If you want to be honest, try explaining your culture to foreigners

One of the first things you learn as an English teacher is that you know tons of things about your language that you don’t know you know. When we speak, we’re constantly using grammatical rules that we never consciously learned. This creates odd situations when teaching English: you can tell someone what the right way [Read More...]

Looking for examples of Jewish groups taking offense at things Christians have said about Jews.

The this week’s chapter from the my book beta-test was intended to have a brief discussion of Christian-Jewish relations, but on re-reading what I initially wrote, I began to wonder whether my take was quite accurate, and also got worried about a lack of good examples of what I had in mind. Instead of posting [Read More...]

What I want as an atheist

I’m slowly cleaning out my list of “things I’m meaning to respond to” from when I was sick. One of them was a post by Andrew Sullivan titled “What Do Atheists Want?”, which links to and quotes from this longer post by Anthony Pinn at Religion Dispatches. Here’s the part Sullivan highlighted: [Read more...]

Follow up to the “what is Dawkins wrong about?” discussion

Now I’ve had a chance to read the whole of the “what is Dawkins wrong about?” discussion, here are my comments on some of the main points raised.  First, let me say that I was absolutely wrong about the abuse thing. As JustKat said: [Read more...]

Discussion: What is Richard Dawkins wrong about?

I got the idea for this post a couple weeks ago, before the debate over Bart Ehrman’s book. Now it feels sort of unnecessary; in fact I’ve thought the opposite may be true. But here it goes anyway:  [Read more...]

Randal Rauser explains the problems with C. S. Lewis’ view of Hell

The popularity of C. S. Lewis among fundagelicals is a bit puzzling, because he was, relative to them, a liberal. One thing he does for them, though, is give them an orthodox-sounding way to make the doctrine of Hell less odious. Lewis, you see, thought Hell was something people inflict on themselves by rejecting God. But [Read More...]

Sam Harris, free will, and blaming believers for the things they say

Last week, I read Sam Harris’ new book Free Will. Until now I’ve liked everything I’ve read of Harris’, but I can’t recommend this book. The problem is that Harris argues against the notion of free will without ever putting much effort into figuring out what people mean by “free will.” Russell Blackford has been [Read More...]

Way to go Daniel Fincke!

On Sunday (in a not-April-Fool’s post) Daniel Fincke posted a long defense of Richard Dawkins’ Reason Rally speech. In a comment thread at RichardDawkins.net, Dawkins commented to say, “I am extremely pleased by Daniel Fincke’s article, which says exactly what I SHOULD have said and, to my regret, didn’t make sufficiently clear in my Reason [Read More...]

Operational atheists or perfectly normal believers?

Julian Sanchez has a post titled “Undercover Atheists?” that makes a number of interesting points, but the one I want to comment on is about the number of atheists in government: [Read more...]


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