Wednesday, August 24, 2011

please follow

I've moved the igr website and blog so that everything is contained on one site with a new URL.

And I've started a second blog (as if I haven't already got enough to do with my time!).

So if you want to keep in contact, please try the following:

  • Is there a God website and blog - looking at questions about whether God exists, different religions, what is ethics, and fulfillment in life.
  • the Way? - written for christians who want to keep their faith relevant to our contemporary world while staying true to Jesus.

Thanks for those who've dropped by here. Hope to see you over at one of these! Ciao.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

why try to be good?

For most people throughout the world and throughout time, being good has been related to belief in God. God defined what is good and evil, and offered positive or negative incentives for following his decrees. But in our secular western society, what is 'good' and what is the motive for being good?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Farewell Middle East?

I have twice before (here and here) blogged about my favourite band at the moment, The Middle East. I am now devastated to report they have announced they are quitting.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

see change?

'Sea Change' was a popular Aussie TV series a few years back, in which a city lawyer quit her job and opted for the supposedly more laid-back life of a small coastal town. The term 'sea change" became common usage to describe the increasing number of people who decided to leave the rat race and the wealth it provided and give greater emphasis in their life to more personal values.

In an interesting set of articles, last Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald told the stories of a bunch of influential politicians who have found life more fulfilling away from the corridors of power.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Philosophical arguments for the existence of God

If you want to check out well-prepared and easy-to-read arguments for the existence of God, I recommend Existence of God.

Tim was an atheist until he studied philosophy at university to post-graduate level, but he found the evidence and the philosophical arguments so persuasive that he was convinced of God's existence. He is now a christian, and has set up his site to present the same arguments to others.

He covers all the standard arguments for God's existence - first cause, design, moral, ontological and two arguments about Jesus - and also considers five arguments for atheism. If you want a simple statement of complex arguments, I recommend it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

john dickson on why people believe things

People may hold their political, religious or ethical beliefs for all sorts of reasons, but we all like to think that we are very rational in the way we come to our own views. But some recent studies suggest few of us are as logical as we might think, as historian John Dickson reported in a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the cost of climate change

Australia is currently engaged in (or suffering under?) a political debate on how we should address the issue of climate change. It isn't so long ago that many conservatives did not believe the scientific evidence that earth is warming at an alarming rate, and this will have disastrous consequences within a century. Then the argument shifted to whether the predicted changes were human-induced. Now we seem to be arguing about how much we should change our way of life, and how much we should pay, to address the problem. But the fact remains that Aussies, per capita, are among the world's biggest contributors to global warming.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Atheist myths?

Among many of the more militant atheists, there are a number of common claims made about religion. Some are fair, some are not, but they have become as entrenched as dogma. It is refreshing when one of their own argues for a more thoughtful and nuanced view.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

the exploits and adventures of david sloan wilson

David Sloan Wilson is an eminent evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University in New York. He is an atheist "but a nice atheist", he assures us, and he is interested in the study of religion from an evolutionary viewpoint and the use of evolutionary principles to develop community development programs.

I believe we can all learn something from him.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

fulfilled prophecy in the bible?

A long time ago I read a book which (primarily) examined a bunch of Biblical prophecies which had come true in verifiable history, and attempted to estimate the mathematical probability of this happening by guesswork. The book was Science Speaks, by Peter Stoner, a college professor of mathematics and astronomy, and I have just found it is now available on the internet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

is belief in god declining?

The percentage of people believing in God is always of interest to me. What is the latest?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

is it natural to believe in god?

We all like to think we make good choices for good reasons. Those who believe in God like to think they are right in their belief, whereas atheists think believers are mistaken, sometimes even 'delusional'. Some atheists would like to see all God-belief eliminated because they believe it does so much harm.

Yet new scientific studies suggest it is 'natural' to believe in God.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

who owns jesus?

It is an interesting headline. "Jesus: a prophet of Islam" And it will be coming to a billboard or two in Sydney.

I wonder what impact it will have.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

dying for a story?

John Carroll is an interesting man. He is Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, and a secular humanist who believes secular humanism has failed us. He has spent a lot of time reading the Bible and seeking to learn from it. He's even telling the church how it can improve its message to postmodern people.

What's going on?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

are we entering a 'post-secular' age?

"There are many problems in today’s society that cannot be resolved by the application of reason, logic or medical science." So says Professor David Tacey of La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. "We are emerging from a long period of materialism and rationality," he says.

Is this true? Is it good, or bad? And why does he think this?

Friday, May 13, 2011

one hundred years ago, this day

One hundred years ago, this day, my father was born in Richmond in Melbourne.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

science and religion (again!)

A reader drew my attention to this brief debate on this topic, in which well-known atheist Sam Harris made the statement:

"We have Christians believing in the holy ghost, the resurrection of Jesus and his possible return – these are claims about biology and physics which, from a scientific point of view in the 21st century, should be unsustainable."

What is the basis of this statement?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

osama, obama and jesus

The death of Osama bin Laden is now old news. The US Government's wish to eliminate him is understandable. Whether it will change the terrorism equation much is questionable, but beyond my ability to answer. But what should be a christian's response to these events?

Friday, April 29, 2011

healing of cancer in the pelvis

What evidence would it take for you to believe a miracle had occurred? Do you think it would make a difference if it happened to you?

Lisa Larios didn't even know she had cancer. But when she found out she could walk again without pain, she certainly believed it was a miracle.

Monday, April 25, 2011

science vs religion?

I seem to becoming a fan club for cosmologist Martin Rees. I have previously written about his open-mindedness and the criticisms he has received for accepting prize-money for his contribution to science and "affirming life’s spiritual dimension".

Now he has come out strongly against those who wish to pit science and religion against each other.