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Jewish Journal

Dear God: There’s an app for that

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 7, 2010 | 11:15 am

A customer looks at an iPhone 4 at the Apple Store 5th Avenue in New York, in this June 24, 2010 file photo. Apple Inc came clean on July 2, 2010 about an embarrassing software glitch that overstates network signal strength in its hot-selling iPhone, as complaints mounted about the phone's wraparound antenna. Apple admitted its signal strength miscalculation dates back to its original 2007 iPhone. It promised to fix the glitch in a few weeks, but did not directly address concerns that its antenna design causes reception problems for iPhone 4, its newest phone.  REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCI TECH)

This spring, the LA Times wrote a story about religious-themed iPhone apps. The New York Times took a second pass at this story, and did a much better job with it, starting wit the headline: “You Say God is Dead? There’s an App for That.”

An excerpt:

For religious skeptics, the “BibleThumper” iPhone app boasts that it “allows the atheist to keep the most funny and irrational Bible verses right in their pocket” to be “always ready to confront fundamentalist Christians or have a little fun among friends.”

(skip)

In a dozen new phone applications, whether faith-based or faith-bashing, the prospective debater is given a primer on the basic rules of engagement — how to parry the circular argument, the false dichotomy, the ad hominem attack, the straw man — and then coached on all the likely flashpoints of contention. Why Darwinism is scientifically sound, or not. The differences between intelligent design and creationism, and whether either theory has any merit. The proof that America was, or was not, founded on Christian principles.

Users can scroll from topic to topic to prepare themselves or, in the heat of a dispute, search for the point at hand — and the perfect retort.

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