Krauthammer: I don’t believe in God, but I fear him greatly

posted at 6:01 pm on December 23, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via the Daily Caller, you can’t put a clip in front of me of a conservative as prominent as the Hammer embracing atheism and not expect it to be blogged. It’s like AMC airing a very special episode of “The Walking Dead” where Rick (finally!) gets eaten. It’s not that I want to blog it, I have to blog it, as a sort of virtual high-five to the readership. Even though I realize that, on this one, I’m destined to end up like Tom Brady.

First George Will comes out as agnostic, now Krauthammer takes the Einsteinian view of a universe that’s too awesome to be a total accident but also too awesome to be explicable by any human conception of God. All that’s left is for Mark Steyn to declare that God is dead — and he’s gloomy enough to do it, too — before I declare victory.

“There was once a philosopher who said, ‘I don’t believe in God, but I fear him greatly.’ That’s about where I am,” the author of “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics” said. ”I’ve had a fairly difficult and complicated notion of the deity. If I tried to explain it I would simply say — and this is by no means associating myself with the greatness of the man — but I would associate myself with Einstein’s conception of God, which was a recognition and an awe before the mystery of the order and beauty of the universe, which would imply that there is something very mysterious and very awesome — awe-inspiring — about the universe.”

Since you can’t have too much atheism on a slow news day, I’ve been remiss in not blogging the Harris Poll on Americans’ religious beliefs that came out last week. The topline numbers speak for themselves:

athe

For a deeper insight into those numbers, follow the link and skip down to Table 4. Ten years ago, 50 percent of the public said they believed that God exists and that he observes what happens on Earth but doesn’t control things. Just 15 percent said they didn’t believe in God. Ten years later, those numbers are 37 percent and 25 percent, respectively. That jibes with other polls I’ve seen showing movement from the deist and agnostic camps over time into the atheist one. I don’t think that’s purely a function of people becoming less religious; some do, but others simply feel more comfortable calling themselves atheists or denying a belief in God than they used to. That’s a question, in fact, that I can’t recall ever seeing polled — how many self-described atheists today have slowly come around to that view over time and how many have held that view for many years but only recently began to feel that they could cop to it without suffering social stigma?

The other interesting data set is Table 1b, which shows the split among different age groups on specific questions about God, Jesus, Darwin, and various supernatural beings/practices. Some results are predictable: There’s a 17- to 19-point difference between young adults (age 18-36) and seniors (68+) on belief in God, the divinity of Jesus, and the resurrection. Fewer young adults believe in those last two, in fact, than believe in angels. At 49 percent, young adults are also the age group that’s most likely to subscribe to Darwin’s theory of evolution. Go further down the list, though, and you’ll find that young adults are less skeptical about some paranormal mainstays than seniors are. On the subject of ghosts, there’s a 20-point difference — 44 percent of young adults believe versus just 24 percent of seniors. On UFOs, it’s 36/30; on witches, it’s 27/18; on reincarnation, it’s 27/13; and on astrology, it’s 33/23. It may be true that young adults are less religious generally than their elders, but there’s some segment of them who are filling the spiritual void with other stuff. Who knows? Maybe, in a few hundred years, the ultimate triumph of the Dawkins/Hitchens effort will be a grand revival of, er … astrology. On second thought, maybe I’ll hold off on declaring victory after all.


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Sounds like one step away from putting some money down on Pascal’s wager.

anuts on December 24, 2013 at 1:33 AM

Charles Krauthammer seems like a pompous snob.

bluegill on December 24, 2013 at 1:48 AM

Notice how many adjectives you had to add to in essence say what Axe said.

unclesmrgol on December 23, 2013 at 11:28 PM

My intent was simply to exclude the possible interpretation that there is an argument about the belief in afterlife within Torah observant Judaism itself.

Believe me, if Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden really believed what my Catholic Church teaches — which, according to Catholicism, is in full accord with what Jesus taught — they would be behaving in a completely different fashion — for my Church makes no distinction between outward action and inward faith. You must live your faith.

Yep. Perhaps we can forgive Joe. He’s a little fakakt in the head. :)

From what I know of Judaism, it appears to be likewise — there is no seam between public and private observance of faith. The mitzvahs are not optional.

One of our first daily morning prayers begins with, “A person should always fear Heaven whether in public or in private.”

As King David said:

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all they that do thereafter; His praise endureth for ever.” – Psalms 111:10

Shy Guy on December 24, 2013 at 2:51 AM

Hey Hot Air, this SauerKraut cat is obsessed with God. He only comes around to comment when the topic is atheism, God or religion.

