Media Interviews and Appearances: Print
Heaven and Nature
By Ross Douthat
Richard Dawkins has called pantheism “a sexed-up atheism.” (He means that as a compliment.) Sam Harris concluded his polemic “The End of Faith” by rhapsodizing about the mystical experiences available from immersion in “the roiling mystery of the world.”
Atheists need a different voice
By Stephen Prothero
We all know the names (Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens) of those angry white men who tend to antagonize the world’s believers. But the most persuasive voices for the ‘new New Atheism’ tend to be women.
The Anti-God Squad
BY Robert Wright
Why even some of the most zealous non-believers may abandon the crusade against religion.
The Religious Wars
By Nicholas D. Kristof
Just a few years ago, it seemed curious that an omniscient, omnipotent God wouldn’t smite tormentors like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. They all published best-selling books excoriating religion and practically inviting lightning bolts.
Since the dawn of time
By Dan Jones
Two hundred years after Darwin’s birth, scientists still can’t agree on whether evolution and religion can happily coexist
Two White Guys Walk Into a Bar …
By Lisa Miller
For five years, since the publication of Sam Harris’s The End of Faith, the so-called faith-versus-reason debate has been a favorite pastime of certain secularists and intellectuals, the subject of innumerable books and lecture series…
Think Again: God
By Karen Armstrong
So-called new atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens have denounced religious belief as not only retrograde but evil; they regard themselves as the vanguard of a campaign to expunge it from human consciousness.
Atheist clubs are springing up in American high schools, warns head of US Catholic bishops
By Damian Thompson
A “triumphalistic, self-righteous atheism” inspired by the work of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris is winning a following among American young people, leading to “atheist clubs” in high schools, according to Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.
By Lisa Miller
New study of the brain shows that facts and beliefs are processed in exactly the same way.
Religion: The heart believes what it will, but the brain behaves the same either way
By Melissa Healy
Religious believers may seem to share little with nonbelievers when it comes to thinking and judgment. But a new study by UCLA researchers finds that both Christians and nonbelievers use the same parts of the brain when asked to label articles of religious faith as true or false. A report summarizing the study is published today in PLoS ONE.
Out, Out, Damned Atheists
By Lisa Miller
The Case for God, which comes out this month, is Armstrong’s 19th book, and it rides the crest of a wave of books meant to dismantle the arguments of the atheists Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins.
The Myth Of A Moderate Malaysia
By Sadanand Dhume
In America, the so-called new atheists—most prominently Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins—don’t need to think twice about ridiculing religious beliefs or savaging the most powerful priest or pastor. But in Malaysia, as elsewhere, secular liberals tend to tip-toe around Muslim religious sensibilities.
God in the Quad
By James Wood
In recent years, a resurgent evangelical Christianity has been contested by a resurgent atheism. For Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, among others, the God most worth fighting against seems to be a hybrid of a cheaply understood Old Testament, a prejudicially scanned Koran, and the sentimentalities of contemporary evangelicalism.
Fighting for Francis: Faith, reason, and the NIH nominee.
By Lisa Miller
In opinion pieces, scientists Sam Harris and Steven Pinker express strong reservations about the ascension of Collins to this office.
All quiet on the God front
By Simon Blackburn
Simon Blackburn discusses the argument that religious experience can’t be discussed
God and Science Don’t Mix
By Lawrence M. Krauss
My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.
Let’s Talk About God
By Lisa Miller
The atheist writers Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have presented us with a choice: either you don’t believe in God or you’re a dope.
How much reason do you want?
By Philip Ball
The ‘war’ between science and religion is stuck in a rut. Can we change the record now, asks Philip Ball?
Atheists: No God, no reason, just whining
By Charlotte Allen
Superstar atheists are motivated by anger—and boohoo victimhood.
[Harris’ Note: This is, without a doubt, one of the most embarrassingly stupid attacks on the “new atheists” to be published in a major newspaper.]
Light at the end of religion’s dark tunnel
By Andrew Sullivan
Faith is growing ever more extreme but a new book on the evolution of God gives Andrew Sullivan hope
Church-Shopping: Why Do Americans Change Faiths?
By Amy Sullivan
Forty-three years ago, this magazine published a stark cover with the words “IS GOD DEAD?” stamped in red against an inky black background. The accompanying article predicted that secularization, science and urbanization would eliminate the need for religious belief and institutions before long. In modern society, only the weak and uneducated would persist in their faith. Yet rumors of religion’s demise turned out to be premature. Over the last few years, neo-atheists like Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens have taken up the cry again, encouraged by studies showing that the percentage of Americans who report no religious affiliation has more than doubled since 1990. But as a new report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows, it is a mistake to conclude that more Americans are rejecting religion. Leaving church, it turns out, doesn’t mean losing faith.
