On October 2nd I was invited to present on forgiveness and reconciliation from a humanist perspective. It was an eight person panel for "Ahimsa Day" at Claremont Lincoln University. It was me, a Jew, Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and a Jain.
I am pretty sure most of us are familiar with Alexander Pope’s famous saying, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” As a humanist, I think that “to err is human, and to forgive is…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on October 10, 2012 at 4:00am — No Comments
No one individual science can completely explain anything, especially religion. The interconnected nature of the universe is such that, in order to understand any single phenomenon, one must utilize all of the sciences. When the totality of the sciences (natural and social) has been utilized in an explanation of religion, the question remains: Is “religion” anything more than what the sciences inform us about it?
In this paper I will argue that nothing more is…Continue
"If the property belongs to God he is able to pay the tax." Robert Ingersoll
In Lynch v. Donnelly (1984) the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a Christmas display in a mall in Pawtucket Rhode Island did not advocate “religion.” SCOTUS found that the crèche fulfilled a “secular purpose” of the city to “celebrate the Holiday and to depict the origins of that Holiday.” Chief Justice Burger’s logic was that since this crèche was not nearly as much of an…Continue
In “Atheists As “Other”: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society,” Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann show that “atheists are less likely to be accepted, publicly and privately, than any others from a long list of ethnic, religious, and other minority groups” (pg. 211). Using various statistics—the American Mosaic Project Survey,…Continue
This post is written in conjunction with the “Religion and Law in the U.S.” course dialogue project and is directed by Grace Yia-Hei Kao.
In a recent unanimous and precedent-setting Supreme Court ruling, a “ministerial exception” was given to Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School regarding employment discrimination. Cheryl Perich, a “called teacher” at Hosanna-Tabor, was fired…Continue
[During January, State of Formation entered into a collaboration with The Interfaith Observer to address the subject of meaning making. Eight contributors from various faith and ethical traditions were asked to describe what makes meaning within their practices and/or tradition.]
I agree with the overall gist of Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning (1946) in the fact that we all desire, will, and create…Continue
A new journal is born!
"Religion" is one of the most difficult words to define. People use the word all of the time but have a hard time flushing out its precise meaning. Having spent time on issues surrounding defining "religion," I felt it would be a good idea to start a new journal where "religion" can be analyzed, interpreted, and compared with other phenomena. I figured it would be an accessible, academic, online forum for people to publish on issues surrounding "religion."…Continue
Imagine for a second that you are somebody who believes in the existence of “something” beyond the physical cosmos. You are not sure how to talk about this “something” but you are confident enough that it is there. Would it be better for you to clarify what you mean by this…
What do Martin Luther and Mary Daly have in common?
They both realized that they could not reform the Roman Catholic Church from “the inside-out.” They came to believe that some institutions, even those dear to the heart, are not worth saving. One of the most significant differences between Luther and Daly—aside from the obvious differences in time, culture, race, class, and sex—is that Luther’s faith in God remained intact whereas Daly’s did not. Mary Daly, due to her positions on…Continue
As a general unbeliever in God, spirits, immortality, and the human soul, there is much I disagree with in process theology. What I can agree with in process theology is what they deny. I agree with the denial of the traditional omnipotent God, “HIS” (I capitalize another problem) relationship to evil, a literal interpretation of the biblical text, Christ as God-incarnate (homoousios), and miraculous interventions. And although I disagree with some of the confusing metaphorical…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on September 29, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments
In the world of contemporary unbelief the differences between “liberal,” “moderate,” and “conservative” forms of religion are often overlooked. The subtle nuances that distinguish liberal religion from conservative religion are painted over by employing the nebulous term “religion.” The New Atheism, for instance, views liberal or “moderate” religion as guilty of providing the atmosphere under which conservative religious beliefs can be accepted and flourish. In short, modern…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on September 18, 2011 at 9:55am — No Comments
This was first presented as “The Power of Kafka’s Castle,” at the Conference on Retaliation, California State University Fullerton, January 28, 2011. It was later revised and presented as “Kafka’s Castle: Revisited,” at The Balancing Act Conference, Claremont Graduate University, March 26, 2011. It is now going to published as “Kafka’s Castle: Revisited,” in Voices of…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on August 7, 2011 at 11:55am — No Comments
Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
The Impossibility of Religious Freedom
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005)
-Although six years old now, this book covers issues pertinent to the present time-
The Impossibility of Religious Freedom is a book written by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, director of the Law and Religion program at University of Buffalo Law School (State University of New York), that examines the ways in which religious beliefs and…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on July 13, 2011 at 10:43pm — No Comments
“God’s Brain” by Lionel Tiger and Michael McGuire
Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2010
It is always interesting to see how those within a scientific sub-discipline speak about religion and religious beliefs. In God’s Brain you have a professor of anthropology (Lionel Tiger) who focuses on the ways biological evolution relates to social interactions, and a former professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences (Michael McGuire) who…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on June 30, 2011 at 6:05pm — No Comments
“In The Absence of God: Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred,” New York, N.Y.: Harmony Books, 2010
Sam Keen, author of numerous books on religion and philosophy, as well as the editor of Psychology Today for two decades, has written a new book exploring ways in which a different understanding of spirituality may revitalize a post-industrial, scientific world. He calls us to have the “courage to wait patiently on the border of agnosticism…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on June 24, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments
The 29-foot Easter Cross on Mount Soledad in La Jolla, California, has become a considerable controversy throughout the United States. Since 1913 this cross has been located on state land. In 1989 a veteran and atheist, Philip K. Paulson, known for his popular article I Was an Atheist in a Foxhole, filed suit against the city of San Diego for violating article I section 4 of the California Constitution, which states that “The legislature shall make…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on May 18, 2011 at 5:03am — No Comments
President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech prompted many journalists and academics to examine what perspective(s) the President holds on the ethics of war.
Put simply: people wonder whether or not President Obama is a “Christian realist,” “Just Warrior,” or a hybrid of the two. Journalist Andrew Sullivan is bold enough to say, “He is, in so many ways, a Niebuhrian realist.” George Packer said, “The spirit of Niebuhr presided over the Nobel…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on April 15, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments
On February 28, 2011, I attended a meeting of Atheists United at the Center for Inquiry (CFI) in Hollywood, California. It was a typical day in southern California—sunny, beautiful, without a cloud in sight—when I pulled into the parking lot of the CFI. On a nearby mountain you could see the famous Hollywood Sign looming in the distance. The CFI is located next to a Mexican Pentecostal Church and a Christian Science Reading Room, proof of the religious diversity in Los…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on April 5, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments
The Gospel of Christian Atheism (1966), and other works like it, have had a profound impact upon theological studies, to the point that if one were to describe the theologies which arose in the 20th century one would inevitably have to mention the “death of God” theologians (the author Thomas J.J. Altizer; William Hamilton, Paul Van Buren, and Gabriel Vahanian). It was not only the Time Magazine article of 1965 which made “death of God” theology popular, nor the…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on March 2, 2011 at 7:25pm — No Comments
In the majority of cases I think war is morally blameworthy, but under certain conditions I think killing can be justified. War, as opposed to the killing of the leaders responsible, is immoral because of the nationalist lies they are usually based on, the “collateral damage” deaths of non-combatants, and the many other war crimes committed during wartime. When you understand that where you were born, who raised you and what culture you were raised in is utterly arbitrary, you realize that…Continue
Added by Kile Jones on February 4, 2011 at 4:24am — No Comments