Friday, November 30, 2007

Less Charming Oddities

It is one of the less charming oddities of our times that, in many circles, atheism, or at least a declared agnosticism, is assumed to be the default position of disinterested ethical discourse.

--Richard John Neuhaus
First Things, Dec. 2007


thekid said...

Agreed. Particularly where Western culture is found. It is one of the refreshing things about Malaysia that the default position involves some form of deity allowing for much richer conversation. What was the whole article about in which this quote was taken from? I find the writings from First Things to be of high quality.

Advent greetings, I hope this finds you well.

Gordon Hackman said...

Yes Kid. I think the writings found in First Things are of a consistently and uniformly high quality. They're the kind of writings that, even if you disagree with them, there can be reasoned and civil discussion about the disagreement, which can't be said for so much talk in today's world from both Christians and non-Christians.

The article it was taken from was part of Father Neuhaus's monthly column The Public Square, which features his reflections and comments on various items and issues in our culture. This comment was part of short subsection entitled "Science vs. Religion: Part 3,463,511 (EST.)" The subsection dealt with the review of a book by Princeton molecular biologist Lee Silver called "Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontier," in which Prof. Silver basically advocates something like the position Father Neuhaus's quote refers to. He (Prof. Silver) refers to those of a spiritual persuasion who offer reasoned arguments for their opposition to things like stem-cell research, cloning, etc, as "stealth extremists." So much for open discussion by reasonable people of good faith.

jraescott said...


I don't know if the colors come through the same on others' computers, but on my screen the new dark blue font on dark grey background is not easy to read. I like the new look. cheers, Jess

Gordon Hackman said...


Thanks for letting me know. Is it any better now? I tried lightening the grey.


thekid said...

Hey, I think it is better now. I too like the new look. Hope this means you'll be sharing some more thoughts in the future. I have sort of let my blog go the way of the dinosaur...