I notice that some comments on recent posts have resurrected the old canard about atheism being responsible for some of history’s worst atrocities. The argument goes like this: Communists committed horrible atrocities. Communits were atheists. Therefore atheism is to blame for horrible atrocities. Prof. Alister McGrath of Oxford Univbersity makes this claim in his book … Atheist Atrocities?
There is a sense in which the whole problem of the existence of supernatural powers such as God is soluble. You try to come up with the best broad picture of the universe. You pay special attention to phenomena that have traditionally been explained as due to gods and demons, spirits and ghosts. If a … With a solution, without a solution
For those interested in the Trilemma, I have made two recent posts criticizing Josh McDowell’s trilemma argument on my blog: http://crossexamination.blogspot.com/ The focus of the recent posts is on the key assumption that Jesus claimed to be God.
I’ve run into a paper by Eric Kaufmann, “Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century,” that gives an interesting twist to the debate about secularization. Social scientists have been butting heads for quite some time about secularization, counter-trends of religious revival, and so forth. Kaufmann thinks there’s a new … Peaking secularity
“Atheists have no basis for morality”—this has to be one of the most common charges laid against nonbelievers. There is a sense in which the accusation is correct. It just happens to be incomplete. No one has any basis for morality, at least not in the otherworldly sense of “basis” that informs many conversations about … Atheists have no basis for morality
R. Elisabeth Cornwell has an interesting article online, “Why Women Are Bound to Religion: An Evolutionary Perspective.” Women are, statistically speaking, more religious than men. Cornwell speculates that this has to do with female social conservatism, tendency to avoid risks, and higher dependence on social networks for reproductive success. I don’t understand why the article … “Why Women Are Bound to Religion”
[ My dialogue piece responding to Stephen M. Barr, from Divine Action and Natural Selection, pp. 479-80. ] Much of what Dr. Barr says is theological. I have no competence to comment on how it fits in with his particular religious tradition. It also strikes me as irrelevant to those not already committed to his … Barr dialogue piece from DINA
I would say that theists have a hard time dealing with randomness, but that would be misleading. Quite a few nonbelievers also dislike randomness. Randomness offends against the intuition that everything has a cause, whether this eventually means supernatural ultimate causes or a universe where every event has a natural cause. Still, religious thinkers seem … Random thoughts
It’s easy to suspect that characteristically philosophical questions are irresolvable. And not just in the sense that there are no final and incontestable answers, but in the sense that you can’t even make progress on them. The main reason to suspect this is that philosophers don’t in fact seem able to resolve their disputes. (You … Creationist scientists
The major intellectual sin of science is that it can get boring. Let’s face it, most of us bang away at research that might be useful, even important for others in our subsubdiscipline, but it’s hardly a big deal. (Do you want me to talk about the effects of stratospheric relaxation in radiative forcing calculations? … Divine Action and Natural Selection