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Is Religion Responsible for the World’s Violence?

Tamil

A few months ago, a “gun-toting atheist” and self-proclaimed “anti-theist” killed three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There's some question still about whether the killer was motivated by atheism or some other motivation. What there's no question of is that much of the secular response was predictably tasteless and exploitative. For example, the Daily Beast's Suzi Parker responded with an essay on how hard it is to be Muslim “in the most religious—and Christian—part... Read More

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

Richard Dawkins and the God of the Old Testament

Richard Dawkins

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." So says Richard Dawkins. Obviously, he doesn't want readers to think he's on the fence about God as presented in the Old Testament—or at... Read More

Violence is Contrary to God’s Nature: Common Ground for Catholics and Atheists

Violence

Today I’d like to consider an issue on which many atheists and Catholics may—perhaps to their surprise—find a point of common ground. “Violence is incompatible with the nature of God.” This line is not from an atheist but rather from Pope Benedict XVI. The context in which he penned it was his famous (in some circles infamous) Regensburg Address from 2006. In this particular case, he was endeavoring to foster a dialogue with Islam over a theology which “might even lead... Read More

A Cinematic Tour of the Problem of Evil

Tree of Life

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then where does evil come from? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? — Epicurus   Gruesome and tragic headlines from the past few months have thousands of people of faith scratching their heads, asking: why does God allow this evil to happen? Isn't he supposed to be all-loving and all-powerful? The question... Read More