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Why Atheism?

The Big Questions, as their name implies, are questions about who we are, about the universe we live in, about our place in the universe, and more along these lines. Theistic religions, especially those that proselytize, have constructed cases for their beliefs that tend to pay a great deal of attention to these Big Questions. Sometimes widespread and culturally dominant religions even succeed in defining the terms of the questions, so as to give themselves greater assurance of their influence on the lives of their adherents and the societies in which they thrive. So far, we have considered w...
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The Moral Argument for God

In his dialogue with Euthyphro, Socrates asks, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious? Or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” To put the dilemma in more modern terms: does God command an action because it is good, or is an action good because God commands it? If the former is true, then the good exists independently of God. If the latter is true, then a question arises concerning the arbitrariness of moral obligations...

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The Pagan Origins of Christmas

Break out the lights and the mistletoe – it’s the Christmas season once more! As in years passed, families are decorating trees and preparing for the holiday, retail stores are stocking the shelves with festive goods, and churches throughout the world are planning their Christmas services. Though it can be easily forgotten amidst all the Santas, trees, and candy canes, there is a religious component to the celebration...

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Did a Miracle Occur at Fatima?

According to many believing Catholics, a strange and miraculous event occurred on October 13th, 1917 near the town of Fatima in Portugal.1 In the months before the purported miracle, three children named Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco had allegedly received visions of an apparition of the virgin Mary. One of three predictions made by the children was that this apparition, known as “Our Lady of Fatima,” would reveal herself through a miracle that would take place on October 13th...

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The Cosmos of the Bible

The Cosmos of the Bible

The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us – there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.
-Carl Sagan, Cosmos

The question of the world that we find ourselves in, as well as our role within it, is one that has fueled debate for many centuries. What answer we give to it will have implications about who we are, why we are, and perhaps even how we should be...

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Why the Resurrection is Historically Improbable

Generally, the resurrection is taken as an article of faith, perhaps the central most tenet of Christianity. According to some scholars, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 contains an early Christian creed professing belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the apostle Paul, “the message of the cross is foolishness” that he nevertheless delighted to believe in (1 Corinth. 1:18,21). More recently, however, Christian apologists like William Lane Craig and Gary Habermas have attempted to take the resurrection outside the realm of faith and into the field of history...
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The Cosmological Argument for God

Cosmological arguments are arguments that infer the existence of god from certain facts about the universe. These arguments, employed at least since the time of the ancient Greeks, are intended to show that the existence of the universe cannot be explained without reference to a creator. For this article, we will look at three formulations of the cosmological argument which are generally considered to be more popular and persuasive than other versions.

I. Aquinas’ Contingency Argument

In his classic treatise, the Summa Theologica, the 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas proposed five argum...

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Origins of the New Testament

The New Testament is one of the most important documents in the history of humankind. It has shaped Western civilization as we know it, serving as the backbone of the Roman Catholic and Protestant faiths, which together account for the most prominent religion in the world.1 The New Testament writings also opened the doors of universality, teaching a message meant for everyone, and so helped to establish Christianity as one of the three main missionary religions of the world...

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Origins of the Old Testament

Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
-Maimonides

The Hebrew scriptures tell the epic story of the ancient Israelite people. Many of the tales are already familiar to us, having been imprinted on Western culture over the centuries. There is the garden of Eden, with the first man and woman, the forbidden fruit, and the infamous snake. There is the burning bush from whence god spoke to Moses, instructing him to lead his people out of Egypt...

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Is the Bible historically reliable?

The Historical Errancy of the Bible

In 1868, a German businessman named Heinrich Schliemann published a book arguing for a historical Troy, located at a place called Hissarlik (in modern Turkey). As a boy, Schliemann was greatly fascinated by the epic tales of the ancient Greeks, particularly Homer’s classic writings, The Iliad and The Odyssey, and when he had made enough of a fortune to retire at the young age of 36, he devoted himself to finding the legendary city of Troy mentioned in Homer’s Iliad. Despite having no training or formal education in archaeology, he began excavating the site of Hissarlik in 1871.

Although a num...

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