Archives for July 2010


The current fashion appears to be to describe our current situation as "post-secular." Secularism, it appears, cannot adequately accommodate the equal citizenship of conservative religious populations in a time of religious resurgence. Secular claims of neutrality between religious stances ring hollow. And however it might be defended, secularism cannot be honestly presented as a requirement of reason or an essential feature of a technologically advanced civilization.All this is correct, as far … [Read more...]

They’re raising the dead! Today!

I ran into a 2009 web page from a Hawaiian Christian movement of some sort, where they claim a man was raised from the dead recently.Even if you believe their report (I suspect the usual embellishments and exaggerations), it's not as clear-cut as they advertise it.Other miracles include a "multiplication of food" incident, and a healing of an incurable disease.I'm tempted to say that it must be interesting to live in a less-developed country where this sort of miracle-belief and religious fervor … [Read more...]

Too much choice

One thing that strikes me about conservative monotheist morality-talk is how it's so focused on everyday and family questions. For example, a fatwa site I regularly visit doesn't just concentrate on doctrinal and ritual details; it's full of advice on all sorts of personal matters.I wonder if that's part of the attraction. I don't mean this in the sense of the stereotype of fundamentalists looking for canned answers and avoiding thought. That strikes me as implausible—conservative Muslims l … [Read more...]

“Thoughts in a Hijab” video in a Hijab from Reel Grrls on Vimeo.The most common argument given for living in a secular fashion is that this represents liberation. Secular liberals are all for freedom.But a lot of people reject this form of freedom. They don't want to be "liberated" from their cultural identity and especially their religious practices. … [Read more...]

The Sentence “God exists” Part 3

Let's set aside, for the moment, Richard Swinburne's critique of Ayer's Logical Positivist argument for the incoherence of theism, and consider Swinburne's concept of "God". I'm jumping ahead to the second book in Swinburne's trilogy on theism (The Existence of God, 2nd edition).There are two kinds of explanation according to Swinburne: scientific and personal. Swinburne argues that the existence and the most general features of the universe are best explained by theism, which amounts to a … [Read more...]

Blog Changes

I've finally bit the bullet and asked to be included among the administrators of this blog. So, I've made some changes to the appearance of the blog. I'd welcome comments and advice about whether this helps or hurts readability.I've also been deleting comments by "DM" as they appear. I've tried to identify and block his IP, following the advice of "shreddakj"; but either it hasn't worked so far or it hasn't kicked in. If he's still around by tomorrow, I'm going to temporarily institute … [Read more...]

The Old Creeds

Does anybody read the old creeds any longer? Here is the Athanasian Creed (late 5th or early 6th Century) in its entirety: Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the … [Read more...]

Vatican Condemns Ordination of Women

Check this out: desiccated old farts that constitute the Catholic hierarchy never learn do they? Why does the Roman Catholic Church have any moral capital at all? Why should anyone listen to a 2000 year old old-boy network? Well, of course, the RC church has done a lot for the poor, as it damn well should since it is responsible for there being so many of them. However, it never has … [Read more...]