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Characters in search of their Author Print E-mail
By Ralph McInerny   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Cartesian turn led eventually, perhaps inevitably, to the present fashionable nihilism. That nihilism is reminiscent of nothing so much as the sophistry fought by Plato and Aristotle. Whether or not contemporary atheists accept consistency – Kolakowski thinks they do – it is by reflection on the basis of consistency, the principle of contradiction, that one regains a correct understanding of the relation between words and thought and things in themselves. Once that has been reestablished, natural theology becomes a possibility. A disagreement between the theist and the atheist is possible, since one of them is right and the other is wrong. Atheists have as much stake in opposing the regnant relativism and nihilism as do theists.
 

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