Media Interviews and Appearances: Print
Religion as a force for good
By Ian Buruma
It has become fashionable in certain smart circles to regard atheism as a sign of superior education, of highly evolved civilization, of enlightenment. Recent bestsellers by Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and others suggest that religious faith is a sign of backwardness, the mark of primitives stuck in the Dark Ages who have not caught up with scientific reason.
Root and Branch
By Ian Hacking
...The people do not trust those who present themselves as elite. If you want a sense of the monstrous self-confident complacency of days gone by, read H.L. Mencken’s daily reports to the Baltimore Sun on the Scopes trial, now reissued under the title A Religious Orgy in Tennessee. Or read any of the self-indulgent, virulent atheists in circulation today—Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens being just two. Contrary to their professed intentions, such writers buttress the faithful; their loathsome arrogance shields evangelical churches from doubt. That part of the American population that believes God made man in His own image has a heartfelt contempt for know-it-alls. I am inclined to say, God bless the people, even when they get it wrong….
Are Sacred Texts Sacred? the Challenge for Atheists
By Carlin Romano
For a long time, religion had been doing quite nicely as a kind of minor entertainment. Christmas and Easter were quite unthinkable without it, not to mention Hanukkah and Passover. But then certain enthusiasts took things too far by crashing airliners into office towers in the name of Allah, launching a global crusade to rid the world of evil, and declaring the jury still out on Darwinian evolution. As a consequence, religion now looks nearly as bad as royalism did in the late 18th century.
By David Abel
An increasing number of young people in America - and adults around the world - don’t believe in God. Greg Epstein, who advises fellow atheists and agnostics at Harvard University, wants to create a kind of church for those who reject religion. But he’s encountering resistance from some of the very people he wants to unite.
Moral Psychology and the Misunderstanding of Religion
By Jonathan Haidt
...But because the new atheists talk so much about the virtues of science and our shared commitment to reason and evidence, I think it’s appropriate to hold them to a higher standard than their opponents. Do these new atheist books model the scientific mind at its best? Or do they reveal normal human beings acting on the basis of their normal moral psychology?...
Defender of the Faith?
By Mark Edmundson
A good deal of the antireligious polemic that has recently been abroad in our culture proceeds in the spirit of Freud’s earlier work. In his defense of atheism, “God Is Not Great,” Christopher Hitchens cites Freud as an ally who, he believes, exposed the weak-minded childishness of religion. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins come out of the same Enlightenment spirit of hostile skepticism to faith that infuses “The Future of an Illusion.” All three contemporary writers want to get rid of religion immediately and with no remainder. But there’s more to Freud’s take on religion than that…
All in the name of God
By Ian O’Doherty
When Sam Harris first appeared out of the blue with his wonderful first book, The End Of Faith, it seemed that Richard Dawkins finally had someone else who could shoulder the burden of being remorselessly attacked by religious attack dogs in the mainstream media.
Think Again: Dangerous godlessness
By Jonathan Rosenblum
Without entering into fruitless debates about whether religious or non-religious people are more moral - fruitless since we lack even the common moral language the Decalogue once provided - there is one point even Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great), and Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation) should concede: Religious people are better at defending themselves from threats to their survival.
Onward, Secular Soldiers
By Katha Pollitt
An amazing thing has been happening here in God’s own country: For the first time in living memory, religious skepticism is hot.
The smallest signs of retreat
By Madeleine Bunting
...There’s a fascinating debate to be had between atheists and people of faith and, often, they can find the gulf between them is not nearly as wide or unbridgeable as is often suggested. Even when there is a gulf, both sides can find the process helpful in clarifying their positions - Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan’s exchange for example….
Secularists, what happened to the open mind?
By Tom Krattenmaker
Many of the leading voices among atheists and the ‘unreligious’ reveal a disdain for religion that can only damage today’s dialogue. Speaking with people of faith, instead of about them, would enrich both sides of this philosophical divide.
Rational Atheism: An open letter to Messrs. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens
By Michael Shermer
Since the turn of the millennium, a new militancy has arisen among religious skeptics in response to three threats to science and freedom…
God Bless Me, It’s a Best-Seller!
By Christopher Hitchens
The author’s book tour—for God Is Not Great—takes a few miraculous turns, including the P.R. boost from Jerry Falwell’s demise, a chance encounter with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and surprising support for an attack on religion.
The New New Atheism
By Peter Berkowitz
“There is nothing new under the sun,” proclaims the Book of Ecclesiastes. The rise of the new new atheism confirms this ancient biblical wisdom.
What Atheists Can’t Answer
By Michael Gerson
British author G.K. Chesterton argued that every act of blasphemy is a kind of tribute to God, because it is based on belief. “If anyone doubts this,” he wrote, “let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor.”
Am I a dwarf or a horseman?
By Christopher Hitchens
It’s an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris. We could become known as the Four Horsemen of the Counter-Apocalypse
Is Religion Man-Made?
