other beliefs: atheism

These resources explore the epistemological claims (provability) of atheism, its attempts at providing an ethical framework, and its historical development. Comparisons are drawn to Christian faith and other belief systems.

Messages and Essays on Atheism:

The Genesis Creation Account and the Narrative of Science A brief summary of biblical texts and scientific theories about the origin of the universe and the origin of biological, self-conscious life

Stories and Social Consequences: Comparison Between Hinduism, Christianity, and Atheism (chart) A short comparison of how beliefs about the body, good and evil, and God's character logically result in different kinds of ethics

Is There Meaning in Suffering? A Comparison of Karmic, Christian, and Atheist Views A short comparison of how suffering is interpreted in the Karmic view (caused by individual, redemption by individual), Christian view (caused by humanity, divine-human partnership in redemption), and Atheist view (caused by nature, redemption is questionable).

Why Question Atheism from a Political, Historical, and Moral Perspective? This is a presentation surveying the origins of modern Atheism, as connected to nation-building and Enlightenment political philosophies: racist liberal democracy and Marxist collectivism.

The Limitation of Philosophy:  A Letter to a Friend Who Asked if Christian Ethics are Rational A correspondence with an atheist who was trying to understand how Christian ethics are derived, and whether atheism provides a framework for ethics 

Human Dignity: Does Every Individual Matter? Science, philosophy, existentialism, other religions, and double-predestination based theologies mean that some human beings do not matter. Only a fully Trinitarian theology with a medical substitutionary atonement can provide an adequate foundation.

God as the Foundation of Human Rights (Genesis 1 - 11) (and ppt) Genesis 1 - 11 was aware of other Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean creation stories, and argued against them, as shown by the literary analysis of these literatures.  Topics of disagreement include:  the value of every human being; the relations of humans and God/gods; the reason for catastrophes like the Flood; the resolution or movement.

Does the Christian Story of Sexuality Make Any Sense at All? Sexuality and Social Justice A message exploring how the Western, individualistic framework of modernism and postmodernism does not give us a relational framework for ethics; that means "sexual freedom" also logically leads to exploitative "economic freedom" 

Christian Faith as the Basis for Political Pluralism and Economic Progressivism An explanation from biblical texts and church history of how Christian faith should result in a political posture of human rights without theocracy

The Role of Jesus in Revolution and the Pursuit of Justice This is an evangelistic message that highlights the Christian-led and Christian-influenced non-violent resistance movements throughout the world in the 20th century.  They show the connections and spiritual vitality of Christian faith under empire or empire-like oppression.

The Impact of Jesus (and ppts) This is a evangelistic message that highlights economic, political, medical, artistic, and cultural developments from Christian faith

Books and Articles on Atheism

Peter L. Berger, A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural (Amazon book, Jan 6, 1970) one of America's premier sociologists of religion explores the relationship between religion and society

Exploring Christianity, Christianity and the Beginning of Science

The Ethicist, The New York Times Magazine

Michael J. Buckley S.J., At the Origins of Modern Atheism (1990)

David Bentley Hart, Christ and Nothing (First Things, Oct 2003)

Luke Harding, History of Modern Man Unravels as German Scholar Is Exposed as Fraud (The Guardian, Feb 18, 2005)

Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (2007)

John Gray, The Atheist Delusion (The Guardian, Mar 14, 2008)

Tales from the Hood, Confronting the Demons of Ethnocentrism (blog entry May 31, 2008)

Matthew Parris, As an Atheist, I Truly Believe Africa Needs God (The Sunday Times, Dec 27, 2008) focuses on the need to create stable, transparent institutions where public officials are publicly accountable; I copied this article before it went behind a firewall (click here)

David Berlinski, The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions (2009)

A.N. Wilson, Why I Believe Again (New Statesman, Apr 2, 2009)

Robert Jensen, How the World Lost Its Story (First Things, Mar 2010)

David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (2010)

David Bentley Hart, Revolutionary Christianity and Its Alternatives (video, Mar 3, 2010)

