“Thoughts in a Hijab” video

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=4638057&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1Thoughts 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:http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-news-section/162-162/2438-vatican-decree-female-ordination-a-crimeThe 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...]

What’s the harm?

What's the harm? is a fascinating website collecting news stories concerning people who have come to some harm due to paranormal and supernatural beliefs. It's intended to counter the common "well, what's the harm in believing that?" response that critics of paranormal and supernatural convictions often face. It's not a detailed case including statistical assessments of harm and so forth, so its evidential value is limited. But at least it might get people thinking that some of this may well, in … [Read more...]

The “heart” of a religion

Quotation from John L. Esposito's The Future of Islam, page 6:If a group of Jews or Christians had been responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center, few would have attributed it to the beliefs of mainstream Judaism or Christianity. The assassination of Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin by a Jewish fundamentalist was not attributed to something in mainstream Judaism; nor was the clergy sex abuse scandal attributed to the heart of Catholicism.The most heinous crimes committed by Jewish or … [Read more...]

Christian vandalism

I've written occasionally about how atheist billboards in the US have a way of attracting vandalism. Some conservative Christians have noticed as well. Recently I've run into two examples of justifying such vandalism. One, which has already been well-savaged by PZ Myers, is a WorldNetDaily piece by one Chrissy Satterfield.Mind you, WorldNetDaily is a seriously insane web site. (I often visit it for entertainment.) It's a good place for birther conspiracies and the likes.But since we're looking … [Read more...]