Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination
Thew Secular Web has just put up my review of Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination by Anthony Campbell. Short version: it’s a good book, read it if you get a chance.
The Happy Heretic is back
The Happy Heretic, Judith Hayes’s web site, is back online after an absence of two years. Every month she puts up an essay criticizing some aspect of popular religion in the United States. I like following The Happy Heretic. I’m used to the sort of nonbelief that is common in academic circles, and I’ll never … The Happy Heretic is back
Purtill “Defining Miracles” – Part 2
In a previous post (5/10/08), I began to examine a definition of “miracle” put forward by Richard Purtill in his essay “Defining Miracles” (Defense of Miracles, IVP, 1997): A miracle is an event (1) brought about by the power of God that is (2) a temporary (3) exception (4) to the ordinary course of nature … Purtill “Defining Miracles” – Part 2
16% of US biology teachers are creationists
According to a paper in PLoS Biology by Michael B. Berkman, Julianna Sandell Pacheco, and Eric Plutzer, 16% of US secondary school biology teachers are creationists. Well, 16% is a high number. Or maybe it’s low, given that more like 48% are creationists among the general public.
Shroud of Turin
I apologize to everyone on behalf of physicists. The infamous Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus with a miraculously imprinted image of Jesus on it by some conservative Protestants and Catholics, is yet more evidence that supernatural convictions are impervious to criticism. It’s a bizarre claim at face value, and … Shroud of Turin
How insular are we?
I ran into a former student who once took my Weird Science course. She’s pretty religious and a creationist, and she told me that she recently watched a movie featuring Lee Strobel that she liked. It made her think of my course. I’ve read a couple of Strobel books, and I regularly lend out his … How insular are we?
A Hindu honor killing
I recently posted a rant concerning honor killings, using an Iraqi Muslim example. Well, I just ran into a Hindu example that is just as horrifying to modern liberal moral sensibilities. Again, note the connection to religion. There should be no surprise here: traditional communities depend on their religion for their sense of moral order. … A Hindu honor killing
Dawkins’ Definition of “God” – Part 2
As I argued in my previous post (“Dawkins’ Definition of ‘God’ “, 5/8/08), Dawkins’ use of the word “God” in The God Delusion is idiosyncratic and muddled. I’m trying to work through the muddles in order to determine to what extent, if any, Dawkins’ reasoning and conclusions are relevant to the age-old question, “Does God … Dawkins’ Definition of “God” – Part 2
“The Stupidity of Dignity”
Steven Pinker has a very good essay on The New Republic online, “The Stupidity of Dignity.” It examines the uselessness of the concept of dignity in bioethics, particularly the Catholic-inflected “theocon” version of bioethics that has become very influential in the US government.
Skeptical Approaches to Miracle Claims
I can think of at least four different skeptical approaches to miracle claims. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages. There is no need to settle on just one approach. The best option is, no doubt, to make use of all of these approaches. The Big Guns – AtheismThe first approach is to argue that there … Skeptical Approaches to Miracle Claims