No one, but no one, is more obsessed with God more than internet atheists.

Obsessed.

Grace_is_sufficient on December 24, 2013 at 5:39 AM

When a skeptic takes the widespread claims of the existence of a power willing and able to burn us all for eternity with the seriousness it deserves, the claimants seize on it as a reason to mock him.

Humans are funny.

fadetogray on December 24, 2013 at 7:52 AM

The Hammer’s views are totally consistent, hence unremarkable, with many in my community – engineering research. Such people tend to rationalize everything because their entire perspective is based on observing and accurately interpreting often very subtle variances in the physical world. They are very good at it, thank God (if they’ll forgive me), because without this talent, it is difficult to move the ball forward.

Nonetheless, they are not spiritual people and they suffer for it. They are not romantic, tend to be a distant and aloof, think of people in stereotypes, are condescending to those who do not have a technical or scientific degree and have difficulty in any realm of engineering outside of their specialty (I am often asked to diagnose what is wrong with someone’s car – I’m neither an engineer or mechanic). I have noticed that, the more prominent one of my associates is in their field,the more difficulty they have with relationships and the less aware they are that they have any difficulty at all.

Spiritual people have significant faults, too, but I hate making long posts, so I’ll let them off for now.

Bottom line is, I think a life is best balanced with both reason and spirituality. Too often, we try to examine the physical world through our beliefs, or we attempt to test our spiritual heritage with rational analysis. We always fail. We wind up generating utterly flawed insights and blogging them as truth.

Cricket624 on December 24, 2013 at 7:55 AM

That doesn’t mean God never intervenes in little things.

It is God after all. Who is gonna’ tell him no?

cozmo on December 23, 2013 at 9:42 PM

….don’t think God makes his decision on whether or not to intervene based upon what Man thinks or approves. It’s either a divine law to do so, or not. God is a constant.

Sounds like you and davidk are two different types of deists.??

I know that Franklin was said to be a Deist.

avagreen on December 23, 2013 at 9:44 PM

I am not a deist.

I am a follower of our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

davidk on December 23, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Sorry if I made that mistake. Truly. In all of these esoterical-like conversations, it’s hard to separate out what someone actually believes or just likes to intellectualize about.

I’m just a plain bible-reader who literally takes what the bible says, trying to rightly divide the Word of God to show myself approved ( as Paul to Timothy to do).

2 Timothy 2:15
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Early Christians only had the Word to guide them. Should be the same for us. The bible is enough by itself.

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

avagreen on December 23, 2013 at 9:40 PM

I know….. DNTM can allow website exceptions ….. so that you don’t have to disable them…

Anti-Control on December 23, 2013 at 9:59 PM

OK, I was surprised to read that. I’ve been using DNTM ever since it came out. I’ve looked and cannot find that function.

How? Where? (If you read this.)

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 8:26 AM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Well, I’m not a jihadist, so I’m not going to get huffy since we don’t have the same faith.

Saint Peter will let us know who was right.

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Doesn’t seem like he’s admitting to being an atheist here. Seems more like an agnostic, which is actually what Einstein claimed to be.

WarEagle01 on December 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Saint Peter will let us know who was right.

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Saint Peter? Color me confused. Totally.

I wasn’t aware that a human could make up God’s mind about who is right or wrong.

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Darwin (Charles not his grandfather Erasmus) never proposed a theory of evolution. Rather he proposed a theory of natural selection to explain how evolution might work. Evolutionary theory was being discussed by Charles grandfather and his peers (and his teachers) while Charles was still “jumping nut to nut trying not to be a monkey”.

Robbin Hood on December 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Could you show me the verse where it says that, cosmo?

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Charles, there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom is far greater and we have a very wise God.

Cherokee on December 24, 2013 at 9:25 AM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 9:14 AM
avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Are you being intentionally obtuse?

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Well, I believe in God.

And the only thing I fear is Keyser Soze,

Hucklebuck on December 24, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Charles, there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom is far greater and we have a very wise God.

Cherokee on December 24, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Yeah, and the evidence is this jacked-up world we live in.

mazer9 on December 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Are you being intentionally obtuse?

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Another one of your cryptic comments and a bit obfuscating.

Answering a question with a question doesn’t “answer” the question.
Provide the scripture……that’s all I’m asking.

Who’s being obtuse? I’m asking you to prove your “faith” as apparently according to you, we don’t have the same “faith”. Use the bible to prove yours, and I’ll do accordingly.

