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February 22, 2005
24 designs for an official Secular Web T-shirt have been submitted for consideration in the IIDB Conference Room Forum. Please vote for your top two picks to ensure that we create the shirts that really reflect what you would like to see us design!
February 21, 2005
"The failure to distinguish between marriage as a civil institution, and marriage as a religious institution continues to cloud the issue of civil marriage equality for gays. Lawmakers who fail to recognize this distinction appeal to the 'sanctity' of marriage in their efforts to ban same-sex marriage. Secularists should call attention to this important distinction between the civil and the religious in order to promote civil liberties and equality."
February 20, 2005
Looking for a chance to meet and get together with like-minded individuals? If so, check these listings.
February 16, 2005
"When a belief system is justified with life having a greater moral value than death, life will be encouraged. When a belief system is justified by death having a greater moral value than life, death will be encouraged. Humankind's destiny should not be the end of its collective existence."
February 14, 2005
"How to write a Lee Strobel investigative essay and use Lee Strobel logic methodology to disprove Christianity and theism."
February 11, 2005
"Religious Diversity News" offers current news articles related to religion in multireligious America, highlighting media coverage of interfaith relations and issues related to religion in the public square, including church-state separation issues, but with a special emphasis on Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Muslim, and Sikh communities in the United States.
February 9, 2005
February 7, 2005
Added Criticism of Immortality (J.P. Moreland and Gary Habermas) (1993) by Jim Lippard to the Immortality index page in the Modern Library
A page-by-page critique of the book (reissued with a few additional chapters as Beyond Death) which was sent to the authors, and a reply to their responses.
"Belief in Heaven is an essential part of the great monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Famous theologians have written about it and ordinary theists hope to go there after death . . . However, the concept of Heaven is neither clear nor unproblematic. As I will show[,] there are three serious problems with the notion of Heaven. First, the concept of Heaven lacks coherence. Second, it is doubtful that theists can reconcile the heavenly character of Heaven with standard defenses against the Argument from Evil such as the Free Will Defense. Third, Heaven is unfair and, thus, it is in conflict with the goodness of God."
Flew argues that we do not survive death.
Both the teachings of old time and Jesus' new teachings are predicated on the same profoundly mistaken views of human nature, lodged in an egregiously mistaken mythology, a mythology of enormous importance for us because it is one of the wellsprings of Western culture.
February 6, 2005
Added Review of Gordon Stein's An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism (1986) by Michael Martin to his author page, as well as to the Book Reviews index page in the Atheism section of the Modern Library
Added Review of Antony Flew's God, Freedom, and Immortality (1985) by Michael Martin to his author page, as well as to the Book Reviews index page in the Atheism section of the Modern Library
February 5, 2005
Added links to several books by G.A. Wells from the Books by G.A. Wells page in the Secular Web bookstore.
Added Can We Trust the New Testament?, Who Was Jesus?, Religious Postures, and The Historical Evidence for Jesus.
G.A. Wells has authored many controversial books on the non-historicity of Jesus.
Richard Swinburne has argued that the hypothesis of theism (h1) is a very simple hypothesis. Because of its simplicity Swinburne maintains that h1 has a higher prior probability than rival hypotheses. This alleged higher prior probability is used by Swinburne in combination with other considerations to argue that h1 has a higher a posteriori probability than its rivals. One rival hypothesis to h1 that is not explicitly considered by Swinburne is that there is an omniscient, omnipotent, free and perfectly evil Being. Consequently, his probabilistic argument for the existence of God must be reconsidered since his probabilistic argument implicitly assumes that The Absolute Evil One is impossible.
Added a link to Julie's River Run: On Comparing the Rubicon to the Resurrection (2005) by Robert Turkel (Off Site) to Richard Carrier: Ancient History Articles
Some apologists have claimed that "the evidence for the Resurrection is as good as, or better than, that for Caesar crossing the Rubicon." Turkel defends this claim against Carrier's critique, in Carrier's Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story.
February 1, 2005
Current Feature: Alien Theists and Demonization by Philip Kuchar
"As an atheist I sometimes feel like an astronaut on an alien planet, surrounded by creatures with strange customs and beliefs. There the theist is--perfectly human in a biological sense--but psychologically alien. Given that atheists are in a tiny minority, given that theism is normal on this planet, it is atheists who should see themselves as the aliens. Instead of demonizing the theist, the atheist needs to think like a character in a realistic science-fiction novel: the atheist needs to stretch her mind to appreciate the theist's alien thought-patterns."
Book-of-the-Month: Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are, by Joseph Ledoux
In 1996 Joseph LeDoux's The Emotional Brain presented a revelatory examination of the biological bases of our emotions and memories. Now, the world-renowned expert on the brain has produced with a groundbreaking work that tells a more profound story: how the little spaces between the neurons--the brain's synapses--are the channels through which we think, act, imagine, feel, and remember.
Can you apply a skeptical empiricism to religious beliefs? The author answers, "yes"--and religion comes up short. In place of theism, Young offers what Einstein called "a cosmic religious feeling," in this excerpt adapted from his book No Sense of Obligation: Science and Religion in an Impersonal Universe.