Rises

I recently watched the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises. It offers an interesting exploration of notions of good and evil and the possibility of redemption. If you have not seen it, be aware that some minor spoilers lie ahead. Batman fits into the category of the broken hero, the individual who fights evil, but who [Read More...]

Young-Earth Creationists Don’t Believe That Creation Was Finished in Six Days

I have been having an interesting conversation on Facebook with someone who describes himself as a young-earth creationist. I was surprised when this individual said that it is a problem for Christians who accept evolution that God is said thereby to have made diseases and other things which Christ fought against. It seems to me [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Mind of Evil

This Doctor Who episode from the Jon Pertwee era, “The Mind of Evil,” offers interesting explorations of religious themes, as well as some intriguing connections with (or perhaps disconnects from) more recent episodes. The Doctor and Jo Grant go to see a demonstration at a prison of a device called the Keller Machine, which supposedly [Read More...]

How to Spot the Secret Atheist Handshake

Jim West often has a bee in his bonnet about atheists, but he doesn’t always seem to have actually observed any, and so I thought I would share this to help him out. From The Far Left Side.   [Read more...]

Doctor Who: The Evil of the Daleks

This Doctor Who episode about the Daleks was apparently envisaged as providing an end and closure to the Doctor’s interactions with the Daleks. Of course, it was not to be, and one of the things about narratives involving time travel is that, even if one totally obliterates, defeats, or fundamentally changes an enemy at one [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Enlightenment

“Enlightenment” is the third and final episode in the Black Guardian trilogy, and another of my favorites from when I was younger. On the DVD release there is a second disc in which some of the special effects have been redone using CGI technology. The episode features godlike beings that had already been encountered on [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Time-Flight

The episode “Time-Flight” from the Peter Davison era makes brief mention of the tragic death of Adric at the end of the previous episode, before we see the Doctor back to his old self, and counseling his companions that Adric would not want them to mourn unnecessarily. Although it is understandable that the show’s writers [Read More...]

The Real Reason Some Christians Oppose Halloween

Internet Monk indicated that the roots of the anti-Halloween movement are in a deception. But why was and is the nonsensical idea that children dressed in costumes are the front line of a war with the forces of evil taken seriously? I think the reason is because American Christians want to be deceived in this [Read More...]


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