Our enemies are our evil deeds and their memories, our pride, our selfishness, our malice, our passions, which by conscience or by habit pursue us with a relentlessness past the power of figure to express.
Happiness, contentment, the health and growth of the soul, depend, as men have proved over and over again, upon some simple issue, some single turning of the soul.
I am continually amazed by the credence given to religious claims in the intellectual community; and, as a human being, i am appaulled by the psychological damage caused by religious teachings-damage that often takes years to counteract.
The theist must present an intelligible description of god. Until he does so, god makes no more sense than unie; both are cognitively empty, and any attempt at proof is logically absurd.
The belief in eternal torment, still subscribed to by fundamentalist Christian denominations, undoubtedly ranks as the most vicious and reprehensible doctrine of classical Christianity. It has resulted in an incalculable amount of psychological torture, especially among children where it is employed as a terror tactic to prompt obedience.
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that Christianity has a vested interest in human misery. Christianity, perhaps more than any religion before or since, capitalized on human suffering; and it was enormously successful in insuring its own existence through the perpetuation of human suffering.
Christianity cannot erase man's need for pleasure, nor can it eradicate the various sources of pleasure. What it can do, however, and what it has been extremely effective in accomplishing, is to inculcate guilt in connection with pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure, when accompanied by guilt, becomes a means of perpetuating chronic guilt, and this serves to reinforce one's dependence on God.
Reason is not one tool of thought among many, it is the entire toolbox. To advocate that reason be discarded in some circumstances is to advocate that thinking be discarded - which leaves one in the position of attempting to do a job after throwing away the required instrument.
I am arguing that faith as such, faith as an alleged method of acquiring knowledge, is totally invalid and as a consequence, all propositions of faith, because they lack rational demonstration, must conflict with reason.
When the atheist is told that God is unknowable, he may interpret this claim in one of two ways. He may suppose, first, that the theist has acquired knowledge of a being that, by his own admission, cannot possibly be known; or, second, he may assume that the theist simply does not know what he is talking about.
A willingness to engage in the give and take of argument displays a commitment to cognitive egalitarianism - the proposition that all people should be treated as intellectual equals, and that no individual can legitimately claim a privileged immunity from the burden of proof.
The significant contribution of empiricism was not the eradication of certainty, but the eradication of infallibility as a criterion of certainty. And this shift from infallibilism to fallibilism has profound consequences not only for toleration, but also for the subordination of faith to reason and theology to philosophy.
The leap of faith is a strategic impasse that confronts every Christian in search of converts; and, as he sees the matter, there is no wrong way to become a Christian. It is the end that is importnat, not the means; it does not matter why you believe, so long as you believe. For the philosopher, in contrast, the paramount issue is the justification of belief, not the fact of belief itself.
As for Christianity's alleged concern with truth, Christian faith is to free inquiry what the Mafia is to free enterprise. Christianity may be represented as a competitor in the realm of ideas to be considered on the basis of its merits, but this is mere disguise. Like the Mafia, if Christianity fails to defeat its competition by legitimate means (which is a forgone conclusion), it resorts to strong-arm tactics. Have faith or be damned - this biblical doctrine alone is enough to exclude Christianity from the domain of
Through inculcating the notion that sacrifice is a virtue, Christianity has succeeded in convincing many people that misery incurred through sacrifice is a mark of virtue. Pain becomes the inignia of morality - and conversely, pleasure becomes the insignia of immorality. Christianity, therefore, does not say, "Go forth and be miserable." Rather, it says, "Go forth and practice the virtue of self-sacrifice." In practical terms, these commands are identical.
It is my firm conviction that man has nothing to gain, emotionally or otherwise, by adhering to a falsehood, regardless of how comfortable or sacred that falsehood may appear.
The argument from design is ultimately an appeal to miraculous causes, i.e., causes that do not, and cannot, occur in the natural course of events. This is why an explanation via design is not a legitimate alternative to scientific and other naturalistic modes of explanation. To refer to a miraculous cause is to refer to something that is inherently unknowable, and this sanctuary of ignorance explains nothing at all. However much it may soothe the imagination of the ignorant, it does nothing to satisfy the understandin
If acorns start growing into theologians, or if women begin turning into pillars of salt, then we may wish to hypothesize about a supernatural influence. But until such time as nature becomes hopelessly unintelligible and unpredictable, we need look no further than nature itself for explanations.
Знаменитые женщины, сделавшие первый шаг в отношениях....