Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails

2 Dec

Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails

Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails

Language: English

Pages: 555

ISBN: 1616149566

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this new anthology critiquing Christianity, John Loftus—a former minister and now a leading atheist—has brought together an outstanding group of respected scholars who focus on the harms caused by the world’s leading religion.
The contributors begin by dissecting the many problematic aspects of religious faith generally. They repeatedly demonstrate that, with faith as a foundation, almost anything can be believed or denied. And almost any horrific deed can be committed. The authors then take a good hard look at many of the most important political, institutional, scientific, social, and moral harms committed in the name of Christianity. These range from the historical persecutions of the Inquisition and witch hunts to the current health hazards of faith healing.

Finally, the authors answer three common Christian retorts to criticisms from nonbelievers: (1) that atheists cannot judge a harmful action without an objective moral standard; (2) that atheists need faith to solve the world’s problems; and (3) that atheists cannot live a good life without faith.

Loftus and the contributors generally conclude that, given both the well-documented historical record and ongoing problems raised by the faith, Christianity decisively fails empirical tests of its usefulness to humanity.












organization's goal is to make gay individuals celibate for life―a goal that surely is equally impossible! In 2013 Courage hosted a conference in the Chicago area offering training in reparative therapy by a NARTH member, and Cardinal Francis George celebrated mass for the event. While embarrassing scandals over bogus gay “cures” 65 and apologies from former ex-gay officials66 have weakened or even shut down some groups such as Exodus International,67 others like Restored Hope Network68 and Voice

institutions.”38 The second was a ruling from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in a case called Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, which concluded that equal recognition of marriages between same-sex couples was mandated by that state's constitution. The lawsuit was filed by gay couples that had been denied a license to marry by the state. The trial court ruled in favor of the state but the Supreme Judicial Court overturned that ruling. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice

but I don't have the time or space here.4 Am I ashamed to talk to my partner about sexual fantasies or activities I would like to try? Consider this: If you cannot talk to the person most important to you about something as important as sex, there is probably a lot of shame involved. I am not suggesting that your partner has to participate in any way. All sex should be consensual. But if you cannot even talk about it, that is a problem. What ideas or beliefs sabotage your ability to communicate (accessed June 16, 2014). I realize Ingersoll's rhetoric is exaggerated in some places and his male-oriented language is a product of his times. Nonetheless, what he said seems to be largely spot on and reflective of the oratory skills of Christopher Hitchens. Chapter 3. The Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Christianity 1. Stephen Jay Gould, Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life (New York: Ballantine, 1999).

the role that faith plays in religious beliefs. Faith is an epistemology—it's a method of coming to knowledge (or of claiming it)—and conclusions that result from this epistemology are knowledge claims.1 In graduate school I had of course studied Søren Kierkegaard, William James, Alvin Plantinga, and various versions of fideism, but I always took these as abstract intellectual exercises—these were the sorts of positions one studies to earn a doctorate in philosophy.2 (Of course this might mean

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