Why I Secretly Root for the Atheists in Debates

Shortly after my book The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible came out, I was asked to fly to Ireland to participate in a debate on the existence of God at University College Cork. I had been doing radio interviews for my book and was very comfortable discussing some of the sillier arguments atheists use […]

Atheist Debates
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Today’s Golden Age of Philosophy

Few people know this, but our age is an amazing time for people who love philosophy. When I was in college 30 years ago, philosophy was strictly an academic exercise and there were few resources available for people, like me, who view philosophy more as a way of life or avocation than as a job. […]

golden age of philosophy
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Atheists Take Credit for Science When They Had Nothing to Do with It

So if, as Albert Einstein insisted, Biblical religion was the necessary intellectual precondition for the gradual development of scientific method, how did the myth of the “scientific revolution” come about? One reason: For the past 400 years, the partisans of irreligion-from the Marquis de Sade to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins-have deliberately misrepresented the way […]

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The Debunking of Wicca

In the 1990s, a new generation of young, less ideologically-driven, often female anthropologists and scholars made it their business to investigate prehistoric European religious cultures and, when they did, they made an astonishing discovery: the religion of the Great Goddess was all made up out of whole cloth. “The evidence is overwhelming that Wicca is […]

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Why Parents Drag Their Kids to Church, Temple or Their Zen Sitting Group

Here’s what sucks about life: You wake up in your crib, confused and more than a little dazed, and then spend the next 20 or 30 years trying to figure out what to do with yourself. You mostly do what you’re told. You learn how to read, play sports, try to attract members of the […]

why parents drag their kids to church or synagogue
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How Chaos Theory Refutes the Blind Watchmaker of Richard Dawkins

I would like to briefly examine the claim, made by advocates of Neo-Darwinism and others, that advances in contemporary systems theory now give a rational explanation for the development of highly complex structures in the universe without recourse to the hypothesis of a Divine Creator. Further, I will show that such claims, while purporting to […]

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Biblical Heritage Leads to Freedom, Religious Toleration & Human Rights

The new atheist crusaders (such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins) like to pretend that the concept of universal human rights just popped out of thin air in the 17th and 18th century, the creation of the agnostic and atheist thinkers of the French Enlightenment. But the truth is precisely the opposite: The […]

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The Nature of Existence

For a beach philosophizer like myself, it doesn’t get much better than “The Nature of Existence,” the quirky little documentary on the Meaning of Life that is opening this weekend. Filmmaker Roger Nygard wrote down the 85 toughest questions he could think of about the meaning of life — and then set out with a […]

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Elena Kagan and the Perils of Legal Positivism

It goes without saying that Supreme Court nominee (soon to be justice) Elena Kagan is a charming, intelligent, well-spoken woman who, unlike most politicians, gives every impression of being a genuine “moderate” in her views, someone who understands the complexities involved in great social issues and who is willing to acknowledge that people of good […]

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Cowboy Constitutionalism

Jacob Weisberg wrote a thoughtful piece on the various factions on the Right. It was published in the dying Newsweek blog: The GOP Looks West Here’s my favorite paragraph: The GOP’s new Western tone harks back to Goldwater’s disastrous but transformational presidential campaign of 1964. Goldwater didn’t care about religion—he was a Jewish Episcopalian who […]

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Bernard Lonergan a Closet Kantian?

One of my favorite Catholic blogs, Lex Christianorum, had an interesting post on my philosophical guru, Bernard J.F. Lonergan, yesterday.  Lonergan is accusing of being… the horror!… a Kantian in disguise.  Of course, this comes as no surprise to anyone who knows Lonergan or his work.  It’s the standard slam against almost all of the […]

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau and a Return to Eden

I just finished reading Leo Damrosch’s magisterial 2005 biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius) and I’ve been thinking a lot about how Rousseau’s vision ties in, or doesn’t tie in, with the problems of modern urban society. (Full disclosure: My wife hates Rousseau because he forced his lifelong mistress, Therese Levasseur, to give […]

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