Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Charitable Atheism is up and Running

My new blog project is up and running over at WordPress. I'd like to invite those who have read this blog to make their way over there and comment on what you see.

The project to audit Professor Ed Feser's book on Aquinas will begin September 1. The intellectual challenge of it seems to be appropriate to a "back to school" time of year.

I've posted some blogs on current events and the purpose of charitable atheism in my criticism of a New Atheist canard I call "The Jerry MaGuire Defense". I've already have been accused by fellow atheists of not being a "real atheist" due to my desire to expand reason through charitable investigation of belief rather than my prior strategy of debunking religious claims through shame and ridicule. So, I now am not a "real Christian" nor am I a "real atheist". I understand the criticism but, for me, the latter strategy allows for greater peace and happiness and therefore, my moral instincts seem to inform me that it may have greater ethical value.

Thanks for the comments here and please comment on the new site.

I'd love to hear your ideas for topics we might discuss at the new site and will take them under consideration as series ideas. Peace.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Battle is Over -- Shutting it Down

My friend Thom Stark suggested to me yesterday that many atheists are still trapped by religion and I agreed with him.

For the most part, this blog has been a project of me seeking to escape my religious bonds. I've, more than often, however, knotted the ties by which religion held me down, through a rage-filled response to a narrow theological tradition.

My response was necessary to clear my mind of group-agreement and move towards a new world-view that does not seek safety within institutional authority.

The time to maintain that position however, seems to be over so, I'm closing down this blog in the hope to start fresh in examining belief from a more charitable view.

I've grown tired of the New Atheist cliche where rancor towards the religious is born out of a presupposed caricature towards religious belief and, would rather understand the religious mind, rather than seek easy (and fallacious) methods of debunking it.

This desire is born from my appreciation of empirical realities and material truth.

I've discovered that the limited strategy of mockery towards the religious to be a false premise that does not reflect the realities in which the religious move.

My wife is a devout Christian and she isn't a stupid and superstitious person who simply believes because she is told to believe. Two of my best friends, Steve and Jen Bishop are devout Christians, Steve also holds an MDiv in Theology from Trinity Seminary, and they are two of the most thoughtful people I know. They wrestle with moral questions from a place of honesty and never accept blind belief as an answer.

If I am going to understand what is real inside of belief than I need to expand my way of knowing what those beliefs are. The best way I can think of this is to begin the practice of Philosophical Charity where I interpret, a speaker's statements to be rational and, in the case of any argument, consider its best, strongest possible interpretation.

This will be a fun challenge and I think will yield knowledge.

That said, I don't think a blog committed to "battling" is appropriate to the project and therefore will be shutting this down.

This choice also affords me the opportunity to move to WordPress software and begin anew.

The URL for my next blog is and the first project I will attempt there will be an audit of Ed Feser's book on Thomistic Theology entitled "Aquinas". Ed is a Roman Catholic and scholar of Thomistic-Aristotelian ethics. The former institution is something I distrust and the latter school is something I am ignorant of.

My goals with the blog will be spelled out on the opening page but, generally speaking will be to pursue what I consider the true New Atheist goal - a public space where reason rules. This goal has been misunderstood by me in the past to mean, where science rules and, that misunderstanding, has led to polemic rather than insight. I'm sick of polemic. I'm tired of being angry. I want to be wise.

I also want to leave a legacy for my son where he can choose disbelief as a world-view rich in wonder and peace and mystery.

For those who have read this blog and commented, thanks. This has been cool. I don't think I attracted many readers but, I think I became a better writer for working on this.