The Byproduct Theory of Religion: Why We Believe in Gods

If there is no god, why do so many people believe in one? What is it about human psychology that has made belief in god, in one form or another, the default position for the majority of human beings? You may be tempted to attribute all religious beliefs to human irrationality, constant social reinforcement, the … Continue reading The Byproduct Theory of Religion: Why We Believe in Gods

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The Euthyphro Dilemma

Believers often claim that unlike atheists, they have an objective basis for morality. They’re not working with what’s socially useful, or what’s preferable to humans; but instead, they’re operating from the unassailable, objective standard of God. The idea that our morality is grounded in God’s will is what’s known as divine command theory. But DCT … Continue reading The Euthyphro Dilemma

Which is worse, religious fundamentalism or moderation?

Religion is worse when it's taken seriously. I think there’s nearly a one-to-one correlation between how seriously you take your religion and how dangerous and harmful and wrong your ideas are. But I bring this up because there are real downsides to religious moderation. Too often, we act as if the moderates are harmless or … Continue reading Which is worse, religious fundamentalism or moderation?

Is religion child abuse?

Is religion child abuse? There seems to be genuine controversy within the atheist community over this question. This is a long-form post that will touch on child beating, beliefs regarding hell, and religion's relationship to human sexuality. Before we argue over whether religion is or isn’t child abuse, we have to define religion and define … Continue reading Is religion child abuse?

Satan (Podcast ep. 11)

There are so many views of Satan that it doesn’t make sense to speak of the Christian view of Satan, though he also exists in the minds of many Muslims, Jews, and people of other faiths who have very different conceptions of him. But just within the Christian tradition, there have been countless interpretations of … Continue reading Satan (Podcast ep. 11)

The Old Testament Doesn’t Count (Podcast ep. 10)

Often when you bring up terrible things in the Bible, you get the response, "But that's the Old Testament!" Christians expend significant energy trying to distance themselves from the the OT and its contents by arguing that it’s sort of less instructional and less relevant to today than the NT. At least, the bad stuff … Continue reading The Old Testament Doesn’t Count (Podcast ep. 10)