"Evidence, Theism and Naturalism" roundtable discussion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khRDdM2tA7ERead More

The Fattened Calf and Cookies: Ruminations on Evangelicalism and Identification

One of the most fascinating and frustrating things about being a person is that you don't get to compartmentalize your problems. If it were up to me, I'd order my personal and psychological issues into a bulleted list, rank them by severity and resources needed, and proceed to mend them in a structured and logical fashion. Also, if it were possible, I'd have on hand an infallible reference point; something I could check regularly and know without doubt if I was Doing It Right. Needles to say, I don't get to do that. My problems often hover below my awareness, bleed into each other, and resurface long after I'm sure they were dead and done. This gets especially complex when questions of identity and change surface. I've been very open…Read More

What Can We Atheists Learn From Our Christian Neighbor?

"I now know enough about all religions to know that I would always be an infidel at all times and in all places, but my particular atheism is a Protestant atheism." -- Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great, chapter 1 Three years ago, I attended a large worship service on my campus. The adult leader of that organisation talked with me afterwards and our discussion became heated. I didn't particularly want it to become heated, but I had yet to learn how to talk to people who did not share my view of the world (this remains a struggle, but I am better at it now than I was then). Our quarrel was over our respective interpretations of the Bible. Looking back on it now, it seems so odd to me that…Read More

Guest post at Ed Brayton's blog is....

Available here!Read More

"The New Agnostics" Appearance on HuffPost Live

I appeared today on the HuffPost Live news program to discuss the rise of the "Nones" in the millennial generation. You can check that out here.Read More

Response to the Response to Libba Bray

  Theferret.com recently posted a response to Libba Bray's description of what it's like to live with depression. You can find Bray's post here, and the response here.   As someone who's recently started writing about their own depressive issues, the exchange interested me. As people with mental health concerns become more vocal, and more visible, it's inevitable that they will also become more vocal about their disagreements. TheFerret doesn't pull any punches in his criticism of Bray's personal story. He calls out what he considers catering to a “Good Depressive Citizen” trope: the disingenuous tendency to write about depression in a way that distances it from yourself: “write a Very Articulate Post detailing your pain… …but do it from a distance. Write about it in a sad, somber tone.…Read More

Philosophy Discussion on 'Faith and Skepticism'

Justin Schieber, Elijah Thompson, Tyler McNabb, and myself were recently featured on the 'Faith and Skepticism' podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RoUDn4oZa0Read More

Apparently, Stafford Betty's God Still Isn't Big Enough for Me

It is often claimed that atheists (and other heretics) reject the wrong sort of God. Theologians assert that God's nature is far more mysterious than atheists recognize. True knowledge of God is far more hedged, tentative, and indirect than the dogmatists atheists are used to arguing with. If only atheists could be exposed to a much bigger and far more intellectually appealing deity then they would surely be able to believe. Such arguments are not new. Nor is the form which such arguments take. In 1709, William King authored a sermon entitled Divine Predestination and Foreknowledge, Consistent with the Freedom of Man's will. King's sermon was directed against heretic Pierre Bayle, who had apparently argued that several of God's properties are incompatible with the world we inhabit. For example, God's…Read More

Depression & Existential Crises

I've been battling depression for approximately fifteen years. I like to think that I've built myself a type of arsenal against it. I'm used to some of the more intense symptoms, and with time, practice, and help, I've found my ways of managing them. For example: I experience self-destructive impulses pretty regularly, but I've got a litany of coping strategies that work for me, and while it's always unsettling, I don't have any worries about actually indulging them. I'm also getting better at sifting my symptoms from reality. This is never going to done with. But I've at least learned that when I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for accidentally breaking one of my Aunt's glasses and start to think I've ruined her entire life and thus become unworthy…Read More

The Genius of Chickens

I have lived around chickens all my life. My grandparents had a small egg farm, and when they retired, they always had a couple dozen chickens and ducks around for no other reason than that they liked their character. I live in the suburbs now, but we are allowed three hens, and their vicissitudes form a steady beat of panic and joy amidst the routine of Human Stuff that needs dealing with. So, when I came across Carolynn L. Smith and Sarah I. Zielinski’s article in the most recent Scientific American about new evidence for intelligence and even empathy in chickens, I rejoiced at scientific attention finally being focused on the complex social life of these wonderful animals.   Smith has been running experiments to test how chickens use their…Read More