All posts tagged beliefs

On “warped thinking and terrible doctrine”

Commenter Luke Holzmann wrote in response to a recent post: [For] me, the teachings of Christ (if not the Torah itself) — long before secular humanism — gave us reason to value both body and soul. It is warped thinking and terrible doctrine that believes those coerced into the Kingdom of God are part of […]

Better Angels: From souls to lives

Here’s another interesting and relevant bit from Stephen Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature. (Previous post here.) In Chapter 4, “The Humanitarian Revolution,” Pinker presents a section on “Superstitious Killing: Violence against Blasphemers, Heretics, and Apostates.” (This is in contrast to superstitious killing of the “Human Sacrifice, Witchcraft, and Blood Libel” variety, which he […]

Better Angels: Religious hypocrisy

I’ve recently finished reading Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, via a recommendation from Adam Lee (and subsequent enthusiastic endorsement from my husband). In it, Pinker lays out the evidence that, although it might feel like the modern world is worse than ever, violence has been on the decline for centuries and we’re […]

Rooting for the team

This is a slightly modified version of a post I wrote back on November 1, 2009, for another blog I used to write at (which no longer exists). Some of the references are a bit dated, but the ideas are as true as ever, and I thought the content would likely be interesting to NFQ […]

Are we doomed?

The Apologetics 315 blog quotes William Lane Craig: If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means […]

What it’s like to be an atheist

I don’t think many religious people understand what it’s like to be an atheist. They often conceive of religious belief as a quality that a person has, rather than a truth claim about reality. This is why, for example, even growing up as a nontheist UU I thought of atheism as just another kind of […]

Did Jesus really exist?

There’s a lot of scholarly work out there attempting to settle the question of whether or not the Jesus of the Christian Bible really existed. I’m not going to pretend to summarize or even really discuss that work here. I just want to highlight something I think is often missing from debates between Christians and […]

Know your Buddhist gods: Tara

Here’s the next installment in my “Know your Buddhist gods” series. The background: I’m tired of hearing crunchy hippy New Age types insist that Buddhism is just about “getting in touch with yourself” through meditation and doesn’t have any of those wacky supernatural beliefs like the “Western” religions do. It’s especially irritating when people insist […]

If God, then what?

I saw this review of an apologetics book that was published earlier this year, and while I’m totally unenthusiastic about the book itself, its title — also the title of this post — got me thinking about a question I often struggle to convey to theists. I don’t think this is a guaranteed “gotcha” type […]

Review: Love Wins

I read Rob Bell’s Love Wins back in October, but I just uncovered my notes about it — so it’s time for a much-overdue book review! If you’re the sort of person who reads blogs about religion and atheism, you probably remember the controversy surrounding Bell’s book in March 2011. A quick refresher for those […]