The Meta book tour begins this week in Canada, followed by New York in May, and Indianapolis in June. For those in the Edmonton area that are interested in my and Adam’s dialogue on the big questions and combined effort to end human trafficking, come check us out. We’ll kick things off on Thursday, April 5th at 7pm at the University of Alberta. The program is billed as “A Christian Humanist, a Secular Humanist, and a Theologian” and is moderated… Read more

In his book Our Mathematical Universe, cosmologist Max Tegmark puts forward both a big question and provocative solution. First, the big question: “But why has our physical world revealed such extreme mathematical regularity that astronomy superhero Galileo Galilei proclaimed nature to be ‘a book written in the language of mathematics,’ and Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner stressed the ‘unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the physical sciences’ as a mystery demanding an explanation?” [1] Time and time again, mathematicians, philosophers, and scientists… Read more

Intelligent Design. Claiming it’s atheological blasphemy is a cute play on words to describe an obvious truth, but moving towards it being theological blasphemy is definitely a proactive thesis requiring further exploration. Does it require atheism to find something uneasy in the assertion that “things are too irreducibly complex to have evolved, thus God did it” – especially when there are evolutionary models in place? Of course not, and to this, the subject of this post. It’s a nuanced theme, and counter-intuitive to many,… Read more

If determinism is true, is free will possible? Compatibilists say yes, incompatibilists say no. In his short book Free Will, Sam Harris asserts a very strong incompatibilism; that free will is not only an illusion, but that the very concept is incoherent. He begins by highlighting the problem: “If a man’s choice to shoot the president is determined by a certain pattern of neural activity, which is in turn the product of prior causes-perhaps an unfortunate coincidence of bad genes, an unhappy… Read more

On the intersection of Christianity, humanism, and social justice, Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail is a must read. An immensely important fact to consider was to whom the letter was addressed: “My Dear Fellow Clergymen”. His aim was to address the criticisms from the church that his actions were “unwise” and “untimely”, but it went much further than an apologia. Like Paul’s letters to the Church, MLK’s letter was calling of the Church to true discipleship. In this case, turning a blind eye to… Read more

In Mind of God, agnostic physicist Paul Davies explores a number of deep questions, one of which takes aim at Eugene’s Wigner’s question on the “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in describing the natural world. Restated by Einstein, “how is it possible that mathematics, a product of human thought that is independent of experience fits so excellently the objects of physical reality?” He presents various perspectives on the “is mathematical invented or discovered?” question. For many with Platonic leanings, mathematics is obviously discovered. Here Davies… Read more

I am happy to announce my recent relocation from the Evangelical channel to the Progressive Christian channel. A warm thank you to Ben Corey and the rest of the progressive Christian bloggers for having me. With a name like Soapbox Redemption: Nicene. Philosophical. Swagger, where else could I possibly end up? In all seriousness, I suppose a long essay on “why the switch?” should be in order, but it’s actually not very dramatic. In hindsight, I was always “progressive” if I… Read more

You have to admire philosopher Alex Rosenberg. His skepticism is piercing. In An Atheists Guide to Reality, he provides a list of questions and their answers, asserting ” how totally unavoidable they are, provided you place your confidence in science to provide the answers.” “Is there a god? No. What is the nature of reality? What physics says it is. What is the purpose of the universe? There is none. What is the meaning of life? Ditto. Why am I here? Just… Read more

To defend the Catholic Church’s kidnapping of a six year old child is certainly a brave move; ridiculous, but certainly brave. But hey, what else would you do when a Jewish child is baptized in secret by his Christian nanny when he was sick (for fear of eternal damnation should he have died)? Why, knock on the parent’s door, and take him of course. This is precisely what Pope Pius IX and the Catholic Church did in the case of Edgardo… Read more

It’s an interesting existential perspective, that “beliefs” are actually “becoming”. In many cases, it makes sense to consider “beliefs” as impersonal propositions, like believing your dog will fetch a ball based on previous experience. Perhaps it can be defined as a degree of trust, whether or not well deserved, or an inclination towards a given truth. At the same time, depending on the proposition, the word belief, without an existential commitment or way of life, is completely deficient. Does one truly believe, for example,… Read more

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