Rarely do we ever know the last time is the last time. For me that last time was a call 13 years ago today when I talked with one of my closest friends, Jeff. We talked about college, ships (a favorite topic of mine), and comedy (a personal favorite of his). As we wrapped up our two hour call he said “good-bye” in a way that felt like he knew this was the last time we would talk. I wish I would have known because there would have been so many questions I would have asked him. Continue Reading…
I ended the first post on this topic by noting that Paul wanted something better than freedom for Onesimus: he wanted Philemon to view Onesimus as a human being, a brother in Christ, a man of intrinsic value and worth. And if Paul could accomplish that, all forms of injustice and inequality would fade away. The best way to change a cultural mindset that accepts inequality, dehumanization, and injustice is to change the hearts of those who perpetuate it in all its forms. Continue Reading…
Though Paul’s letter to Philemon is often used to accuse Paul of supporting (or at least being okay with) slavery, the criticism misses the deeper purpose of this letter. Paul presented a radical Continue Reading…
I recently I went to a local bookstore in search of a book that would give me a solid overview of the atheistic worldview. Atheism: A Reader happened to featured prominently. It is handily divided into eight sections that offer a broad range of atheistic objections to Christianity with representations from various eras of history and areas of expertise. I will provide a very brief (and hopefully fair) summary of the sections and essays before offering some comments at the end.
- Thomas Huxley notes that “The agnostic says, ‘I cannot find good evidence that so and so is true.’”
- Leslie Stephen basically agrees with the definition, because “there are limits to the sphere of human intelligence.”
- Emma Goldman writes that since all religions are based in fear and ignorance and developed by people who are not that bright, atheism is a boon to mankind, a “dissolution of the phantoms of the beyond; the light of reason has dispelled the theistic nightmare.”
- Carl Von Doren agrees that religions give no good reason for anyone to accept any of them.
“A Refutation of Deism”
- Percy Shelley claims that “design must be proved before a designer can be inferred.” Since this cannot be shown, positing a Creator is unwarranted.
- A.J. Ayer rejects the Argument from Design because it could allow for multiple creators, does not require an eternal deity, and needs a creator outside of time, which seems difficult at best.
- Robert Ingersoll’s refutation of Deism can be summarized in two key questions: Why did God apparently create so many defective things? And why did a good and wise God create so much evil?
- Bertrand Russell addresses a number of the arguments for God, but he focuses on the link between morality and God. He claims that Christians think they are the only ones who can be moral, then highlights bad Christians throughout history. Continue Reading…