By Stanley Fish
Sure it is. Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens think that this fact about religion is enough to invalidate its claims.
Atheism and Evidence
By Stanley Fish
Atheists like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens believe (in Dawkins’s words) that “there is nothing beyond the natural, physical world” and that “if there is something that appears to lie beyond the natural world, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it within the natural.”
God, Politics and That Man
By Dwayne Booth
Like a cockfight, the event at UCLA’s Royce Hall seemed as if it had been put together surreptitiously to evade detection by anybody but the most ardent fans of the most uncomfortable Thanksgiving conversation imaginable: namely, one about God and politics.
Baptists Warned About Islam, Atheism
Watergate figure Chuck Colson warned a gathering of Southern Baptist pastors Sunday night against what he described as two dire threats: the deadly marriage of Islam and fascism and a new, militant atheism growing in popularity in the West.
By AC Grayling
To the annoyance of many, the alarm of some, and the satisfaction of others, the half dozen books recently published that powerfully set out the case against religion and religious beliefs - books by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Michel Onfray - have all sold in large numbers.
The Three Atheists
By Stanley Fish
Writings against God and religion have been around as long as God and religion have been around. But every so often an epidemic of the genre breaks out and a spate of such writings achieves the status of notoriety (which is what their authors had been aiming for).
By Lisa Miller
It may not be fair to call what’s happening in the atheist community a backlash, since atheists have always been and continue to be one of the smallest, most derided groups in the country. In a recent NEWSWEEK Poll, only 3 percent of respondents called themselves atheists and only 30 percent said they’d ever vote for an atheist. No, what’s happening in the “atheist, humanist, freethinkers” community is more like what happens to any ideological or political group as it matures: the hard-liners knock heads with the folks who want to just get along, and the cracks are beginning to show.
Believe It or Not
By Lynn Andriani
The dominant role of religion in today’s politics and culture has produced a backlash and a new publishing subcategory: the anti-religion books.
COVER | The New Atheists
By Ronald Aronson
What began with publisher W.W. Norton taking a chance on a gutsy, hyperbolic and idiosyncratic attack on religion by a graduate student in neuroscience has grown into a remarkable intellectual wave. No fewer than five books by the New Atheists have appeared on bestseller lists in the past two years—Sam Harris’s The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell, Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion and now Christopher Hitchens’s God Is Not Great.
Is Atheism Just a Rant Against Religion?
Despite its minority status, atheism has enjoyed the spotlight of late, with several books that feature vehement arguments against religion topping the bestseller lists.
Atheist authors grapple with believers
By Rachel Zoll
The time for polite debate is over. Militant, atheist writers are making an all-out assault on religious faith and reaching the top of the best-seller list, a sign of widespread resentment over the influence of religion in the world among nonbelievers.
Atheists with Attitude
By Anthony Gottlieb
Great portents and disasters turn some minds to God and others away from him. When an unusually bright and long-tailed comet was tracked through the sky in the last two months of 1680, posters and sermons called on Christians to repent. A hen in Rome seemed to confirm that the Day of Judgment was near. On December 2nd, it made an extraordinarily loud cackle and produced an exceptionally large egg, on which could be seen a likeness of the comet, or so it was said. This added to the religious panic. But the comet also sparked a small triumph for rationalism. In the next few years, as Armageddon somehow failed to arrive, a stream of pamphlets across Europe and America argued that heavenly displays were purely natural phenomena. The skeptics won the day. From the eighteenth century onward, no respectable intellectual saw comets as direct messages from God—though there were still some fears that one might eventually hit the earth.
The New Atheists loathe religion far too much to plausibly challenge it
By Madeleine Bunting
Anti-faith proselytising is a growth industry. But its increasingly hysterical flag-bearers are heading for a spectacular failure
Better God-fearing than sneering
By Stephanie Merritt
For some years, AC Grayling and Richard Dawkins have been the good cop/bad cop of anti-religious thought. Dawkins publicly fights fire with fire, while Grayling has opted for a gentler advocacy of humanist values. But now, in Against All Odds, a little collection of his reworked newspaper essays, a distinct note of exasperation has crept in. ‘If the tone of the polemics here seems combative,’ Grayling writes, ‘it is because the contest between religious and non-religious outlooks is such an important one, a matter literally of life and death, and there can be no temporising.’
Rolling Stone’s 40th Anniversary: Talking With Tom Wolfe
By Rolling Stone
Today we present The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test author and New Journalism forefather Tom Wolfe… For our fortieth anniversary issue, Mark Binelli sits down with Wolfe to discuss the 1960s, his firsthand experience of the madness of Ken Kesey, witnessing the Apollo 17 launch and his thoughts on God.
Faith eludes Floyd’s former frontman
There is a pile of books on the coffee table in Roger Waters’s Sydney hotel suite. Perched on top is the religious-baiting The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. The tall, slim Waters, whose long, wavy grey hair gives him the air of a bohemian priest, is eager to get stuck into it, having already enjoyed Sam Harris’s The End of Faith, another provocative poke at religious belief.
