Oct 14, 2014 | By

The Atheism – Theism Debate: Report from the Field

An opinion piece posted by Gary Gutting October 13 on the NYTimes website summarizes his series of interviews with philosophers on religion.   Some of his findings echo themes we have touched on previously (see Miracles for example). While the author is “agnostic” and finds that to be the most defensible ground, he identifies areas of weakness for both atheists and theists (outnumbered almost 5 to 1 in his interviews), in the debate.

There have also been some interesting posts recently about what might be called the sociology of alternative beliefs. In recent weeks, I participated in a Linked-In exchange with the provocative title: Is there a lack of civility and empathy in the atheist community? Do you find many atheists come across as arrogant/ haughty/ belittling/ ostentatious/ offensive?

Last winter, Big Questions Online also carried an extensive exchange with the somewhat tongue-in-cheek title: “Is Atheism Irrational?

Along a corollary line, research was reported that those who believe in God are happier and healthier.

And a sharp controversy recently flared up on the question of why atheism may be male oriented:

There is nothing definitive about any of this material, as it is dealing not with truth claims per se, but with the demeanor of the combatants. Nevertheless, there may be lessons to be learned. Who would you like to spend more time with? Who would you trust most in a pinch? What is the better pathway to a better and happier life?

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