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
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?
Free will does a lot of work in Christian theology. People earn their lot in the afterlife, either in Heaven or Hell, based on their choices. Free will is the most popular answer to the problem of evil, and free will is what separates moral people from immoral people. To attack free will is to … Continue reading Free Will and Determinism
How do we change someones mind? Mock them, ridicule them, laugh at them? Respectfully question their beliefs without offending them? Do we even bother trying to change anyone's mind? There is interesting research on this topic, but some of it is muddied unnecessarily by a sloppily overlooked detail. We often make a huge miscalculation when … Continue reading What Twin Studies Tell Us About Changing Someone’s Mind
Often I hear from nonbelievers that the Fine Tuning Argument is the best argument the religious have to offer. So in the spirit of attacking theism at its best, here are a few quick reasons why I don’t accept the Fine Tuning Argument, or Teleological Argument, presented by the religious. Definition of Life If you … Continue reading The Fine Tuning Argument (Podcast ep. 01)
Richard Dawkins, one of the world’s most famous scientists, was deplatformed yet again in our latest spasm of confused self-injury. In the aftermath, the listener-supported radio station tweeted, “KPFA exercises its free speech right not to participate with anyone who uses hateful language against a community already under attack.” I’m certainly not arguing that KPFA … Continue reading Dawkins Disinvited, Again
On the first day of my introductory classes in biology, I was expecting the professors to directly address evolution. This is America, after all. We’re not exactly known for our science literacy or acceptance of Darwin’s great idea. The rows of seats were filled with future nurses, neuroscientists, and kids who just needed the credit, … Continue reading Can Science Tell Us About the Supernatural?