Showing posts from January, 2014

Einstein to atheists & Christians

I'm an atheist and materialist because I find objective evidence of material existence and no objective evidence of any spiritual existence.              Will, Sauk Rapids Thank you for this pithy summary of materialist reasoning. To me evidence of spiritual existence comes daily, but, understandably, this will not suffice for a materialist who does not experience communication from the inner world. I regard some of my posts under “Paranormal” as evidence (see my blog index), and I hope this series provides more evidence. I ask Will and other atheists to keep reading, although I know any hint of Transcendence smacks of religion and religion’s horrors. Do you believe in spiritual power?   Laura Stanley answers, I'd like to believe it so I don't examine it too closely. That's enough for me. . . . The God debate is non-falsifiable. No one wins. We believe what we want to believe. Laura may express the feeling of many. But I can’t stop mulling over these BI

Materialism a.k.a. physicalism

My assertion in "Epiphany vs materialism" that 93% of scientists believe God is a delusion conjured up by the brain must have come from Hagerty’s work. Theologian Vincent Smiles corrects it in his comment to my post and he emailed a fuller comment: Elaine Howard Ecklund (sociologist) wrote a book ( Science vs. Religion , 2010) about scientists and faith (based on numerous interviews with a wide variety of them).  She showed (among other things) that while it is true that a far higher percentage of scientists (53%) have no faith in God compared with Americans at large (16%), it is also the case that scientists “self-select … from backgrounds where religion was practiced only weakly” (26). Among the non-believing scientists interviewed, “it is not the engagement with science itself that leads them away from religion” (17).             I believe this; it seems more credible than the 93% figure. Vincent added: As I’m sure you know, we cannot take scientists & philo

Epiphany vs. materialism

2014:    In my Epiphany post in 2010, I took a position independent of both traditional Christian belief and scientific materialism. To say more, I do not share Christian belief in Jesus being uniquel y divine nor do I share materialist disbelief in spiritual reality. ******* An epiphany is a manifestation of divinity. It can happen unexpectedly in any circumstance. Most scientists refuse to believe that real epiphanies happen, which leads me to the topic for today. Yesterday the Christian feast of Epiphany celebrated the wise men visiting the infant Jesus. In church I was disappointed that the homilist, a learned, highly-respected scripture scholar, spoke of the Magi story in the Gospel of Matthew as if it were fact. I nodded when he encouraged us to discern the direction of divine guidance at this beginning of a new era, expecting him to throw an inclusive light on the subject, but he floored me with his narrow interpretation. He upheld the Christian claim that Jes