Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Non-Believer Defends Religion

Theodore Dalrymple, writing at City Journal ("What the New Atheists Don't See") smacks down Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and their ilk. Dalrymple's case is made all the more convincing by his admission, in the second paragraph of the essay, that he is a non-believer.

Among Dalrymple's many excellent and well-aimed observations, this is my favorite:
The thinness of the new atheism is evident in its approach to our civilization, which until recently was religious to its core. To regret religion is, in fact, to regret our civilization and its monuments, its achievements, and its legacy. And in my own view, the absence of religious faith...can have a deleterious effect upon human character and personality.
I (an agnostic) have made that point, and others, in my various defenses of religion against the "new atheism" of Dennett, Dawkins, et al.:
Going Too Far with the First Amendment
Atheism, Religion, and Science
The Limits of Science
Beware of Irrational Atheism
Religion and Personal Responsibility
Science, Evolution, Religion, and Liberty
Science, Logic, and God
Capitalism, Liberty, and Christianity
Debunking "Scientific Objectivity"
The Big Bang and Atheism
The Universe: Four Possibilities
Einstein, Science, and God
Atheism, Religion, and Science Redux
Religion as Beneficial Evolutionary Adaptation