Fish on Eagleton on Religion

Stanley Fish reviews Terry Eagleton‘s Reason, Faith and Revolution in The New York Times and approvingly quotes him contra the excesses of Christopher Hitchens: [T]he fact that religion and theology cannot provide a technology for explaining how the material world works should not be held against them, either, for that is not what they do. When Christopher Hitchens declares thatContinue reading “Fish on Eagleton on Religion”

If Not a Perfect God, Then a Imperfect God Maybe? Contd.

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post responding to Yoram Hazony’s article at the Stone. In response, Corey Robin sent me the following comments by email: I was thinking about yours and Norman Geras’s post about Yoram Hazony.  I don’t think there’s any question that you’re both right about what the implications ofContinue reading “If Not a Perfect God, Then a Imperfect God Maybe? Contd.”

Why Would An ‘Imperfect’ God Be of Interest?

I find Yoram Hazony’s post at the Stone today genuinely perplexing (and a little pointless). Hazony suggests the notion of a ‘perfect God’ is problematic, that indeed, it is the insistence on such a conception of God, apparently nowhere to be found in the Bible, that is the source of much philosophical head-scratching, disputation betweenContinue reading “Why Would An ‘Imperfect’ God Be of Interest?”

Birthdays, Coincidences, and Divination

I was born on the 156th anniversary of Percy Bysshe Shelley‘s expulsion–on grounds of atheism–from Oxford. (Thomas Jefferson Hogg, his collaborator on The Necessity of Atheism, was expelled with him; the two were accused of ‘contumacy in refusing certain answers put to them’ by the master and fellows of University College.) My birthday is also, remarkably enough:Continue reading “Birthdays, Coincidences, and Divination”

Ross Douthat, Sophistry, and Getting Philip Larkin Wrong

Folks familiar with Ross Douthat’s writing over at the New York Times should be well clued-on to his style, which produces bits of meandering sophistry that include a sentence or two toward the end giving away the game. In those sentences, Douthat reveals the tension of maintaining the appearance of a sophisticated intellectual conservative isContinue reading “Ross Douthat, Sophistry, and Getting Philip Larkin Wrong”