Jan 14 2011

The De-conversion of Doctor Who

Recently I learned that one of my favorite TV actors of yesteryear is an avowed atheist.[1] The person in question is Tom Baker, who played the titular role in the marathon sci-fi series Doctor Who. So yes, I hold up my right hand and confess, “I am a geek.” To make matters worse, I am a British child of the ’70s. This means, of course, that I spent the requisite time cowering behind my father’s armchair while the Daleks threatened to Exterminate! Exterminate! pretty much everyone I knew and loved. Ah, good times, but I digress…

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Dec 24 2010

When Duties Collide

You are living in Nazi-occupied Holland of 1942. A family of Jews is hiding in your attic. The authorities knock on the front door and ask an entirely unambiguous question: “Do you have any Jews in your house?” You have a choice: tell the truth, or tell a lie. Which will it be?

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Jun 1 2010

An Insane Simplicity

The ever-quotable Chesterton once credited the materialist’s explanation of the world with having “a sort of insane simplicity.”[1] Materialists derive inordinate pleasure from the physical stuff of the universe while demeaning everything that truly matters to everyone else, namely, beauty, purpose, morality, mind and, of course, God.

It is important to realize that metaphysical materialism provides the overarching framework for Darwinian evolution. We are so used to seeing evolution invoked to “explain” everything from rape to gossip that it is tempting to treat evolution as a self-contained worldview. But evolution is in fact a core doctrine of materialism.

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May 27 2010

Hollywood Hypocrisy: The Prime Directive

In various Star Trek series, the “Prime Directive” ordered a strict policy of noninterference in the cultures of developing planets. For Gene Roddenberry, the show’s creator, the plot device was aimed squarely at the perceived evils of Western civilization, including traditional Christian faith. Indeed, religion always provided a convenient exception to the Prime Directive. Principal characters, especially in the original series and in The Next Generation, were frequently called upon to debunk religious belief or quash its development.[1] For someone like Roddenberry, tolerance was the first and greatest command unless, of course, an inhabitant of the galaxy happened to believe in God.

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Sep 27 2009

Atheists and Christmas

Stephen Colbert is somewhat of a phenomenon in the entertainment world. He has his own show on the Comedy Channel called The Colbert Report (pronounced “kol-bare re-pore” – get it?). The lack of cable TV in my house, together with my fear of texting while driving, demonstrate that I am neither hip enough nor young enough to be counted among the legion of loyal Colbert fans. There is that, and the fact that the show crosses the line at times.

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