People become atheists for all sorts of reasons, but one of the more commonly cited reasons is that atheism is a rational and reasonable position to take based on the lack of evidence for the existence of any sort of god. However, it is not uncommon for religious believers to argue that atheism is somehow based on faith and is inherently irrational, presumably more so than standard religious beliefs. A recent example of an attempt to argue for the irrationality of atheism can be seen in…
A few months ago, The New York Times published a bizarre opinion piece by philosopher Gary Gutting called Did Zeus Exist? With apparent earnestness, Gutting argues that not only did the ancient Greeks have good reason to believe in the existence of Zeus (and presumably their other gods) but that we should take seriously the possibility that they might just have been right. Not that they were right, but that…Continue
To be "phobic" of something is normally taken to mean to be frightened of it. The Greek word phobos actually means fear or terror, so it would make sense to think that people who are "Islamophobic" are those who are frightened of Islam. However, in recent times, the term "islamophobic" has been used to describe those who publicly criticise Islam such as Richard Dawkins and other "new atheists" e.g. in a …Continue
Richard Dawkins in recent writings has referred a number of times to a charming fellow named William Lane Craig, also known as "the Genocide Preacher". For those who have not heard of him he has a webpage with the preposterous title of "Reasonable Faith". In a recent Q & A page he explains why it was perfectly…Continue
There has been some discussion about the topic of Hell over at Psychology Today recently. (I have a blog there by the way in case anyone's interested!) You might even say it's a hot topic! (Sorry.) Psychologist Nathan Heflick wrote about the psychological aspects of the subject…Continue
I found this cute cartoon recently, thought it was a clever way to turn the smugness of some believers on its head.
According to some commentators, the recent riot in Libya in which an embassy was burned and four Americans killed may be viewed as an extreme response to "extremism". Huffington Post blogger Ahmed Shihab-Eldin argues that:…Continue
This post is of a more personal nature than usual for me. I was browsing through Reddit recently and came across a link to a bizarre article claiming that research has linked "overt atheism" and mental illness. The story cites no references and contains no links confirming that the study is real. Funnily enough, "Damien", the owner of this website says on his homepage that…Continue
Recent news stories have suggested that employers may be reluctant to hire people without a Facebook profile on the grounds that Facebook usage has become so common that not having an account is seen as somehow abnormal. This concern appears to have been compounded by a lurid report in a German…Continue
Recently Richard Dawkins tweeted about the Mars Rover landing:
Yes, America STILL manages to reach Mars, despite half the country preparing to elect a man who believes he'll get a planet when he dies
For anyone not sure of what he meant by getting a planet when you die, he was referring to the Mormon belief in "exaltation". I was unaware of this myself until fairly…Continue
Some philosophers, such as Richard Swinburne have argued that there is evidence from fine tuning that the specific laws of physics that allow intelligent life forms to exist are so improbable that it is plausible that these laws were fine tuned by god in order that intelligent life forms could exist (Leslie, 1990). Swinburne argued that a good god would have particular reason to will that beings such as humans could come to exist, e.g. so that we could develop…Continue
Religious philosopher Richard Swinburne contends that the fact that the universe is actually explicable to human reason ‘points to the existence of a deity’.
As a thought experiment, imagine a universe that was not explicable to its inhabitants, where the reasons why things happened were completely opaque and not open to human understanding. People there might say that ‘God works in…
Added by Scott McGreal on August 2, 2012 at 10:00pm — No Comments