Defining Atheism, Defining Sacrilege (Series Index)

Prompted by a post by atheist blogger and agent provocateur P.Z. Myers, I started a conversation on this blog about the appropriate definition of atheism.  Since the conversation had started with P.Z. Myers, sooner or later it wound around to his public desecration of a consecrated wafer in 2008.I still think his actions were immoral and highly inappropriate, but many of the atheist commenters here disagreed.  You can read through all posts on this topic below, and be sure to pay special a … [Read more...]

An Attraction to Orthodoxy (Series)

As part of my Sunday's Good Book series, I posted about G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy and explained that there was a lot that I found compelling and challenging about his philosophy.  Since that's a sorta weird thing for an atheist to say, discussion ensued and is ongoing.  Here's all the posts on this topic to date: I Assign You Reading! - As a prelude to my discussion of Chesterton, I highlighted an essay by Eve Tushnet about when, if ever, people should let their ethics refute t … [Read more...]

Covenant Marriage Index

Some time ago, I got into a dispute about covenant marriage with my friend Stephen, who blogs at The Last Delta-T.  I'm defending my position in a series of posts, both because I have problems with a subset of anti-marriage rhetoric that is sometimes used by people on the left (particularly my friends!) and because I think my views on marriage are a decent intro to some of my virtue ethics beliefs generally. What We Talk About When We Talk About Marriage - an intro to our … [Read more...]

Identifying Purposefulness [Index]

 During the series addressing Michael Egnor's Eight Questions for Atheists, I spent a post discussing why there was regularity in nature, and whether that regularity had any implications about a possible design for the world or the existence of a Designer.Three commenters got into a lengthy argument/discussion in the comments section, and, this week, I've invited each of them to write a guest post explaining their take on the issue.  The discussion in the comments section was free … [Read more...]

Can There be an Atheist Agenda?

After I got into a disagreement about tactics with John Loftus of Debunking Christianity, I ended up in a discussion of what, if anything, an atheist agenda should consist of and whether atheists had anything at all in common beside their disbelief in God.First, the posts dealing directly with my dispute with LoftusWant to help write a book? -- Loftus solicits possible questions for a Christian apologist and I offer a few thoughts Why do atheists ask the boring questions? -- Loftus's q … [Read more...]

Eight Questions for Atheists

The Discovery Institute's Michael Egnor has posted eight questions as a challenge to New Atheists.  I've been a little overwhelmed for the past two weeks in rehearsals for the production of Iolanthe I'm co-directing, so I'm going to adopt these questions as a new posting sequence while I'm in rehearsal, and I'll be answering the questions out of order, depending on how much time I have each day. Eight Questions for AtheistsWhy is there anything? What caused the Universe? (plus bonus … [Read more...]

Sin and Immorality (Index Post)

Previously on this blog I've written about morality, but in a highly abstracted, mathematically-inclined way.  This week I'd like to take a more personal tack.  I think I'm unusual among most atheists in that I see a great deal of truth in Catholic and Christian teaching about original sin, some worm at the heart of the apple.  It's why I've found some parts of Christian ethics extremely helpful in my own life. Opening Myself to Sin - Treating moral questions as economic on … [Read more...]