How did an Afro-pessimist who doesn't believe in hope become the darling of white liberals?
It's 2016 and the problem of evil is still unsolved. It's found a megaphone in Stephen Fry, who offers more rhetorical power than originality.
A 2006 study in American Sociological Review shows that, while both divisions among American Christians and negative perceptions between people of different faiths are eroding, there is still one group that Americans don’t trust: those who choose to remain outside of communities of belief. Further research shows that atheists are perceived about as favorably as Muslims. Not believing in God constitutes a social mōs on par with one of the most maligned religious groups in the current American zeitgeist. (At least one op-ed has called for a political alliance between Muslims and atheists on the grounds that much of the current vitriol in American politics is aimed at these two groups.) The most fascinating question here falls outside of quantitative analysis: what does an atheist look like?
Yet, his “pessimism” lies in thinking change is unlikely, not that change is impossible. When discussing police brutality and criminal justice, he reminds his readers that “democratic will” has sanctioned and allowed the abuses that flow from these practices.
Peter Watson sketches in the lives and thoughts of an array of scientists, artists, and philosophers who offer ways to cope with the death of God.
Alain de Botton is offiicially enthusiastic, but his book is wistful. Atheists who pick it up may find themselves undergoing a crisis of faithlessness.
Christopher Hitchens was an unrelenting unbeliever to the end. But Ross Douthat claims that everything about Hitchens points to an embrace of life and a refusal to give in to despair.