Archives for March 2006

Plantinga on ID

Alvin Plantinga has an interesting comment on judge John Jones's recent anti-ID (intelligent design) ruling.Now, I find it hard to agree with much of what Plantinga is saying (as usual), but he also has a few good points. In particular, trying to define science in such as way as to exclude supernatural agents as part of scientific explanations is dubious. This "methodological naturalism" type of argument has long been useful for scoring political points against creationists, but it's at best a … [Read more...]

The Evolution of God

The other day I was chatting with friends and the subject of God came up. (Imagine that!) They knew I was an atheist and one of them, who had been reading Karen Armstrong’s A History of God, told me that one thing in the book left a lasting impact on her. She said that it had never quite occurred to her that the God of the Hebrew Scriptures is a very different portrait than that painted by Christianity. “If God didn’t like a neighboring tribe,” she remarked, “he would instruct an Israeli king to … [Read more...]

Atheists distrusted by 97% of the population

As reported at Pharyngula:From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in "sharing their vision of American society." Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.This comes from a study done at the University of Minnesota. … [Read more...]

The Anthropic Principle

Thanks to Don Morgan for forwarding this to me:"The 'anthropic principle' states that the laws of nature were fine-tuned by the Great Designer to allow the existence of beings so intelligent that they could discover the anthropic principle. This is so incredibly deep that something happens to scientists who dwell on it too long."- WHAT'S NEW, Robert L. Park; Friday, 17 Mar 06; Washington, DC … [Read more...]

Is the U.S. Air Force a Christian Air Force?

There are obviously many non-Christians who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Air Force (USAF), but there is growing evidence that the USAF is, despite claims to the contrary, institutionally Christian. According to a recent article in USA Today, an Air Force recruiter has filed suit against the USAF because of consistent proselytizing by superior officers. (Thanks to Eddie Tabash for pointing this out to me.) The article states:The 12-page court filing says guest speakers at … [Read more...]

Moral Orel

I've recently discovered the stop-motion animated show "Moral Orel" on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. It's the story of a very devout 11-year-old boy, Orel, who lives in the fictional town of Moralton in the fictional state of Statesota (located between Kansas and Missouri). Orel loves church, but frequently misunderstands the religious moral principles he's being taught, leading to horrifying situations that have to be cleaned up by the end of each episode. For example, in the episode … [Read more...]

Are you Rapture Ready?

The rapture index, now at 156, has been trending lower recently which is great because I'm not ready for Old Pitch to start ruling the world just yet. Of course there is another upside. If the rapture happens tomorrow then those of us left behind can just walk around and take our pick of nice cars. So at least in the post-nuclear Mad Max apocalypse we'll be driving around in style. I can just see some Christian looking down from his cloud saying "Hey! Look at those bullet holes in my car! I only … [Read more...]

Everything is Permitted Under God

There was a great opinion piece in the Sunday Times by Slavoj Zizek (behind the subscription firewall here). An atheist from the former Yugoslavia, Zizek criticizes the "Karamozov fallacy" in which Christians have long-argued that without God everything is permitted. As he points out, the Enlightenment principles in Europe that led to large numbers of atheists over the past few centuries (a demographic that is still fast growing) has shown the opposite to be true. Post-Enlightenment humanistic … [Read more...]