Month: July 2010


The current fashion appears to be to describe our current situation as “post-secular.” Secularism, it appears, cannot adequately accommodate the equal citizenship of conservative religious populations in a time of religious resurgence. Secular claims of neutrality between religious stances ring hollow. And however it might be defended, secularism cannot be honestly presented as a requirement Post-secularism?

They’re raising the dead! Today!

I ran into a 2009 web page from a Hawaiian Christian movement of some sort, where they claim a man was raised from the dead recently. Even if you believe their report (I suspect the usual embellishments and exaggerations), it’s not as clear-cut as they advertise it. Other miracles include a “multiplication of food” incident, They’re raising the dead! Today!

Too much choice

One thing that strikes me about conservative monotheist morality-talk is how it’s so focused on everyday and family questions. For example, a fatwa site I regularly visit doesn’t just concentrate on doctrinal and ritual details; it’s full of advice on all sorts of personal matters. I wonder if that’s part of the attraction. I don’t Too much choice

“Thoughts in a Hijab” video

Thoughts in a Hijab from Reel Grrls on Vimeo. The most common argument given for living in a secular fashion is that this represents liberation. Secular liberals are all for freedom. But a lot of people reject this form of freedom. They don’t want to be “liberated” from their cultural identity and especially their religious practices. “Thoughts in a Hijab” video

The Sentence “God exists” Part 3

Let’s set aside, for the moment, Richard Swinburne’s critique of Ayer’s Logical Positivist argument for the incoherence of theism, and consider Swinburne’s concept of “God”. I’m jumping ahead to the second book in Swinburne’s trilogy on theism (The Existence of God, 2nd edition). There are two kinds of explanation according to Swinburne: scientific and personal. The Sentence “God exists” Part 3

Blog Changes

I’ve finally bit the bullet and asked to be included among the administrators of this blog. So, I’ve made some changes to the appearance of the blog. I’d welcome comments and advice about whether this helps or hurts readability. I’ve also been deleting comments by “DM” as they appear. I’ve tried to identify and block Blog Changes

The Old Creeds

Does anybody read the old creeds any longer? Here is the Athanasian Creed (late 5th or early 6th Century) in its entirety: Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And The Old Creeds

What’s the harm?

What’s the harm? is a fascinating website collecting news stories concerning people who have come to some harm due to paranormal and supernatural beliefs. It’s intended to counter the common “well, what’s the harm in believing that?” response that critics of paranormal and supernatural convictions often face. It’s not a detailed case including statistical assessments What’s the harm?

The “heart” of a religion

Quotation from John L. Esposito’s The Future of Islam, page 6: If a group of Jews or Christians had been responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center, few would have attributed it to the beliefs of mainstream Judaism or Christianity. The assassination of Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin by a Jewish fundamentalist was not The “heart” of a religion