If This is Religion, Why Bother?

Following a link from A Practical Heretic, I came across a rather bizarre portrait of religion at New Scientist.  Kate Douglas appears to be working her way through a series titled "Starting Over" where she imagines how you would redesign certain institutions and conventions if you weren't limited by prior practice.  She's looked at timekeeping, toilets, and voting, and this week she turned her attention to religion.By the end of the article, she's designed a faith that Alex Knapp described a … [Read more...]

Play it Again: Desecration as Discourse

The giant comment thread at "Is it so hard not to desecrate a Eucharist" has been heating up again over the last few days, and I want to do a recap of why I think P.Z. Myers's stunt was bad instrumentally for atheism and bad ethically for any individual atheist.  Here's the rundown:There's no way to get your hands on a consecrated wafer for the purpose of desecration ethicallyThis is a pretty prosaic point and was the focus of the original post, but it keeps coming up, so I'll go through … [Read more...]

Play it Again: God’s Genocides

This is a new feature for the site, where I'm going to try to pull a specific conversation/controversy out of the comments of a previous post and put it back in front of everyone.  I always find it a little harder to follow these involved disputes when they get argued piecemeal in the comments, interspersed amid whatever other arguments are taking place. And just a reminder: if you're trying to make a lengthy defense of your position in the comments, maybe you should ask about guest … [Read more...]

Don’t Take Me Literally! (Hellfire edition)

I'll be responding to the very interesting discussions developing on yesterday's thread on baffling inconsistencies displayed by people on both sides on the religious divide after I turn in my senior thesis powerpoint for review before my presentation tomorrow.  I need to finish not only the powerpoint and talk, but also a glossary of tech terms (4chan, DDoS, etc) and add a content advisory note, since some of my primary sources include obscene and anatomically impossible epithets.  (Yale folks, … [Read more...]

Don’t Take Me Literally!

Patrick made a good observation about the disparity between some apologists' stated beliefs and their actual behavior and the problems this hypocrisy creates in debates.  He summarized some of William Lane Craig's more terrifying beliefs (particularly with regard to Old Testament slaughters) and asked Do you treat Craig (and by extension his faith and his holy text) as monstrous, since that's what his interpretation makes them? Do you treat him as an idiot, because you know he's not a monster … [Read more...]

Don’t Hand Weapons to Your Enemies

It didn't take very long into the comment thread of my post critiquing nasty atheists for someone to lob the 'accommodationist' charge at me.  So let's get a few things straight: I don't think religion and atheism are compatible (with the exeptions of some extremely boring religions)..  And, on either side, the stakes of being wrong are high enough that there's little use in papering over the differences or agreeing to disagree.  If you want to sort out the truth, I think that goal is best serv … [Read more...]

Tech Apocalypse

No, not that bad.My laptop charger has ceased to charge, so my ability to post/pull comments out of the spam filter just got sharply curtailed.   Add to that the fact that I'm presenting my senior thesis on Tuesday, and I can guarantee that the computer time I manage to get will not be spent here as much.Happily, Lenovo's tech support has been nothing but helpful, and they should have a new charger to me by Wednesday.  So, in the meantime, keep commenting, be patient with Blogger's sucky … [Read more...]