Only Words: Liberalism, Past and Future
By George Scialabba
William F. Buckley Jr., if I recall correctly, once declared wearily that he was determined not to read another book vindicating liberalism or reflecting on its prospects until his grandmother wrote one. Old Billzebub may have been right, for once: liberals do seem peculiarly given to anxious self-examination and self-justification. Still, an uneasy conscience is better than no conscience, which has been the general rule among conservatives since 1980 at least. So let us attend, even if a little wearily, while Alan Wolfe and Jedediah Purdy examine contemporary liberalism’s entrails and peer into its future.
The End of Philosophy
By David Brooks
...It challenges 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.
The Editor’s Desk
By Jon Meacham
Reports of the death of the religious right or about the high hopes of the religious left are familiar, but something deeper and more fundamental (so to speak) than a tactical repositioning is going on at the moment. Christianity is not depleted or dying; it remains a vibrant force in the lives of billions. Only a fool or an ideologue would say otherwise. There is, however, a sense among believers and nonbelievers that America is less Christian than it has been, and may even be moving into a post-Christian phase.
Honest to Jesus
By Jennifer Schessler
A few weeks ahead of the Easter bunny, Bart Ehrman is back on the hardcover nonfiction list with “Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them),” which enters at No. 8. Back in 2006, Ehrman, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, had a surprise hit with “Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible (and Why),” which spent nine weeks on the list. Ehrman — who grew up casually Episcopalian, became a fundamentalist in high school, had his faith eroded by decades of studying the Bible’s textual history and now calls himself a “happy agnostic” — seems to be riding the same anti-religion wave that has swept Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens onto the best-seller list and late-night talk shows. But he says that while they share some readers, he tries to distance himself from the so-called new atheists.
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Science and faith: the conflict
By Richard Gray
Brain-scanning experiments carried out by scientists last week revealed that religious faith is embedded deep within key parts of the brain. This suggests that belief in a higher power evolved at some early point in human history.
The New Atheism, and Something More
By Peter Steinfels
If the label “new atheists” has been accorded to a fistful of polemicists who set out to counter in-your-face religion with in-your-face atheism, then Ronald Aronson must qualify as something different: a new new atheist perhaps.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury: atheists use 9/11 as excuse to attack all religions
By Martin Beckford
Atheists have used the terrorist outrages of September 11 as an excuse to attack all religions, according to the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
Last Updated: 3:02PM GMT 12 Jan 2009
For Atheists, Politics Proves to Be a Lonely Endeavor
By Samule G. Freedman
From the time last spring that Jeanette Norman first heard of Amendment 48 in Colorado, she simmered with the desire to do something about it.
Conservative Christians and their allies had collected more than 100,000 signatures to put the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot. If enacted, it would define human life as beginning at the moment of conception, essentially turning abortion into murder without the need of overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade.
A Problem of Persuasion
By Damon Linker
If Bill Maher and his fellow “new atheists” want to be effective, they need to stop preaching to the choir.
Asking the right God question
By Gregory Rodriguez
The debate between faith and atheism leaves too little room for figuring out why humans believe.
Blinded by a divine light
By Harry Kroto
Creationists such as the Rev Reiss don’t have the intellectual integrity to teach science
What’s Your Blick? God or Science?
by Jacques Berlinerblau
A Catholic philosopher attempts a dialogue with the New Atheists.
Sad Brain, Happy Brain
Michael Craig Miller, M.D.
What cognitive neuroscience is uncovering about the fascinating biology behind our most complex feelings. As it turns out, love really is blind.
By Steven Weinberg
In his celebrated 1837 Phi Beta Kappa Oration at Harvard, titled “The American Scholar,” Ralph Waldo Emerson predicted that a day would come when America would end what he called “our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands.” His prediction came true in the twentieth century, and in no area of learning more so than in science. This surely would have pleased Emerson. When he listed his heroes he would generally include Copernicus and Galileo and Newton along with Socrates and Jesus and Swedenborg. But I think that Emerson would have had mixed feelings about one consequence of the advance of science here and abroad—that it has led to a widespread weakening of religious belief.
McCain comes out punching
The Republican used the first presidential forum to try out his debate tactics against Obama: hit hard and fast
By David Skeel
Recently a friend assured me that a book by a well-known evangelical Christian was the new “Mere Christianity.” For an evangelical this possibly cryptic statement needs no explanation. As evangelicals, we are called to evangelize—to share the good news about Jesus Christ. Most of us also are surrounded by friends and co-workers who may be curious about our beliefs. And for over 55 years, Christians have turned to C.S. Lewis’s little book “Mere Christianity” for both of these reasons.
Holiday in Hellmouth
by James Wood
God may be dead, but the question of why he permits suffering lives on.