Alex Rosenberg, An Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions (Amazon book, 2011) an attempt to rescue us from nihilism

Alyssa Bereznak, How Ayn Rand Ruined My Childhood (Salon, Apr 4, 2011)

Ezra Klein, Harvard's Liberal-Arts Failure is Wall Street's Gain (Bloomberg, Feb 15, 2012)

P.J. Saunders, Twenty Questions Atheists Struggle to Explain (blog entry, May 27, 2012)

David Hoelscher, Atheism and the Class Problem (Counterpunch, Nov 7, 2012)

David Hoelscher, Atheism and the Class Problem, Revisited (Counterpunch, Dec 21, 2012)

Judith Sheluvitz, Why Do Grandmothers Exist? Solving an Evolutionary Mystery (New Republic, Jan 29, 2013)

U.K. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Atheism Has Failed. Only Religion Can Defeat the New Barbarians (The Spectator Magazine, Jun 15, 2013)

Peter Richardson, The Science Delusion (Truthdig, Jun 20, 2013)

Greg Popcak, Is Atheism a Mental Illness? (Patheos blog, Aug 27, 2013)

Christine Gross-Loh, Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy? (The Atlantic, Oct 8, 2013)

Chris Arnade, The People Who Challenged My Atheism Most Were Drug Addicts and Prostitutes (The Guardian, Dec 24, 2013)

Peter Watson, The Age of Nothing: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God (2014)

Terry Eagleton, Culture and the Death of God (2014)

Gary Gutting, Is Atheism Irrational? An Interview With Alvin Plantinga (NY Times, Feb 9, 2014)

Ravi Zacharias, Why Are You So Afraid of Subjective Moral Reasoning? (RZIM video, Feb 15, 2014)

Economist, Faith and Reason: Scientists Are Not As Secular As People Think (Economist, Feb 22, 2014)

The Onion, Expectant Parents Throw Some Values Together at Last Minute (The Onion, Mar 10, 2014)

John Gray, Was Nietzsche Right About Religion? The Ghost at the Atheist Feast (The New Republic, Mar 21, 2014)

Giles Fraser, Good Luck, Physicists, With Those Tricky "Meaning of Life" Questions (The Guardian, Mar 24, 2014)

Vince Vitale, God's Not Dead (youtube video Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Mar 8, 2014)

Alan Lightman, Book Review: 'Why Science Does Not Disprove God' by Amir D. Aczel (Washington Post, Apr 10, 2014)

Elizabeth Stoker, Harvard's Satanic Debacle: Lessons from a "black mass" cancellation (Salon, May 16, 2014)

ThinkApologetics, Poll Shows Atheists and Christians Are Using a Different Definition of Faith (ThinkApologetics, Jun 8, 2014)

Closer to Truth, What is the Meaning of Consciousness? (Closer to Truth website, Jun 2014)

Ray Williams, The Cult of Ignorance in the United States: Anti-Intellectualism and the Dumbing Down of America (Psychology Today, Jul 7, 2014)

Sam Harris Challenged by MIT Grad Student on Science-Driven Morality (youtube video, Aug 7, 2014)

Sam Harris, Free Will Does Not Exist (youtube video, Sep 3, 2014)

Sam Harris, The Self is an Illusion (youtube video, Sep 16, 2014) see 2:25 mark

Ted Davis, Through Science to God: Eugenics as Religion (Biologos, Sep 25, 2014) highlights how liberal Protestants sided with the Eugenics movement

David P. Barash, God, Darwin, and My College Biology Class (NY Times, Sep 27, 2014)

Eric Metaxas, Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life (book, Oct 2014; Amazon page)

Reina A.E. Gattuso, Suck: Toward a better politics of nakedness (Harvard Crimson, Oct 23, 2014)

Alfred Mele, Free Will: A Modest Proposal (Slate, Nov 2, 2014)

Daniel Yudkin, The Philosophical Implications of the Need to Urinate (Scientific American, Nov 4, 2014)

