Tag: People

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 […]

Sam Harris and fake history

Sam Harris is a leading figure in the so-called “new atheists”, an author, speaker and polemicist who strongly opposes Christianity and (even more) Islam. So he is in great demand to speak on many issues of science, ethics and religion, not just the subjects of his university degrees – philosophy and neuroscience. As a “public […]

How to read the Bible if you’re an unbeliever

I reckon too many people, christian and non-christians alike, read the Bible in the wrong way. So how should an unbeliever approach the Bible if he or she wants to read it honestly, whether to learn from it or to critique it?

Are we alone in the universe?

Contact with aliens is a popular theme in science fiction stories. Some people even think they have seen, or been contacted by, aliens. But so far, despite more than 30 years of a scientific Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), no evidence has been found that there is any intelligent life “out there”. But some new […]

Atheism vs religion: is there a scientific explanation for why we believe or disbelieve?

Last post I looked at the differences between scientific thinking and religious thinking, at least as one social scientist sees it. But where does religious thinking come from? Religious belief has been an important component in virtually every culture in human history. Why is this so? Social scientists have studied this question extensively. Whether you […]

Science vs religion: Is scientific thinking different to religious thinking? Is it better?

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 […]

Science vs religion – who believes and who doesn’t?

Is there a conflict between science and religion? Do religious people and scientists think in different ways? In the next few posts I’m going examine the perceived conflict between science and religion. First, a quick look at some statistics of who believes and who doesn’t.

Experiencing God?

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 […]

“We measure our days out In steps of uncertainty”

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.

The doubt that breathes beside you

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 […]