In Australia they don’t call this the “silly season” for nothing. So we can expect a swag of Christmas stories, from the sentimental to the supposedly shocking. Which of course includes at least one “expose” of the shocking truth that Jesus probably didn’t exist.
I expect discussions between christians and atheists to get edgy at times. We are talking about important matters and the two ‘sides’ are poles apart. But some responses seem extreme, even to people on the same side.
Why do you believe what you do – about religion, politics, ethics or life itself?
Many sceptics about religion are evidentialists, that is, they believe we should proportion our belief according to the evidence. Different disciplines (e.g. law, science, history, journalism and everyday life) require different types of evidence, but the principle seems reasonable.
But what if the sceptics are ignoring their own creed?
I have written before about archaeological excavations in Nazareth and sceptics who claim Nazareth didn’t exist as a village at the time of Jesus (and hence the gospels must be wrong) – see Did Bethlehem and Nazareth exist in Jesus’ day? and Nazareth re-visited. I have just come across some new information that was first(…)
I have long had an interest in the effectiveness of prayer for healing. My initial reaction to healing claims tends to be mild scepticism (I believe healing can occur but I don’t believe all claims of divine healing are credible), but I try to find cases where there is good evidence. So I am interested(…)
I’ve been away on a short holiday for the last week, at a beautiful spot on the NSW coast. Our holiday unit is right on the beachfront, with views over the Pacific Ocean. We sleep just inside large glass doors, so we hear the sounds of the surf during the night, and wake as the(…)
Bart Ehrman is a respected New Testament scholar and an “atheist-leaning agnostic”. As well as academic publications, he has written a number of popular-level books about Jesus and the New Testament. Many of the books present a more sceptical view of the New Testament than many christians accept, but one of his more recent books,(…)
The headline said “Former Pastor Decides To Spend A Year Without God”. A christian pastor was going to try living as an atheist for a year, and see what happened. Like many, I was interested in what led to this radical step, and where it would lead. Not long ago, a year later, he announced(…)