[asa] Ditchkins

From: Dave Wallace <wmdavid.wallace@gmail.com>
Date: Mon May 04 2009 - 08:03:58 EDT

I thought this was interesting. The name for Hitchens and Richard
Dawkins is clever but not likely to improve relations.

Dave W

> God Talk
> In the opening sentence of the last chapter of his new book, “Reason,
> Faith and Revolution,”
> <http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300151794> the
> British critic Terry Eagleton asks, “Why are the most unlikely people,
> including myself, suddenly talking about God?” His answer, elaborated
> in prose that is alternately witty, scabrous and angry, is that the
> other candidates for guidance — science, reason, liberalism,
> capitalism — just don’t deliver what is ultimately needed. “What other
> symbolic form,” he queries, “has managed to forge such direct links
> between the most universal and absolute of truths and the everyday
> practices of countless millions of men and women?”

> Eagleton punctures the complacency of these questions when he turns
> the tables and applies the label of “superstition” to the idea of
> progress. It is a superstition — an idol or “a belief not logically
> related to a course of events” (American Heritage Dictionary) —
> because it is blind to what is now done in its name: “The language of
> enlightenment has been hijacked in the name of corporate greed, the
> police state, a politically compromised science, and a permanent war
> economy,” all in the service, Eagleton contends, of an empty
> suburbanism that produces ever more things without any care as to
> whether or not the things produced have true value.
> That kind of belief will have little use for a creed that has at its
> center “one who spoke up for love and justice and was done to death
> for his pains.” No wonder “Ditchkins” — Eagleton’s contemptuous
> amalgam of Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, perhaps with a sidelong
> glance at Luke 6:39, “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not
> both fall into the ditch?” — seems incapable of responding to “the
> kind of commitment made manifest by a human being at the end of his
> tether, foundering in darkness, pain, and bewilderment, who
> nevertheless remains faithful to the promise of a transformative love.”

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Received on Mon May 4 08:04:43 2009

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