Category Archives: religion

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 […]

The Cowboy Philosopher on free will and theodicy

The Cowboy Philosopher has made two satirical videos: one on the problem of consciousness, and this one on theodicy and its “solutions.” He’s Plantinga on horseback! h/t: Phil

Secular Jihadist podcast today: Ali ‘n’ Jerry

Today, as Ali Rizvi’s Facebook page notes below, I’ll be on his Secular Jihadist podcast at 11 AM EST. If you subscribe to Ali’s podcast through Patreon, you’ll be able to see it live (it’s a Skype interview); but even if you don’t, it will be available for free later.  Patrons can see the podcast […]