Wahhabi madness

Most devout Muslims today are in favor of science, and often even philosophy. If you press further, you may run into qualifications: it isn't supposed to be "materialist science," certain sciences such as evolutionary biology might be tainted, etc. etc. But at least rhetorically, most affirm science.And then there are the Wahhabis and other ultraconservatives. You would hope medieval Islamic rulings against philosophy and natural science would be a bad memory by now, but no, these guys resurrect … [Read more...]

Rebellious spirits

A common theme in conservative apologetics is that atheists fundamentally disbelieve as an act of rebellion. Infidels don't have any real reason to doubt, god forbid, so there must be some psychological pathology or moral depravity behind it all.There is some point to this accusation, I suppose. The conservative Christian or Muslim God often comes across as a disagreeable character, if you have a certain kind of temperament. I have to admit that the Biblical or Quranic God, especially as … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

I worry that there are people in this world who actually believe stuff like this. … [Read more...]

Blackford and Schuklenk interview

Examiner.com has an interview with Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk, editors of the forthcoming 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists.It's an interesting interview, particularly where Blackford and Schuklenk, bioethicists, express frustration at religious influence on their domain. The book (coming in October) should be very interesting as well. (Disclaimer: I contributed one of the "50 voices" essays.) … [Read more...]

A reality TV show someone should watch (not me)

So far I've spent about half of my life in the US, half in Turkey. The populations of both countries are insane. That is, the vast majority in both countries are too fond of religious and nationalist forms of enthusiasm for my taste.Sometimes, though, I really don't know how to respond to a particular example of weirdness. I hear that a Turkish TV channel is going to put on a reality show in which representatives of world religions get to compete in order to convert an atheist each time. This … [Read more...]

Summary of every book on the state of Islam written by a Muslim

Here, as a public service, is a summary of every single book on the state of Islam ever written by a devout Muslim in modern times:The Muslim world is in crisis. But none of this indicates any fault with my version of Islam, which in its core precepts is divine and perfect. Muslims, however, have misunderstood Islam, and have therefore fallen into unfortunate circumstances.There. That should save you from having to read through an awful lot of books. You're welcome. … [Read more...]

Stained glass

I was in Europe earlier this month, adding to the list of Gothic cathedrals I've visited. I like the stained glass windows the best. Here is a small sample: a window from Chartres, a detail from Bourges, and a single pane from Bern:You'll notice I especially like the hell or judgment themed ones. Most windows are more pedestrian; I like more of an element of the fantastic. And even if hell, devils, and the day of judgment are damnable doctrines, they're pretty good for fantastic and fearsome … [Read more...]

Freedom

Freedom is to act as one's real and true nature demands and so only the true exercise of that choice which is of what is good can properly be called 'free choice'. A choice for the better is therefore an act of freedom . . . Whereas a choice for the worse is not a choice as it is grounded in ignorance . . . it is then also not an exercise in freedom because freedom means precisely being free of domination by the powers of the soul that incites to evil.A statement by a conservative Catholic, … [Read more...]


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