Recent Reads

This is a crazy story about a pitcher for the Texas Rangers who unknowingly took part in an elaborate human trafficking scheme.

This is a sad story: millions of girls lost to selective abortions in India.  As technology is able to show us the gender of babies sooner and sooner, I wonder how advocates of choice in America react to this?  I mean, if it is the parents choice to abort a child, can we fault them for the reasons why they make the choice?  I imagine pro-choice advocates would have to support the Indian parents who abort the babies because it is a girl.  How could you support choice one minute but then not support it the next?  Those of us who are pro-life simply pray for these lost lives.

I thought this story was funny: on college campuses, Obama is not cool anymore.

Also on the college front, this relates to what I do on campus ministry, except I am not Catholic.

As a new father of a beautiful daughter, I appreciated this commentary on Disney princesses.

Finally, I recently listened to the debate between William Lane Craig and Sam Harris (find it here).  Then I made the mistake of googling it and learning that according to atheist blogs, Sam Harris crushed Craig, but according to Christian blogs, Craig crushed Harris.  That alone makes me realize that there is much more going on here than simply rational and reasonable debate.  People do not come to these things with truly open minds.

Listening to the debate, I was struck with Harris’ constant use of red herrings.  Rather than reply to Craig he brought out common rhetoric of the “new atheists”: religion is dumb, Craig is no scientists, the Taliban is bad, etc.  Craig is a very good debater and he manages to stay on subject in all his debates.  As he said in this debate, the debate with Harris was not over whether God exists but whether the existence of God provides a better foundation for morality.  Craig argued that it does, that without God there is no good foundation for things like right and wrong.  But whether God exists is a separate question.  Craig’s point is that if God does not exist, there is no foundation for morality.  Obviously Craig believes in God, but God’s existence was not part of the debate.

The problem with such debate formats is that Craig comes across very academic with tight, logical arguments.  Harris is charismatic and what his arguments may lack in substance they gain in rhetoric and style.  Craig may appeal to the philosophy majors, Harris appeals to those who don’t like religion.  Again, there is more going on than mere reason which is why Christians tend to say Craig won while atheists say Harris won.  I don’t claim to be unbiased in this either, for the record.  Yet it seems like the type of apologetics Craig engages in are better for those who already believe as they provide support for that faith.  They do not create the faith, the faith comes first for other reasons.

This is not really a new realization, I have understood this for a long time.  Perhaps my point is that when you can find churches that ask young, disabled children to leave the worship service for fear they are distracting and add in the horrific suffering in the world in places like Congo and Sudan  then all the logical arguments for the truth of religion fall flat to an unbelieving world.  Or, our actions (or lackthereof) speak louder than our words).

That said, here are two good reviews of the debate, by a Christian and an atheist.

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