Archive for ‘religion’

May 5, 2013

Is science a religion?

by Neil Rickert

The answer, of course, is no.  However, others often claim that it is.  Take, for example, this quote, which I am copying from a recent post at the Don Hartness blog:

Another reason that scientists are so prone to throw the baby out with the bath water is that science itself, as I have suggested, is a religion.

Those words are not from Don Hartness himself.  He quotes them for a book, and is not completely clear on whether he agrees with them.

To be fair, the author apparently uses “religion” to refer to a world view.  That makes it hard to know what he means.  I don’t much like this talk of “world view.”  As best I can tell, the “world view” language is something that theists use to delude themselves that their rejection of a lot of evidence is okay because others do it too.

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November 15, 2012

Intelligent raining; two different conceptions of God

by Neil Rickert

Over at Uncommon Descent, the ID  blog, there are often posts and comments about theistic evolution and theist evolutionists (TE for short).  Many, but not all of the ID proponents are usually quite critical of TE, as I was reminded by a recent post.  For reference, that post is:

While reading and commenting on that post, it occurred to me that TEs and ID proponents have very different conceptions of God.  And that is what I mainly want to discuss here.

Intelligent Raining

I’ll begin  with some quotes from Barry Arrington in that recent post:

November 14, 2012

Willful murder by the Catholic church

by Neil Rickert

I don’t often write condemning religion.  There are many decent people who are religious.  But this headline reports an incident that demands condemnation:

The medical condition of the woman was clear.  But religious demagogues, with their utterly stupid ideas about abortion, condemned the woman to death by refusing her the treatment that could have saved her life.

November 1, 2012

Notes on abortion

by Neil Rickert

There has been a lot of online discussion since CNN Belief blogs posted an item by Jonathan Dudley “My Take: When evangelicals were pro-choice.”  Here, I shall add my two cents.

My immediate reaction is to disagree with Dudley.  I do not remember that evangelicals were ever pro-choice, and it would seem out of character for them to have  been pro-choice.

October 5, 2012

On the religion front

by Neil Rickert

A few comments and links on families, atheism and abortion.

August 5, 2012

Why I am not anti-theist

by Neil Rickert

It is almost 50 years since I dumped religion.  Yet, somehow, I don’t have any urge to be anti-theist.  Take this statement from a recent blog post:

My faith is important to me. My faith is beautiful and meaningful to me. Christian community is important to me.

How can I object to that?  It is the sincere view of “Former Conservative”, the moniker used by the blogger.  I support freedom of speech, and I support freedom of people to make their own choices for their lives.  There is nothing there for me to be “anti”.

July 26, 2012

Answering some questions posed to athiests

by Neil Rickert

Yesterday, I responded to a series of questions for theists, answering as I would have back when I was a theist with growing doubt.  This post responds to some recent questions that matt (over at the Well Spent Journey blog) has posed for atheists: “Twelve Questions to Ask an Atheist.”  Some of these questions are actually relevant to the kind of issue that I often discuss here.  As before, I will quote the question or perhaps an abridged version, before answering.  I suggest that you also visit matt’s original post where he poses the questions.

July 25, 2012

Answering the theist challenge

by Neil Rickert

A while ago, M. Rodriguez posted a series of questions to ask Christians (theists).  He/she had previously posted questions for atheists.

I am no longer a theist, so perhaps I shouldn’t answer.  I will respond based on how I believe I would have responded back when I was a theist.  Note, however, that was a long time ago.  I will quote the questions before answering.  But I may quote in an abbreviated form.  For the full original question, please see the original post: “The Christian (Theist) Challenge.”

July 20, 2012

Quantum mechanics and God

by Neil Rickert

Does QM have anything to do with God?  Physicist Stephen Barr apparently thinks it does, and expresses that view in “Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God?” at the BQO site.  Personally, I think he is talking nonsense.

Barr even admits to some difficulties with arguing what his title says:

Not in any direct way. That is, it doesn’t provide an argument for the existence of God.  But it does so indirectly, by providing an argument against the philosophy called materialism (or “physicalism”), which is the main intellectual opponent of belief in God in today’s world.

June 27, 2012

Science and the supernatural

by Neil Rickert

In a recent post, Jerry Coyne claims that science can test the supernatural.  I disagree, and this post will be a response to that claim.  In my view, what Jerry is really talking about, is testing the claims about the natural world that are made by some supernaturalists.  And, for sure we can, at least in principle, test claims about the natural world.  But testing claims about the natural world is not testing the supernatural.

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