An author called James A. Lindsay has a new book out in December called "Everybody Is Wrong About God".

Here is a link to his blog where he has given a preview of the preface and chapter list.

I thought the premise of the book was quite interesting and relevant to a lot of the discussions I have had with theists. For those who don't click through to the link I took his central message to be that he distinguishes between God (in whom he does not believe) and "God" who does exist.

The scare-quoted "God" represents what God means to theists and these couple of paragraphs sum up his view:

"Many atheist interest groups currently and ambitiously seek to “normalize” atheism, to make it a normal part of society. Once we understand “God,” we will understand why atheism, as anything that could be misconstrued as a thing, cannot be normalized. As we will see, the first thing “God” means to almost every believer is nearly always “how I understand moral values.” Second (or thereabouts), and intimately related, comes “how I contextualize myself in my culture/community.”

Atheism, from the believer’s point of view, is therefore always heard as a rejection of those values, hence we see rampant mistrust of atheists. We must understand that, alongside everything else it does, religion acts to form moral communities, which allow for a bypassing mechanism to our natural distrust of unknown others under the perception of shared moral and cultural values. Those values are grounded in the idea people call “God.” Atheism stands in negation to those values, as understood by the believer, and so the “theism versus atheism” conversation is doomed."

He goes on to say that the term atheism has become so tainted that we should move past it. He mentions the term post-theism in the preface but I've no idea what that is - I guess the book expands on it.

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Couldn't resist a dig, eh?

Not a dig, a challenge to examine your own thinking.

If we want a conservative to re-examine his or her long-held belief on family or the environment or whatnot then don't you think we have to demonstrate the same open-mindedness and willingness to think and reconsider?

I do agree with that. Despite what you may think I am willing to reconsider my position on an issue when a strong counter-argument is presented. I too enjoy finding out things I did not previously know.

On the topic of gay marriage I have not see any decent counter-argument presented. Most of the "arguments" seem to boil down to - gays are "icky", we don't like it. Perhaps you have an argument I have not yet encountered?

Any credit I had given Pope Cuddles or respect I had for his "modern" attitude is now gone.  Christ himself might weep with shame. I expect the Church to remain weak by how it tries to "stay strong".

Once again the Catholic Churchs' idea of "religious freedom" or as some in the USA call it, "Religious Liberty" is shown to be nothing more than blatant discrimination and homophobia based upon ignorant religious mythology. The apologists can dress it up anyway they like but it is DISCRIMINATION and it is pathetic.

I'm not sure what's so awful about a pastor meeting with someone in need.   He also met with John Boehner (who resigned the next day), the U.S. Congress, out-and-out criminals in prison, homeless people, drug addicts, etc.

It seems to me that if the alternative is to shun any person we disagree with or feel is less worthy than ourselves then the pope's approach is the more enlightened one.

There's nothing awful about going to someone in need - even when they have behaved badly. I think of it like the parent-child relationship particularly with young children. When they behave badly you do not shun them or act superior to them. However, you do still let them know they have behaved badly and make it clear it is unacceptable.

I do not know what Pope Francis said to Kim Davis, maybe he did admonish her for her intolerance??

Here is a reliable source covering the subject of what was said.

ThinkProgress is a reliable source?   I suppose Fox News is a reliable source as well (as long as you agree with their agenda). 

I would gently suggest that any publication or media outlet with a stated political agenda should be treated with skepticism, rather than accepted as a reliable source.

Here's the Reuters news report which contradicts several of the claims and all of the spin of your "reliable source."

What would you expect? They agree on the matter of gay marriage.

@Dr. Bob, I do not have a problem with a pastor meeting with the needy. However Kim Davis is not “needy” in the biblical sense or that of the wording on the Statue of Liberty. The Pope, as cuddly as he is, is not a pastor.

Your attempts at being the Christian apologetic fail. Do not conflate her position with that of the homeless or those suffering from drug addiction. Please do not bother trying to downplay the meaning of this meeting. It is not some extended arm of comfort to a persecuted or improvised soul. She has no high moral ground based upon a conscientious objection to stand on. She is a homophobe who is happy to discriminate against a minority group in a society where everyone should be treated equally before the law.

He said he would pray for her when he thanked her for her courage. Therefore he is her ally and is agreement with her. Courage is not the word I would use. She should get back on her horse and return to martyerville.

+ infinity

@Reg, personally  I'm not willing to point with alarm and draw deep significance from 3rd hand reports of a brief private meeting.   I'm not sure why as a rationalist you would be.

The Pope tells everyone he will pray for them, and asks them to pray for him. 

I'm curious, though, what you can find to point with alarm and draw deep significance from in this New York Times report on the only real private audience Pope Francis gave during his stay in D.C.  It happened to be with an openly gay former student of Francis's and his partner.


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