5 Warning Signs That Social Justice is Your New Religion

So many atheist activists scream from the mountaintops that “evidence is required.” They boast their unwillingness to “believe” anything without substantial evidence. They talk harshly about believers who do accept things on faith or popular opinion. They encourage “critical thought” and “logical discourse.” These are terms we often see thrown around in the circles of frustration when atheists discuss debating believers. But it seems that the evidence-based activist world turns upside down when an opportunity for being a social justice warrior presents itself. I’ve seen so many atheists turn into believers at the snap of a finger, without requesting any
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Dear Christian Friends,

I am writing you today to address the fact that sometimes I offend you. I know that I often talk about complex and controversial topics, and I know that I feel passionately about lots of stuff, but it really is not my intention to offend you. My intention is to accomplish several things. When I talk about controversial stuff, I recognize that emotions are frequently involved, as they should be. When we make moral decisions, we use our emotions to guide us, emotions which David Hume called the moral sense. Empathy, moral disgust, and fear are among the emotions that
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Sin, Shame, and Self-Compassion

One of my objections to the idea of a personal and loving god is the apparent evil that occurs in the world. This objection is called the problem of evil. How can a loving and all-powerful god stand by and watch as people are subjected to horrific suffering and do nothing about it? How is that morally acceptable or loving?   The reason I object so strongly to any possibility of a loving god is that suffering changes people, and often times, it is not for the better. We know from psychological and neuroscientific studies that when a person undergoes
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Personhood and Personal Identity: A Brief and Limited Introduction

In his article on personal identity , Eric Olson identifies what he calls “the problems of personal identity” in the following questions: Who am I? What is it to be a person? What does it take for a person to persist from one time to another—that is, for the same person to exist at different times? How do we find out who is who? What determines how many of us there are now? What am I? How could I have been? What matters in identity?     Through an exploration of these questions, Olson comes to discuss three approaches to
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The Power and Problem of Placebos, part 2

In the last blog post, I addressed the power of placebo.  There, I talked about how placebo seems to harness the power of the human mind over matter in that attitudes we embrace seem to affect our overall well-being.   But there is an obvious problem with placebos.   Despite the added advantage of positive attitude on long term health, a positive attitude will not make a placebo effective in actually curing any disorder. Placebos simply do not work. In terms of the health care industry and industries that are spin-offs of health care, a scientific understanding of the biological
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