Readers may recall Moshe Averick, the maverick rabbi that Jerry “Why Evolution Is True” Coyne won’t have lunch with . Recently, reflecting on recent political conflicts, he had this to say in “The Mirage of ‘Scientific’ Atheism”(Algemeiner Daily , July 16, 2012):
The particulars of these stories or the principles of constitutional law that are involved in the legal challenges are beside the point. What is clear is that we are surrounded on all sides by a profound ideological conflict; in our courtrooms, in our classrooms, and among leading intellectuals. At stake are the hearts and minds of the American people and with them the soul of our nation. There is an enormous spiritual gulf between a nation that views human life as reflecting a transcendent, sacred reality, that cherishes the concept that all men are created equal and have been endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights and one that believes that homo sapiens are essentially highly developed bacteria or chimpanzees that evolved through an unguided, purposeless process. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground here.
The whole is well worth your time.
One thing the News desk here has noticed is a relationship between the growth of anti-civil liberties politics and new atheist secularism. Such a relationship would make no obvious sense except that the Darwinism that underlies most new atheism holds that ethics is an illusion and there is no free will. In that atmosphere, authoritarianism becomes much more tempting for government. It feels wrong not to force the highly developed bacteria in the “right” direction. And to punish those who turn and say: Get lost, creepy bureaucrat, don’t you gotta life somewhere?