December 11, 2004


From a letter I submitted to a local newspaper:

Dear Editor,

Re: "Twilight of the godless" (book review)

In reviewing the book The Twilight Of Atheism, the reviewer accepts the book's main thesis without further analysis. The book's author believes that belief in God, or theism, is on the rise. The author and reviewer both take it for granted that this means atheism is in decline.

It is conceivable, though, that theism and atheism are on the rise simultaneously.

According to an opinion piece by Michael McAteer that appeared the same day (U.S. Christians await president's payback), theism in the US today means "opposition to gay and abortion rights, to tolerance of non-Christian beliefs, and to international cooperation." "It means an unfettered right to bear arms, unbridled free enterprise, and military might to settle disputes. There's lots of talk of faith, flag and country, but no talk of poverty, social justice, love of neighbour, peace on earth, and the protection of a fragile planet from further degradation."

If this is what rising theism amounts to, doubtless many believers will be driven to embrace atheism.


superflywebpimp said...

interesting points. who wrote that book?

Al S. E. said...

Thanks, SF. That information is available on bookseller sites. Theism is apparently the latest fashion. The popular British pseudo-philosopher Antony Flew is the latest big name to embrace it, having resurrected the argument from design that Hume and Kant thoroughly disposed of hundreds of years ago.

RahX said...

I don't much like "isms"

Al S. E. said...

I don't think anyone actually likes "isms," or any other set of words for that matter. Words have no independent reality. They are not the end product of the process of understanding. They fall somewhere in the middle part of the process, as they are tools we have developed to help us understand the world around us.

Jesse said...

I think it's a bad definition of theism

Al S. E. said...

I am not sure what definition you are referring to, Colburn. Which definition is not a good definition of "theism"? The word "theism" actually has a fairly simple definition. According to my dictionary, it means "belief in the existence of God." Is this the definition that you disagree with? Why?

erinberry said...

You hit the nail right on the head with this post. Great blog!