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 9:52 AM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 9:52 AM

What is evident after three pages of this is that you cannot comprehend Deism.

That’s okay, not everybody has the strength of character to be a deist.

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM

LOL!
Ouch!

I’m taking it, then, that you can’t use the bible to defend your stance?

If you can’t use the bible, why even claim to be a Christian?

Where do you get your proof that you are one? How do you even know you are one?

These are questions that come to mind with your responses.

I don’t see any strength of character in your responses, only an inability to defend your rather confused system of beliefs and now you are trying to insult.

1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect….

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM

*Shrug* I remain a Christian and a believer regardless of whether Krauthammer is. And we’ve still got the Anchoress and Ed Morrissey on our team. Besides, the whole point of being a conservative is that you don’t assume your side is correct just because it’s got a higher nosecount than the other side.

I frankly think that , as regards humans and religion, Frank Herbert’s son Brian got it right in his Dune successor novels — humans pay lip service to and ignore religion so long as they are prosperous, then when some great crisis threatens they turn around and become fanatical, losing all reason.

We are currently in the first phase of being so comfortable that atheism is a natural tendency. I can only hope I can remain a reasonable believer even if the societal pendulum should swing back to fanaticism in my lifetime.

pendell2 on December 24, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Chesterton said “When a Man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.”
(Okay, it’s really a combination of two different statements, but u get the point.)

Examples include communism and global warming.

Is it truly a coincidence that the greatest mass murderers in history ruled in the 20th century under godless societies? Remember that communism was first proposed during the French Revolution and first implemented in Russia in 1918. Before that, basically all societies believed in some type of deity.

Nearly every foundimg father believed in God, but felt that it was a private issue. They called is a natural religion.

fastphil101 on December 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM

So, since I don’t believe the way you do. I don’t use scripture to support my belief. And I don’t bow to true believers I don’t deserve to even be a Christian. Got it.

And I thought sunnis and shiites were tough.

You and SauerKraut537 have something in common.

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM

You’re really twisting what I said. I’m not the one to make that decision, cozmo. God does.
What do you use for your belief system? How do you know that you are correct in how/what you think?

That’s all I want to know. It’s got to be more than a fuzzy feeling. What is it?

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Explains quite a bit about Krauthammer really.

Murphy9 on December 24, 2013 at 10:47 AM

What is it?

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Its the power of knowing you are doing the right thing even when no one is watching. The integrity thing.

Heck, Spike Lee should be paying me royalties for the saying “Do the Right Thing”. I live that way even before the movie.

When it comes my time to stand before Saint Peter I won’t have any problem.

Even if all religions are wrong and there is no God, I will still be secure in the knowledge that I have lived my life in a godly way and passed my ethics on.

And you know what? I did it because it is what I believe and not because some preacher offered me a carrot and threatened me with a stick.

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

No offense was taken.

davidk on December 24, 2013 at 10:58 AM

It really doesn’t matter what your posted polls say, what you or the Hammer think but indeed the evidence of a creator God is everywhere in the universe. Can man with all his knowledge, skill and creative ability even replicate a bird feather? There is not only a God but there is a fallen spiritual creation of God given to ultimately show that God’s essence is love and mercy and that He doesn’t condone sin but provided for our salvation from our own rebellion. That was demonstrated when the eternal Christ, a lamb slain before the world was created, came into the world in a stable in Bethlehem. Merry Christmas everyone!

wepeople on December 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM

The only way to the Father is to live a perfect life.

davidk on December 24, 2013 at 11:26 AM

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Cozmo, all those things speak of are human knowledge, not Godly knowledge. Human thoughts are going to do squat for you in the afterlife. Even atheists can say all the same things as you just did. Any Hindu, Muslim, Taoist, Islamist, Buddist could say the same thing as you just did. What sets you apart?

How do you know you’re doing the “right thing”? Where does that come from? What’s the source? I can point to cities/countries present and past who thought they were doing the “right thing”……they weren’t/aren’t.

*facepalm* St. Peter isn’t going to be judging you and he’s not going to be at the pearly gates. That’s a popular MYTH.

He was an apostle, not the Christ, not God. If you’re referring to the keys of the kingdom of heaven, after Jesus had declared that He would build His church on the truth of Peter’s noble confession (“You are the Messiah,the Son of the Living God”), He went on to say, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19 ). Later, addressing all the disciples, our Lord repeated the words, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18 ).

