New Atheism

Is the State Church Coming?

Last week, presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said outright that if he is elected president, he will work to eliminate the tax-exempt status for churches that hold traditional views of gender and sexuality. And O’Rourke is not the only candidate taking aim at groups that defend age-old beliefs about marriage and gender. His Democratic rival Cory [...]

Can Morality Be Grounded in Science?

Each of us knows that certain things are wrong—not because we believe they are wrong, but because they really are wrong. And that applies to the moral relativist as well. If you want to see a relativist sink into a sophistic seizure, ask him about the “virtues” of cruelty, rape, bigotry, exploitation, or the Holocaust. [...]

The Making of an Apostate

Dear Swillpit, It's interesting how humans can go through life without giving much serious thought to their faith. Oh yes, they may believe in a supreme Being and an afterlife. They may be members of a church, even leaders or clergy. And they may have mouthed their allegiance to our Adversary. But beyond the sanctuary [...]

The Metaphysical Implications of Darwinian Theory

Darwin was always unsettled by the implications of his theory, and his growing agnosticism, along with his eventual belief that there was no soul, no eternity, just blind matter and its inexorable laws, troubled his pious, Unitarian wife, Emma, who wanted to be with him in heaven. Unsettled Darwin should have been; for all the [...]

New Book Offers Sophisticated Defense of Religious Liberty

We are living in a moment of peril. It is also a moment of opportunity. Our liberal friends are currently gnashing their teeth, worrying that the end may be near. In their minds, dark forces of tribalism and hatred are descending from all sides to obliterate them. After years of having similar feelings ourselves, it’s [...]

The Gods of Atheism

The German Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich famously claimed that “God”—or “god”—is the name for what “concerns man ultimately.” What this means, says Tillich in the first volume of his Systematic Theology, is that “whatever concerns a man ultimately becomes god for him, and, conversely, it means that a man can be concerned ultimately only about [...]

The Cult of Christopher Hitchens

Like many bright but impressionable youngsters I was greatly taken-in by the charisma and bravura bombast of the late Christopher Hitchens. In fact, I became a Hitchens groupie. I even own a t-shirt with his likeness on it. His was the first book on atheism I ever read, after losing my fragile faith watching Dawkins [...]

Coming Home to God: On Losing My Unbelief

Let us come home at last to you, O Lord, for fear that we be lost.  ∼ St. Augustine My recent conversion to Christianity (and although I was raised Catholic I feel the distance I’ve traveled in my spiritual journey warrants the name of conversion) has come about as the culmination of three different levels [...]

Stephen Hawking’s Fairy-Tale Heaven

  The Daily Telegraph reports that prominent English cosmologist Stephen Hawking has suggested that "heaven is a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark." As I am both a lover of fairy tales and a believer in heaven, I am not sure whether this is an insult or a compliment. Although I [...]

Padding the Case for the New Atheism

Recently there has been a flurry of books from the "New Atheists." Such figures as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have been holding forth to state . . . well, not anything new.   The reason there is nothing new to say is that there cannot, by the nature of the [...]

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