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Christianity

eSkeptic for March 20, 2019

What is it about the human mind that so effortlessly translates natural events into messages from another realm — even despite our best attempts to deny that there’s any message in them at all?

Ben Shapiro — The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great

In Science Salon # 58, Michael Shermer and noted conservative political commentator and public intellectual Ben Shapiro discuss and debate “what made the West great” in this wide ranging conversation.

Dr. Bart Ehrman — How a Forbidden Religion (Christianity) Swept the World

How did a tiny sect of just 20 people at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion in 30 CE became 25 to 35 million Christians by 400 CE? In this remote Science Salon Dr. Shermer converses with the great bible scholar and historian Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, the Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

13-12-11

In this week’s eSkeptic, Patrick Arnold reviews The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith by Rosaria Butterfield.

11-07-20

In this week’s eSkeptic, Tim Callahan reviews Derek Murphy’s book Jesus Potter Harry Christ.

11-07-13

In light of the final installment of the ubersuccessful Harry Potter series hitting theaters in two days, we present Ari Armstrong‘s examination of religion in J. K. Rowling’s novels.

The Da Vinci Code Cult: A Critical Look at Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code

Robert Sheaffer takes a critical look at Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

In this lecture, recorded on October 24, 2010 for The Skeptics Society’s Distinguished Science Lecture Series, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge.

10-04-21

On April 8, 2010, the British philosopher Antony Flew (one of the world’s most outspoken and prominent atheists) passed away after a long life in academic philosophy. Flew changed his mind in the closing years of his life, apparently impressed by the arguments from Intelligent Design creationists. In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an article by Kenneth Grubbs, which was written before Antony Flew died and aims to get at the truth of his conversion.

10-04-14

In this week’s eSkeptic, Kenneth Grubbs reviews The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller.

09-10-14

In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr Harriet Hall, MD, (aka the Skepdoc) reviews Render Unto Darwin: Philosophical Aspects of the Christian Right’s Crusade against Science, by James H. Fetzer.

09-06-17

In this week’s eSkeptic, Darren Iammarino reviews Adventures in the Spirit: God, World, Divine Action, by Philip Clayton.

Losing My Religion

William Lobdell’s journey of faith — and doubt — is one of the most compelling spiritual memoirs of our time. Lobdell became a born-again Christian in his late 20s when personal problems drove him to his knees in prayer. As a newly minted evangelical, Lobdell — a veteran journalist — noticed that religion wasn’t covered well in the mainstream media, and he prayed for the Lord to put him on the religion beat at a major newspaper. In 1998, his prayers were answered…

The Enemy Within

The term “witch-hunt” is used today to describe everything from political scandals to school board shake-ups. Long before the Salem witch trials, women and men were rounded up by neighbors, accused of committing horrific crimes using supernatural powers, scrutinized by priests and juries, and promptly executed. The belief in witchcraft — and the deep fear of evil it instilled in communities — led to a cycle of accusation, anger, and purging that has occurred repeatedly in the West for centuries…

The Grand Inquisitor’s Handbook: A History of Terror in the Name of God

In this lecture based on his new book, Jonathan Kirsch delivers a sweeping and provocative history that explores how the Inquisition was honed to perfection and brought to bear on an ever-widening circle of victims by authoritarians in both church and state for over 600 years…

The Great Debate: Dinesh D’Souza v. Michael Shermer

In this debate, on what are arguably two of the most important questions in the culture wars today — Is Religion a Force for Good or Evil? and Can you be Good without God? — the conservative Christian author and cultural scholar Dinesh D’Souza and the libertarian skeptic writer and social scientist Michael Shermer, square off to resolve these and related issues, such as the relationship between science and religion and the nature and existence of God.

Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity & the DNA of the Chosen People

The author of the highly acclaimed and controversial book, Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It, investigative journalist Jon Entine, in his new book Abraham’s Children, attempts to answer new taboo topics, such as: Did Moses really live? What was the real fate of the Lost Tribes?

07-10-24

In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, M.D. (Skeptic magazine’s resident expert on all matters medical) reviews Jerome Groopman’s book How Doctors Think. PLUS, Shermer appears on CNN’s Glenn Beck show to discuss 9/11 conspiracy theories; Dinesh D’Souza and Michael Shermer debate “Is Christianity Good for the World?”.

07-08-01

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present two reviews of Frank Tipler’s book The Physics of Christianity — the first review by Lawrence Krauss and the second by Tim Callahan.

07-02-28

In this week’s eSkeptic, Gary J. Whittenberger gives us a skeptical analysis of the “spirited debate between atheist biologist Richard Dawkins and Christian geneticist Francis Collins” which appeared in Time magazine on November 13, 2006.

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