Tag: Religion

Did the early christian church grow very fast?

Let’s say at the start that this isn’t the most important question in the world! But I think it is interesting. The background is this. The New Testament (Acts 1:15) records there were 120 disciples in Jerusalem a few weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Three centuries later, historians estimate that there were somewhere between […]

Sam Harris: “science must destroy religion”

It is commonly stated that science and religion are irreconcilably opposed. A recent article by atheist author Sam Harris cranks the argument up a notch by declaring Science Must Destroy Religion. To be fair, I think he means “science will inevitably destroy religion”, not the rather more alarming “science has a moral duty to destroy […]

Horus and Jesus – a case study in inventing and ignoring evidence?

I have spent many hours this past week reading up on the Egyptian god Horus and the claim that more than a hundred aspects of the life of Jesus recorded in the gospels were copied from the mythology of Horus – and hence that the Jesus stories must also be myth. What I have found […]

Prayer for healing seems to work

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 […]

Long long journey through the darkness

I like to collect stories, especially stories of people finding God. (He wasn’t lost of course, just lost to them! 🙂 ) I enjoy reading (or hearing in conversation) people’s stories simply to get to know them better, but also because I like to learn from others’ experiences. These two stories both concern Professors of […]

Theists and non-theists think differently about morality

Are theists more moral than non-theists, or is it the other way round? Do theists and non-theists think very differently about ethics? It used to be easy to argue about these questions because everyone had a story to tell and no-one had any scientific evidence. But nowadays psychologists and others are undertaking scientific studies of […]

Finding true happiness & satisfaction

Previously I wrote about recent research on Ways we can try to find happiness, but in the end they don’t seem to work. So psychologists have found that pleasure seeking and materialism may provide short term pleasure but they don’t make for a happy or satisfied life. So what does?

Does religious belief make you more moral: a case study in misusing data?

Initial note This is unfortunately a sometimes negative post, and slightly longer than usual. I’m sorry about that. I have tried to be fair and positive, but I think it was important to address this issue. Both christians and non-believers seem to want to prove that their belief makes for a better society and the […]

Religion and war: evidence and misinformation

It’s a common theme of atheist critiques of religion: religion causes war and mass killing. And yet the historical evidence shows something different.

Do atheists beget atheists?

I find statistics on religion to be interesting, and helpful in understanding what is going on in the world. In previous posts I have outlined: The major religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism) are growing in numbers worldwide, but (Religion statistics), but only Islam and Pentecostal Christianity are growing in percentage terms. Almost half of […]