Tag Archives: God

Writing or Art? Mel Bochner’s “LANGUAGE IS NOT TRANSPARENT” (1970)

Is it art? Is this the sort of art one passes by impatiently as not really art? Notice that it has no conventional images in it, such as, say, a Madonna with child. Where Mary and the baby Jesus might … Continue reading

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If You’re Religious, Do You Put Your Soul At Hazard By Watching Comedy Central?

Below are four pretty good reasons for thinking humor is dangerous to religious belief: Humor is dangerous to any confident expression of metaphysics, for it lampoons pretense. It deflates and complicates; it speaks on behalf of the sorts of contending truths … Continue reading

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Hume Hearts Buddha, Picasso, And Einstein–But Not Nazis, Aquinas, Or Monotheism

Hume hearts Buddha. In Hume Studies (Volume 35, Number 1&2, 2009, pp. 5–28), Alison Gopnik has a fascinating essay–“Could David Hume Have Known about Buddhism?”–in which she writes the following: Hume’s argument in the Treatise, like Nagasena’s “chariot” argument, points to the … Continue reading

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What’s Good About Monotheism, Again? What Part Of It Is Worth Treasuring And Rooting For? And Why, Exactly, Is God Always Gendered Male?

Robbed, killed, raped, enslaved–all in the name of God. Ain’t monotheism grand? Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East? ISIS and other extremist movements across the region are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in … Continue reading

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Has Darwin Put Adam And Eve In Checkmate?

The problem. Here’s the reality: Darwin upended special creation, leaving basically just one plausible chess move to anyone who accepts evolution and posits a literal Adam and Eve: the miraculous insertion of a soul into an already evolved species of … Continue reading

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Albert Mohler Calls Closeted Atheist Clergy “Charlatans and Cowards”

Who’s being the coward here? Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and an unapologetic young Earth creationist, plays rough with secretly atheist clergy members who have talked in confidence to Daniel Dennett’s The Clergy Project, writing at … Continue reading

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From A Lion Behind A Bush To God Behind The Oz Curtain: The Evolution Of God Belief

What is the relation between God belief and ignorance? I have a colleague in the science department at my college who said this to me yesterday (I’m paraphrasing): “I’m less sympathetic to the young Earth creationist of today than the … Continue reading

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Justice Antonin Scalia Believes In Hell And The Devil–But Not Gays And Atheists

At Salon, Jeffrey Taylor’s summary of Antonin Scalia’s interview with New York magazine caught me for a loop. The man is seriously superstitious, living in a demon haunted world: [Jennifer] Senior interviewed Scalia for her magazine. She asked for his … Continue reading

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Aquinas and Superstition: Thomist Philosopher Edward Feser Is An Aquinastitionist. What Is That?

Aquinastition. When you mix Aquinas with superstition you get Aquinastition. So an Aquinastitionist is an intellectual Thomist who makes apologies for religious superstition. Thomist philosopher Edward Feser is an example, as displayed in his recent essay, “Religion and Superstition,” in The Routledge … Continue reading

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The “Little Missionary”: A Child Healer in Brazil

Six years old. She’s called the “Little Missionary,” and the money is rolling in. Religion exploiting children. Is this a bug or a feature? Brazil’s evangelical revolution sees miracle healers take centre stage Poverty and technology contribute to boom of … Continue reading

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Epidurals and Pains in Childbirth: Why Do Arguments Start and Stop Where They Do?

People often claim that they’re appealing to reason in argumentation, but the way they reason frequently reveals more about them than the truth. Put another way, an argument often says more about your inward passions, sensibilities, and imaginative world than … Continue reading

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Three Things I Think Are True

At this point in my life, I think there are three things that are true–the first one being rather obvious: I am a limited being, embedded in the system I’m trying to explain. This means I cannot be wholly confident that … Continue reading

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Holy Shit! The Atheists Really Are Coming!

From 16% to 23% of the American population. That’s how fast the religiously unaffiliated have risen in America over the past eight years. Stunning. The Republican Party and the Internet have ruined Christianity in America. Republicans have politicized religion, and … Continue reading

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How to Save Adam and Eve from Genetics and Darwin

Darwin and genetics have blown up the idea that Adam and Eve had a special creation physically. No new species tends to bottleneck down to two (unless perhaps two stray birds get isolated on an island and start a new … Continue reading

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Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace: Traditionalists Turn Gay Marriage Into Greek Drama

A wedding ceremony needn’t consist of drama–unless someone objects. “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.” If someone objects, then the Greek drama starts. As in the conflict in Sophocles’ Antigone, in which King Creon feels he has to stop … Continue reading

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Let Them Eat (Or Not Eat) Wedding Cake: Religious Conscience, Gay Marriage, And Empathy For Others

With regard to bakers who might balk, out of conscience, in making a cake for a gay wedding, I think many of us who are heterosexual and support gay marriage have a problem: our empathy goes all in one direction–toward … Continue reading

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Imagination, Desire, And Action Through Chemistry: My Theory Of Free Will

In terms of free will, I don’t think we have contra-causal free will (free will that actually interferes with and pushes around determinate matter). I think our brains are modular, governed by often contending impulses, and that sometimes–or even characteristically … Continue reading

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Gay Marriage: Should Empathy Or Thomistic Intellect Be The Deciding Factor For Heterosexual Opinion?

With regard to gay and lesbian marriage, maybe empathy is not the way to go. Maybe Aquinas-style intellect separated from empathy is correct. Aquinas, after all, was quite tough on Jews without apparent pangs of conscience. He called them “Christ-killers” … Continue reading

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The Separation of Church and Sex

Masturbation is liberation. In light of the fact that God appears to be hidden and silent, what could be the (non-question begging) foundations for proscribing sexual behavior? Sex seeks to hijack the mind and body to a very particular agenda … Continue reading

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God Is Maximally Existent; Existence is Good; Therefore God Is Maximally Good?

A bait-and-switch I notice among Thomist theologians and philosophers: they’ll say that existence is good; and God is the most existent Being; therefore God is maximally good. He has the greatest degree of “ontological Goodness.” (Imagine the sweetest and largest … Continue reading

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