New Atheists

A Primer on Politics and Prudence

The political scene is drawing toward the center of our national consciousness (if it ever left), as Democratic presidential debates have taken place, and as the 2020 election nears. As this happens, faithful Catholics need sound ways to think about candidates, policies, and the landscape in general. Josef Pieper, a great twentieth-century philosopher, provides a [...]

The Day Stephen Hawking Unsettled His Atheist Peers

Just over a century ago, Albert Einstein rolled out his theory of General Relativity, a paradigm-shifting take on the nature of gravity and its relation to space and matter. Of the implications of his theory, one that has captivated the imagination of filmmakers and the scientistic hopes of researchers and laypersons alike, is the black [...]

How Now Shall We Live?

From days of old, mankind has wrestled with the question of ethics. In ancient Israel, after fifty years of Babylonian captivity had all but erased God’s providence and law from memory, the Jewish community wondered aloud: “How now shall we live?” The very question presupposes a standard and a purpose. Even the early Greeks, influenced [...]

Science and Christian Theology Mutually Inform One Another

Popular consciousness in the West has affirmed over and over again, like the beating of a drum, that natural science and theology are in bitter conflict. Recently, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne made this claim in a predictable piece, claiming that the two are incompatible and are at war with one another. In recent years, scientific [...]

Why Christians are Blamed for Islamic Terrorism

Syndicated columnist Derek Hunter made an observation in the aftermath of the Orlando shootings that parallels my own impression at the time: If you only watch network news and read the New York Times you easily could come away with the impression that last Sunday morning a conservative Christian man, draped in crosses and screaming [...]

Benedict’s quiet response to the New Atheists

William Oddie at the UK's Catholic Herald took issue with George Weigel's call for British bishops to get more confrontational with the New Atheism movement: [T]here are two reasons why they won’t and probably shouldn’t try. The first is that they are probably too frightened of them, even now, to do anything of the sort. [...]

Stealing from Supernaturalism

Christopher Hitchens, in a fairly typical misreading of the Judeo-Christian tradition, is fond of pointing out that "the Jewish people did not get all the way to Mount Sinai under the impression that murder and theft and perjury were okay." Oblivious to the Church's entire tradition of the natural law, he fancies he's scored a [...]

Post-Atheism

  Item: The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality. For the utterly confused atheist in your life, here's another testament to the fact that atheism can't stand to be in the same room with itself for too long. Here, the author tries to crib a little bit of consolation from the theistic tradition while hoping nobody [...]

Not So Bright

As we know, Chesterton famously observed that the mark of madness is not the loss of reason, but the loss of everything except reason. Periodically, something in our culture will show me the brilliance of that insight with great force. Long ago, I remember watching some film about human evolution narrated by Richard Leakey Jr. [...]

Padding the Case for the New Atheism

Recently there has been a flurry of books from the "New Atheists." Such figures as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have been holding forth to state . . . well, not anything new.   The reason there is nothing new to say is that there cannot, by the nature of the [...]

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