Tuesday, November 29, 2016

David Bentley Hart on New Atheism

I think I am very close to concluding that this whole “New Atheism” movement is only a passing fad—not the cultural watershed its purveyors imagine it to be, but simply one of those occasional and inexplicable marketing vogues that inevitably go the way of pet rocks, disco, prime-time soaps, and The Bridges of Madison County. This is not because I necessarily think the current “marketplace of ideas” particularly good at sorting out wise arguments from foolish. But the latest trend in à la mode godlessness, it seems to me, has by now proved itself to be so intellectually and morally trivial that it has to be classified as just a form of light entertainment, and popular culture always tires of its diversions sooner or later and moves on to other, equally ephemeral toys.

3 comments:

B. Prokop said...

When atheists declare that atheism is "simply not believing" in something, and insist that you can't legitimately ascribe anything to it which can be pinned down and debated, they are basically saying that "there is no there there!" If their definition is correct, then it's no wonder that people will eventually fill the hole with something or other.

I believe it was C.S. Lewis who once wrote that the opposite of good religion is not no religion - it's bad religion. Which is probably why atheists have historically been so susceptible to various totalitarian ideologies. They have no defense against them.

John Moore said...

If your official position on an issue is "I don't know," then people will eventually fill the hole with something or other. Human fantasy is so fertile. Humility is a weak posture.

The opposite of religion is not some other religion - it's "I don't know." Unfortunately, there's always a scam artist ready to sell easy answers to the gullible masses. When people escape from religious totalitarianism, they tend to fall right into quasi-religious political totalitarianism.

But sometimes the truth is simply that we don't know.

Joe Hinman said...

the last reason rally bears you put,8000 people from all over the country.