One of my favorite lines from the film, “As Good As It Gets,” is when Jack Nicholson turns to the other people in the waiting room at his psychiatrist’s office as says, “What if this is as good as it … Continue reading Does Free Will Lead To Evil?
Ask five people for a definition of faith and you’ll get seven answers. If only everyone could agree on one definition! Consequently, when someone says “faith is irrational,” discussing the claim is tricky because we may be taking about two … Continue reading What Is Faith?
Your keys are missing. Suppose I said that they were probably stolen by “key gnomes” in your house. You: I’ve never seen any key gnomes in my house.Me: Well . . . that’s because key gnomes are invisible.You: Why are … Continue reading What Is ‘Ad Hoc?’
Atheist YouTuber and “Street Epistemologist” Douglas Letkeman invited me to do a live conversation online this past Monday night. We talked for an hour and 45 minutes! Over 100 people joined us in the live chat, including half a dozen … Continue reading Atheism and the Strange Library
The Problem of Evil causes me more trouble in my faith than any other atheistic argument. It’s the best case against God. When I see children with cancer, or hear of vulnerable people being abused, I wonder how God could … Continue reading Negativity Bias and the Problem of Evil
In October, I started conducting interviews in the “free speech zone” at the University of Missouri. I sit at a table with a sign inviting “Skeptics Only” to come and talk about why they are skeptical about God or religion, … Continue reading Can Atheism Be Justified?
Twenty-One Pilots captivates their audience, in part, because of their honest portrayal of a complex and often painful mental life. Along with anxiety and depression, they talk about their own struggles with faith and doubt. In their song, “Doubt,” Tyler Joseph writes: [I’m] scared I’ll die of uncertainty Fear might be the death of me, fear leads to anxiety Don’t know what’s inside of me Later in the song, he says that he’s “shaking hands with the dark parts of [his] thoughts.” This kind of experience isn’t unique to people of faith. The song can apply to a variety of … Continue reading Dealing With Doubt (Podcast), Part 2
We all deal with doubt, no matter what you believe. It is a normal, healthy part of a thinking life. But doubts can cause distress and anxiety for many of us, especially when we think it’s wrong to have doubts, or when we really want to believe something. Most of us experience significant doubts between middle school and college, when we really start asking questions. Too often, when we go to adults or teachers for help, they dismiss our concerns or imply that there is something wrong with us. (I suspect this is because most adults also have unanswered doubts!) … Continue reading Dealing With Doubt
I loved Star Trek from the time I was five years old. The show inspired my early artistic skills, here displayed in the marker sketch made by my 5 year old self. Star Wars hadn’t come out yet, so there … Continue reading That Is Not Logical, Part 1
This video records the Q&A after talk I gave to the University of Missouri SASHA club (Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, and Agnostics). The title was “Responsible Belief,” and I shared with them a model of how beliefs are formed and evaluated responsibly. That went about 30 min. Then, we had Q&A and everyone stayed. It was a wonderful conversation and one of the highlights of 2015 for me. At some point, I may post the original presentation. I’ve broken the 30 min of Q&A into 3 separate videos, and this is Part 1. If you’re interested in how a Christian … Continue reading Responsible Religious Belief Q&A