By Christopher Orlet
The soft atheists have it in for three bestselling authors in particular: Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion), Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation) and Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great).
Disliked, not oppressed
By Paul Thornton
You’ll never be president. Neither will your spouse, son, daughter, partner, friend, or anyone else you’ve ever known. If it makes you feel any better, the same goes for me.
The DNA of Religious Faith
By David P. Barash
The four horsemen of the current antireligious apocalypse are Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, and Carl Sagan. All are (or, in the case of Sagan, who died in 1996, were) passionate advocates of reason, committed to the proposition that religion is essentially unreasonable.
Problems and Mysteries
By Marc Gellman
The recent theological disputation between Rick Warren and Sam Harris on whether God is real was wonderfully enlightening—but sadly was offered up without a verdict.
Answers To the Atheists
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
The neo-atheists, like their predecessors from a century ago, are given to a sometimes-charming ferociousness in their polemics against those they see as too weak-minded to give up faith in God.
Does God Exist? Two Authors Debate
By Pastor Rick Warren
Pastor Rick Warren says atheists have their place: North Korea. That is just one reason Sam Harris, whose books include “The End of Faith,” says the nonbelieving minority is the victim of a terrible public-relations campaign. Newsweek editor Jon Meacham moderates a debate between the two men, both bestselling authors, on the ultimate question: Does God exist?
A new fundamentalism? Some decry strident tone of fellow atheists
By Jay Lindsay
Atheists are under attack these days for being too militant, for not just disbelieving in religious faith but for trying to eradicate it. And who’s leveling these accusations? Other atheists, it turns out.
National Review: “Lonely Atheists of the Global Village”
By Michael Novak
Time magazine, ever the vigilant trend spotter, has celebrated a recent wave of books by atheists—among them, these three by Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, and Richard Dawkins. These books have three purposes: to speed up the disappearance of Biblical faith, especially in America; to proselytize for rational atheism; and to boost morale among atheists, in part by calling attention to support groups for them. Their overriding purpose is the first one: in the words of Harris, “to demolish the intellectual and moral pretensions of Christianity.”
By David Aikman
In the tradition of Voltaire, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Bertrand Russell, Sam Harris, a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University, has been battering at the walls of religious faith, especially Christianity and Islam.
By Robin Marantz Heing
Lost in the hullabaloo over the neo-atheists is a quieter and potentially more illuminating debate. It is taking place not between science and religion but within science itself, specifically among the scientists studying the evolution of religion. These scholars tend to agree on one point: that religious belief is an outgrowth of brain architecture that evolved during early human history. What they disagree about is why a tendency to believe evolved, whether it was because belief itself was adaptive or because it was just an evolutionary byproduct, a mere consequence of some other adaptation in the evolution of the human brain.
Books on Atheism Are Raising Hackles in Unlikely Places
Yes, it is true that “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins has been on The New York Times best-seller list for 22 weeks and that “Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris can be found in virtually every airport bookstore, even in Texas.
The times they are a-changing for US fundamentalists
By Will Hutton
For a book which ridicules religion and ruthlessly exposes the inadequacies of the Bible to become a bestseller is a classic Schlesinger-style signal that times are a-changing.
Foreward to the UK Edition of Letter to a Christian Nation
By Richard Dawkins
I dare you to read this book…it will not leave you unchanged. Read it if it is the last thing you do.
Without God, Gall Is Permitted
By Sam Schulman
...The atheists say that they are addressing believers. Rationalists all, can they believe that believers would be swayed by such contumely and condescension? They seem instead to be preaching to people exactly like themselves—a remarkably incurious elite.
Atheists challenge the religious right
By Jane Lampman
For some time, the religious right has decried “secular humanism,” a philosophy that rejects the supernatural or spiritual as a basis for moral decisionmaking. But now, nonbelievers are vigorously fighting back.
Letter From America: Atheists throw down the gauntlet
By Richard Bernstein
Here on the first days of the year of our lord 2007 it seems awkward to talk about a Godless world, but the fact is that in the waning months of 2006, a kind of militant atheism was making itself felt across the land. There were two best-selling books declaring belief in God to be a kind of mass delusion, and a harmful mass delusion at that, occasioning a vigorous and often angry response from many people who believe the repeated announcement of the death of God to be wrong, spiritually deaf and dangerous.
Facing the Islamist Menace
By Christopher Hitchens
The most alarming sentences that I have read in a long time came from the pen of my fellow atheist Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, at the end of a September Los Angeles Times column upbraiding American liberals for their masochistic attitude toward Islamist totalitarianism.
The Grinch Delusion: An Atheist Can Believe in Christmas
By Randy Kennedy
IF last holiday season charitably could have been described as the war-on-Christmas Christmas — with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News declaring war on the warriors and others declaring war on him — maybe it’s not such a stretch to think of this year’s prevalent yuletide theme as the war-on-Christ Christmas.