In response to the challenge to reply to Michael Gerlson's argument against atheism, I offer the following:It is hard to say what exactly Mr. Gerlson’s argument is since it is not expressed very clearly or precisely. Reading between the lines, I think the argument may be reconstructed as follows: The problem of deriving an “ought” from an “is” is insuperable for atheistic naturalism, but does not exist for theists. From a naturalistic perspective, our instincts and impulses are all on a par. Our … [Read more...]

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2007/07/18/1404/

Open Question to All Atheists: Can You Answer This?

In a recent editorial commenting on "New Atheists" Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, Michael Gerlson presents the following purportedly unanswerable objection to atheism:But there is a problem. Human nature, in other circumstances, is also clearly constructed for cruel exploitation, uncontrollable rage, icy selfishness and a range of other less desirable traits.So the dilemma is this: How do we choose between good and bad instincts? Theism, for several millennia, has given one answer: We should … [Read more...]

The Ebon Musings-DJ Grothe Debate: Is Atheism a Civil Rights Issue?

Ebon Musings argues that atheism is a civil rights issue, while DJ Grothe argues that it is not.LINKS:"Atheism Is a Civil Rights Issue" by Ebon Musings"A Reply from DJ Grothe" (includes rejoinder by Ebon Musings) by Ebon Musings … [Read more...]

Atheist Manifesto

I'm new to this whole blogging thing, but I thought I would start off with a big post. A few weeks ago my nephew, who is an evangelical Christian of the progressive Jim Wallis type, not the neanderthal James Dobson type, asked me to explain briefly why I am an atheist. I wrote the following informal manifesto. I'd like to hear what some of you think, and maybe get some others to sumbit their own manifestoes. Thanks. Here goes:If somebody were to ask me why I am an atheist, my first response … [Read more...]

Living with Darwin

Here's a hearty, full-throated recommendation for Philip Kitcher's latest book, Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith. If you're looking for a short, very readable but substantive book on creationism, intelligent design, and the very real challenge Darwinian evolution poses for any supernaturalistic faith, this is the one. Go out and buy one. Buy a stack and distribute to your friends. (OK, best wait for the paperback edition for that one.)Normally, I might temper my … [Read more...]

I.I. Sponsors Internet Debate on God’s Existence: God or Blind Nature?

(Update 7/9/07: forced this post back to the top of the blog. --ed.)After five years of planning, preparation, and work, the Internet Infidels will officially announce on July 1 the first installment of its "Great Debate" project, God or Blind Nature? Philosophers Debate the Evidence. (I've been given the OK to post this early.) The project, coordinated by agnostic philosopher Paul Draper, will present four written debates involving nine distinguished philosophers, each examining different areas … [Read more...]

Atheist high school student’s ordeal ends

There are, no doubt, many quiet cases of religious discrimination that never make headlines. A submission to the News Wire alerted me to this one, but I was unable to post it on the Wire, because the story is told in three separate installments on a blog.The story begins on 27 April, when high-school student Reed Braden lends one of his atheist friends a copy of The God Delusion, incurring the wrath of his friend's father. Subsequently, Braden's principal opens an investigation on Braden and … [Read more...]

Born-again British Olympic gold medalist becomes atheist

Jonathan Edwards, who won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, was an evangelical Christian who "decided to risk everything to follow God’s revealed path, moving to Newcastle in 1987 to become a full-time athlete in the belief that his preordained success would enable him to evangelise to an unbelieving world; since he withdrew from the World Championships in Tokyo in 1991 because his event was scheduled for the Sabbath."But now that he's retired from athletics, he's lost his faith: “I ne … [Read more...]


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