Month: August 2008

Skeptical Approaches to Miracles – part 3

There are a number of philosophical and epistemological objections to miracles. The first philosophical critique of miracles that I will consider comes from Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677). Spinoza was given the Hebrew name “Baruch” at birth, but began using the equivalent Latin name “Benedict” after he was excommunicated from the Jewish community in Amsterdam in 1656, Skeptical Approaches to Miracles – part 3

Creationist VP candidate?

Sarah Palin is now the Republican vice presidential candidate. She apparently came out in support of teaching creationism alongside evolution in public school science classrooms during her campaign for the governorship of Alaska in 2006. It does not seem to have hurt her election prospects in 2006, and I doubt it will now.

Faith and Reason – part 2

In “Does It Matter Whether Theism is Reasonable” (a short Chapter in the book, The Existence of God, 1965, Cornell University Press), Wallace Matson points out the difficulty involved in trying to rationally justify being rational: Well, what can be said to someone who explicitly rejects reason? One might point out that very likely he Faith and Reason – part 2

New Chick Tract

Serious weirdness, this one. Almost unintentionally subversive, in the way it blurs the distinction people make between fairy tales and Gospel Truth.

Religious discrimination?

In creationist and intelligent design circles, there’s long been a conviction that in scientific institutions there’s a climate of persecution against “dissenters from Darwinism.” This is not entirely imaginary; after all, in science, we tend to think that especially religiously-inspired anti-evolutionary stances are a sign of professional incompetence. Lately, I’ve ben running into an occasional Religious discrimination?

Booze, sex, godlessness

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is putting up billboards saying things like “Keep Religion OUT of Politics” and “Imagine No Religion.” Interestingly, a news story about this mentions that The five sites chosen by the organization were changed after CBS Outdoor said they had to be 1,000 feet from any schools or churches A sort Booze, sex, godlessness

Unsecular Democrats

The Democratic Party is having an Interfaith Gathering tomorrow, and the Coalition of Secular Voters are expressing their disgruntlement at their exclusion. I can see the need to put up a fuss. But I hope no one is naive enough to think secularist complaints can have more than a superficial effect on the Democrats. I’m Unsecular Democrats


My grandmother recently died. That was sad for those of us who loved her, but no great surprise. She was 88, in failing health, and she had had a good life. But the process of her dying was perhaps unnecessarily difficult. She had a massive stroke which destroyed her left brain hemisphere. Her wishes for Euthanasia

Faith and Reason

A nephew was recently visiting here in the Northwest, up from California. He is an atheist in a public junior high school with students who are mostly Catholics and Evangelical Christians. His skeptical and anti-religious views have not been warmly received by other students. So, he was asking me for some ammunition to take back Faith and Reason

Can we stop at metaphor?

“It should be seen as a metaphor.” That has has to be one of the the most common moves to save a supernatural belief from criticism. If educated people can no longer take the Bible at face value, well, maybe the creation stories, miracles, and so forth are all metaphorical. If astrology looks brain dead, Can we stop at metaphor?