By Pico Iyer
It is not answers that pull many people into the religious life, it is questions. The person who lives deeply and enduringly with, and within, a religion often finds that he is surrounded by ever more doubts as he goes on, not convictions. In an eloquent monk like Thomas Merton, the religious impulse is almost always fired by a kind of holy restlessness, as if each time the traveler ascends a peak, he sees nothing but the larger peaks that now confront him. “Our knowledge,” as Isaac Bashevis Singer put it, “is a little island in a great ocean of non-knowledge.” Religion is in that regard like that other affair of the spirit and the heart, marriage. I may know my partner inside out, her habits and her gestures, and yet the more I see of her, the more I have to acknowledge how much will always lie beyond my reckoning—and in that very space of unknowing, my hunger for a continuing relationship may be quickened.
Too Much Faith in Faith
By Alan Jacobs
If there is one agreed-upon point in the current war of words about religion, it is that religion is a very powerful force. Perhaps you believe, with that vigorous atheist Christopher Hitchens, that “religion poisons everything”; or, with the Christian historian and sociologist Rodney Stark, that religion created modern science and ended slavery. Or, like a significant majority of the British public recently polled by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, that religion is a “social evil,” a “cause of conflict and confusion.” But in any case you’re likely to think that, for good or ill, the sheer impact of religion is enormous.
Don’t write off religion just yet
By John Gray
A glance at the longer sweep of history shows this Enlightenment view to be misguided. Doubt has been an integral part of religion at least since the Book of Job, while science has often gone with credulity. The doctrines of dialectical materialism and “scientific racism” promoted by communists and Nazis, respectively, during the 20th century were as irrational as anything in the history of religion. Yet in the 20th century, millions of people embraced these pernicious ideologies as scientific truth.
Perceiving 2 Fallacies, a Secularist Faults His Fellows
By Peter Steinfels
Austin Dacey is a philosopher by training and an active secularist not only by conviction but by profession as well: He is a representative at the United Nations for the secularist Center for Inquiry.
If God Is Dead, Who Gets His House?
By Sean McManus
The fastest-growing faith in America is no faith at all. And now some atheists think they need a church.
For those touched most by 9/11, a turning point in faith
By Rick Hampson
NEW YORK — The pope’s pilgrimage to the site of the World Trade Center revives a question asked by many of those traumatized by the terrorist attacks, including the faithful, the faithless and those in between: Where was God on Sept. 11, 2001?
Novelist’s Crash Course on Terror
By Michiko Kakutani
In one of these chuckleheaded essays about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Martin Amis complains about the use of the shorthand 9/11: “My principal objection to the numbers is that they are numbers,” he writes in “The Second Plane.” “The solecism, that is to say, is not grammatical but moral-aesthetic — an offense against decorum; and decorum means ‘seemliness,’ which comes from soemr, ‘fitting,’ and soema, ‘to honor.’ 9/11, 7/7: who or what decided that particular acts of slaughter, particular whirlwinds of plasma and body parts, in which a random sample of the innocent is killed, maimed, or otherwise crippled in body and mind, deserve a numerical shorthand? Whom does this ‘honor’? What makes this ‘fitting’?”
Finding the Voices of Moderate Islam
John McCain recently reminded Americans that the great strategic challenge facing the West—and, indeed, the civilized world—is extremist Islam. And more important than any martial aspect of that threat, he said, is the ideological struggle between moderate and extremist understandings of Islam.
Adam’s Maxim and Spinoza’s Conjecture
By Michael Shermer
Belief, disbelief and uncertainty generate different neural pathways in the brain
The atheist delusion
By John Gray
‘Opposition to religion occupies the high ground, intellectually and morally,’ wrote Martin Amis recently. Over the past few years, leading writers and thinkers have published bestselling tracts against God. John Gray on why the ‘secular fundamentalists’ have got it all wrong
Why I Write These Columns
By Stanley Fish
Every once in a while I feel that it might be helpful to readers if I explained what it is I am trying to do in these columns. It is easier to state the negative: For the most part, it is not my purpose in this space to urge positions, or come down on one side or the other of a controversial question. Of course, I do those things occasionally and sometimes inadvertently, but more often than not I am analyzing arguments rather than making them; or, to be more precise, I am making arguments about arguments, especially ones I find incoherent or insufficiently examined.
Amis and Islam
By Rachel Donadio
“I’m a passionate multiracialist and a very poor multiculturalist,” Martin Amis said a few weeks ago. He was on the phone from London, praising his hometown’s ethnic variety — “It’s exhilarating and moving to live in a city with so many races and so many colors” — and denouncing its fissures, particularly over radical Islam. “I don’t think that we can accommodate cultures and ideologies that make life very difficult for half the human race: women.” Amis was explaining his stance in a gloves-off row that’s been raging in the British press since last fall, when the literary theorist Terry Eagleton likened some of Amis’s statements on Muslims to “the ramblings of a British National Party thug.”