Saturday, June 23, 2007

Some Light Reading

The always interesting TCSDaily has two recent essays I recommend.

The first is The Cultural Illiteracy of the Easy Atheists. In it Mary Grabar posits that the irritatingly simplistic arguments of popular atheist writers such as Christopher Hitchens is a result of the irritatingly simplistic arguments put forward by poorly educated "Christians" and their anti-intellectual sentiments.

I am sad to say that if you go into a Christian bookstore you will not see Dostoyevsky on the shelf. Instead, you'll find pastel-covered saccharine tomes, the pious stories of easy Christianity that the devout Catholic Flannery O'Connor disparaged.

Of course, easy Christianity is vulnerable to easy atheism, which is what is offered in Hitchens' tome. It's a shame the great works of Christian literature are not to be found on the shelves of Christian bookstores. It's a bigger shame that they haven't done any good on Christopher Hitchens' bookshelf either.
It is enough to make one long for the sharp, well reasoned atheism of Bertrand Russel.

The other interesting read is by Joshua Spivak, about Third Party Candidates and why the can never win.
While this election may be different from its predecessors, we can be sure that it will not be because of a third party victor. There is the same infinitesimal chance for a successful third party run as there has been for nearly 100 years. And every smart politician knows this.
. . .
The last third party candidate to even garner an Electoral College vote was Southern protest candidate George Wallace in 1968. And you have to go back to 1912 for the only time a third party candidate ever came in as high as second in a race, when former President Teddy Roosevelt, who bolted from the Republicans ran under the banner of the Progressive Party, received 88 electoral votes, and 27% of the popular vote to beat out Republican William Howard Taft. Of course, Roosevelt finished a distant second in the race to Woodrow Wilson.

He also points out that the rage liberals feel toward Nader to this day is proof that Third Party Candidates can have an impact.


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