Category Archives: Sophisticated Theology

Let’s stop teaching philosophy of religion in secular colleges

Philosophers have reproved me because, as a mere biologist, I have no right to criticize the teaching of philosophy of religion in colleges, nor to call for its end.  But I reject the idea that biologists have no standing to give such an opinion, just as I reject the notion that philosophers can’t pass judgement on whether […]

Believer Michael Robbins exhibits Maru’s Syndrome on The Dish

On July 9 I wrote a bit about poet Michael Robbins’s review, in Slate, of Nick Spencer’s book Atheists, the Origin of the Species, a book that has pretty much tanked on Amazon. As he has done before, Robbins didn’t really review the book but, in an essay called Know Nothing” (subtitled “The true history of atheism”), used […]

Do believers see scripture as literally true?

In all the to-and-fro we’ve had in the last couple of weeks, some people have maintained that very few people—and almost no theologians—see the Bible as literally true. If you live in the US, you’ll know how ludicrous that is.  While I agree that Americans who take the whole document as the literal word of […]

Michael Robbins uses a book review as an excuse to bash atheists—again!

On January 8 I discussed a review by Michael Robbins in Slate of  Molly Worthens’s, book Apostles of Reason, a history of modern evangelical Christianity. As I wrote at the time, Robbins didn’t review the book so much as use it as a club to bash us “ignorant atheists.”  As I said in that post (my words are […]

The best argument for God? Really?

Either a reader called my attention to the articles discussed below, or I found them on my own; I am aged and forgetful. If someone pointed them out to me, my belated thanks. Both articles deal with what is claimed to be the best argument for God’s existence—one based on the existence of moral agents, i.e., us. […]

Are there really “best arguments for God”?

I was going to post on a new paper about squirrel behavior, but Matthew has a nice post in line about fossils, so we’ll do that today. Squirrels can come later.  Right now I want to talk about an argument we atheists hear constantly. It goes something like this: “You’re as bad as the fundamentalists you […]

An Eastern Orthodox priest says I know nothing of God

I’m never sure what the “Fr.” in front of a religionist’s name means, but I guess it means “Father,” denoting a priest. (I used to think it mean “Friar,” denoting a monk.) At any rate, one Fr. Aidan (Alvin) Kimel, an Eastern Orthodox Priest who no longer practices, has a website called Eclectic Orthodoxy, and […]

Is God a vertebrate without substance?

I believe it was H. L. Mencken who used the term “vertebrate without substance” to describe the beliefs of Christians about God; the term, of course, was meant to mock the superstitions for what they are, shorn of numinous language. Mencken was a true strident atheist, as good with mockery as was his successor Hitchens. But my point […]

Dan Fincke pwns Sophisticated Theology

Dan Fincke, philosopher, atheist, and ex-Christian, writes the website Camels with Hammers for Patheos.  A link to his latest post, “Dear fellow atheists, STOP saying Christians believe God is a bearded man in the sky. They don’t,” is an awesome parody of arguments by Sophisticated Theologians™ like David Bentley Hart and Karen Armstrong. In fact, […]

Two talks to attend: Portland and Minneapolis

As a courtesy to readers in the Midwest or Pacific Northwest, I’ll announce two upcoming talks, one on free will and the other on the failures of faith. The first is near Minneapolis, and is this coming Sunday: “The Illusion of Free Will & its Impact on Moral Responsibility“ Presented by August Berkshire Sunday, May 18, 2014, Roseville […]


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