After throwing off the gloves in a recent essay for The American
Conservative, the unrepentantly godless right-winger Heather Mac Donald has brought the
good fight to those cloistered defenders of traditional piety at The
Corner. True to his increasingly invaluable evol-con creds, gene-geek extraordinaire Razib serves up a useful blow-by-blow, but
without minimizing any nuanced digressions in the thread, I think Mac Donald’s
perspective is well summarized with a couple of finely tuned
When Republican pundits and politicians link conservatism with faith in a Christian or Jewish God, they are gratuitously limiting its appeal. I
have heard it said repeatedly over the last six years that what makes
Republicans superior to Democrats is their religious faith. I
would counter that what makes Republican principles superior to
Democratic principles is that they are based on a more accurate
assessment of human nature.
don’t have to believe in a god to see yourself in the other. The golden
rule is based on empathy and self-interest, not on divine revelation.
Will it break down? Of course. It is no guarantee against injustice,
mass killings, and torture, but neither is Christianity.
The bankruptcy of god-derived moral posturing being obvious to me, I see no reason to dwell in this particular fray. But schisms among intellectual conservatives always make for good fun. And at present the philosophical infighting seems to be verging on some kind of critical mass. Set aside the warmed-over disputation over God and State and the whole Darwin versus ID thing, and you still have the spectacle of pro-war hawks mixing it up with old right isolationists, or libertarians mixing it up with Kirkian traditionalists. And of course the brawl between nativists (or "citizenists") and the open-borders gang shows no sign of abating.
I could go on, but that’s not the point. The point is that in the absence of a universal enemy, Goldwater’s big tent is collapsing before our eyes. My advice is, enjoy the show and think for yourself.