On this edition of Parallax Views, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously declared “God is Dead”. In doing so Nietzsche not necessarily celebrating the triumph of atheism, but rather raising the question of what comes next for society once religion is replaced by secularism. How do we make sense of things and find meaning in a secular world? In his new book The Universe Is On Our Side: Restoring Faith in American Public Life, Bruce Ledewitz, Professor of Law at Duquesne University Law School, attempts to tackle that question. He joins us on the first segment of the show to discuss the decline in trust of public institutions; the process theology of Alfred North Whitehead (and process theology popularizer Dr. David Ray Griffin); Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan’s question “Is the universe on our side?”; the British philosopher John Gray and the idea that “no, the universe is not on our side”, postmodernism; science as a social activity; the secularism of American Christianity; New Atheism and the failings of it; Nietzsche and the death of God as a catastrophe (even if it is true); the incompatibility of a wonder-working God in a secular world; making clear that Bruce’s book is not an attack on those who have religious faith; the post-truth age; a lack of belief in the future; Martin Luther King’s “the arc of the universe bends towards justice” quote; the Enlightenment and the mechanistic, materialistic worldview; David Hume and the idea that we can only gain knowledge through the senses; Carl Sagan and the Pale Blue Dot; and much, much more!
In the second segment of the show, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft’s Ben Freeman & Nick Cleveland-Stout join us to discuss their recent piece at The Intercept entitled “Until Ukraine, Russia Lobbyists Successfully Blunted Sanctions After Foreign Adventurism”. We also discuss their upcoming report on Ukraine lobbying in Washington, D.C., the Foreign Agent Registration Act, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the public relations firm known as Ketchum, the need for transparency when it comes to foreign lobbying efforts, and much, much more!