The Quest for a Universal Definition of Religion: Solved


One of the main problems in discussing religion is that while each religion wants to define itself, I’ve yet to come across a complete universal definition that encompassed all religions from Hinduism to Scientology; from new formed religious beliefs systems to an ancient orthodox tradition and herein is the problem.  There is no one defined exchange in discussing this term apart from its context. Of course, as a secular humanist, I also have a context, but my quest was for a short intelligent definition which could be used as a basis for all future discussions, which usually have a nature of being both defensive and apologetic (religion’s basic true nature of survival).

Three Blurbs for My Newest Book to Be Released in the Fall

Here are three blurbs for my next book to be released in the Fall. It's provocatively titled, "How To Defend The Christian Faith: Advice From an Atheist."

The Hebrew Bible's Disturbing Attitude Towards Human Sacrifice

          The Hebrew Bible has achieved a remarkable feat; it has justified, in the minds of billions, what is seemingly unjustifiable—genocide. Much of the Old Testament is dedicated to defending the territorial rights of Israel, a right conferred by her deity.

Quote of the Day, By Anthropology Professor David Eller


"Religion is not what you believe."

King Josiah's Reforms Were Lies

One of the important Bible reading skills to hone is catching the Biblical writers when they are unwittingly revealing an important truth. Since these truths are generally embedded within polemics wrapped in a fabricated story to support that polemic, it is important to read cautiously.

Quote of the Day, On Willful Ignorance

Depending on the nature and strength of an individual’s pre-existing beliefs, willful ignorance can manifest itself in different ways. The practice can entail completely disregarding established facts, evidence and/or reasonable opinions if they fail to meet one’s expectations. Often excuses will be made, stating that the source is unreliable, that the experiment was flawed or the opinion is too biased…In other…more extreme cases, willful ignorance can involve outright refusal to read, hear or study, in any way, anything that does not conform to the person’s worldview. Rational Wiki.

I'll Be Debating Dr. David Wood On the Resurrection of Jesus Soon

On Monday April 20th from 7-9 PM to be exact. At the Reston Bible Church, 45650 Oakbrook Court, Dulles, Virginia. Be there or be square. I figured today would be a good day to announce it, what, with Christians celebrating an event than never took place and all.

Quote of the Day, By Dr. Wallace Marshall

Recently he messaged me with permission to quote:
I wish I could make your two chapters on the problem of suffering (in Why I Became an Atheist) required reading for all evangelicals. They would banish many a shallow Christianity! Your section on the free-will defense also raises a number of issues that most Christians haven't thought about.
--Dr. Wallace Marshall is a Christian apologist and Director of the Charleston, South Carolina, Reasonable Faith chapter.

The Indiana Religious Freedom Fiasco

Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana
Dr. Avalos has published a newspaper column on the Indiana Religious Freedom Fiasco. These types of laws are a recipe for a perpetually sectarian society. "Religious freedom" really refers to the religious freedom of the proponents' religion, and not to the religious freedom of every other religion.

A New Book Chronicles the Invention of Christian America


One Nation Under God: How Corporate American Invented Christian America

"We’re often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God,historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the idea of “Christian America” is an invention—and a relatively recent one at that.  

As Kruse argues, the belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when businessmen enlisted religious activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal. Corporations from General Motors to Hilton Hotels bankrolled conservative clergymen, encouraging them to attack the New Deal as a program of “pagan statism” that perverted the central principle of Christianity: the sanctity and salvation of the individual. Their campaign for “freedom under God” culminated in the election of their close ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.

New Book, "Divine Hate"

I received two copies of my friend's wonderful book recently. It can be found on Amazon titled, Divine Hate - He Who Does Not Believe Will Be Condemned - Why It Is Not To Be Believed.The only thing more I had wished would have been his signature on it. He goes by the name Fellow Feather. He is an 87 year old "man with a mission" writes Robert M. Price in the Foreword. Price also tells us,
Feather has seen wars and heard rumors of wars, and it vexes him to see religion causing more of the same...His goal is much like that of the ancient gadfly Diogenes who carried around a lit lamp in the daytime, looking for an honest man. Feather is looking to get people to start being honest with themselves about what they believe. To this end, he has put his career's worth of expertise in media, marketing, and communication to work, producing a series of mini-essays published as ads in various magazines and newspapers...Feather's gift as well as his technique is to set forth the issues in a manner that is short, sweet, and right to the point. One might even say, right to the jugular.
In this book you'll find a lot of ads that he placed in the Free Inquiry magazine and in select newspapers around the States. Feather has also created the best Robert G. Ingersoll site online, from which he chose some of his material to reproduce in this book. I like having them in print, in one book! This is a good work filled with great essays and ads! I have it placed on a shelf next to my own books. I liked reading his personal story, and I liked the responses to his many ads reproduced in the book. Bravo! He is a man of great passion and knowledge. Keep it up!

