Month: April 2010

Why we should have ceremonies with religious speeches

A benediction speech during graduation at Midwestern State University. It’s the best argument for encouraging religious performances in public events that I’ve come across in a while. I figure that if you have a zealous religious performance along these lines, anyone with some sanity remaining will be embarrassed or repulsed by such a display. Why we should have ceremonies with religious speeches

Who is the audience?

It’s an old (2009) photo, but I ran into it again today: It prompted me to ask if some of the more militant Islamic groups are aware of the disastrous public image presented by posters with “freedom can go to hell” and so forth on them. But then, many of them seem media-savvy to a Who is the audience?

Distrust of Science

I ran into a news item suggesting that at least in paranormal matters, public distrust of science is quite strong. Indeed, in a study done on belief in ESP, people informed that the scientific community was skeptical about ESP ended up more likely to think that ESP was real. People like me, who are deeply Distrust of Science

Jordan Howard Sobel (1929-2010)

Sadly, another (belated) obituary for an important figure in philosophy of religion: Jordan Howard Sobel, who many of us will recognize as the author of Logic and Theism, passed away on March 26, 2010, at the age of 81. A full obituary is posted at The Prosblogion.

Antony Flew’s Passing

Antony Flew died the other day. Like many secular people, I have mixed feelings. At the end of his life he was declared a theist. I say “was declared” because it is not clear to what extent in his final two or three years he was not simply in a state of senescent confusion. The Antony Flew’s Passing

Craig on Philo

First, sorry I have been away from S.O. for so long. Very busy. Anyway, I just noticed a small thing that I should probably ignore, but it irks me sufficiently that I am going to vent. In a footnote to his article “Theistic Critiques of Atheism,” in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, edited by Michael Craig on Philo

Perceiving Moral Truths?

Dianelos Georgoudis has put forward a theistic view of ethics and moral reasoning in his comments on “A Question of authority”, a recent post by Taner Edis. Given the intriguing combination of ethics and philosophy of religion involved here, I was unable to resist engaging Dianelos in a discussion of his views. Although I am Perceiving Moral Truths?

Flew obituaries

Obituaries for Antony Flew: Times, Telegraph. Perhaps I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead and all that, but I remain pissed off at the support the doddering Flew lent to a transparently naive form of the “intelligent design” argument.


When I was a kid, about thirty five or forty years ago, I remember that the political talk of my parents and their friends had a very Enlightenment flavor. Religious conservatism was reactionary, something that was a nuisance but would be swept away with progress. When they ran into, for example, a woman in full Defeat


I’m reading Bruce Bawer’s Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom. So far it’s unremarkable: standard issue right wing paranoia about Islam, obscuring what should be real concerns about the political implications of conservative Muslim religiosity. It’s interesting, however, how Islamophobic literature distorts Muslim religious terminology. Jihad always means holy war. Dhimmi isn’t a reference to historically Taqiyya