Religion tagged posts

Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe

Often times public tragedies in the United States are followed by warnings against godlessness.1 When people have no promise of divine justice and no faith in a good god, the argument goes, it’s no surprise that lives are lost, since life on a naturalistic worldview is without value. Conservative politicians are not the only ones who have been known to make such claims...

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Morality Without God?

Is it possible to be a moral person and not believe in god? Are there such things as objective moral values if god does not exist? In the eyes of many, such questions may seem rather silly. ‘Of course, you don’t need to believe in god to be good, nor does there need to be a god for some things to be really wrong or really right...

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why be a good person

Why Be a Good Person?

‘If there’s no God and no life beyond the grave, doesn’t that mean that men will be allowed to do whatever they want?’
‘Didn’t you know that already?’ he said and laughed again. ‘An intelligent man can do anything he likes as long as he’s clever enough to get away with it.’1

The above passage from Dostoevsky is often cited by religious apologists with the intent to either denounce atheism as immoral, or to suggest that atheists are incapable of accounting for the moral judgments they hold. James Spiegel, in his book The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief, embodies the opin...

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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong v. William Lane Craig

This debate took place on April 1, 2000 at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Atheist philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, professor at Duke University and author of numerous books on ethics and morality,1 argues in the affirmative on the question, “Does evil and suffering disprove God?” William Lane Craig, a well-known Christian philosopher and apologist who also has a lengthy list of books in his name,2 argues the negative...

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The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism

Religion has established for itself quite a confident degree of job security. At the mere suggestion of shedding the shackles of religious faith, one is often confronted with a barrage of questions about where our world would be in terms of morality, art, and hope, in the absence of dogmas and deities. Somehow, even in the 21st century, religion is still seen by many as a necessary component of a life well lived. This is not entirely the fault of pro-religious propaganda, however...

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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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The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave

It should go without saying that the resurrection is the most important element of the Christian religion. “If Christ has not been raised,” says the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” In the nearly two thousand years since, apologists have wasted little time assembling a case for the raising of Jesus. The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave is a 2005 anthology of essays by historians, philosophers, and New Testament scholars, challenging the case for resurrection presented by such stalwart defenders as William Lane Craig and Gary Hab...

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From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible

Contrary to what some fanatics may say, the Bible does not have all the answers. In fact, a number of questions arise from its pages, particularly when we compare the biblical portrait to our world of today. Many Bible stories end with a bit of mystery. We are told that Noah’s Ark came to rest on a mountain after the flood, and then we never read of its whereabouts again in scripture. The Ark of the Covenant is said to have been kept in the temple, but did it survive the temple’s destruction in the 6th century? From Eden to Exile goes in search of some of the Bible’s great mysteries, giving u...

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The Essence of Christianity

Homo homini deus est. Man is a god to man. According to Feuerbach, this is the underlying principle at the heart of the Christian faith. Rather than the supernatural manifestation that it claims to be, Christianity is an anthropocentrism – it is humankind having elevated and transformed itself into the divine through the vehicle of religion. The idea that Christianity is a projection of the unconscious mind is not a new one today, but in The Essence of Christianity it received perhaps its first and foremost compelling argument...

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The Ontological Argument for God

The ontological argument for god’s existence has taken several different forms throughout history, but the most popular version is that of the 11th century philosopher and theologian Saint Anselm of Canterbury. Anselm argued that we can imagine a being which is greater than all else.1 He went on to claim that this being cannot solely exist in the imagination, since an even greater being would be one that exists in reality and is not dependent on our conception of it. This being Anselm labeled “god...

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