Islam Could Become the World's Largest Religion After 2070

The Atlantic reports. From what I know I think they may be right. "Researchers at Pew have projected that after 2070, the world's Muslims will outnumber the world's Christians." Not only that but, "The world is on track to become a more homogeneously religious place, not a more diverse and secular one. Theories of secularization are based on a vision of a world culturally dominated by the West, and it's true that the United States and Europe may become somewhat less religious in the coming years. But in terms of sheer numbers, the West is shrinking, and the rest of the world is on a very different path: one that's headed toward God." They might be wrong though, and the reason is the internet. It does have a great amount of impact, and I think the Outsider Test for Faith will play a big role, along with the results of science itself, in keeping the barbarians at bay.

Whew! I Just Sent My Book Off To Be Published in The Fall


The Frailty of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Traditions: Houses Built on Sand

Ironically, in Matthew 7: 24 – 27, Jesus gives a parable of two houses; one built on the shifting sands which falls down under light pressure and one built on solid rock which could stand the test of time and the scrutiny its environment.   The irony of this parable is that Jesus has predicted his religious tradition’s own demise by presenting a scenario of the historical fallacy for both himself and his famous Jewish father, King David (the dogmatic belief that the Messiah Jesus would be born the “Son of David” is only a Biblical perceptive).

Two Newer Books by John H. Walton and Other Related Items

John Walton is undermining the idea that Genesis 1-11 is straightforward history, and I welcome this even though he's a confessional Christian. His latest book is hot off the press, The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate.This one comes after the book he co-authored in 2013 with D. Brant Sandy that gained all kinds of acclaim, The Lost World of Scripture: Ancient Literary Culture and Biblical Authority.

Looks like there is a full-fledged debate concerning Adam and Eve that probably started with Peter Enns book, The Evolution of Adam, What the Bible Does and Doesn't Say about Human Origins.To see what all the fuss is about you might just want to read this one: Four Views on the Historical Adam.

Governor Mike Pence Under Fire, Ha!

I'm from Indiana and I vote you duffas!

Researchers May Have Solved Origin-of-Life Conundrum

Chemists report today that a pair of simple compounds, which would have been abundant on early Earth, can give rise to a network of simple reactions that produce the three major classes of biomolecules—nucleic acids, amino acids, and lipids—needed for the earliest form of life to get its start. Although the new work does not prove that this is how life started, it may eventually help explain one of the deepest mysteries in modern science. LINK.
I can hear God's defenders now. Rather than being excited about this development they will think first of poking holes in it before actually reading what researchers have found. If you seek first of all to poke holes in this research you're not really interested in the truth. This should be an indicator your brain is lying to you.

The Bible Has the Answers, Yep!


8 Black Pastors Whose Net Worth is 200 Times Greater Than Folks in Their Local Communities

The money in televangelism is obscene whether black or white, man or woman!

Ayaan Hirsi Ali's New Book is Out: "Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now"

Get it. Get it NOW!

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now.

American Atheists Airs Its First National TV Commercial Tonight on CNN

Is there a God? CNN Special Report: Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers. Tonight Tuesday, March 24th at 9 ET/PT. Trailer found here. American Atheists will air the following commercial before and after the program:

Jesus Given the Boot Tonight from all County School Board Meetings

Pickens County School Board decides to end 'Jesus' in all meeting prayers. (Pickens is about 20 miles from Bob Jones University, in the next county to the south.)

News Video Here

Jesus Hates You - This I Know; For the Bible Tells Me So!

Where the Bible is proving to be an embarrassment. 
Let’s quickly review Bob Jones University’s past as a God fearing, Bible believing, Christ honoring institution:

  A. The Bible is against race mixing.  Thus, all black and dark skin students will not be allowed to attend any of the BJU schools from kindergarten to graduate school.  Bob Jones, Sr. was an active supporter of the Klu Klux Klan who viewed the Klan as Biblical.  So, “If God is for us, who can be against us?"  (Romans 8: 31) right?  

