Essays

Most of these essays date from my Christian days, and are therefore rather out of date since I'm not a Christian any more. First of all, the ones that either don't have much to do with Christianity or postdate my apostasy and therefore aren't too obsolete:

Utilitarianism
Some thoughts, neither very deep nor very original, on its good and bad points.
Cui Bono?, or, Avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion
One way of getting round Derek Parfit's argument which seems to show that a world containing a huge number of people leading drab lives would be better than this one.
Why I am no longer a Christian
As of early June 2006, I am no longer a Christian. This is a brief explanation of why, with some comments. Note: this development means that some of the items above are in a sense outdated; I'll be fixing them up gradually.
Alleged pre-Christian parallels to the Jesus story
Brief investigation of what appears to be a rather silly list of pagan stories allegedly just like Jesus's.

And the rest, with which I now disagree more or less radically.

Why I am not A Calvinist
Pretty self-explanatory. Dates from 1990 or thereabouts. Some of the positions I attribute to Calvinism are probably not shared by all Calvinists. For hysterical raisins, there's also a plain text version.
In praise of ignorance
Some people, including me, get too hung up on having the answers to everything. This can easily lead to sloppy thinking or lack of charity, and I don't think the satisfaction of Having an Answer is always enough to make up for that. (The particular issues discussed here, and the particular slant I took on them, are specifically Christian, but the basic principle still seems correct to me.)
Some of my favourite bits of the Bible
I still think some of these are pretty good, though unsurprisingly my comments on them now seem hyperbolic.
Why I am not an inerrantist
Much more recent than the next item. Unfinished, and at this point probably never will be.
Random reflections on the [in]errancy of Scripture
A piece of my brain from, I think, some time in the mid-1990s. Might be interesting to people who enjoy reading others' half-formed thoughts.
Reflections on Dembski's "Vise Document"
William Dembski, a leading representative of the "Intelligent Design" movement, suggests that his fellow-travellers should "squeeze the truth out of Darwinists" by asking difficult questions and revealing their objectionable presuppositions, character flaws or internal contradictions. Being a "Darwinist" myself, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see whether Dembski's proposed questions embarrass me. It turns out that they don't. (There's not much here that I disagree with post-apostasy, and the things I do still seem to me like perfectly reasonable answers for Christian evolutionists to give.)

You might also be interested in some shorter remarks.