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The Basis for Moral Realism

The Basis for Moral Realism

Jordan has been saying things on the Manhattan Declaration thread like, Atheism does not entail moral relativism, and theism does not entail moral realism. I’m an atheist, and a moral realist. … I (imperfectly) perceive morality with my moral sense. What is the basis of your “alleged moral objectivity”? I imagine it will be long-winded and incoherent. Or maybe you’ll save us both some time with a good old-fashioned, “Goddidit!” Everyone on that discussion agrees on one thing: that there…

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Intelligent Design’s Atheistic Defender

Intelligent Design’s Atheistic Defender

BreakPoint has just published my review of Bradley Monton’s new book, with the unexpected but highly intriguing theme expressed in its title: Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design. Monton is a philosopher on the University of Colorado faculty, and he is indeed an atheist who defends Intelligent Design. He has been the subject of considerable pressure from ID opponents like Robert Pennock, and as I said in the review, readers may decide for themselves which of the…

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“Atheism Is Not A Belief”

“Atheism Is Not A Belief”

[Update: I updated and republished this material on August 14, 2013) “Atheism is not a belief,” atheists often say, “it’s just a lack of belief in a God.” Today it came up in this form: And, in addition, I would point out that atheism is not my ideology. It simply refers to my not subscribing to a particular belief (theism). It makes no more sense to treat my being an atheist as my ideology than it does to treat your…

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A Man of Great Faith

A Man of Great Faith

In his critical review in The New Republic of two theistic evolutionists, anti-theistic biologist Jerry Coyne speaks about various views of our fine-tuned universe. Contrasting materialist science with theism, he writes, Also, scientists have other explanations, ones based on reason rather than on faith. Perhaps some day, when we have a “theory of everything” that unifies all the forces of physics, we will see that this theory requires our universe to have the physical constants that we observe. Alternatively, there…

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Twisted Logic on Atheism and Proposition 8

Twisted Logic on Atheism and Proposition 8

If I thought this was an isolated sentiment I wouldn’t pay it much attention. Unfortunately it’s not. “We can sympathize with gay people because they are a minority and we are a minority,” said anti-Prop. 8 rally organizer Doug Kalagian, 17, a senior who founded the school’s Freethinking Atheist and Agnostic Kinship student club. “Prop. 8 is not only a religious issue. It’s an issue of discrimination and prejudice. Who’s to say atheists and agnostics won’t be next?” This is…

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What is Atheism?

What is Atheism?

Last week I started a new series, “What Is Christianity?” I have another shorter series to run parallel with it: “What Is Atheism?” The emphasis this time is on the question mark. The question I most want to address is whether atheism is a belief system. I have been taken to task for thinking that it is (also here), so I think it’s worth exploring. The author of The Twilight of Atheism, Alister McGrath, certainly considers to be one. Writing…

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“The Darwinian Delusion”

“The Darwinian Delusion”

Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology at Warwick University, England, presents a provocative question in his article The Darwinian Delusion: The next time you want to stop a conversation among the soi-disant enlightened, ask what has atheism ever done for science. It’s one thing to admit that religious dogmatism has periodically halted the march of scientific progress but quite another to argue that atheism has actually advanced science. His own answer, in summary: More generally, atheism has not figured as a…

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“The Skeptical Inquirer”

“The Skeptical Inquirer”

One of the podcasts I enjoy listening to is the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, a science-oriented, religiously skeptical discussion conducted out of the New England Skeptical Society. The shows run long, so I can’t listen to all of them, but I’ve heard a couple of them, featuring Michael Shermer and John Rennie. You can learn a lot of science and unlearn a lot of myth from these discussions. When they wander onto religious territory, however, their skepticism tends to…

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