My response to Jeremy Neill’s “A God Who Love and Cares”

RYGER / Shutterstock.com This post is part of a new feature from Patheos called Head to Head where our best minds debate the big questions of the day. This week, I am debating the Evangelical Channel’s Jeremy Neill of “Everyday Ethics”. The question: does emphasizing the incomprehensible nature of god become an expression of atheism? Or put simply does religious faith require a personal God? This topic was brought to us by James F. McGrath. You can see James’ thoughts at… Read more

Christian university’s morality prevents them from helping LGBTQ homeless youth

3/11/15 10:32 AM — UPDATE below… Some disturbing things have been happening in the past couple of days at my alma mater, Andrews University.[1] An unofficial gay-straight alliance on campus called AULL4ONE decided that they wanted to have a bake sale to raise money for an agency called Project Fierce Chicago, whose mission is to “reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing identity-affirming transitional housing,” Cassandra Avenatti, Project Fierce Chicago’s founder, told me. I’ve seen and participated in efforts like… Read more

Ultimism as Functional Atheism: I go Head to Head with Evangelical Jeremy Neill

RYGER / Shutterstock.com This post is part of a new feature from Patheos called Head to Head where our best minds debate the big questions of the day. This week, I will be debating the Evangelical Channel’s Jeremy Neill of “Everyday Ethics”. The question: does emphasizing the incomprehensible nature of god become an expression of atheism? Or put simply does religious faith require a personal God? This topic was brought to us by James F. McGrath. You can see James’… Read more

All aboard the via negative

On Saturday, I wrote on my Facebook page, Some take the via negativa and arrive at a number of versions of theism. Some hold on to nothing more than an echo of God. Others, like myself, take it to the last stop and realize there is no God at all and that God was always the echo of our own voices. This comment generated quite a little conversation over there. Someone felt I was being over-confident about my destination because, among… Read more

Interacting with an Atheist

There have been some thought provoking responses to my Year Without God. I have several that I intend to respond to, even two months after the fact, because I think they engage with some important ideas. There have also been some pretty bad responses. Not bad in that they disagree with me. All sorts of people disagree with me. But bad in the sense that they they don’t present very compelling ideas. Last week I shared the Adventist Review’s response… Read more

Humanism at Yale Week

The Yale Humanist Community just announced it’s Humanism at Yale Week, April 5-12, 2015. It’s a wonderful line up of speakers and events and I’m honored to be a part of a panel on Monday, April 6, called “Do Atheists Believe in Nothing?” The other members of the panel are Dr. Laurie Santos, Associate Professor of Psychology at Yale University  and Director of Yale’s Comparative Cognition Laboratory;  and Leighann Lord, comedian and co-host of StarTalk with Neil de Grasse Tyson. Chris Stedman, Executive… Read more

When criticism becomes harmful

I’ve had my share of critics over the past 13 months or so. To recap, in case you haven’t been keep score at home, there have been outspoken critics from both sides. Initially, atheists were highly skeptical of my intentions. From where I stand now I really understand why. They were just doing their job, being good skeptics. I’d probably look on my former self skeptically, too. Some went a good ways beyond skepticism to being cruel and ungracious. Even… Read more

I’m headed to Texas

I’m excited! I get to visit two cities in Texas that I’ve never been to before, and I get to meet the amazing freethinkers, skeptics and atheists in those communities. If you live in San Antonio or Austin I would love to meet you while I’m there. Here’s my schedule: Saturday, March 7 12:30 pm | Freethinkers of Central Texas, San Antonio Radius Center, 106 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, TX 7:00 pm | CFI Austin Location TBD Sunday, March 8 12:00 pm |… Read more

Ideology kills

There has been a great deal of soul-searching in the past 24 hours around the triple homicide in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s so upsetting that I almost can’t make my fingers do this typing but I think it’s important. It’s possible you’ve read exactly what I’m going to say here somewhere else, but I want to say it anyway. As many philosophers, social scientists and even theologians, have pointed out, religions tend to intensify in-group loyalties and out-group hostilities. This… Read more

Bertrand Russell on the good life

Here’s a wonderful quote I ran across this weekend about “the good life” by Bertrand Russell. This quote comes from his essay, What I Believe.” My view is this: The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Knowledge and love are both indefinitely extensible; therefore, however good a life may be, a better life can be imagined. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. The entire essay is remarkable and… Read more

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