Alain de Botton Gets it Backwards

Remember you can vote once per day for the Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.Alain de Botton, author of Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion, is, as you might guess, a bit persona non grata with the New Atheist blogosphere.  After reading his most recent CNN Opinion piece ("What atheists can learn from religion"), I'm guessing religious folks will also be thinking, "Please, don't help us."  Here … [Read more...]

Picking the Boring Fight

[UPDATE: I've just started a hopefully non-boring fight with a couple Dominicans reading Edward Feser's defense of Aristotle and Aquinas. You can keep track of all posts in that series here: The Last Superstition Index Post]In the comment thread for my Hitchens post, Lukas complained that he found god is Not Great unreadable and linked to a critique from First Things.  David Bentley Hart has a number of complaints about Hitchens's book and a collection of essays titled 50 Voices of … [Read more...]

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...]

Bishop Robinson’s God of Low Expectations

I'm a huge proponent of Dan Savage's It Gets Better project, but Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson's upload really rubbed me the wrong way.  I'm holding my comments til after the video, so watch it before you scroll down so I don't bias your reaction further.Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Bishop Robinson is centering his message on "God loves you as you are, so you don't need to change?"It makes sense to say that God wants a better life for you, but can Robinson really … [Read more...]

Bubblegum Pop and Pop Religion

The series on immorality is still ongoing, and the next post will go up this evening.  But now for something completely different...Last night, the pop juggernaut/variety show/karaoke hour that is the TV show Glee decided get religion.  If you don't follow the show, the title of the episode "Grilled Cheesus" may give you a hint about the taste level of the show.In brief, one of the students makes a grilled cheese sandwich that appears to be imprinted with the face of Jesus.   He takes up … [Read more...]

Coming up on Unequally Yoked…

Sorry for the slow responses to your comments. I’ve been (foolishly) trying to reply to every point raised at once. To give myself a little time, I’m using this post to outline the major questions I’m going to try to address, and give you a very brief précis of the posts coming up on these topics. Sound off in the comments if I’ve left out a topic you’d like to get feedback on!What is your definition of God? Aristarchus says: What counts as a god? I say I am an atheist, meaning not only … [Read more...]

God’s Place in a Supernatural Bestiary

Commenter Aristarchus is pretty much in complete disagreement with my weighting of evidence for God in yesterday’s post. Aristarchus said: To be convinced that a god or gods existed, I would need to see some sort of proof of supernatural powers. If someone came to me in a dream and made very specific, unlikely predictions, that I wrote down and talked about at the time, and then those things happened, that would be evidence. (If the event was sufficiently unlikely to be true by chance, it m … [Read more...]