A new year, a new link bomb.
Philosopher Nicholas Everitt discusses God’s various attributes (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenovelence) and their incompatibility. Everitt recommends that theists tweak these traditional attributes, and some Mormon thinkers have done just that.
I’m not very persuasive, and the movie Inception explains why.
Before 1971, less than one percent of Canadians reported having “no religion” on national surveys. Today, nearly a quarter say they aren’t religious. Secularism is making advances in the United States as well, with an overwhelming majority of Americans (70%) feeling that religion’s influence is on the decline. A recent study, though, claims that America isn’t becoming less religious, only more honest. Despite all our pious professions, we Americans don’t act more religious than our European and Canadian counterparts.
The 20 most interesting studies on religion from 2008-2010.
Another study that has been receiving a lot of press was done by BYU. The study claims that those who wait until marriage to have sex are more likely to enjoy healthier marriages. The study’s conclusion may well be true, but its methodology is seriously flawed.
Atheists have a diversity problem. A survey of the members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation found that 95% were white, and the majority male. Readers of this site don’t fare much better: 88% of SHAFTers are white, and 76% male.
Women are often the most victimized by religion, and yet—as we established above—they are less likely to leave religion. In fact, of the over 100,000 Britons who have converted to Islam, the average convert is a 27-year-old white woman. And while some assume that Mormon women are chaffing under the patriarchy of their church, only 10% of them want the priesthood.
Among the most damning evidences against Mormonism, in my opinion, is the botched translation of Egyptian papyri that is the Book of Abraham. A popular apologetic response is that we’ve lost the papyri from which Joseph Smith translated. But new research published in Dialogue, which employed a sophisticated statistical analysis of the papyri, indicates that we possess roughly the entire scroll.
I like to seek out thoughtful arguments against gay marriage; they force me to challenge my gay marriage advocacy and help me play contrarian with my fellow liberals. This case against gay marriage falls short of being compelling, but it is nonetheless worth your consideration.
Mormon Stories is doing a series of podcasts called “Atheism after Mormonism.” You can listen to the first episode here.
I hope Santa didn’t bring you any Power Balance bracelets, because they’re bunk. (I have a friend who manages to sell these with a straight face.)
A fascinating fringe movement: do-it-yourself transhumanism.
From the makers of the Mormon blockbuster The Singles Ward comes The Real Life Singles Ward, a documentary that examines and pokes fun at Mormon dating culture.
You’re welcome for the Facebook fodder.