Tag: Religion

9. Does the historical Jesus reveal God?

This page in brief …. Christians believe that Jesus showed us what God is like. If that claim is true, we have a strong reason to believe God really exists. So in this page we look at three criteria that we might use to evaluate this claim – the historical evidence for Jesus’ life and […]

Free will and determinism: are they compatible?

This page in brief …. Neuroscientists tend to conclude that the processes in our brains follow known physical laws, and so our thinking is determined by physics – meaning we don’t have genuine free choice. But our experience is that we do indeed make choices and they seem to be free most of the time, […]

Chinese New Year, modern Buddhism and modern Christianity

It is Chinese New Year, and last Saturday we visited the celebrations at Hurstville, the suburb where we both grew up and now home to a large Chinese community. We watched the parade and checked out the stalls, and found plenty to interest us.

The Exodus (book review)

What should we make of the story of the Exodus in the Old Testament? Two million people escape slavery in Egypt after a series of savage plagues, with God leading the way. They escape the pursuing Egyptian army by walking through the waters of the Red Sea, which God miraculously parts, then closes on the […]

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?

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.