Archives for July 2009

Are Climate-Change Deniers as bad as Creationists?

This post will probably open a can of worms and take us WAY off topic. It is a letter I wrote to The Houston Chronicle (which they declined to print), noting that the language and tactics of climate-change deniers sounds eerily like that of creationists:Predictably, whenever the Chronicle prints a statement of the fact of human-caused climate change, as it did with the publication of Paul Krugman’s excellent editorial, “This close to betraying planet” on Tuesday, June 30, there is always a backl … [Read more...]

Karen Armstrong rubbished

Vic Stenger will have a new book out soon, called The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason. (He's retired, so he's allowed to crank them out.)One of the things I was not too successful in having Stenger change during the course of writing was a few passages where he relied heavily on Karen Armstrong. As far as I'm concerned, Armstrong produces drivel, full stop. You certainly can't rely on her for history.Apparently Armstrong now has a new book out, The Case for God, in which I'm … [Read more...]

Critics of the New Atheists

There's a possibly interesting academic book coming out, I don't know when, called Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal. Since I'm rather ambivalent about the New Atheists, and have some serious misgivings about Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens especially, I contributed a chapter. It's called "The Return of Faith"; if you want to read it and give me your comments, I would appreciate it.I have very little idea who else is going to be in the book. I did, however, stumble upon … [Read more...]

An Argument for Atheism – Part 6

Enough about Jesus. Let's get back to God and Mr. Dawkins.Since Part 5 was posted about eight months ago, I will review some key points from previous installments to get back into the Dawkins groove.In Chapter 2 of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins gives an argument for atheism. The argument is a chain of reasoning consisting of five inferences. The first inference is a non sequitur, but I have attempted to repair the argument by making explicit an unstated assumption (A), and by clarifying the … [Read more...]

Wahhabi madness

Most devout Muslims today are in favor of science, and often even philosophy. If you press further, you may run into qualifications: it isn't supposed to be "materialist science," certain sciences such as evolutionary biology might be tainted, etc. etc. But at least rhetorically, most affirm science.And then there are the Wahhabis and other ultraconservatives. You would hope medieval Islamic rulings against philosophy and natural science would be a bad memory by now, but no, these guys resurrect … [Read more...]

Rebellious spirits

A common theme in conservative apologetics is that atheists fundamentally disbelieve as an act of rebellion. Infidels don't have any real reason to doubt, god forbid, so there must be some psychological pathology or moral depravity behind it all.There is some point to this accusation, I suppose. The conservative Christian or Muslim God often comes across as a disagreeable character, if you have a certain kind of temperament. I have to admit that the Biblical or Quranic God, especially as … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

I worry that there are people in this world who actually believe stuff like this. … [Read more...]

Blackford and Schuklenk interview has an interview with Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk, editors of the forthcoming 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists.It's an interesting interview, particularly where Blackford and Schuklenk, bioethicists, express frustration at religious influence on their domain. The book (coming in October) should be very interesting as well. (Disclaimer: I contributed one of the "50 voices" essays.) … [Read more...]