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Hey guys, lots of news articles this week, lots of anti-science, anti-homosexual, pro-violence stuff. I try to only put in articles where it might be possible to establish causation, I’m not interested in simply pointing to every wrong thing done by a theist and shout “HA!”. I would be no different from theists who make the “look at Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler” argument against atheism, as what is correlated may not be caused by (after all, what does atheism say about anything other than your response to the god claim?).  It’s more a case of what is congruent with certain Holy Texts (or some interpretations of them) and what action follows from that. Ok sometimes I also include the bat-shit crazy, but I hope we can see the delineation.

An in-depth look at belief, from a philosophical point of view (with part 2 here and part 3 here). This what I’ve been trying to say in this post (and this one) but have failed to put as eloquently.

A collection of articles from the Coyne-Feser-MacDonald war going on, and MacDonald’s current thoughts on such (and more).

An interesting article and an issue I recently had to deal with, I’ll use a nondescript version of the story (for anonymity’s sake). As an atheist is it silly for me to have Christians as friends who accept the Bible as the inerrant word of God? That means they believe (due to the Christian God being necessarily all-good) that I deserve Hell, and that it is good that I am a “fool, who can do no good” (based on Psalms 14:1 and various passages from Jesus about Hellfire).  This means I’m friends with someone who holds some pretty disgusting notions about me,  I guess I could say I know the person in question is a good person and I don’t care about something I haven’t accepted as existing. The problem is, they do! I’d like to think I don’t accept any dogma that says anyone is pure evil, simply and especially because they don’t believe what I do! Upon reflection though it is one of those things, I have to be inconsistent to keep someone like that in my life, don’t I?  As a Christian who while telling me they value me, is it possible they can and think I deserve hell and that I’m evil? Maybe not. It is a hard situation isn’t it? I can accept the charge of inconsistency though, and the dogma that says that about me,  as I love this person and you can be damn sure I am not letting silly dogma get in between us!

Some counter-apologetics.

And some more.

For more from Shook, see here, here, here)

It is interesting, when disseminating your point of view, whatever that may entail,  you wonder what tactics you can use to get people to listen to you. I often struggle with this over at my other blog, and psychology seems a valid way of doing it. Some thoughts from P.Z on the subject.

Harsh words from P.Z!

I’ve posted some on this (the original article has since been removed),  you have to wonder, correlation vs causation?

And more, correlation vs causation?

Man alive homosexuals can not catch a break!

 Er… poor.. er.. Catholic church?

Wow.. just.. wow!

With the Cloyne report and other sex scandals in that part of the world (and others) not hard to see faith in the church waning.

I’m always skeptical of articles like this, but this one is pretty good, and I agree with much of it.

Much of this seems along similar lines to Plantinga’s EAAN (for a pretty good discussion on that see here).

This kind of rhetoric is often touted by anti-evolutionists (which isn’t to say I know much about it either of course), as a critique of it. More and more I wonder about defending science (in defense of atheism), as it seems to beg naturalism more than atheism (after all, what does atheism say about science or evolution? Absolutely nothing!), which isn’t all bad, but I think it might be worth establishing the difference when debating with a theist. I’m no scientist, I defer to them on this (while obviously still reading and enjoying their literature of course).

More anti science talk, and we see the charge of Positivism.

The Most Heinous Form of Creationism

And another point of view on the subject.

I wish I didn’t live in bums ass nowhere, it’d be great to go to one of these.

Coyne and MacDonald (below) on this issue.

There are responses to this in theology, obviously, but I’m reminded of Coyne who said something to the effect of what makes us think the people who defend this aren’t just making it up as they go along?

For those who liked “Expelled”?

Flat-earth after all?

Probably wasn’t a real Christian though?

It always strikes me as ironic when America is charged as being ‘imperialist’ by some Muslims, isn’t that kind of their thing?

When in doubt? Blame the atheist!

For my opinions on this kind of behaviour, see here.

Is this good exegesis? It seems if an atheist brought together a bunch of disperate passages in the Bible to make a narrative we’d simply be charged with some kind of “Gnu atheist” misrepresenting the Bible, er thing. But because this person is a Christian, it’s ok to pull apart a 2 thousand page book to make a narrative? Is there a double standard there?

Thanks to Ophelia Benson for this and the below articles.

What a surprise?

For the Cloyne report, see here.

More on the sex abuse scandals.

Surely to gross some people out, but interesting nonetheless.

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