Are we ready for an irreligious future?

May 18, 2018 by

by Douglas Murray, UnHerd:

My late friend Christopher Hitchens used to have plenty of effective arguments in his armoury when debating about God. Among his best was to point out to his opponents that even if they managed to prove to him that a divine creative being existed they still had “all their work ahead of them” to demonstrate that Moses received his commandments on Mount Sinai, Jesus was born of a virgin or that a seventh-century tradesman received any visits from an archangel.

In recent years, as the ‘new atheism’ wave of the 2000s has begun to relax into something else, I have occasionally wondered about adding an addendum – almost a rejoinder – to Hitchen’s intellectual battering ram. Which is to point out what a growing number even of new atheists are becoming willing to admit.

There has been a presumption among some atheists in recent years that a rise in secularism or atheism did not necessarily mean that there would be any meaningful change in the morals or ethics held in the societies that were losing faith. They could accept that certain vices might go, but rarely consider that any meaningful virtues would be lost.

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Read also: There’s more to atheism than the dim-witted Dawkins brigade by Giles Fraser


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