scientific naturalism

For King and Country: Christians and Politics

Ballot box
Read time: 8 minutes

South Africans will soon be heading to the polls again for a national election. With a great deal of uncertainty about the future and the reliability of political parties, perhaps now more than ever before voters are critically thinking about how to exercise their vote.

When an established Christian political party published a comparison of their values compared to those of other competing political parties, they were met with a large degree of scorn and derision. Some complained about the outmoded values which they uphold; others feared that the party wants to institute a theocracy; and others stated that religion should be kept out of politics.

This article will discuss the role (if any) of religion in politics. [node:read-more:link]

Categories: 

Tags: 

Be True to Yourself

Woman wearing a mask
Read time: 10 minutes

Society today values it for one to be “true to yourself”, meaning to express your beliefs and desires without being repressed or directed by others. At the same time, many people have commented on how the world seems more divided today than ever before. People have certainly been divided in deep ways before (and not too long ago either): one nation versus another; one race of people against another; communists versus capitalists. But today—seemingly more than ever before—people truly are polarised. On the left-right or liberal-conservative spectra, more people find themselves at extreme opposites, and those in the middle are derided for not holding to an extreme.

People find themselves at these extremes because they perceive a real danger and threat in the opposing viewpoint, and are either unwilling or unable to see or reason about a particular point from another perspective. [node:read-more:link]

Categories: 

Tags: 

Did Christianity Cause the Dark Ages?

Medieval scribe writing at a desk
Read time: 11 minutes

What is in a name? And how does a name influence how we think about the thing that has been named? What conclusions do we draw from a name?

There is a period of time in the history of Europe which is known at the Dark Ages, although these days it is better known as the Middle Ages or, even better, the Medieval period.

A particular picture has been doing the rounds on the Internet which makes the following claim about the Medieval period:

You know, there was another time when science wasn't taken seriously and religion ruled the world. We called it the Dark Ages.

Atheistic Facebook pages and the like are fond of sharing images such as this. But does it hold any truth? [node:read-more:link]

Categories: 

Tags: 

A Strange Case of Metaphysics

Read time: 6 minutes

Scientists are often not fond of the idea of metaphysics. Physics is, of course, the study of the natural world and universe. Metaphysics is the study of what is really real. It implies that there is something beyond physics and, therefore, beyond the natural world and the physical universe. This is anathema to scientism—that is, scientific naturalism: how dare one assume that there exists something beyond nature, especially since there is no physical and testable evidence of such things?

Yet there seems to be a prominent and curious case of when metaphysics is appealed to when science disagrees with what people want to believe... [node:read-more:link]

Categories: 

Tags: 

Governments and Secularism

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
Read time: 7 minutes

The notion of "separation of church and state" is popular in our contemporary world. How this looks can vary dramatically from country to country. In the USA, there is a tension of keeping religion and state separate, but also fiercely defending religious liberty. In France, with their concept of laïcité1, the break is much more severe: the state is always favoured and personal beliefs are personal and should only be shared with like-minded people in private2. The principle of separation of church and state raises interesting questions when we shift our focus from religion to worldviews. [node:read-more:link]

Categories: 

Tags: 

The Hapless Watchmaker

Richard Dawkins
Read time: 9 minutes

On Wednesday, renowned evolutionary biologist and new atheist Richard Dawkins sparked outrage by stating that foetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome should summarily be aborted1. In this article I argue that while Dawkins is being consistent with his beliefs and views of how the world works, he needs to take care when pronouncing value judgements on individuals. I do this primarily by pointing out an awkward truth about naturalistic evolution. [node:read-more:link]

Categories: 

Tags: