science, religion, atheism and violence

I’ve been given a copy of a new volume of essays, The Future of Atheism.

I’m planning to read it over summer — although, no doubt it will cover a lot of by now fairly familiar ground:

Has science ‘disproved’ God (whatever that means)? Do we need religion to ground morality or does it simply foster intolerance, bigotry and violence? Is there any future for the traditional theistic ‘proofs’ of God’s existence (or something that resembles them)? Might religion itself be explicable scientifically? Etc, etc…

I’ve culled a sample of recent ‘takes’ on some of these issue  from around the web dealing:

  • On The Stone Frans De Waal published this follow-up to his earlier article, in which he argued that (monotheistic) faith provides no basis for morality — although he allows that it may provide compelling after-the-fact rationalisation. Amusingly, he seems genuinely surprised to have stirred up a hornets’ nest.
  • Sarah Coakley serves up a fascinating pair of articles that propose a more constructive way of configuring the relationship between science and faith — HERE and HERE.
  • Michael has apparently put together some material on the ‘myth of religious violence’ — although he hasn’t posted it online yet (it will presumably have a lot to do with this review he posted earlier in the year)
  • For the visual learners among us, you can watch Miroslav Volf offer some preliminary comments about violence in the name of faith (h/t Steve).
  • And while we’re on the topic of violence, Stanley Hauerwas takes to task the Pacifism Is An Unrealistic Luxury Parasitic On Those Who Are Less Squeamish About Violence argument: Part One and Part Two. Provocatively, he concludes the second piece by insisting that the church is the alternative to war — would that it were so!

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