According to a Pew Research Center Survey, the number of American atheists has roughly doubled in the period from 2007 to 2014. Impacting this demographic change has been the influence of naturalistic explanations that explain the world without reference to any transcendent deities or supernatural powers. Such changes were abetted by the progressive secularization of American culture and education following the 1962 Supreme Court decision that removed prayer from the public schools.
While atheistic materialism found its philosophical roots in the positivism of the 19th and early 20th centuries, today that it nearly dominates the public arena in the form of leading scientists who proclaim that natural science can offer all the rational explanations of the universe, including its very existence. The so-called “new atheists,” such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett, have done much to blunt religion’s traditional social influence by attacking it as superstitious irrationalism. Whatever cannot be empirically verified, such as God, free will, or the human spiritual soul, is rejected by atheists as unscientific nonsense.
This site aims to present a rational defense of classical theism and traditional religious beliefs, not by appealing to religious faith, but by using the natural faculties of human reason in philosophy. Especially, it presents the scholastic philosophy known as Thomism, which takes its insights and principles from the work of St. Thomas Aquinas and his classical and contemporary commentators.
It contains a number of articles and reviews of books written by Dr. Dennis Bonnette, a retired philosophy professor, who has taught at the university level for over half a century — defending the rational foundations for human knowledge of God, the human soul’s spiritual nature, and natural law ethics.
The web site, Strange Notions (strangenotions.com), offers a platform for discussion between atheists and classical theists, such as Dr. Bonnette. Some twenty-six of his articles that were published on that site now also appear on this site. A number of other articles by Dr. Bonnette appear here, including several that appeared in peer reviewed venues. Reviews of his book, Origin of the Human Species, also appear on this site.
These publications aim to contribute to the realization that unaided human reason stands firmly on the side of traditional religious belief – and that natural science, while unrivaled for the understanding of the universe in purely empirical terms, does not explain all of reality. Rather, the natural metaphysics of human intelligence and sound philosophical reasoning provides a complementary body of knowledge about reality that every human being needs in order to understand the meaning and purpose of his life.
As Socrates so aptly put it two millennia ago, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” As shall be shown in the contents of this site, reason reveals the existence of the transcendent God of classical theism and the reality of our spiritual souls which have an immortal destiny aimed at ultimate union with the divine – in addition to many other truths that are essential for a rational understanding of this world and man’s place in it.