Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
~ Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791 ~

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Divine Santa

I don't know if a god exists. I don't think anyone really knows. For one, the concept of God (or gods) is often poorly defined. And when you push people for definitions, either the definitions are so vague as to not be descriptive at all, or you start to find differences between the types of gods people believe in.

There is not just one single concept of God.

That might be a surprise to some people. Surely everyone knows who God is? Well, not exactly. What you mean by "God" is almost certainly different to what other people mean by "God", and because people are getting their views about God from different sources, and via different interpretations of those sources, and sometimes inferring things about God from their own experiences, there are inevitably many differences between those views.

So I want to discuss some different views about God...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Good without God?

Religions often claim to be the custodians of morality. Some claim that morality can only come from God, and that to be truly moral means to follow the various laws or tenets of the religion, or to follow God's ways.

But when we actually examine what religions claim is moral behaviour, it all-too-often boils down to some version of carrot and stick. Do this, and you'll be rewarded. Don't do that, or you'll be punished.

Is that morality? I beg to differ. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Inerrancy? Jesus didn't say that.

Many people believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, written via divine inspiration so that every word is accurate and intended by God, except where copying errors have crept in. One wonders why a god who could dictate his words verbatim to his human scribes decided not to preserve those words, but that's a separate topic.

In this article I want to demonstrate very simply that the New Testament contains a conversation involving Jesus that Jesus almost certainly didn't have.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Faith Trap

It's considered an essential virtue in many religions, without which salvation cannot be attained. Believers often talk about wanting more of it, strengthening it, trying not to lose it, and even criticise others for not having enough of it.

But what is faith? And what does it mean to have more or less of it?

Let's take a closer look...