Priest Plans to Defy Vatican Orders

"The Rev. Tony Flannery, 66, who was suspended by the Vatican last year, said he was told by the Vatican that he would be allowed to return to ministry only if he agreed to write, sign and publish a statement agreeing, among other things, that women should never be ordained as priests and that he would adhere to church orthodoxy on matters like contraception and homosexuality."Here is the NY Times article. … [Read more...]

The Flat Earth Society

Yes, there really is a Flat Earth Society. They even have a website. … [Read more...]

More Straw Manning of the Opposition

Over at He Lives, David Heddle provides another example of a theist straw manning the opposition. He writes:Intellectual atheism in the 21st century:• If God made everything, who made God? (Dawkins)• Religion poisons everything! (Hitchens)• Science and religion are not compatible! (Coyne)• I'm a genius and can use Bayes's Theorem to show Jesus didn't exist! (Carrier)• Menz suck! Theists is dumb! (Myers)• If I were god, I'd make a small uni … [Read more...]

Podcast: Objective morality and atheism; the evil god challenge; risks posed by religion

I did a podcast for Malcontent's Gambit here. It's about 45 mins long. Alan and I got into some interesting topics, including: whether atheists can allow for absolute moral values, my evil god challenge, and the potential dangers posed by religion. … [Read more...]

An Argument from Scale — Poster Style

HT: Adam TaylorAs a nitpick, theism by itself does not say anything about God having a personal relationship with anyone. Only sectarian versions of theism, such as Christian theism, make such claims.Putting that aside, another worry I have about this graphic is that it seems to attack a caricature of what theists believe. God could have multiple purposes for creating the universe; I don't see any reason to think that even Christian theism says that the sole reason for the universe's … [Read more...]

Religion in Human Evolution

I tried to read Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution. It should have been interesting—prominent social scientist writes ambitious, sweeping book about religion—but I abandoned it about a third of the way through. I rarely fail to finish books. But I couldn't stand this one any more.My impression: it's a profoundly learned but also profoundly superficial book, because it's so obsessed with finding transcendent depth in every religious and wisdom tradition. Bellah just seemed inc … [Read more...]

Loftus’s Outsider Test for Faith viewed in HD with Bayes’s Theorem

In a recent post, I mentioned that anyone interested in the discussion regarding "atheism versus faith" should be reading John Loftus. Particularly, I noted an argument from his excellent Why I Became an Atheist, the "Outsider's Test for Faith" (OTF), which he is elaborating upon in a new book of that title to be published by Prometheus Books next spring. Subsequently, I made a comment that piqued his interest by saying that "[the OTF could be] greatly strengthened by appropriately … [Read more...]

Scalar Connection to Meaning of Life?

Because I've written so much about arguments from scale lately, the following statement in Dennis Prager's op-ed on atheism and consolation caught my eye."'And we promise to work for more gun control. But the truth is we don’t have a single consoling thing to say to you because we atheists recognize that the human being is nothing more than matter, no different from all other matter in the universe except for having self-consciousness. Therefore, when we die, that’s it. Moreover, wit … [Read more...]


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