DQ: Who won the discussion panel?
Of course, we all really know the only source of real knowledge is the body of work that is the Platonic William.
"The boom in nonreligious A.A. represents another manifestation of a more visible and confident humanist movement in the United States, one that has featured public figures such as Bill Maher, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Yet this recent trend within A.A. also marks a departure from the organization’s traditional emphasis on religion.Alcoholics Anonymous, Without the Religion - NYTimes.com
“A.A. starts at its core with honesty,” said Dorothy, 39, who heads the steering committee for the We Agnostics and Freethinkers International A.A. Convention. “And how can you be honest in recovery if you’re not honest in your own beliefs? If you don’t believe in the God they’re praying to, that’s not honest practice...”
"I don't believe in God," he said looking up from the menu. Was he challenging me because he knows I'm a Christian minister, I wondered?
Peter was the husband of a close friend, who had kindly done me a favor. To show my appreciation I was taking him to lunch. Was he intentionally being aggressive? I didn't want to argue. I smiled. "Well, I'm not in the business of conversion," I said, "but for the record, I probably don't believe in the same God you don't believe in," I was hoping to avert hostility and maybe open a dialogue about our understanding of the divine, since he brought it up. He wasn't having it.
"No," he said leaning forward, "I mean I don't believe in any God!" His words pierced the atmosphere. I conciliated. "I'm not attached to the word. 'God' is just a placeholder for the ineffable, call it what you will," I said, trying to find common ground.
"I don't believe in any of that!" He was becoming openly belligerent. I wasn't sure how to proceed. His wife also called herself an atheist, but we'd had a great discussion about theology as well as sex, love, and our life stories on a bus trip all the way from Budapest to Prague. Before I could respond he threw down the gauntlet, "I'm a scientist. I believe in science."
"Unfortunately, your review of my book doesn’t offer many reasons for optimism. It is a strange document—avuncular in places, but more generally sneering. I think it fair to say that one could watch an entire season of Downton Abbey on Ritalin and not detect a finer note of condescension than you manage for twenty pages running."And so begins one of the most epic intellectual thrashings you'll ever see.