Is the renewed influence of religion in public life a threat to reason and science? That's the conviction of some nonbelievers aggressively advocating Atheism. We hear the latest version of an ancient argument in the US, where Atheists have less credibility than anyone else. Plus, Mexico swears in its new President amidst a slug-fest, and a conversation about Hugo Chavez. Dictator out of control or secular saint?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Three hundred years after the Age of Enlightenment began some nonbelievers are worried that reason is losing out to religion. Their concern has provoked what's called a New Atheism movement. Proponents, who see the growing influence of religion in public life as an attack on reason and science, are fighting back with an intellectual movement that has produced several best-selling books. At the same time, surveys show that Atheists are America's least trusted people, and critics accuse them of being fundamentalists in their own right. Does religion foster ignorance and lead to violence and war? Can human society survive without it?
Richard Dawkins, Professor of the Science of Public Understanding at Oxford
Francisco Ayala, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at UC Irvine
Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches
Penny Edgell, Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology at the University of Minnesota
A new president was sworn into office today in Mexico, after much uncertainty after a disputed election. On Sunday, President Hugo Chavez is running for re-election in Venezuela. Reviled in the United States, but in his own country Chavez arouses passion in supporters as well as opponents. What are the chances of the man who called President Bush "the devil" in a speech to the United Nation?
Guy Taylor, International Editor for World Politics Watch
Felipe Calderón took the oath of office as President of Mexico today amid jeers and whistles from opposing factions in Congress. For three days, his elected friends and enemies have assaulted one another with soft-drink cans, pizza boxes--and punches--in the Congressional chamber.
Hector Tobar, author and journalist
More From To the Point
What being American meant to Martin Luther King This was the week the nation observed the birthday and celebrated the achievements of Martin Luther King. But, despite what he accomplished, King himself felt unfulfilled up to the time he was murdered. His goals had not been yet been met as told by David Garrow, King’s Pulitzer Prize winning biographer. Garrow’s anecdotes and insights include what was likely King’s greatest disappointment.
Are millennials embracing democratic socialism? Millennials helped Democrats to a major upset in Alabama’s Senate race. Will their growing preference for socialism be a threat to party unity in this year’s Congressional elections? Idealists and realists disagree. Added Attraction: Robin Wright on the background and the future of instability in Iran.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
5 LA women on a year of political action after the 2017 Women’s March It’s been a year since millions of Americans took to the streets during the Women’s March of 2017. The streets were filled with ‘pussy hats and signs advocating for women’s… Read More