Are Atheists Smarter Than Christians?

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Well, there has certainly been a lot of controversy over an undergraduate psychology assignment given at The Ohio State University. A student anonymously submitted the following question to the people at Campus Reform which was actually on his homework assignment.

Theo has an IQ of 100 and Aine has an IQ of 125. Which of the following statements would you expect to be true?

a) Aine is an atheist, while Theo is a Christian

b) Aine earns less money than Theo

c) Theo is more liberal than Aine

d) Theo is an atheist, while Aine is a Christian

The correct answer was A, and it certainly has many Christians calling foul. This stereotype is pervasive in our society, so while I am not terribly surprised to find a question like this in academia, I think that it deserves a little bit deeper consideration. [Read more...]

New Testament: Reliable or Myth? South Caroliners Mark Your Calendars for August 13th!

me_interviewIs the New Testament reliable or is it just a bunch of man-made myths? That is the question I am going to be tackling in South Carolina in just a couple weeks’ time! There will be time for you, the audience, to ask questions after my presentation.

The event will take place on Wednesday August 13th at 7pm in EDT at the BCM Ministry Building at Winthrop University: 620 Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The event is being organized by Ratio Christi at Winthrop University in partnership with Park Baptist Church.

You can find the Facebook events page here. Don’t miss out — mark your calendars now!

#EndFathersDay: Where the Twitter Trend Gets Fathers Wrong

With the arrival of Father’s Day this Sunday, Twitter has unleashed a new hashtag that has primarily to do with the disgust of male patriarchy and the lack of consideration for single mothers and/or same-sex couples on this day. The hashtag? “#EndFathersDay.” According to one tweet, “#EndFathersDay because it’s a slap in the face to single mothers everywhere.” Although there is some discussion regarding these phenomena to be a hoax emerging from sites like 4chan and Reddit, journalists and freelance writers from various organizations are nonetheless hopping aboard this trend and sticking to it.

For example, Haig Chahinian and his article over at the Los Angeles Times is sympathetic with this line of thinking, although his argument is not particularly feminist in nature. He himself being a married homosexual male, Chahinian observes that “…[r]ecent census data indicates only 19% of homes are composed of traditional moms, dads and kids. More than 11 million residences with kids are headed by a single person or a same-sex couple” (Chahinian, 2014). What conclusion does Chahinian draw? “These families too have to be fumbling through one of the parents’ holidays.” Chahinian’s solution: “the all-inclusive Parents’ Day.”

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Introducing “Treesearch”: A Novel Apologetics Website

treesearchImagine equipping everyone in the world with something like a pocket-apologist, an Artificial Intelligence available to present for you customized evidences supporting Christianity and to offer instant scholarly answers to complex questions. Well, it looks like a website is in development to do something like this. It is called “Treesearch” (treesearch.org) and seems like it will be a pretty novel apologetics debate encyclopedia. The content branches out debate points and counter-points (green vs. red) in a way that simulates dialogue, which makes navigation surprisingly intuitive, fast, and even fun. I will also say this: you can tell that it is being designed with smart phone users in mind, which could be really effective for experienced and lay apologists in the field (e.g. here is a more developed section so you can see how it opens up). It seems full of potential, and I look forward to seeing how it will grow.

Marriage: A Personalist Treatment

Through the voice of the playwright Aristophanes, Plato in his Symposium tells of a wonderful myth regarding the meaning of love. In the beginning, says Aristophanes, humans were comprised of having two halves: male halves and female halves (hence having four arms, four legs and two heads). Due to the authority of Zeus, he punishes the human race for misconduct and splits everyone into two pieces. Since then, wanderers are walking the earth in search of their other half. In this story, we see (perhaps not so much an explanation of homosexuality) but a placement of homosexuals and heterosexual on a similar plane of sexuality. As Aristophanes writes:

And so, when a person meets the half that is his very own, whatever his orientation, whether its to young men or not, then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment. [1]

While this mythic account of the meaning of love may contain some kind of aesthetic appeal to us, the issue isn’t of course that simple. There is something more grander taking place in the mutual relationship of two lovers: namely, a striving for “the good,” where the well-being and the self-realization of each partner are of overriding importance to one another. As Karol Wojtyla (a.k.a. Pope John Paul II) argues in his book, Love and Responsibility (1981), I as a person desire the good for myself. In “loving” another person I am not using them as a means to my own central end. Rather,

I may want another person to desire the same good which I myself desire. Obviously, the other must know this end of mine, recognize it as a good, and adopt it. If this happens, a special bond is established  between me and this other person: the bond of a common good and of a common aim. This special bond does not mean merely that we both seek a common good, it also unites the persons involved internally, and so constitutes the essential core round which any love must grow. [2]

[Read more...]