My piece on Douthat in The New Republic

December 27, 2013 • 6:43 am

I have gussied up my recent post on Ross Douthat’s criticism of secularism, and it has been posted at The New Republic as “Ross Douthat is on another erroneous rampage against secularism.”

One reason I like to write for The New Republic and similar places is that the audience is less likely to agree with me, and perhaps less exposed to strong arguments for secularism.  But, glancing at the readers’ comments on that piece, I see that they’re pretty positive. A heartening sign!

11 thoughts on “My piece on Douthat in The New Republic

  1. “I like to write for The New Republic and similar places is that the audience is less likely to agree with me”

    At the moment it seems they all pretty much agree with you. So maybe you should start writing opinion pieces for Fox News? 😉

    1. The day Faux News allows a post from Jerry (or any other gnu atheist) on their web site I’ll know that Hell really exists. Or at least it did until it froze over.

  2. I used to read New Republic when I was in high school in the early 80’s. That was the “liberal” magazine, which we read alongside the National Review which represented the “conservative” view. Has the New Republic changed since then?

  3. I just read the comments (so far) @ JAC’s New Republic post. I learned there is a conspiracy theory that Sam Harris is a cog in the Dalai Llama’s genius scheme to manipulate plutocrats, and defeat them and democracy, as part of a Buddhist world domination plot. Reminder to self: check back later to see if the letter writer succeeds in diverting conversation away from Jerry’s piece.

  4. On fairly obvious problem with Douthat’s piece is that he confuses the views of full-blown secularists with those of liberal religious types as he does in this passage:

    “The stars and angels disappear: There is no God, no miracles, no incarnation. But the egalitarian message—the common person as the center of creation’s drama—remains intact, and with it the doctrines of liberty, fraternity and human rights.”

    Jerry’s retort about given the reality of the Big Bang and the other galaxies, that we are not the center of creation, is on the mark.

    I like that Douthat criticizes Christian fundamentalism, but he’s all wrong on secularism.

  5. “reason was created by God”

    I wonder what thought process God used that made it seem reasonable (oops) to create reason?

  6. It’s such a joke for Christians to claim moral absolutes. What evil hasn’t been justified by some group of Christians at one time or another? The same is true of most other religions. This isn’t to say that theists are inherently more evil than atheists, just that their claim to have moral absolutes where atheists don’t is absurd. I guess they could claim “obey god” as an absolute, but since they have a million different interpretations of what god wants, and keep changing them to suit their needs, it’s basically meaningless.

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