Chris Hedges is the son of a Presbyterian minister who takes the new Atheists to task (Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins) for engaging in modern day utopianism. For Hedges, their fallacy lies in simply believing in a kind of rationalism or “Science,” and not providing sufficient justification for that belief.
“Science” is leading us foward they claim, technology is making human progress possible. From such a position they write books with hyperbolic titles, claiming that religion is bad and is poisoning everything etc…
For Hedges, they are engaging in precisely what they criticize religion for doing: over-simpifying complex matters within an ideological doctrine. In rallying around their cause, they are engaging in one of the oldest human games…
I’d say Hedges takes a refreshing view on these new atheists. I especially like his individualistic view of all institutions, especially the church (institutions are not capable of the depth of moral sacrifice that individuals make, and so the good they do comes at the cost of the individual…).
One problem I might have with Hedges is in making such arguments as he does, he falls back into the metaphysical thinking of Christian theology (the importance of orginal sin, for example). I would suggest the works of Immanuel Kant as a possible response. Here I am thinking of his title as “Der Alleszammer” or all destroyer.
Kant’s metaphysics pretty much invalidate the arguments for God, though perhaps not an existence of that which lies beyond us.
Thanks for reading.
See Also: Hedges’ interview on KUOW, the local Seattle NPR station. Also, my post “A Brief Defense Of Agnosticism,”
Addition: A brief excerpt of a debate between Hedges and Hitchens.