Clifford Staples, The Ethical Failure of Philosophical Skepticism (The Imaginative Conservative, Nov 28, 2014)

Luke Savage, New Atheism, Old Empire (Jacobin Magazine, Dec 2, 2014)

Paul M. Hughes, Forgiveness (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Dec 23, 2014)

Eric Metaxas, Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God (Wall Street Journal, Dec 25, 2014)

Jack Miles, Why God Will Not Die (The Atlantic, Dec 2014) science reveals how much we don't or can't know, yet we want closure

Prayson Daniel, Kierkegaard: Subjectivity is Truth (blog, Jan 19, 2015)

Leigh Weingus, Why Julianne Moore Stopped Believing in God (Huffington Post, Jan 30, 2015) asserting that the narrative we perceive is self-generated

David Brooks, Building Better Secularists (NY Times, Feb 3, 2015)

Justin P. McBrayer, Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts (NY Times, Mar 2, 2015)

John Gray, What Scares the New Atheists (The Guardian, Mar 3, 2015)

Stephen Mackereth, God, Science, and the Red Pill (Harvard Crimson, Mar 9, 2015)

Clay Routledge, Atheists Love Aliens (Psychology Today, Apr 2, 2015) and Annie Holmquist, Atheists Are More Likely to Believe in Aliens. Why? (Intellectual Takeout, Apr 12, 2017)

Natasha Crain, Are Christians Less Intelligent Than Atheists? Here’s What All Those Studies REALLY Say (blog, Apr 23, 2015)

C.S. Lewis Doodle, The Poison of Subjectivism (C.S. Lewis Doodle video, Apr 29, 2015)

E.J. Dionne, A Senator's Faith and Humility (Washington Post, May 3, 2015)

Mark Baeurlein, What's the Point of a Professor? (NY Times, May 9, 2015)

Gracy Olmstead, Against Kant and Consumerism (The American Conservative, May 14, 2015) a book review of Matthew Crawford, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (Amazon book, Mar 2015)

John Gray, What Scares the New Atheists (The Guardian, Mar 3, 2015) gives a very good historical and philosophical overview of atheism

Sam Harris & Noam Chomsky Email Exchange (Young Turks video, May 14, 2015) see 8:43 mark for Sam Harris' cultural imperialism

David Hoelscher, How the Humanist Movement Fosters Economic Injustice (Counterpunch, May 28, 2015)

Molly Worthen, Wanted: A Theology of Atheism (NY Times, May 30, 2015) on the lack of concrete moral principles in secular humanism

David Niose, Anti-Intellectualism is Killing America (Psychology Today, Jun 20, 2015)

Key and Peele, For Realsies? (video, Jun 29, 2015) humorously raises the question of whether consent is the most important part of a sexual relationship

David Cayley, Craig Calhoun, Rajeev Barghava, The Myth of the Secular (CBC Radio, Jul 2, 2015) part 6 features John Milbank and Radical Orthodoxy

Jamilah Lemieux, Trying to Forgive the Black Church: Dylann Roof Can’t Have My Mercy, But I Can Try to Make Peace With Black Christianity (The Nation, Jul 2, 2015)

Rachel Feltman, New Study Predicts the Slow, Inevitable Death of the Universe (Washington Post, Aug 11, 2015)

Ben Brumfield, The Universe is Slowly Dying, Study Shows With Unprecedented Precision (CNN, Aug 11, 2015)

David Kaiser, How Politics Shaped General Relativity (NY Times, Nov 6, 2015) intriguing how socio-political and cultural forces shape the development and reception of science

Richard Rohr, Quantum Entanglement (blog, Nov 12, 2015) parallels the unknown relation of Newtonian, Einsteinian, and quantum theories to other areas

David Byrne, How Progressives Stole Christian History (Crisis magazine, Dec 16, 2015)

Peter Wehner, The Christmas Revolution (NY Times, Dec 25, 2015)

