Onkar Ghate on Religion in America

If you missed it when it went up on YouTube, be sure to catch Steve Simpson’s interview with ARI senior fellow Onkar Ghate on religion in America.

Onkar gave a series of talks on the subject across the country recently. This interview, which is in two parts, delves more deeply than the talks into the role religion has played in American politics and its impact on views about capitalism, the parallels between religion and collectivist ideologies, and the new atheist movement in America today.

As the world grapples with the Paris attacks, there’s no better time to understand religion and its role in our culture.

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Religion in America

Does support for capitalism require belief in Christianity? Dr. Ghate explains why the contrary is true — until capitalism is severed from religion, he argues, a true moral defense of capitalism is impossible and unconvincing. Topics covered include:

  • The authoritarian mentality of the secular left
  • The left as the secularization of religion
  • The wider meaning of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

The New Atheists

In this part of the interview, Dr. Ghate discusses the “new atheists” — men like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, who have lodged important, new criticisms of religion in the wake of the attacks on 9/11. Topics covered include:

  • The connection between faith and force
  • The nihilistic streak of the “new atheists”
  • The need for a rational alternative to religion

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