Hug the Shrug


Last week my oldest son, Jack, had a high school project that involved making text/graphic description of himself and his life. Among the many points of identity and culture in the project, there was a section in which he was supposed to talk about his religion. My wife told me that Jack had simply put himself down as an atheist. That’s not surprising, as he has been pretty open about being non-religious among his friends. In this case, however, he included two graphical illustrations to go along. One was an internet meme about believing in “one god fewer,” and the other was my infamous Easter Infographic. Jack didn’t mention it to me, of course, because Jack strides a mellow sort of cadence through life that doesn’t usually dip a toe in dramatic waters.

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Heaven is for Real: Odometer of Credulity

It is not snobbish to notice the way in which people show their gullibility and their herd instinct, and their wish, or perhaps their need, to be credulous and to be fooled. This is an ancient problem. Credulity may be a form of innocence, and even innocuous in itself, but it provides a standing invitation for the wicked and the clever to exploit their brothers and sisters, and is thus one of humanity’s great vulnerabilities. No honest account of the growth and persistence of religion, or the reception of miracles and revelations, is possible without reference to this stubborn fact.

~ Christopher Hitchens. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Heaven is for Real. Sigh. Over the weekend my older two kids and I went to a Barnes and Noble to chat over coffee while looking at books and magazines. While there, I thumbed through and read several sections of this abysmal little pamphlet, for calling it a book would grant it far too much dignity. Not since the Prayer of Jabez have I seen piffle more perfectly suited as a litmus test of human credulity.

Basic Criticisms

Criticisms for the book are easy to discern from directly reading it or perusing critiques on the internet. [Read more…]

Jericho YouTube Playlists

I have created a YouTube channel stocked with several playlists of helpful videos, sampled from the several hundred hours of content that I have reviewed on religious subjects.  Although I have no plans to create video content of my own, I do hope it will serve as a collection of some of the best YouTube content out there on Jericho subjects. This library will continue to be expanded in the future., so feel free to subscribe to the channel for ongoing access.


Agree or disagree? Consider the following quote:

Sometimes in order to find the truth, we must be willing to accept that other possibilities outside our current belief system could be true. We often get in our own way. Make a decision to fight against your biases and follow the evidence—wherever it may lead.

I for one agree. But from whence the quotation?

I happened to find it on a Christian blog, Explore God, where it stood somewhat glaringly out of place as a challenge for skeptics to reconsider their position. The blog on the whole seems to contain rather a great deal of amorphous and subjective muddle-mouthing about anything other than honest and objective inquiry.

On my own experience of late, the advice in the quotation seems more typically to be staunchly resisted by the faithful rather than embraced. And yet they/we proffer. And they/we posture. In my own case, I have followed the precept as well as possible. And I can’t help but muse just how badly a dedication to honest inquiry can backfire on the a priori conclusions which the faithful consider acceptable. It certainly backfired on me. At least, that is, on one view. Objectively, it worked precisely the way it should. It demonstrated that my own muddle-mouthing on the subject of faith was without factual basis. In the myth speak of us moderns, the above principle constitutes “the red pill”. And I cannot say that I would trade back for the chance at the blue.

And how many believers can claim to have walked this path? What would be required to support such a claim? One would have to arrive at an adverse conclusion (undesired), contra one’s bias, and on the grounds of objective (not subjective or existential) evidences. No friend or scholar has yet measured up to such criteria. Yet the skeptics do – and they are the ironic and ill-fitted target of this quotation in the first place. We have here a boomerang: an elegantly arcing trajectory that soars outward, finds no target, and returns promptly to the head of its hurler.

Explore God: 40-Day Challenge

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Michael Seidel, writer

Science fiction, fantasy, mystery and what-not

cas d'intérêt

Reflections of a Francophile

Two Wheels Across Texas

My Quest to ride through all 254 Texas Counties

She Seeks Nonfiction

A skeptic's quest for books, science, & humanism

Uncommon Sense

I don’t want to start a class war; it started a long time ago and, unfortunately, we lost.