Still, from to time, I worried that perhaps I was missing something, that there was some brilliant intellectual understanding on the part of Dawkins and his fellow atheists that I simply could not comprehend. I was therefore relieved and delighted to run across a piece by David Bentley Hart at First Things. Writing in response to an “[ostensible] survey of recently published books on (vaguely speaking) theism and atheism,” authored by Adam Gopnik and published in the New Yorker, Hart believes that:
Simply said, we have reached a moment in Western history when, despite all appearances, no meaningful public debate over belief and unbelief is possible. Not only do convinced secularists no longer understand what the issue is; they are incapable of even suspecting that they do not understand, or of caring whether they do. The logical and imaginative grammars of belief, which still informed the thinking of earlier generations of atheists and skeptics, are no longer there. In their place, there is now—where questions of the divine, the supernatural, or the religious are concerned—only a kind of habitual intellectual listlessness.
“[T]hey are incapable of even suspecting that they do not understand, or of caring whether they do.” To me, that sums up modern atheists perfectly.
Principled unbelief was once a philosophical passion and moral adventure, with which it was worthwhile to contend. Now, perhaps, it is only so much bad intellectual journalism, which is to say, gossip, fashion, theatrics, trifling prejudice.
Do read the whole thing. It is delightfully acidic and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.
(Via The Gormogons)