I’ve been neglecting this blog way more than I’d like recently, due to the repeated intrusion of real life. Lots of things are going on both at home and at work, with the two of them locked in a battle for supremacy and grinding my inspiration and energy into the dirt.
This week was fairly typical of what I’m trying to deal with at the moment – a sapping day-long meeting with a lot of people who are probably going to end up deciding on my future employment; a struggle to do a week’s work in three days while additional tasks are thrown my way because I made the tactical error of being competent; and finally, a sudden request for an early morning radio interview relating to the thing that’s occupying most of my home life, ahead of another potentially career-defining day. Read More…
Following on from my recent post about how Christianity falls into moral relativism, I was confronted with another well-worn apologist gambit that I was intending to address anyway – the claim that atheists don’t have any objective basis for morality, and therefore have no right to criticise Christianity. This is a bit different, as it rests on a claim about the subjectivity of atheism, not the objectivity of Christianity, so I thought it would be worth dealing with it separately.
In fact, for the sake of argument, I’m going to accept that atheism has no objective basis for morality, but Christianity does. I think I’ve pretty effectively demonstrated that this isn’t true, but you either agree or not, and there’s no point in rehashing those points. Even accepting these points, an atheist has a powerful response, by appealing not to his own morality, but Christianity’s. Read More…
Here comes another old favourite. Atheism, apologists claim, inevitably leads to moral relativism (assumed, but not demonstrated to be a bad thing), while Christianity has an objective and unchanging moral basis. Because Christianity has God’s teachings in the Big Old Book of Middle Eastern Tribal Behaviour, which opens a window directly onto the only true, objective basis for morality. That’s why we stone adulterers, keep slaves, sell our children… hang on! Read More…
You know the phenomenon I call Satan’s Fork, where people find ways of discrediting anyone who’s left a religion? Well, there’s another version which is similar, but used in slightly different circumstances.
“If you’re an atheist, you must never have read the Bible”
I have, all of it
“Then you must not have read it with an open mind”
I did, completely
“Then you must not have understood it”
I did, in minute detail
“Then you must not have accepted it”
I did, in full
“Then you must not have lived it”
I did, for my whole life
“Then you’ve rejected God, and you’re doomed for all eternity”
Here we are in the great new open-air arena near the Jabbok, and this looks like it’s going to be a fantastic evening’s entertainment, grapple fans! Here’s the champion Jacob with his entourage, showing off the champion’s belt and working up the crowd with some showboating.
He’s a seriously hard man, Rick. This guy worked for seven long years just to be allowed to marry his wife, and then he worked another seven years because he married the wrong one first time.
You say hard, I say stupid, but I wouldn’t say that to his face.
I hear you, buddy. Read More…
I’m not really interested in being obvious. I enjoy finding unusual angles and approaches, and I don’t want to waste my time proving that the world’s round, or grass is green. There’s nothing wrong with that in its place, but it’s not my thing.
That’s served me well enough until now, and it’s still true that if I’m ever reduced to posts with no more content than “What about those creationists, eh?” this blog will have passed its sell-by date. But then I experienced a sudden influx after being featured on Freshly Pressed (waves to new followers), and I found myself attracting sermons from people who didn’t know me, haven’t been following my story and in some cases, didn’t even convince me that they’d read and understood the post in question. Read More…
While I was working on my review of his book, I was lucky enough to be able to ask Joe Wenke (pictured right) a few questions about it, including what he was trying to achieve and how he felt about the stories he was satirising. So here, as a sort of bonus track, are my questions and his answers.
Was there a particular thing that inspired you to write the book?
As I explain in “The Genesis of You Got to Be Kidding!” a piece that I originally wrote for the Huffington Post but which is now included as an afterword to the book, the way I got the idea for writing the book is kind of strange. I woke up one morning, and the first thing I thought of was that I would read the Bible and when I found something funny, I would write about it. I had never had that thought before, and I don’t know why I woke up thinking the Bible was funny, although it is hilarious. Read More…