September 1, 2011

I made an interesting discovery a few years ago. Not an especially unique discovery, I’ll admit, and rather obvious in hindsight. But here goes. The Eastern Mediterranean spawned three great religions: Judaism, then Christianity, and then Islam. With Christianity dominant in the US, it’s easy to focus only on this region. But northern India also spawned three great religions: Hinduism (before the tenth century BCE), Jainism (c. ninth century BCE), and Buddhism (c. sixth century BCE). This short animation shows… Read more

August 31, 2011

A map of world religions is a convenient way to show that (in contrast to science), religious answers to life’s Big Questions depend on location—hardly a compelling foundation on which to build truth claims. Read more

August 29, 2011

I recently found the name for a simple and common sense idea that is often abused in apologetics circles, the Principle of Analogy. Bob Price described it this way: We don’t know that things have always happened the way they do now.  But unless we assume that, we can’t infer anything about the past.  If we don’t assume that physics and chemistry have always worked by the same laws, we’re just going to believe anything any nut says.  … [Imagine… Read more

August 29, 2011

Texas governor Rick Perry was recently interviewed by the Texas Tribune (3:00 video), and he was asked about the value of abstinence-only sex education.  The interviewer said that Texas has the third-highest teen pregnancy rate in the country. Perry’s response: “Abstinence works.” Let’s make a distinction between abstinence (that is, actually abstaining from sex) and abstinence as a policy.  Perry is right, of course, that “abstinence works” in the first case.  It works by definition.  But the question is: Is… Read more

August 29, 2011

Dr. John Lennox, a math professor at the University of Oxford, visited Seattle recently to respond to Stephen Hawking’s recent The Grand Design (co-written with Leonard Mlodinow).  I’ll give a brief summary of the main points Lennox made with a few comments. In his book, Hawking says: Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why… Read more

August 29, 2011

A caltrop is a small object with four sharp spikes arranged such that however it lands on the ground, three spikes are down and one is pointing up.  Ninjas are said to have tossed these on the ground as they ran away to stop barefoot pursuers. A caltrop argument is a defensive argument that attempts to avoid an argument rather than respond to it honestly. My favorite caltrop argument goes something like this: Atheist: There is no absolute truth beyond… Read more

August 28, 2011

Hello?  Test, test….  Hey, is this thing on? After several years posting at other discussion forums, I’d like to focus my creative efforts on this blog.  I want to take a broad look at the arguments for and against Christianity as well as look at Christianity’s place in society.  I’d like to create a civil but energetic critique of Christianity from an atheist viewpoint. I’m interested in what you think!  Please add your comments.  Any suggestions for new topics—things about… Read more

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