The Weekly Roundup – 5.3.19

It’s gotten all mixed up, you see, as it was bound to after thousands and thousands of years of dogma and tradition. Religion doesn’t spawn morality. Intelligence spawns morality,which inevitably gives birth (in intelligent enough species) to religion.Now, some people find that religion helps hone and focus their morality, that it gives their morality a purpose that they find motivating and invigorating. That’s a wonderful thing, perhaps the single greatest thing about religion. But religion can’t take credit for morality, and it certainly can’t claim that those outside the religion are morally destitute. Not without pinpointing which denomination the bottleneck dolphins subscribe to, and which God African elephants pray to on Sundays. – @AuthorConfusion


  • Martin Leuenberger recently wrote a short piece for the March 2019 issue of ANE Today on the origins of Yahweh. Specifically Leuenberger looks at with what region and people group the deity first arose. The evidence, in his view, favors the Midianite/Kenite hypothesis that suggests worship of Yahweh originated in the southern Levant before moving northward to Judea.
  • A couple of years ago over at the Atheism and the City blog there was a post that featured thirteen reasons and arguments for atheism. Some of the arguments are fairly standard but some, like the argument from “core theory,” are ones I’ve never encountered. I don’t write a lot on atheism or philosophy of religion in general since my interests lie elsewhere. However, I do enjoy reading why my fellow atheists take the positions that they do. We are by no means monolithic.
  • On a related subject, @AuthorConfusion wrote a piece last year on altruism in the animal world and what this might mean for arguments about morality. Often atheists are accused of being atheists so that they can live as they please, unaccountable for their actions. This naturally leads to the claim that atheists are therefore amoral or immoral. But by and large atheists live out their lives abiding by moral norms that much of society abides by as well. But why? @AuthorConfusion’s post looks at why creatures that lack any religious belief also act in seemingly moral ways, i.e. altruistically. The solution, she suggests, is seen in intelligence, not religious knowledge.
  • I forgot to do so back in March but Bob MacDonald posted the February 2019 Biblical Studies Carnival and in April the March 2019 Biblical Studies Carnival was posted by Spencer Robinson (@spoiledmilks).
  • Maggie Bryson (PhD, John Hopkins University) appeared on @digi_hammurabi’s YouTube channel to discuss the evidence for the Exodus. Along with input from Dr. Bowen, Dr. Bryson discusses a wide range of topics related to Egypt and the purported Exodus event.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons.

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