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Joe Heschmeyer

About

Until May 2012, Joe Heschmeyer was an attorney in Washington, D.C., specializing in litigation. These days, he is a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, and can use all the prayers he can get. Follow Joe through his blog, Shameless Popery or contact him at joseph.heschmeyer@gmail.com.

   
 

Abortion, Souls, and the Atheist Conundrum

In a recent post here, I asked, “Do You Need God to Know That Abortion is Wrong?” I was prompted by two things: on the one hand, a series of articles defending the idea that we can be moral without God; and on the other, articles like this one, suggesting that opposition to abortion can only be “because God.” Those two positions don't work together. As I explained in the post, The pro-life argument is simple: (1) human beings are alive from the moment of fertilization, and (2) it is morally... Read More

Do You Need God to Know That Abortion is Wrong?

The New Republic’s latest contribution to the abortion debate is remarkable, in that, despite getting virtually everything it says factually wrong, it still raises an interesting problem for pro-choicers and atheists. Here’s the Twitter teaser to the piece that started it all: How the anti-choice platform is fighting to stay alive: http://t.co/m8kuGANs2Q pic.twitter.com/fxTeRyj444 — The New Republic (@tnr) April 17, 2015 According to the author of this piece, New Republic senior editor Jamil... Read More

Is Religion Responsible for the World’s Violence?

A few months ago, a “gun-toting atheist” and self-proclaimed “anti-theist” killed three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There's some question still about whether the killer was motivated by atheism or some other motivation. What there's no question of is that much of the secular response was predictably tasteless and exploitative. For example, the Daily Beast's Suzi Parker responded with an essay on how hard it is to be Muslim “in the most religious—and Christian—part... Read More

Stem Cell Research and ‘Science vs. Religion’

A 2005 New York Times article begins: "When Donald Kennedy, a biologist and editor of the eminent journal Science, was asked what had led so many American scientists to feel that George W. Bush's administration is anti-science, he isolated a familiar pair of culprits: climate change and stem cells. These represent, he said, 'two solid issues in which there is a real difference between a strong consensus in the science community and the response of the administration to that consensus.'" There's... Read More

Atheism and the Problem of Beauty

A lot has been said about the “problem of pain.” Why, if God is both loving and all-powerful, is there still suffering in the world? The question is a challenge for Christians, as for all theists.Christians have some sense of why a loving God would permit suffering. It's easy enough to see that love is a good (the highest good, even), and that love requires free will. And it's just a small step from there to see how that free will could be used in some dastardly ways. Likewise, it's clear... Read More

What Racism Reveals About God and Man

A day after Thanksgiving, with the turkey and stuffing settled in our stomachs, it's a good time to reflect on one aspect of the holiday often ignored: historically, this was a day in which Americans were encouraged to call upon God both in gratitude for His blessings, and to ask mercy for our sins. We see seeds of this in Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation, the source of the modern holiday, in which he reminded Americans of “the gracious gifts of the most high God, who while dealing with... Read More

How to Perfectly Know the Existence of God

It's common today to hear both believers and nonbelievers claim that the existence of God is ultimately unknowable, or at least unprovable. According to this view, we're left to take a leap of faith, or else to go with the option we think is more likely. Classical theism rejects this idea completely. It claims to be able to prove the existence of God - to be able to prove, in fact, that He can't not exist. And what's amazing is that these theists seem capable of following through on this promise.... Read More

What the Media Got Wrong about Pope Francis and Evolution

Have you heard about Pope Francis’ recent comments about God, evolution, and Creation? If so, chances are you’ve heard wrong. Here are four things you should know:   1. Pope Francis is Not an Atheist Amazingly, the popular news site Independent Journal Review (IJ Review) ran — and as of this writing, is still running — the following headline: “God is not a Divine Being”? We’re supposed to believe that the pope got up, denied that God was actually God, and that everything... Read More

Did the Accounts of Jesus Evolve?

Biblical skeptics often surmise that the earliest New Testament books tell a very different story than the later books: that the story of Jesus grew with time, becoming more and more incredible, and less and less historical. In other words, the New Testament evolved from history to religious mythology. Recently, I've seen this argument raised about both the Resurrection and the divinity of Christ. First, retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong (who denies the Resurrection) attacked the historicity... Read More

Demons, Playing Cards, and Telescopes

In 1949, Jerome S. Bruner and Leo Postman asked a group of 28 students at Harvard and Radcliffe to perform a simple task: identify playing cards. There were just two catches. First, these cards were shown very quickly: for 10 milliseconds at first, but increasing up to 1000 milliseconds if they struggled to identify the card. Second, the researchers were using a deck of four ordinary playing cards and six “trick cards” in which the card's color and suit were incongruous (red spades, black hearts,... Read More

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