Steven Stankevicius, New Atheists Must Become New Vegans: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and the Extra Burden on Moral Leaders (Salon, Jan 9, 2016) on why animal suffering should be a moral factor

John Gray, Why Humans Find it Hard to Do Away With Religion (New Statesman, Jan 20, 2016) 

David Hoelscher, New Atheism, Worse Than You Think (Counterpunch, Jan 29, 2016)

Glenn M. Harden, The Sex Trade, Evil, and Christian Theology (Amazon book, Apr 7, 2016)

Robert Epstein, The Empty Brain (Aeon, May 18, 2016) the brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories; it is not a computer; encounters are irreducibly personal

James Blachowicz, There is No Scientific Method (NY Times, Jul 4, 2016)

Matt Young, Atheists Should Follow Jesus, Too (The Human Gadfly blog, Oct 11, 2016)

Amanda Gefter, The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality (Quanta Magazine, Apr 21, 2016)

Tania Lombrozo, For Some, Scientists Aren't The Authority On Science (NPR, Nov 28, 2016)

Colin Ramsay, James Uren, Pain Leads to Empathy and Self-Preservation: Should We Make Robots 'Feel' It? (Aeon, 2017)

Tim Keller and Jonathan Haidt, The Closing of the Modern Mind (The Veritas Forum, Mar 1, 2017) about political pluralism, tolerance, and religion

Phil Torres, From the Enlightenment to the Dark Ages: How "New Atheism" Slid Into the Alt-Right (Salon, Jul 29, 2017)

Relevant, Russell Brand Sat Down with Theologian Alister McGrath for a Fascinating Conversation About Faith (Relevant Magazine, Jul 31, 2017)

David Bentley Hart, Human Dignity Was a Rarity Before Christianity (Church Life Journal, Oct 26, 2017)

James Bishop, Leading Scholar and Skeptic, Bart Ehrman, Concedes That the Synoptic Gospels Present a Divine Jesus (James Bishop blog, Jan 22, 2018)

Nicholas St. Fleur, In Cave in Israel, Scientists Find Jawbone Fossil From Oldest Modern Human Out of Africa (NY Times, Jan 25, 2018)

Yoram Hazony, The Dark Side of the Enlightenment (Wall Street Journal, Apr 6, 2018) Today’s advocates oversell the benefits of unfettered reason. They dismiss the contributions of tradition, religion and nationalism to human progress.

Robert Wright, Why Pure Reason Won't End American Tribalism (Wired, Apr 9, 2018) a "mindfulness" perspective on affect vs. reason

Adam Forrest, The Seven Types of Atheist (Vice, Apr 23, 2018) from philosopher John Gray

Aaron R. Hanlon, Steven Pinker's New Book on the Enlightenment Is a Huge Hit. Too Bad It Gets the Enlightenment Wrong (Vox, May 17, 2018)

Ben James, A Sneaky Theory of Where Language Came From (The Atlantic, Jun 10, 2018) with mention of Noam Chomsky and others who believe that linguistic complexity emerged near-instantaneously

Sigal Samuel, Artificial Intelligence Shows Why Atheism Is Unpopular (The Atlantic, Jul 23, 2018)

Benjamin Fearnow, Artificial Number of Witches Rises Dramatically Across U.S. as Millennials Reject Christianity (Newsweek, Nov 18, 2018)

Camille Paglia, ‘Hillary Wants Trump to Win Again’ (The Spectator, Dec 4, 2018) says "comparative religion is the true multiculturalism and should be installed as the core curriculum in every undergraduate program. From my perspective as an atheist as well as a career college teacher, secular humanism has been a disastrous failure"

Frank Bruni, A ‘Disgusting’ Yale Professor Moves On (NY Times, Mar 19, 2019) re: Nicholas Christakis, who argues for an evolutionary biological basis for morality, saying, "Complex societies are possible and durable only when people are emotionally invested in, and help, one another; we’d be living in smaller units and more solitary fashions if we weren’t equipped for such collaboration; and human thriving within these societies guarantees future generations suited to them."