Showing posts from August, 2014

Excerpt from The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver and Working the Rabbit's Foot: Answering Christian Apologetics (From Chapter 8: Chasing Down Heresies Where None Exist)

This picture makes more sense after reading the article. 8 CHASING DOWN HERESIES WHERE NONE EXIST Randal comes back to his critique of Victor Stenger’s assessment of God as an astonishing hypothesis , [1] and wastes no time stating his grievances: I disagree with the assumption that Christians need to justify their belief in God as a hypothetical posit that’s supposed to explain some feature of their experience. Certainly one could argue for God in this way, but it’s not the usual way Christians think about God. From the Christian perspective, God is not a hypothesis; rather, he’s a lived reality. We can’t help but wonder, if God is not a facet of experience but he is a lived reality, then what is a lived reality if not an experience of reality? And if you cannot derive a hypothesis about that reality from experience, then how can you be sure it’s reality that you are experiencing and not, for example, a hallucination or a delusion? I think Randal is do

Excerpt from The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver and Working the Rabbit's Foot: Answering Christian Apologetics (From Chapter 6: What We Should Teach Children)

(From Chapter 6: What We Should Teach Children) Sheridan holds that religious indoctrination of minors is a form of child abuse. Randal pulls out a copy of Richard Dawkins’ book A Devil’s Chaplain and quotes from the book in which Dawkins laments the fact that his daughter was being given religious instruction without his knowing about it. As you may know, Richard Dawkins is a strong proponent against the religious indoctrination of children, as he rightly observes that religious indoctrination is little more than telling children what to think and believe, not teaching them how to think critically so that they will be equipped to evaluate their beliefs for themselves when they enter into the age of reason. Sheridan sides with Dawkins as to the argument of whether or not indoctrinating children into religion is a kind of abuse or not, [1] and challenges Randal on the front that any reasonable person would see that coaching children to fear hell, among other quest

Quote of the Day: Bruce Gerencser (The Way Forward)

My friend Bruce Gerencser of the blog The Way Forward wrote about how he would defang fundamentalist Xianity in America. His list is not only excellent, it is really insightful, because it shows how much religious theocrats already get away with in America.  *** There are several things that can be done to defang Christian fundamentalism: Close and defund the  White House  Office of Faith - Based  and Neighborhood Partnerships . The government has no business giving tax money to churches. Prohibit tax money from being funneled to private Christian schools via school voucher and school choice programs.  An exception could be made for any school that is state licensed and under the purview of the state board of education. Pass a federal homeschooling standard. Forbid schools from teaching creationism. Forbid churches, pastors, and parachurch groups from having access to public school students during school hours. Enforce the law regarding church endorsement of political candidates. If a

Quote of the Day: Alan Noble (On Christian Persecution Complex)

In an article published in the Atlantic, Alan Noble (a Christian no less) writes on The Evangelical Persecution Complex  and why it seems to be so prevalent in the U.S. even though their is little to no real persecution of Christians. Outside of the U.S. is an entirely different story. What he has to say is, I think, worth listening to. Traditionally, Christians have had a very broad view of what it means to suffer for Christ—broad enough to include everything from genuine martyrdom to mild ridicule by nonbelievers. Behind this is an essential part of the faith, which says that every Christian will be persecuted by the world: True believers will lose jobs, face exile, and suffer from violence. ... For many evangelicals, the lack of very public and dramatic persecution could be interpreted as a sign that they just aren’t faithful enough: If they were persecuted, they could be confident they are saved. This creates an incentive to interpret personal experiences and new

Ignosticism: A Short Recap of the Ignostic Position

Ignosticism is the philosophical position that most descriptions and definitions of God are incoherent, incomplete, discrepant, or contradictory (if not all of the above) and so cannot be discussed meaningfully.  What this means is that asking questions about God, or ruminating on the nature of God, or talking about us in relation to God are all probably meaningless because we cannot know what God is like because we cannot adequately describe God. If we are all talking about dissimilar things it becomes increasingly difficult to pin-point an accurate discription for the term “God,” and so we need something additional to clue us in as to which, if any, of the descriptions are accurate or reliable.  It seems to me that this additional requisite would be a kind of evidence or support which validates any given description of God. But this we do not find, thus ignosticism says it is meaningless to talk about God in nuanced theological ways until we can have a reliable de