Sunday, November 25, 2007


I liked this, and I don't usually like sermon-esque things. I'm especially referring to his comments on God not "doing" things. A question, though: can one still call themselves a christian with a hands-off God? Tom Honey would say yes.

PS. Fitch introduced me to ... I suggest you explore. It's worth the endless hours.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Religion & Evolution: an unanswered cliche

Just my thoughts for the day, I don't really expect answers, but if you have them... please share:

Many thoughtful believers have, over the past century or so, deemed evolution and religion not in conflict. God is behind evolution. Many theist biologists see God working through the intricacy of evolutionary processes. There are no supposed conflicts. Ok. I like it.

That being said, I have a few questions/potential conflicts that remain unanswered in my head… they may be unanswerable, but I’d like to throw them out there:

1. A fundamental quality that comes with belief in evolution is that the line between species is a very blurry one. There is no “first human” that could be easily delineated from non-human. It was a gradual process that took tens of thousands of years, with as many as three or four species of humans coexisting in different corners of the world. In an anthropocentric religion like Christianity, in which humans are the only creatures with souls, how do we define humanity? How far back do we reach before salvation offered by Jesus is not applicable? Is there one generation in which mom & dad don’t count, but son and daughter do?

2. If our lineage is lucky enough to continue for another million years, our ancestors could very likely be not “human”. Evolution didn’t stop with the arrival of Homo sapiens, at what point does the soul take another step, either forward or back??? How far forward does salvation reach?

3. Most importantly: Do all dogs go to heaven? Why didn’t Jesus come to save the whales? :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Christianity and other belief systems?

Ok, so I’ve written a lot in the other post today, so I’ll try to keep this short so other people can get their ideas in.

So, the question has come up (ala Sbowe and John) about what the deal is with Christians’ views of other religions. Where we grow up obviously has something to do with our beliefs (though I’d include atheistic beliefs there—the Enlightenment didn’t take root and grow up in the East, or the Mid-East, or Africa, but first and foremost in Europe... which was mostly Christian at the time…), so how can Christians reconcile with that? Would Christians have the same views of Jesus if they had grown up in another religious culture?

Anyhow, like I said, I’ve written a lot, so I think I’ll let someone else start this one (maybe John or Sbowe would like to explain their points/questions better than I did?), but I definitely want to get into it—I’ve done a lot of thinking about this in my life, and I don’t think it’s a fatal problem for Christianity. Ach, that’s really enough from me for now—talk to you all soon!


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hey look, look! I'm a mime!

By posting I don’t mean to cut the “Ah-reason, let’s talk” post short. Please, continue this. I love it.

Grace pointed out earlier today that we seem to be slowly defining where the walls between viewpoints lay - A frustrating, but rewarding process. Let it continue. I hope, however, that this blog can not only reiterate differences and build walls between viewpoints but also break walls, or at least make them transparent.

This post: What is the greatest weakness you find in your own beliefs? Which parts of the opposing viewpoints can you most identify with, and does this compromise your stance at all?

Ah, reason-- let's talk

Sbowe—thanks for clarifying what you meant in your response. Sometimes I can get pretty defensive if I feel like I’m attacked—‘twas my bad there.

Anyhow, if you’d indulge me, I’d like to try and respond to the points you brought up in your last comment, beginning with “my reason.” I had wondered if we were going to get to this, and it would seem that we’ve now finally entered the argument about what counts as reason. Please forgive me if I go on at a bit of length here, because I think it’s important (see my comments here).

More Dawkins

I haven't watched these yet but I'm sure they're very entertaining.

Monday, November 5, 2007

What do you believe and what would change it?

I know we already had introductory post but I'd really like to know where everyone is coming from. I'm mostly interested in the religious perspective but I assume they would also like to hear what the non-believers and in-betweeners think. So as concisely as possible, if you're willing, I'd like to know exactly where you stand with respect to god, religion, christianity, etc. and an example of what would it take to change your mind?

I'm basically on board with Dawkins. I know it seems rather unimaginative not to have any ideas outside of what he's written but I feel it's rather simple. I believe things that are reasonable and verifiable and I don't believe things that contradict the existing evidence or that have no empirical evidence.

What would change my mind? Hmm...I thought this would be easy to answer but now I'm not so sure. My first thought was a conversation with god but the more I think about it that wouldn't do. I'd probably decide later down the road that I was hallucinating. How about this: consistent results proving the efficacy of prayer. I know there are all sorts of problems with testing the power of prayer (testing god, not part of god's plan, etc.) but I think it would convince me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

For Later

I hope the link works. I'd like to puzzle through this at a later date (Once I've finished The God Delusion). Until then, I think this should be interesting to everyone.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007


1. Format: I think we should avoid ranting too much, but ranting will most likely be to some extent unavoidable. For the most part, if you have an intersting thought/question/ it. Use the comment section to respond to that given topic.

2. Use this post as an opportunity to introduce yourself. Most likely you are either a friend of mine or a friend of Kellys (or both). Say Hi.

3. Topic 1: I just had a conversation with kelly about the relationship between intelligence and "religiosity". Is there a connection, or is it a bogus connection that is insulting to the believers?
Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion in response to several sociological studies: "the higher one's intelligence or education level, the less one is likely to be religious..." But then again, for you CSB/SJUers, some of the smartest people we know (R. McGraw, V. Smiles...etc) are intensely religious.

4. Right now we are a tad unevenly balanced, lacking on the religious side. If you know of any thoughtful believers, see if they'd like to join us and send me an email address. Or just play devil's god's advocate.


Welcome. Let's keep it civil and jargon-free. Hopefully we can incorporate people of varied backgrounds: biologists, theologians, and philosophers (formally trained or otherwise)- pious and skeptic alike.