Category Archives: religion

Twitter starts censoring speech, beginning with speech about religion:

Diana MacPherson called my attention to this new post by Twitter on conduct that they’re going to block. And they’re starting with religion. Click on the screenshot to read: Here’s what Twitter says: We create our rules to keep people safe on Twitter, and they continuously evolve to reflect the realities of the world we […]

A woman who lost her faith deals with the death of her son

This piece by Amber Scorah in today’s New York Times tore at my heart, arousing all sorts of emotions that I’d prefer would stay dormant. Fear of mortality, fear of loss, frustration at not being able to believe what might make me feel better, and so on. This is the gamut of emotions that Scorah […]

The U of C discussion on religion with Reza Aslan and Dan Dennett

In January I attended a four-person discussion on the “place of faith in our changing world”, featuring Reza Aslan, Dan Dennett, religious ethicist William Schweiker, and moderator David Nirenberg, interim chair of our Divinity School. To me it was frustrating, as speaker after speaker (except for Dan) mouthed Deepities about religion without once laying out […]

Media, relieved that Notre Dame relics were saved, acts as if they were real

The fire at Notre Dame is out, and much of the main building was spared, though it will take years, if ever, to bring it back to where it was before. I’m not sure about the status of its famous stained-glass windows, though one photo seems to show that a big one is gone, for, […]

The dramatic increase of secularism in Britain

Just a short but heartening report from Humanists UK, which you can access by clicking on the screenshot below. (The pdf of the report—just an Excel file—can be downloaded here.) The take-home message is that the decline in religiosity in Britain is becoming precipitous, though Muslims, Jews, and Hindus, have increased—but not nearly enough to […]

A philosopher at the NYT writes about the incoherence of most people’s theism

It’s surprising that the New York Times would publish an atheistic op-ed showing that most people’s notion of God is incoherent, but the piece below (click on the screenshot), is actually Unsophisticated Atheism in at least part of its argument. And the parts that aren’t weird are old and familiar arguments. Well, perhaps believers need […]

Another big Templeton grant for philosophy (religious philosophy, of course), and a note on Templeton’s corruption of the field

A certain philosopher who could be mistaken for Santa Claus called my attention to this article in the Daily Nous, a website devoted to the profession of philosophy—and by “profession” I mean “job”. Below you can read yesterday’s announcement of a big new John Templeton Foundation (JTF) grant by clicking on the screenshot, but I’ve […]

Dan Dennett debates two believers who refuse to say what they believe

I went to this presentation last night, which involved a one-hour moderated discussion followed by a half hour of questions: The topic, as given at this site was this:  a “conversation that will take the long view on religion as a human enterprise: its history, its power, and its prospects. We hope to bring believers, […]

Who cares if religion is true if it makes us feel good?

Here we go again: a Sophisticated Thinker decides that it doesn’t matter whether the truth claims of religion are really true, and argues that most believers don’t think that they are. Instead, religion is important because it makes us feel good.  The three problems with this are, of course, that it does matter to most people (if there’s […]

Which book would you hurl across the room?

Grania not only sent me this tweet, but answered the question. The tweet: Has anyone actually *literally* thrown a book they disliked across a room? — Mac Rogers (@macwrites) September 1, 2018 Grania’s answer (brought up a Catholic, she didn’t capitalize “bible”—probably from disgust): In my case it would be the bible. Few Catholics read […]