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Orwellian Analytics: Christians, Atheists, and Bad Statistics

Angry God

A recent Live Science press release, titled “Believers Leave Punishment to Powerful God,” opened with the memorable words: "Believing in an involved, morally active God makes people less likely to punish others for rule-breaking, new research finds." Which is equivalent to saying that non-believers are less forgiving, less compassionate, less merciful, and—oh, let’s just say it: they are worse people. Don’t get mad at me. This is research! But then maybe this summary is too... Read More

10 Atheists Who Engage Religion Charitably

nietzsche1

David Bentley Hart is one of our foremost theologian-philosophers, an American intellectual treasure who has ransacked the thesaurus while writing books such as The Beauty of the Infinite, The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?, and the recent The Experience of God. One of the things I enjoy about his writing is how he rightfully gives credit to Nietzsche for recovering the scandalous nature of Christianity. In The Beauty of the Infinite he goes as far as saying: "Nietzsche... Read More

Tolerance, Choice, Argument, and Religion

Symphony

Pew Forum recently released the results of their study on religion in America. In accord with many surveys over the past fifty years, this poll showed that the vast majority (over 90%) of Americans believe in God but that an increasing number prefer their own spiritual experience to the dogmas and doctrines of traditional Christianity. Also, there is, among Americans, a general acceptance of positive, life-affirming beliefs but a deep suspicion of negative ideas such as divine judgment... Read More

Modern Physics, Ancient Faith: An Interview with Physicist Dr. Stephen Barr

Stephen Barr

Some news hooks are irresistible, even when they're false or at least incomplete. Case in point: the alleged conflict between science and religion. Is science opposed to religion? The answer depends in large measure on what you mean by religion. If your "religion" is, say, astrology, then you could say there's a conflict between science and "religion". The science of astronomy does conflict with the "religion" of astrology. Probably most people who speak of a conflict between science and... Read More

How Religion Benefits Everyone: An Interview with Rodney Stark

Rodney Stark interview

Rodney Stark is one of the leading authorities on the sociology of religion. For many years, the Pulitzer Prize nominee was professor of sociology and professor of comparative religion at the University of Washington. In 2004 he became Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and codirector of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He has authored more than 150 scholarly articles and 32 books, including several widely used sociology textbooks and best-selling... Read More

Woody Allen and the Secret to Lasting Joy

Woody Allen

The great 19th century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard spoke of three stages that one passes through on the way to spiritual maturity: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious. During the aesthetic stage, a person is preoccupied with sensual pleasure, with the satisfaction of bodily desire. Food, drink, sex, comfort, and artistic beauty are the dominating concerns of this stage of life. The ordinary fellow drinking beer at the baseball game and the effete aristocrat sipping wine in... Read More

Atheist Religions?

Is Atheism a Religion

  Jimmy Akin recently wrote a post here at Strange Notions asking "Is Atheism a Religion?". The following doesn't engage with Jimmy's post directly—that's what the combox is for—but it does offer a rather different (and fairly blunt) answer to the question. It then tackles what I think is a more helpful question: is there, or could there be, a modern western atheistic religion? Is atheism a religion?   Let us deal with the question quickly: atheism is not and could... Read More

I Need a Better Science/Religion Venn Diagram

Venn Diagram

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's guest post is from popular atheist blogger Chana Messinger, who writes at The Merely Real, and it's in response to Jimmy Akin's article, Why We Should Be Cautious Using the Big Bang Argument. Jimmy has since written another piece in response.   Jimmy Akin’s piece warning Catholics not to put too much stock in any given scientific explanation of the Big Bang is very interesting. For most atheists, the first and perhaps only question about religious claims... Read More

Einstein and God

Albert Einstein

It was recently revealed that, toward the end of his life, Albert Einstein wrote a letter in which he dismissed belief in God as superstitious and characterized the stories in the Bible as childish. During a time when atheists have emerged rather aggressively in the popular culture, it was, to say the least, discouraging to hear that the most brilliant scientist of the twentieth century seemed to be antipathetic to religion. It appeared as though Einstein would have agreed with the Christopher... Read More

The Uniqueness of Christianity: Twelve Objections Answered

Religions

Ronald Knox once quipped that “the study of comparative religions is the best way to become comparatively religious.” The reason, as G. K. Chesterton says, is that, according to most “scholars” of comparative religion, “Christianity and Buddhism are very much alike, especially Buddhism.” But any Christian who does apologetics must think about comparative religions because the most popular of all objections against the claims of Christianity today comes from this field. The... Read More