Quote of the Day, by TimeWarper On the Catholic Church

"If this was any other institution, I bet Catholics would denounce it. But since it's not they make excuses. Go figure."

The Catholic Church's New Scandal, Banking Practices, Oh My!

Gerald Posner's new book, God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican is now a bestseller after being released a month ago. Well, who would have guessed that behind the Inquisitions, Crusades, Witch Hunts, wars, and child molestations that the Catholic Church was also financially corrupt?! Read this description for yourselves:

New Book: The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death

Michael Martin and Keith Augustine's massive book on the afterlife is now available. See it by clicking on it here: The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death.Dr. Martin is the author of the book, The Case Against Christianity,and Augustine is executive director and scholarly paper editor of Internet Infidels. The description of their 708 page book can be read below:

10 Secrets the Catholic Church Hopes You've Forgotten

Here. "Considering the catastrophic harm of the Catholic Church over the last half century, there is simply no justification for its continued existence." - Nathan Phelps, chapter 20 in Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails.

David Marshall Is Mad, Reviewing the Madman's Work

Marshall wrote a book length response to my book, The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True.As I said yesterday, "It surprises me the lengths Christians will go to mischaracterize an argument. It takes madness." This describes David Marshall's book. I wrote a review of his book on Amazon titled, Marshall's Book Is Completely Irrelevant To The Truth of Christianity and He Doesn't Even Realize It. If you like what I wrote any upvotes would be very appreciated.

It Takes Madness

It surprises me the lengths Christians will go to mischaracterize an argument. It takes madness. I argue they should not trust their brain. It's lying to them. It didn't evolve to search for truth. The first step is to know this. The second step is to train it to think like a scientist. The brain seems to find truths inadvertently through trial and error. Science augments the truth finding capabilities already in our brain.

Quote of the Day, by ephemerol on Reformed Epistemology

Plantinga's "Reformed Epistemology" is a specifically christian "epistemology." It isn't general. It won't work for everyone. If you want a "warrant for rationality" in believing in some other equally epistemically ludicrous set of metaphysical garbage, you'll have to reform epistemology for yourself, like so:
[Insert Religion] Epistemology shows that [Insert Believers] can be rational in having a "full-blooded [Insert Religion] belief" in the "the great truths of the [Insert Text]" ... because ... we [Insert Believers] have a sensus divinitatis within us, and a [Insert Religion] spirit guide who guides us to know "the great truths of the [Insert Text]."
But under this schema, there won't be just one "epistemology," like there's one "chemistry," or one "astronomy." We'll end up with a new "epistemology" for each shared delusion. So, then, that would beg the question, why doesn't each religion need it's own chemistry or astronomy too? By the rubrik that there is only one periodic table, and that we all gaze up at the same sky, likewise, as members of the same species we share essentially the same sensory and processing aparatus, so there can only be one epistemology, christian claims of a specifically christian "sixth sense" notwithstanding. Plantinga is basically saying, "You can't expect me to live in your oppressive reality, man." Is this supposed to be "rational"? Problem is, Plantinga needs another "warrant for rationality" for this. And then it's turtles all the way down

More On Reformed Epistemology

It is one thing to have a warranted belief that we are reading the Bible, so long as we’re reading it with cognitive faculties functioning properly in the right kind of cognitive environment. It is something entirely different to be reading the Bible and claim “God is speaking to me.” That additional claim is miles and miles away from what any rational person can conclude from the actual experience of reading the Bible itself. For that additional claim depends on the rationality of believing that all the ancient documents in the Bible are truly God’s word, that what they say about God, the nature of nature, and its workings are true, and that how one interprets them when reading them is correct. Since the rationality of claiming “God is speaking to me” depends on the rationality of accepting these other claims, it should be shown that it's rational to accept these other claims before one can rationally claim “God is speaking to me.” Until then the rational conclusion from reading the Bible is “I am reading the Bible,” not “God is speaking to me.”

Christian, How Do You Know You're Not Delusional When Others Clearly Are?


Reformed Epistemology Requires Psychic Abilities!

I'm trying to meet a deadline for a new book I'm writing by the end of this month. I think I'll make it. Below are 2200 words out of a 10,000 word chapter on Christian apologetics. See what you think.