Your life does not belong to you

It was revealed this week that, for the first time in its history, Harvard University, which had been founded for religious purposes and named for a minister of the Gospel, has admitted a freshman class in which atheists and agnostics outnumber professed Christians and Jews. Also this week, the House and the Senate of California passed a provision that allows for physician-assisted suicide in the Golden State.

What Christianity is - and isn’t - about

Many atheists and agnostics today insistently argue that it is altogether possible for nonbelievers in God to be morally upright. They resent the implication that the denial of God will lead inevitably to complete ethical relativism or nihilism. And they are quick to point out examples of nonreligious people who are models of kindness, compassion, justice, etc.

Does religion really have a ‘smart-people problem’?

Daniel Dennett, one of the “four horsemen” of contemporary atheism, proposed in 2003 that those who espouse a naturalist, atheist worldview should call themselves “the brights,” thereby distinguishing themselves rather clearly from the dim benighted masses who hold on to supernaturalist convictions. In the wake of Dennett’s suggestion, many atheists have brought forward what they take to be ample evidence that the smartest people in our society do indeed subscribe to anti-theist views.

“A Theory of Everything” is a God-haunted film

The great British physicist Stephen Hawking has emerged in recent years as a poster boy for atheism, and his heroic struggles against the ravages of Lou Gehrig’s disease have made him something of a secular saint. The new biopic “A Theory of Everything” does indeed engage in a fair amount of Hawking-hagiography, but it is also, curiously, a God-haunted movie.

Why I love my invisible friend

One of the favorite taunts of the New Atheists is that religious people believe in an “invisible friend.” They are implying, of course, that religion is little more than a pathetic exercise in wishful thinking, a reversion to childish patterns of projection and self-protection. It is well past time, they say, for believers to grow up, leave their cherished fantasies behind, and face the real world.

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