Media Interviews and Appearances: Print

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.

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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.

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Asking the right God question

By Gregory Rodriguez

The debate between faith and atheism leaves too little room for figuring out why humans believe.

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Blinded by a divine light

By Harry Kroto

Creationists such as the Rev Reiss don’t have the intellectual integrity to teach science

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What’s Your Blick? God or Science?

by Jacques Berlinerblau

A Catholic philosopher attempts a dialogue with the New Atheists.

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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.

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Without God

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.

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McCain comes out punching

Jeremy Lott

The Republican used the first presidential forum to try out his debate tactics against Obama: hit hard and fast

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Après Lewis

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.

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Holiday in Hellmouth

by James Wood

God may be dead, but the question of why he permits suffering lives on.

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Holy Restlessness

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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’?”

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Finding the Voices of Moderate Islam

Jay Tolson

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.

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Adam’s Maxim and Spinoza’s Conjecture

By Michael Shermer

Belief, disbelief and uncertainty generate different neural pathways in the brain

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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

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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.

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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.”

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In Defense of God

by Lori Smith

Atheist bestsellers have spurred on protectors of the faith.

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A Neurology of Belief

By Oliver Sacks and Joy Hirsch

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On Religion: A Pragmatist and a Lobbyist on Atheism

By Samuel G. Freedman

As represented in print by best-selling authors like Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, atheism has lately mounted an in-your-face attack not simply on religion’s influence on public policy, but on belief itself.

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