• Strange Notions Strange Notions Strange Notions

5 Reasons Why the Universe Can’t Be Merely a Brute Fact

Can the universe be a mere brute fact? Can we say, “The universe just exists and that’s that—it has no explanation at all”? Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, thinks so. In a recent interview at Salon.com, Carroll says, “There’s certainly no reason to think that there was something that ‘caused’ it; the universe can just be.” Carroll is in good company with such an assertion. Bertrand Russell, the late British atheistic philosopher,... Read More

Why Richard Dawkins Was Simply Wrong in His “Reason Rally” Speech

On June 4, a few thousand atheists gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for an event they dubbed the “Reason Rally.” Due to health reasons, Richard Dawkins could not be there in person to address the audience, but he did send a video message, the transcript of which has been passed around via atheist blogs.     In it, Dawkins highlights how atheists are mistreated in the U.S., especially when religious people ask them the incredibly insensitive question “What... Read More

Why Miracles Are Not Incompatible with Science

Skeptics argue that miracles are impossible because the laws of nature are necessary. A miracle, they argue, involves a violation of a law of nature. But the laws of nature cannot be violated. Therefore, miracles must be impossible. One modern skeptic of repute who argues this is Richard Dawkins. In his book The God Delusion, he says, “[M]iracles, by definition, violate the principles of science” (83). Dawkins and other modern skeptics derive this argument from philosophers in the... Read More

Atheism, Prot-Enlight, and the Schizophrenic Republic

Last week, I wrote about the longstanding Catholic drive to reinterpret the philosophy of Plato as realist. In actuality, Aristotle’s philosophy perfected Plato’s by connecting the material to the formal world—two separated domains which, in Plato, remain wholly alien to one another. Accordingly, it is quite a “stretcher,” I suggested, when Catholics talk about Plato as a realist. Any philosophy which divorces the material and the formal qualifies as anti-realism, because matter’s... Read More

Is Real Knowledge Only Scientific Knowledge?

Is science the only legitimate form of rational inquiry? The evolutionary biologist and popular atheist Richard Dawkins thinks so. In a 2012 debate with Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dawkins claims that religion, as opposed to science, is “a betrayal of the intellect.” He asserts that appealing to God to explain the universe is “a phony substitute for an explanation” and “peddles false explanations where real explanations could have been offered.” What... Read More

Does Science Make God Irrelevant?

Does God still matter? This is the question that seems to be at the heart of the modern debate about God’s existence. Many unbelievers who label themselves agnostic-atheists do not claim definitively that God does not exist. They take the softer position that God probably does not exist, and even if he does exist, he is irrelevant in explaining the universe. As Dr. Richard Dawkins stated in a 2013 Cambridge debate with the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, “Religion... Read More

How Richard Dawkins Helps Prove Biblical Inspiration

American Atheists responded to the Pennsylvania state legislature’s designation of 2012 as “Year of the Bible” with mocking billboards, and a press release insisting that “the House of Representatives should not be celebrating a barbaric and Bronze Age book.” It’s a common argument against the Bible, that it can’t be trusted because it’s a book from the Bronze Age. Over on Twitter, Richard Dawkins extended this argument to attack both the Bible and the Qu’ran. Bible... Read More

An Agnostic’s Assessment Of New Atheist Attitudes

Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and the late Christopher Hitchens—these are the posterboys for what some have called the “New Atheists”. What’s new about the New Atheists? In his book, Gunning For God, Oxford mathematician John Lennox says it’s their tone and emphasis. The tone of today’s New Atheists is one of intensity and aggression. They are not out to merely inform. They are out to convert—to de-vangelize. In the The God Delusion, Dawkins admits: “If this... Read More

Is God Too Complex To Be The Creator?

Richard Dawkins believes that if the universe began to exist—it was caused by nothing. In a debate with Cardinal George Pell in 2012 he asserted: "Of course it's counterintuitive that you can get something from nothing! Of course common sense doesn't allow you get something from nothing! That's why it's interesting. It's got to be interesting in order to give rise to the universe at all!" He was right about at least two things: to get something from nothing is both counterintuitive and... Read More

The Dying of the Brights

“We have to make this planet as good as we possibly can and try to leave it a better place than we found it.” The crowd, gathered to hear Richard Dawkins debate the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, responds to the trite apothegm with unsurprising applause. But off-stage, after the cameras are turned off, the proverbial devil of the details rears his ugly head. A weary Dawkins—one almost gets the sense that he’d rather not talk to anybody at all—kneels besides... Read More

Next Page »