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Tag Archives: Bad Religion

ABSTRACT. Like Ravi Zacharias, James S. Spiegel wrote a book. Good for him, too. Like Zacharias’s book, Spiegel’s (The Making of an Atheist , subtitled “How immorality leads to unbelief”) it is filled with the same flawed cosmological and moral arguments that all of us atheists have seen. But he makes the claim (and it’s an old one, too) that atheists are led to their unbelief through bad relationships with their fathers. In essence, we atheists all have “daddy issuess”. This causes us, so he claims, to reject father figures. But there are massive flaws in this argument. His sole evidence is a list subjectively characterizing the relationship of selected atheist thinkers with their fathers. Spiegel makes not even a pretense of providing us with a control group (e.g., believers and their relationships with their fathers). It is an ad hoc argument all the way. Additionally, it is one thing to reject a god that we believe exists because we had bad fathers. It is quite another to reject the claim of a god’s existence on the same basis. I don’t think Nietzshe rejected the existence of his father just because they didn’t get along. Supposedly, Spiegel is a philosopher. (It should come as no surprise that Taylor U is a evangelical Christian institution…) Maybe he is, but not in this book. For those looking for a philosophical and not a Christian apologetic book on why there are atheists, look elsewhere. Spiegel has definitely taken off his philosopher’s hat for this one, if indeed he even owns one. What Spiegel is really trying to do, it seems to this atheist, is to avoid addressing the shortcomings of his Christian theology by slandering us atheists as being psychologically damaged. It is pure ad hominem and in this way can convince himself that he has no need to respond to those of us who see no justification to his god claim. He claims that atheists are sufferring from “paradigm-induced blindness”, yet fails to see that this argument cuts both ways. Claiming atheists are damaged goods and glossing it over with a bunch of psychobabble is nothing short of Christian bigotry.

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I was listening to CBC Radio’s The Current this morning, as I am wont to do while driving in to work, when a story that boiled my blood came on. Indeed, any time secular government considers funding sectarian activity I go into a blood rage. You believers out there can do what you want within limits, but not on my dime! The podcast of the full discussion from diverse points of view (one of the reasons I love listening to The Current) can be listened to below (23 min running time).

A walk-in proposal to Winnipeg city council by Crusade for Christ for an inner city youth facility at Main and Higgins will be voted on today. The proposal was a rush job, today being city council’s first look at the proposal. To be fair, such rush-to-vote issues occasionally happen. The MTS building proposal was apparently one such. However, I fail to see that the ethics of erecting a building that houses the headquarters of a telecommunications company compares to the questions surrounding the public funding of a facility run by an organization whose stated objective is converting people to their form of superstition.

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