New Chick Tract

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50 Voices of Disbelief

50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists, edited by Russell Blackford and Udo Schüklenk, is now available.It turned out to be very good book. I contributed one of the chapters, so I didn't want to say anything about the book before I read it all through. But now that I've done so, I'm impressed. Almost all of the short chapters, which range from personal reflections to more detailed arguments, are both very readable and quite interesting as well. In many cases, I learned something. The wide … [Read more...]

Fairness doesn’t enter into it

Saturday we adopted three kittens from the local animal shelter. But one died overnight. The other two got an emergency vet visit.We were worried about the other two for the next few days, but they seemed fine. Then, yesterday, another one suddenly collapsed without much warning. We rushed her to the vet, but in a few hours she was dead. The third is now at the vet, and his prospects are not good.My wife kept saying this was not fair. I kind of understand what she means. On the other hand, I … [Read more...]

The Strongest Argument for Christianity

In a major departure from my usual debunking mode, I am going to offer what I consider the strongest argument in favor of Christianity. No, let me hasten to assure everyone, I am not going all “Tony Flew” here. I think the arguments for the existence of God, whether considered individually or cumulatively, are totally worthless. Some theistic arguments are inferior specimens of a very dubious genre, i.e., metaphysical argument. The rest are instances of an even worse genre: pure pse … [Read more...]

Unknown offensive cartoon

I ran into this cartoon in a Turkish news story about a court case. Apparently it inspired some Islamists to bomb (or attempt to bomb; it wasn't clear) the secularist newspaper that originally ran it:The offensive bit is the pig dressed in hijab. "AB" stands for the EU; it's in the context of the apparent enthusiasm of the moderate Islamist party that runs Turkey to join the European Union. … [Read more...]

Argument from diversity

There is a common argument against religious belief that points out the diversity of religious beliefs available. People everywhere almost invariably have supernatural beliefs, but they also believe in all sorts of different religions. Most people follow the faith they were born into. And even though such an accidental circumstance largely determines their faith, they also are very often confident that they have the One True Faith and that others are mistaken to some degree. This seems odd.I … [Read more...]

Inversions

Religious texts are meaningless. That is why they are deeply meaningful.Religious truths are ever-changing, endlessly adaptable. That is why they are timeless and immutable.Religions promise Everything. That is why they do not have to deliver.Religious insights are inexpressible. That is why believers never stop talking.The gods are absurd. That is why they are immortal. … [Read more...]

All you need is love?

I had an odd experience last week, when I was part of a panel discussion on Islam and Evolution at Hampshire College.As part of my presentation, I argued that Darwinian evolution counts against the notion of a supernatural designer, even though it does not strictly imply that there is no theistic God. And I made it pretty clear that I was representing a naturalistic, nonreligious point of view.I didn't know exactly what to do with one of the questions afterwards. A man from the audience asked me … [Read more...]


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