Do human beings have free will? Can we choose among different possible actions and beliefs? Or are we controlled by our genetics, or by blind physical processes in our brains? And if we couldn’t make genuine choices, would that diminish us? Would we be any different from animals, except a little smarter … perhaps? And […]
When Martin Luther King said “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”1, most of us like to believe he was expressing a deep truth. We want to see justice done, at least for causes we believe in. But do we live in a moral universe? What does that even […]
Most of us want to be happy, and most of us want our lives to be meaningful. And psychologists confirm that we are happier when we feel our lives have meaning and purpose But what gives our lives meaning? It used to be that religion gave life meaning. Even if life was hard drudgery, or […]
Science has been one of the success stories of the past few hundred years Through science we know more about the world. We can predict outcomes like weather, the paths of space rockets and the prognosis for cancers. And we can treat many sicknesses, travel all over the world, communicate to virtually anyone anywhere and […]
Many people claim to have experienced God directly in some way. They claim to have seen a vision, or received divine healing, or they have had some deep spiritual experience, or God has turned their lives around in some way. They come from different religions, even from no religion and atheism. Sometimes the experience changes […]
One of the pleasures in having an old vinyl record collection is getting an old album out of the storeroom and playing it after years, maybe decades. Some albums stand up, some sound outdated. And some songs still hit you with all the old force. Here’s one.
People move into and out of faith. Probably most of us stay with the religious beliefs we form in our late teens, but a fair number change their basic belief somewhat later. These changes in belief can be difficult to make and to carry through. But probably nothing is more difficult than when one partner […]
Most of us like to think that our beliefs are logical and based on the evidence. But we also know that very few things can be known with certainty – after all, this may all be a dream. But we need to live our lives and make choices. So sometimes we have to act despite […]
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.
Aussie novelist Tim Winton is without doubt my favourite writer. I especially love That Eye the Sky, a novel of a family that is put under pressure by a serious car accident, and finds relief in unexpected places. It has been made into a film and two stage plays. And it turns out that so […]