A God That Could Be Real But Isn’t

By Jonsafari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

I just started reading Jerry Coyne’s new book, Faith vs. Fact and I’m finding it to be quite good. Last year he wrote a piece for The New Republic in which he addressed an issue that always frustrates me: the so-called sophisticated theologies. For those of you who haven’t spent years and years studying religion, these are notions of “God as Ground of Being” or the many varieties of process theology. They veer away from an interventionist God, sometimes even shunning the heavily supernatu … [Read more...]

Atheist Jew? Apparently This Is Not A Thing You Can Be

Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s derision of secular Jews and Judaism is receiving a boost from a surprising source. David Silverman has joined him. You can read all about it in a recent Tablet Magazine profile about the leader of the confrontational American Atheists.Silverman’s certainly not the first nontheist to reject his Jewishness. The great secular humanist, Prof. Paul Kurtz (founder of the Center for Inquiry), famously held a similar position. Israeli author Shlomo Sand just wrote a whole book ab … [Read more...]

The Outcast Of Beauregard Parish

When a rabbi decides that she or he is a nontheist there is a warm, accepting professional home.  When the same thing happens to a preacher - and most especially a Pentecostal preacher - well, the option to stay in the career track are considerably reduced (eliminated).Jerry DeWitt is a brave ex-preacher who came out as an atheist in Louisiana.  His story is the subject of a documentary that is in the works and you can be a part of making it happen.  The filmmakers have launched a Ki … [Read more...]

The New York Times Asks: Is Atheism A Religion?

In the New York Times’ latest installment of “Room for Debate,” writers discuss the question, “Is Atheism a Religion?” The exchange was inspired by Susan Jacoby’s recent piece, “The Blessings of Atheism” and by the new efforts of a couple of British non-believers to establish an actual atheist church, “The Sunday Assembly” that plans to meet monthly. All of the contributors come to the obvious conclusion that no, atheism is not a religion.I proudly display Richard Dawkins’ scarlet “A” in this … [Read more...]

Reform Judaism Leads To Atheism

Mark Zuckerberg’s supposed break with Judaism has inspired a chest-beating column by Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan in The Forward:...If...he has lost interest in Judaism, it is much more a reflection on us than it is on him. For those in the Reform movement...we need...to take an accounting of our accomplishments and, as in this case, our failings.While I could not find any direct quotes in which Zuckerberg disavows the God of Israel, either the omnipotent, omnipresent version or even the “still sma … [Read more...]

Meet Professor Boghossian

Courtesy of a friend and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (and I would hasten to add Sanity), I received a link to Bent Spoon with  a great, short interview with Peter Boghossian, professor of philosophy at Portland State University.  Sometimes we expend a lot of energy to say what can be summed up in a few words.  I certainly do.  But I was trained as a rabbi so I have an excuse. … [Read more...]

Does Judaism Need God? Do Jews?

New York’s “The Jewish Week” has an article about Jews and God that presents a good short summary of some of the issues I write about frequently.  Some of the statistics are fascinating, if not surprising:The data [from the Public Religion Research Institute’s survey on American Jewish values, released this month] ...showed that, while about 70 percent of Jews define themselves through a religious movement — Reform, Conservative or Orthodox — the other 30 percent see Judaism as more of a cultur … [Read more...]

It’s Lurie Versus Falick!

While Jerry Coyne has been “crossing swords” with Rabbi Alan Lurie on his site, the good rabbi and I have been engaged in a more collegial dialogue via e-mail.You’ll recall that I’ve been a little harsh on some of Lurie’s factual claims about God, though not nearly as brittle as Coyne, who calls him the “wacko rabbi.”  In fact, he’s not wacko at all.  He’s pretty representative of most liberal rabbis.After my most recent critique (okay, attack) over his recruitment of Einstein into theolo … [Read more...]

Lurie, Einstein And Me

I certainly did not expect to hear from Alan Lurie about my recent post, “Lurie Redux...Now With Einsteinian Proofs!”  It wasn’t much of a reply, just this:Einstein quote:"I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details."I never claimed that Einstein was religious or believed in a personal God, but he most certainly saw that there is a Creator. … [Read more...]

De Botton’s Religion For Atheists – A Review

Most humanists and other non-theists share a world view in most respects.  Overblown as it is, the main bone of contention in this community seems to be about how much respect - if any - should be shown for religion’s role in history and society.Alain de Botton is one of those atheists who holds religious culture in high regard.  He has just written a book called Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion in which he suggests that non-believers have most of the same … [Read more...]


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