I’m asking you these questions to try to get you to think….about what you are saying. They just don’t make sense. Apparently, you just don’t realize it.

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM

No Shinola about St. Peter. Geeze woman euphemism, learn it.

I don’t care that you think I am wrong, or ignorant, or that I don’t make sense. I am comfortable with my religion and my relationship with God.

I don’t feel the need to attack those who believe the Bible is literal and inviolate. Even though the timeline is at best suspect. I don’t even know what denomination you are and it doesn’t matter to me.

The options here are that you are right, or I am right. We can both be right or both be wrong. I see the beauty in it, you don’t. Your problem, not mine.

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 11:58 AM

We all see what we want to see. Isn’t K. describing his “unbelief” as a certain type of theism rather than atheism?? “Something for sure is out there, but regarding what it is, I can’t be sure.”

Didn’t philosopher Anthony Flew convert from atheism to a Krauthammer/Einstien theism?

Of course this isn’t acceptance of any world religion, but it is an acknowledgment of humility, and perhaps faith, that there is something greater than ourselves.

G. Charles on December 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 11:58 AM

It is your problem, cozmo. I’m not talking about this life, but the next.

You don’t believe in the bible, but you believe in God? Why? Where did you get the idea that God even exists?

Somewhere, sometime, someone had to write about God. Where? What source will you believe?

I have no idea what you said about “St. Peter”.

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Of course this isn’t acceptance of any world religion, but it is an acknowledgment of humility, and perhaps faith, that there is something greater than ourselves.

G. Charles on December 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Humility I guess. But it does not take faith to recognize that I am not the cause of myself.

davidk on December 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM

At any rate, my wish for you is that you find the Truth and that it sets you free.

Whether you care, or not. *__*

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

OK, I was surprised to read that. I’ve been using DNTM ever since it came out. I’ve looked and cannot find that function.

How? Where? (If you read this.)

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Which version of DNTM are you using? In version 2, you click on its icon, then “Settings” at the top (the 3rd icon from the right) – then you’ll see the control panel to which I’m referring. In version 3, you click on its icon, and the menu opens for the page you’re currently on. Version 3 is superficially easier use.

Ghostery’s a similar product, but overall better & easier to use imo.

Anti-Control on December 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM

avagreen on December 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Dang, I’ve been sentenced to hell by a true believer.

Funny, I thought it would have been an islamist.

cozmo on December 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM

AP,

Krauthammer doesn’t say that there is no God, he says that he fears there is — which is the great fear of all humanity throughout all the ages. That’s how we have gone through the whole “god” trap and trappings of conciliating or manipulating god or the gods, any god, or something, anything, even rocks and or a piece of wood, throughout human history — since Adam.

This is why we have idolatry, to assuage us from our own undeniable spiritual lawlesness and an awareness of ultimate judgment by hopes in any other god or power, and to declare “victory” over the inescapable fear of our otherwise inevitable fates.

Apropos of Phil Robertson, “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” We all have our favorite idols, whether we acknowledge them or not.

What’s your idol? The digital god? The earth goddess who burns in indignation at global warming? The science god that will get us to the very stars? Humanity itself, raising itself by its own bootstraps, guiding us into brighter and brighter worlds until we reach utopian order?

At least Krauthammer was able to acknowledge the conundrum of life, evil and ultimate justice without doing a victory dance over the puny argument that there is no God.

flicker on December 24, 2013 at 3:31 PM

There’s no reason for Chuck to fear God, unless he thinks God is nuts, of course. A sane God who isn’t a cackling sadist can see people are only responsible for their choices, and a knowledgeable God understands we don’t get to do much real choosing. A wild ass guess is not a meaningful choice.

A choice can only be meaningful when you understand the real consequences of your choices. Most of us don’t know jack about much of anything, the beliefs of authoritarian freaks notwithstanding.

fadetogray on December 24, 2013 at 3:45 PM

flicker on December 24, 2013 at 3:31 PM

flicker gets the 1st place ribbon. Well said.

Most “atheists” just worship a different idol. The godless communist’s goal was a socialist utopia, or a heaven on earth. The global warming nuts are searching for a new crusade so they can feel morally superior. Same for the “social justice” crowd.

fastphil101 on December 24, 2013 at 4:18 PM

HEY WEBMASTER….Seriously… 2 auto-start ads with an auto-start video of Charles?

geek49203 on December 23, 2013 at 6:17 PM

If there were a like button, this would have hundreds!

Ann on December 26, 2013 at 12:48 PM

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