Tag: Doubtful ideas

Claim a fallacy and win the argument?

The internet sure has opened up space for people to argue. We’ve got plenty of quantity but not always so much quality! Often an argument is met with the claim that the proponent has committed a fallacy. Sometimes the accusation is true, but not always. Here are three alleged fallacies I have come across recently. […]

Did Jesus suffer from a mental disorder?

In Mark 3, it is recorded that when Jesus’ family heard how he was attracting a great following, they thought he was “out of his mind”. These days a similar charge is sometimes made – that Jesus exhibited behaviour that suggests he suffered from a mental disorder. I’ve come across it several times, most recently […]

Religion is like seeing faces in nature?

Recently a friend referred me to a 2013 blog post (God: Personification ≠ Person) by Rev Michael Dowd, which explains his somewhat unorthodox views on God and religion. Dowd is a former Catholic who embraced Pentecostal christianity while serving in the army, got himself a theological education and served as a church pastor for a […]

I don’t normally get much involved in conspiracy theories about Jesus, but ….

I’m not much interested in arguments about christianity. I try to focus on the known facts, the consensus conclusions of scholars and then express what I personally conclude. I’m happy for alternative, and opposite, opinions to be expressed, but I don’t see a lot of point arguing over them. But I am more interested when […]

A majority of Aussies think religion does more harm than good

A recent international survey by Ipsos probed people’s attitude to religion, in particular whether it is seen as being harmful or beneficial for society.

Three questions about faith, meaning and purpose

Hugh Mackay is probably Australia’s leading social researcher and commentator. His book Beyond Belief (2016) explores spirituality and religious belief in Australia. It is, I think, as much a vehicle for Mackay to share his own spirituality as it is solid social research, and it contains some interesting insights. In a chapter titled Reasonable Faith […]

It always pays to check the evidence

This page in brief The internet is an amazing source of information – we can find out almost anything we want to know with a quick visit to Google. But trust is involved – we have to trust websites to speak honestly about things they actually know. But what happens when that trust is misplaced? […]

I’m beginning to see a pattern here

I seem to have had this feeling of deja vu before! 🙂 Conversations on the internet where the topics were very different, but the discussions seem to go in the same direction. The other person might be an atheist or they might be a christian, but I seem to end up saying the same things.

Jesus, modern historical scholarship, and sceptics

Evidence and conflict resolution It is no secret that believers and unbelievers argue a lot on the internet. But it is helpful to consider the nature of the disagreement. Experts on conflict resolution have identified a number of different sources of conflict, one of which is a “data conflict”, that is, a disagreement about the […]

Getting history right … or not

Science and history are both complex disciplines that require significant knowledge and skills to do well. A research scientist has to have a good theoretical background in their branch of science, keep up with others working in his or her field, probably have a good working understanding of mathematics and statistics and be able to […]