For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 16 Jun 2013
Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, wrote an extraordinary article in The Spectator yesterday, arguing that the so-called new atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, falsely believe that atheism will save the human race.
They place their faith in science, but cannot explain morality. When asked, the new atheists “tend to argue that ethics is obvious, which it isn’t, or natural, which it manifestly isn’t either, and end up vaguely hinting that this isn’t their problem.”
Rabbi Sacks says a society built on materialism, individualism and moral relativism “maximizes personal freedom but at a cost.”
He points to lack of trust in leaders, the collapse of marriage, high rates of depressive illness and stress, and a growing sense that there are few people we could rely on in a crisis.
In the words of historian Will Durant, ‘There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.