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Jonathan Sacks is right: the new atheists have only opened a discussion

13 June 2013

4:33 PM

13 June 2013

4:33 PM

There is a superb piece in the magazine this week by the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, titled ‘Atheism has failed: only religion can defeat the barbarians.’  Whether you agree with his diagnosis or his preferred remedy, it is a characteristically thought-provoking and vital piece.

It is the third piece in the magazine this year to address this theme. In January there was a piece by me, ‘Call off the faith wars: atheists vs Dawkins’.  Then in April came Theo Hobson’s piece ‘Richard Dawkins has lost: meet the new new atheists’

I know there are some non-believers in particular who find this debate uncomfortable or frustrating. But my impression is that there are a far larger number who find it rewarding, having felt for some time that the discussion needs to go beyond the ‘Is it true?’ rut. As the Chief Rabbi shows, the place the ‘new atheists’ have taken the discussion to is not the end of a discussion but really just the beginning.

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