Month: October 2010

Headscarves to placate the police

An interesting observation I ran across in an interview with a Turkish journalist: Apparently, many women drivers in Turkey have begun to keep a headscarf in the car. This is just in case they run into a police checkpoint (usually for traffic purposes). In Turkey today, the police are notoriously a stronghold of religious conservatism. Headscarves to placate the police

An Atheist Defends Religion

I recently read Bruce Sheiman’s An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity Is Better Off with Religion than without it. It’s a bit disappointing, so I won’t write a long review. The thesis of the book is interesting enough: that organized religion and supernatural belief has significant social and personal benefits, and that even those who An Atheist Defends Religion

Evolution as a liberal cultural weapon

I spend a good part of each week in the classroom trying to teach college students some physics. I’ve done a lot of work on supernatural and paranormal beliefs, particularly varieties of creationism and intelligent design. So I’m professionally obligated to deplore any inroads creationism makes into education, and to insist that evolution is a Evolution as a liberal cultural weapon

The Sentence “God exists” – Part 5

In Part II of The Coherence of Theism (revised edition,1993), Richard Swinburne discusses the idea of a “contingent God”. The first chapter in Part II, is Chapter 7, “An Omnipresent Spirit”,which focuses on the following sentence: (3) An omnipresent spirit exists. This sentence involves two key attributes that Swinburne uses to define “God” (or “divine The Sentence “God exists” – Part 5

Dianelos on the Moral Argument

Dianelos Georgoudis, in reply to my post “Atheism Debunked! Again!,” has conveniently and succinctly offered both “conceptual” and a “practical” moral arguments for theism. I take the liberty of putting the first of these in premise/conclusion format and try to express it a bit more rigorously. I do hope I have not distorted his meaning. Dianelos on the Moral Argument

Atheism Debunked! Again!

On his Dangerous Idea blog Victor Reppert refers to a 2007 article by Washington Post writer Michael Gerson: I did not see this article at the time, and my reason for commenting on it now is that the arguments it gives are ones we have heard many times and ones that will be heard Atheism Debunked! Again!

Social changes that may undermine nonbelief

Standard accounts of secularization emphasize how social changes that led to the modern world undermine organized religion. Few people actively wanted religion to become a more private affair – secularization has always proceeded against a background of shirt-rending about the erosion of public morality. And few were affected by intellectual critiques of religion. Science, for Social changes that may undermine nonbelief

Freethinkers: A source guide has just put up “Freethinkers: A source guide to atheists, humanists and other nontheists.” It’s intended as a resource guide for journalists interested in various forms of nonbelief, but it’s useful for other purposes as well. It’s worth a quick look. Your name Your email Subject Your message (optional)