Category Archives: Religion’s costs and foibles

The awesome power of faith

Religious faith—a formidable force—has figured prominently in human experience for untold millennia. We have faith with regard to much in life, but in this post I’m concerned with religious faith. I’m excluding faith in one’s airline pilot, in aspirin for … Continue reading

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Faith in science gaining on faith in faith

As what we now call “science” developed a few centuries ago, Christians—along with other religionists—took arms against facts accumulating due to the new method. (“Taking arms” was not only just figurative, but frequently physical.) Over time fewer natural phenomena were ascribed … Continue reading

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Religion’s unearned harmlessness—1

One of the purported features of theistic religions is that—even in the absence of evidence for their extraordinary claims and even if completely fabricated—they are essentially harmless; they are innocuous. As to Christianity, it is said to have given the … Continue reading

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God is neither good nor loving

How anyone can seriously say “God is love,” never fails to astonish me. Most observers know a few Jehovah stories of heinous acts. I grew up with them, but while aware of quite a few, I’ve never sought for and … Continue reading

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Christian lying

Is a large segment of Christianity culturally addicted to lying? I don’t mean the unproven and unprovable foundation on which all religions are built, such as utter faith without evidence in a myriad of meticulous propositions about supernatural beings and forces. … Continue reading

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To the ramparts . . . atheists are coming for your Christmas trees!

Oh, my. Here it is already the first third of December gone and I haven’t even begun my part of the annual War on Christmas! Bill O’Reilly of FoxNews, who has bravely protected Christmas from marauding atheists for a number … Continue reading

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Christian bullying (Part 2)

This the second of a two part series on Christian bullying. In case you missed Part 1, here are excerpts to set the stage for Part 2: Our country was designed to accommodate citizens of whatever convictions about religion, with … Continue reading

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Christian bullying (Part 1)

It’s in the nature of many religions to bully those outside religion in general and even outside their own specific faith. Christianity and Islam are the worst offenders. Examples abound through history: Catholics versus Protestants, Shia versus Sunni, and religious … Continue reading

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Blasphemed lately? Watch your back!

The word blasphemy is not as frequently heard in the Western world as it used to be. But among the faithful the concept has not gone away. (Christians often condemn blasphemy in words and deeds while avoiding the seemingly archaic … Continue reading

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Want a god? Make up a good one!

Virtually without doubt, the thousands of gods we have loved, feared, and worshiped over the eons, we’ve had to invent ourselves. But as powerful as many of them have been reputed to be, they couldn’t create themselves. To exist even … Continue reading

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What good are Christian soldiers without an enemy?

Christians, most of whom are well meaning, seem unable to grasp how bullying it is to use the power of government to support their views. Christians, like Muslims, Jews, Atheists, and all else are totally free to practice and argue … Continue reading

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CNN finds Jesus . . . or doesn’t

A few weeks ago, CNN began a series titled Finding Jesus, subtitled Faith Facts Forgery. I watched the first instalment and most of the second with interest. Not interest in the Jesus story itself—though I rather like it as a … Continue reading

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The moral neutrality of extramarital sex

In my most recent post, I compared “revealed truth” (ostensibly divinely imposed) morals with those developed without feigned divine commands, the latter being based on minimizing the damage each of us might do to the “survival and flourishing of sentient … Continue reading

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Revisiting Selma

My wife and I saw the movie Selma. It is a dramatization, not a documentary, so could be expected to depart from an exact history. In this case, the most insistent complaint I’ve heard is over the portrayal of President … Continue reading

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That was then, this is now

When confronted with historical, horrific acts by Christians in the name of Jehovah and Jesus, today’s faithful frequently point out that civilization in general was harsher, more violent, and uneducated than now. Their argument is that previous mayhem was a … Continue reading

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The sin of sin

I’ve been pondering sin lately—not sinning (as in a pastime), but sin (the concept). In short, it is a primitive and ridiculous idea. Besides leading to burdensome, unnecessary guilt, it impedes ethical progress. In other words, sin itself is a … Continue reading

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Freedom of religion requires freedom from religion

Among my memberships, I’m a life member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (atheists and agnostic members) and a member of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (religious and non-religious members). I believe I am more committed to freedom … Continue reading

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The Bible gets its due . . . but no more

Yesterday I was reading a small book on marital fulfillment by a Christian friend. He’d donated it to my wife and me, understandably proud of its having been published. I don’t normally read “how to” books based on religious scripture, … Continue reading

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Respecting religion

I’m not concerned here with forced respect, such as saluting a superior officer. I am concerned with respect for individuals freely given, unrelated to their nationality, race, gender, status, or philosophy. In a way, it bespeaks a quiet love of … Continue reading

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Jesus saves . . . from what?

“From what” is not meant as a trivial or joking question. It is legitimate and serious. Just what is Jesus able and willing to save us from and why is that help needed? Christians are obsessed with the perfectly normal words … Continue reading

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Biblical opacity—a Christian dilemma

Christians are confronted by what appears to me to be an unsolvable dilemma. Their holy book, even if you ignore its overwhelming translation problems, is open to so many interpretations as to bewilder. That is distressing inasmuch as most Christians … Continue reading

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Costly comfort

One of the more beautiful claims made for religion is that it offers comfort in the face of misfortune and death. Of course, comfort in a world of pain, disappointment, and loss has immense intrinsic value. While the basis for … Continue reading

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Unprofitable prophesies

Many Christians get a lot of mileage out of presumed prophesies. There’s no doubt that foretelling the future is a sure-fire seller. Associating successful prophesy with one’s religion is convincing proof not only of the supernatural, but evidence of support … Continue reading

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Usshering in creation

Scientists’ estimate for the age of the universe is 14 billion years if you don’t quibble over the odd hundred million. Despite impressively accumulated evidence for that figure, however, a 2012 Gallup survey found that 46% of Americans are sure … Continue reading

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Religions’ effects on non-religious issues

The signature section of my personal emails since late 2011 carries a brief quote labeled “Bimonthly Religious Idiocy.” (OK, it’s a bit nerdy, but you have to have some fun with this serious stuff.) It replaced an earlier practice in … Continue reading

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Word, yes, but of God?

I grew up believing the Bible to be the inerrant Word (that’s an obligatory capitalization) of God. My parents, sisters, and all our next-step-removed relatives believed it and almost all still do. It’s enough to discredit any memory of being … Continue reading

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Pie in the sky by and by

Faith. Faith . . . as magic a word as can be found in the supernaturalist vocabulary. Now, I don’t mean faith that a chair will not collapse, that a friend will really pay you back, that the Air Traffic … Continue reading

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Only “in the name of” religion

Christians, as do other religionists, naturally do things that are motivated, justified (or excused) by their religion. Frequently, they do so explicitly in the name of their religion. Many of those things, such as hospitals and relief efforts, are humane, … Continue reading

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