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Are The Laws of the US Based on The Ten Commandments? January 28, 2008

Posted by Joe in belief, bible, Christianity, law, morality, religion, ten commandments.
1 comment so far

I have seen many Christians explain that the ten commandments should be displayed on public property because our laws are based on them. Let’s walk ourselves through the ten commandments, straight out of the bible and see how much it has influenced the laws of the United States.

I’ve heard there are two sources for the commandments in the Bible, for our purposes we will use the verses of Exodus 20.

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What is Faith? (and do atheists have it?) September 25, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, evidence, faith, freethought, god, logic, religion, skepticism, theism.
Tags: , , , ,
7 comments

Atheists often define the word ‘faith’ as “belief in something without evidence or int he face of contradictory evidence”. I don’t believe this is really what theists mean when they use the word, but I cannot come up with a reasonable meaning that fits their usage. They seem to use it as a justification for their religious beliefs and as a way to buttress their belief in the face of doubts.

Faith is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows:

Main Entry: 1faith
[snip]
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>
synonym see BELIEF
- on faith : without question <took everything he said on faith>

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On Atheists September 19, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, freethought, religion, theism.
7 comments

An open letter from one Christian to other Christians on atheists.

We Christians want the atheists to come over to our side of the fence — to join us, to become one of us. They would much prefer it if we would quit wanting that, and leave them be. They would naturally prefer it if we could actually respect them for, say, their intellectual (not to mention moral) integrity — but they aren’t exactly holding their breath waiting for that to happen. Because they know that Christians believe atheists to be at best lost, and at worst damned.

And let’s face it: If you know the best someone can think about you is that you’re lost, you’re hardly inclined to, say, invite that person to your birthday party. Ever.

Hence the fence.

I hate that fence! What is it doing there?

Great stuff. Thanks for writing this, John.

God and Evolution September 16, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, creationism, evolution, Kent Hovind, religion, science, skepticism, theism.
30 comments

Many people on both sides of the evolution/creation struggle in the United States want people to believe that their is a conflict between a belief in god and an acceptance of the biological theory of evolution. Let me assure you they are wrong. They want to construct a false dichotomy because it is easier to prop up your side when all you have to do is tear down the other.

If there are more than two options than tearing down the other is not sufficient. One needs to have positive evidence that supports any theory of the origins of species. I will stick with science and the massive evidence across multiple disciplines which converge on a common answer; evolution by natural selection. Whether you be god believer or not I would advise you do the same. If you are skeptical I suggest you approach the evidence with an open mind and realize (as Pope John Paul II did) that “Truth cannot contradict truth.”

As a Christian, a trained engineer and scientist, and a professor at Emory University, I am embarrassed by the Superintendent Kathy Cox’s attempt to censor and distort the education of Georgia’s students. The existing and long-standing use of the word ‘evolution’ in our state’s textbooks has not adversly affected Georgians’ belief in the omnipotence of God as creator of the universe. There can be no incompatibility between Christian faith and proven facts concerning geology, biology, and astronomy. There is no need to teach that stars can fall out of the sky and land on a flat Earth in order to defend our religious faith.

-Former President Jimmy Carter on the inclusion of an ‘evolution warning’ in Georgia’s textbooks.

Something From Nothing? August 13, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, freethought, religion, science, skepticism, theism.
49 comments

In a recent email conversation with a Christian I was annoyed by his frequent assertion that atheism implied that at the beginning of the universe something had to have come from nothing. (Perhaps I am easily annoyed.)

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