A refutation of the Kalam cosmological argument for god

William Lane Craig is a theologian whom I have encountered before because of his advocacy of what is known as ‘divine command theory‘ that asserts that “things are morally good or bad, or morally obligatory, permissible, or prohibited, solely because of God’s will or commands”, and results in him justifying the most horrendous atrocities, both biblical and contemporary. [Read more…]

Boy scouts to accept gays?

News reports are emerging that the Boy Scouts are seriously considering lifting the ban on gay members and scout leaders and that the decision might come very soon.

The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions.

The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.

The discussion of a potential change in policy is nearing its final stages, according to outside scouting supporters. If approved, the change could be announced as early as next week, after the BSA’s national board holds a regularly scheduled meeting.

This reversal, coming just seven months after the national body affirmed its ban on gay members, demonstrates the remarkable rapidity with which acceptance of equal rights for the LGBT community is advancing. The Boy Scouts have been getting a public relations hammering and losing donors because of their reactionary stand of excluding gays and seem to have realized that any group that depends on membership of young people cannot have such a policy and survive because young people are way ahead of the old guard in acceptance of diversity.

As I wrote earlier, it is usually the case that in such reversals by large organizations, they usually edge slowly towards doing the right thing by taking incremental steps. The Boy Scout policy change, if confirmed, will not positively welcome gays into the group but simply drops the national banning policy, allowing local troops to make their own decisions. So in the short term one could expect some affiliates to accept gays and others not.

But such minimal steps tend to create their own problems. For example, what happens to a gay scout whose family moves from an area with an accepting troop to one that bans them? What would happen if a gay scout leader rises in the hierarchy to a position overseeing a local affiliate that excludes gays? The proposed change, while it is to be welcomed, will cause all manner of internal contradictions.

It is only a matter of time (I give it five years at the most) before the national group shifts to a more affirmative position, requiring that all affiliates not exclude gays.

Beyond Beyoncegate

Since I complimented Beyonce on her rendition of the national anthem at the inauguration, I feel let down by the news that she may have lip-synced her performance. Although it can hardly be considered a scandal, if true it does signify a lack of professionalism on her part, especially if the other charge that she did not devote enough time for rehearsals also holds up. [Read more…]

Poor rich people

It seems like some rich people never seem to realize that, in times when so many are losing their homes, it is not a good idea to whine to reporters about how tough their lives are when their troubles are ones of having excess. I wrote about this peculiar phenomenon before and the latest edition comes from people living in New York (where ordinary people are lucky if they can afford an apartment that is bigger than a closet) who complain about having too much space. [Read more…]

“I feel, therefore it exists”

It is quite extraordinary how religious people seem to be comfortable telling atheists that they are arrogant for asserting publicly that there is no god. Those on the liberal end of the political spectrum tend to be particularly prone to this failing, perhaps feeling the need to protect their flank with the ‘religious moderates’. (Connie Schultz is another columnist who does this and whom I challenged in the past.) [Read more…]

The future of Republican party

It is clear that the Republican party is still smarting from its losses in the last election and trying to find ways to become more appealing to the general public, especially women, minorities, immigrants, and the young, without alienating its traditional base and in particular the extremist bloc that has painted the party into a corner by forcing them to take unpopular stances on social issues. How can it do both? [Read more…]

More on the Catholic Church’s ‘fetuses are not people’ defense

You have to hand it to the Catholic Church. When it comes to inventing tortured reasoning to justify its own failings, it stands alone. No doubt the millennia of experience trying to explain why people should believe in a god or accept the authority of the pope or what happens to babies who die before being baptized (Do they go to limbo? If so, for how long?) gives them a lot of practice. [Read more…]