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April 08, 2009

Christopher Hitchens, Willaim Lane Craig Debate Existence of God

Recap at Big Hollywood.

Incidentally, there's an interesting debate going on about the "new atheists." David Brooks is involved, but nevertheless, it's somehow interesting.

David Brooks argues that the view that moral decision-making results from an intuitive, pre-rational engagement with the world, rather than from logical deduction from a set of moral principles, is a challenge to “the new atheists, who see themselves involved in a war of reason against faith and who have an unwarranted faith in the power of pure reason and in the purity of their own reasoning.”

This gets at something I think is important: I believe that evangelical atheists like Bill Maher are more obsessed with religion than the Pope because they believe that if people simply reject God, they'll automatically agree with Maher's libertine liberal take on the world.

They won't. Religion is often associated with traditional values, but it is not always the cause of them. There is a religious left which, I'm sure, is quite serious about its religious beliefs, and yet champions a liberal values system more in line with Bill Maher's preferred politics.

On the other hand there are atheists like Allah and agnostics like myself who nevertheless are mostly traditionalists. Despite Bill Maher's desperate belief, a lack of affirmative faith in God has not made us good little liberals.

Maher and the evangelical atheists want, ultimately, for people to think like themselves, and so they attack Christianity and other faiths. But their ferocity is directed at the wrong object. You don't need to believe in God to be conservatively inclined, and you don't need to be an atheist to be liberally inclined. What Maher really needs to do is to prove liberalism makes sense, but apparently that's too difficult a challenge, so he bashes God all day long.

Oh... And as Allah headlines, our notably-religious president still hasn't attended church since inaugurated.

I'm sure it's on his list, though.

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posted by Ace at 11:00 AM

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