Charlie Hebdo is a rape victim

By now everyone has heard of the Muslims who exacted revenge for what they considered blasphemy of their prophet on the satire paper Charlie Hebdo. Three masked men opened fire on and killed 12 people, only some of whom were "culpable" for the alleged crime. The social media response to this wasn't … [Read more...]

Free will, determinism, or something in between?

For the religious adherent, whether we are agents created by the Almighty to freely act according to our desires, or we are under His divine direction will depend on your theology.  A case could be made either way I suppose.  I think the Atheist has a more difficult time reconciling the … [Read more...]

There is no default position

In any serious discussion, everyone needs to participate.  All people bring an opinion into every discussion and everyone needs to support it.  Most people understand this, but sometimes someone comes to the table under the impression that their view is correct by default. Some people like their … [Read more...]

The Ontological Argument: The most underrated argument for the existence of God

The Ontological Argument for the existence of God is perhaps one of the least satisfying arguments.  I also think it's one of the most underrated due to its complex and precise use of terms, but in my opinion, is one of the more philosophically powerful once it's properly understood. Because it is … [Read more...]

Pascal’s Wager and picking the correct God

Pascal’s Wager isn’t an argument for God’s existence, even though it’s often misunderstood to be one.  It’s a cost benefit analysis between believing in or rejecting God.  Skeptics, I believe, are far too dismissive because I don’t think its weight is realized.  The wager holds no power for skeptics … [Read more...]

When can God take a life?

Skeptics and Atheists aside, most people can accept -- even if they don't like it -- that God takes life.  When it comes to our loved ones, it doesn't matter how much time we had with them, we could have -- should have -- had more.  But when it comes to life and death, some causes of death we seem … [Read more...]

Highly skewed NARAL poll still finds the vast majority of Americans believe abortion is immoral

A poll conducted for ultra-pro abortion group NARAL has found that more registered voters believe abortion is immoral and should be illegal than is morally acceptable.  These results still obtained even after 68.7% of the sample group self-identified as pro-choice. I think this is indicative of a … [Read more...]

No true Scotsman: Sometimes they’re just not

This is really for one kind of reader: Atheists.  Often a skeptic will cite some particular Christian, or group of Christians and hold them up as a representative sample of Christians and Christianity.  There also exist sects of people who claim for themselves the label of "Christian" yet are … [Read more...]

God and little green men

Whenever it is thought that an Earth - like planet has been discovered, speculation of the presence of life there is also part of the discussion. With the thought of life on other planets comes the ramifications this might have on religion. My experience is that skeptics and Atheists are under the … [Read more...]

What exactly is religious fundamentalism

I hear the term "fundamentalist" tossed around as though it's some kind of pejorative.  It's as if being a fundamentalist of whatever stripe is a bad thing.  When I hear the term, I'm not automatically associating the label negatively.  It seems to me that a fundamentalist, is someone who believes … [Read more...]

Liberal memes debunked: I have many leather-bound books

What makes this so face-palmingingly awesome is the recent compilation by Steve Williams writing for the Examiner who found that of the ten people with the highest recorded IQs, eight are theists and at least six profess Christianity. If that weren't enough, a Yale professor last year found that … [Read more...]

Blog update

Due to some issues in my personal life, I will not be writing regular posts. I will still interact in comments regularly though.  If I have time or a thought I'll get something published, but no on a regular basis. If anyone is interested in helping out and writing for Sifting Reality, let me … [Read more...]

God and coincidence

Do you believe in fate? Coincidence? Full divine providence? Or maybe a combination? In religious circles a good many people believe God is controlling our lives, in that there are no coincidences. I'm not delving into whether God can do this, or has the right. Rather what is the case. For me, I … [Read more...]

Who was Jesus?

Taking into consideration how substantial Christianity's impact on the world has been, I think everyone needs to be able to answer this question.  If Christianity is true, then answering this question accurately is even more consequential. Skeptics: do you at least concede that knowing exactly who … [Read more...]

ZQTX Q&A

A semi-regular commenter, ZQTX, wondered aloud what "the precise point where you accept and do not accept the science".  I think it's a bit loaded, but asked in good faith nonetheless.  He provided a sample list of questions which I'll answer here.  It's not likely to interest many other readers, … [Read more...]

Are all religions pretty much the same?

Broadly speaking, skeptics rarely differentiate between the world's religions.  When it comes to the real or perceived evils done in the name of religion, or by religious adherents they're one in the same.  This is especially true when discussing Islamic terrorism or the Crusades and Inquisition. … [Read more...]

Is God all-loving? Is He all-forgiving?

Yesterday morning whilst enjoying my breakfast at my favorite restaurant, a friend of mine made a comment in response to something (I don't recall what) that God is all forgiving, all merciful, and all loving.  I actually hear this a lot.  It's usually offered as a rejoinder to my claims that some … [Read more...]

What do we deserve?

Even after having thought about this particular subject for some many years, I'm still not sure how to articulate it adequately.  I'm sure you've said, or heard someone else say "I deserve..." or, "I really don't deserve...".  These pleadings are usually offered within the context of something the … [Read more...]

You’re just not getting it!

Issues for which there are essentially two sides have people vociferously arguing for their position. Most often each side simply talks past one another. A while back I asked of those on the pro-life and pro-choice issue to vent on what it is the other side just doesn't get. Now I'm asking my theist … [Read more...]

How should we interpret Holy Writ?

Regardless of the subject matter, all communication needs to be interpreted.  Someone with my convictions, how I should be going about interpreting the Bible is vitally important.  Let me explain what I mean since it might not be evident.  I'm not talking about what a particular passage means, as … [Read more...]