About Jim Lippard

Atheism and the difference between consistency and entailment

At Jeff Lowder's suggestion, I'm re-posting this 2008 post from my own blog here.  Although the referenced blog, The Country Shrink, no longer exists, I have replaced the links to refer to copies of the posts at the Internet Archive.---A Christian rural psychologist has posted on his blog about "some psychological aspects of atheism," where he claims that:[Atheists] tend to not be able to understand that their position means “anything goes,” with respect to morality. If there is no God, the … [Read more...]

Phony financial planner defrauds churchgoers

James J. Buchanan of the Christ Life Church in Tempe, Arizona, defrauded 30-40 people out of over $5 million over the last ten years. He claimed to be a financial planner, and took many people's life's savings, as well as money from the church. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says it's hard to tell where the money went, but it appears that he used some of it to pay off early investors in classic Ponzi scheme style, and spent the rest on himself. His fraud collapsed this March, after he … [Read more...]

Bad news for agnostics?

While past studies have shown religious believers to be happier than nonbelievers, some new analysis shows that it's not quite so simple. Luke Galen has found that the convinced non-religious are also quite happy, but people who are uncertain are the ones who are dissatisfied. Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn has analyzed data from the World Values Survey and found some more interesting details:Religious people are both happier and unhappier. While a higher percentage of religious people report themselves … [Read more...]

A Guide to Christian Cliches and Phrases

Former evangelical Christian and Bible college attendee Daniel Florien has put together a list of common Christian clichés, along with translations of the real meaning behind them, along with "acceptable" and "unacceptable" responses to each.(Via Pharyngula.) … [Read more...]

Geert Wilders’ film “Fitna”

Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders' film, "Fitna" (Arabic for "strife" or "challenge"), has been released, first on LiveLeak (from which it has been removed) and now on YouTube (below). The film depicts unethical statements from the Koran and by Muslim leaders, as well as photographs of terrorist atrocities committed by radical Islamists. The government of Indonesia has called for YouTube to remove the video, and it has provoked calls for boycotts of Dutch goods. This will no doubt … [Read more...]

Former religious right leaders recant

Rob Boston has a post at AlterNet, "Theocracy Rejected," reporting on how and why Frank Schaeffer, John Whitehead, and Cal Thomas have publicly repudiated their involvement with the religious right. All three now challenge the idea that Christians should seek political power in order to impose their ideas on American culture.A few quotes from each give the flavor:Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis Schaeffer, from his book Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious … [Read more...]

The new seven deadly sins

The Catholic Church has announced a new updated list of seven deadly sins for the twenty-first century, which are:1. accumulating obscene wealth2. polluting the environment3. genetic engineering4. drug dealing5. abortion6. pedophilia7. causing social injusticeThis has been a topic of discussion on the SKEPTIC mailing list, with many observing that the Catholic Church itself is guilty of several of these new sins. One wag (Barry Williams) observed that transsubstantiation seems a lot like … [Read more...]

Pew Forum survey on American religion

A survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life of 35,000 Americans found that 44% of them have changed affiliations between "major faith traditions," such as from Baptist to Methodist. 28% have switched between traditions.Protestants make up a bare majority of Americans--51.3%.16% classify themselves as not affiliated with any faith (despite only 7% being brought up that way), and 4% as atheist or agnostic.Mormons account for 1.7% of the population, Muslims 0.6%, and Hindus 0.4%.Those … [Read more...]


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