Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stephen Fry's Acolytes

Stephen Fry is an eloquent, sometimes amusing, and entertaining man.  He undoubtedly has a brain which can move effortlessly amongst a range of topics, but he's neither philosopher nor theologian.  I'm not sure he's ever claimed to be, in fairness.  So his emotional response to a question on an Irish television show about what he would say to God was just that - an emotional response from an atheist who hates the whole construct of God.  It was nothing new, nothing deep and nothing surprising, and it was said for the most part in a remarkably good-humoured fashion.

So what on earth do we make of the vast army of Fry acolytes who have taken to twitter and online media to proclaim his "outburst" the most eloquent thing ever!  The Huffington Post headlined their report "Atheist Stephen Fry Delivers Incredible Answer....", and that was mild compared to some of the facebook comments which proclaimed Fry the most brilliant responder ever to such a question.  Alas, poor lemmings.  Fry offers anger - in a similar vein to that which has been served up many times before - but no thought.  To hear his supporters you'd think he had single-handedly revealed to us the "Problem of Evil".  So bad luck Thomas Aquinas, Epicurus, Augustine of Hippo, Kant, Hume, C.S.Lewis and countless other Christian and non-Christian writers and thinkers alike who have sought to grapple with the problem.

That the problem of evil remains at the heart of much our spiritual thinking is tortuously apparent, but must we really contend with the problem of over-weaning celebrity elevation too?  As for attempts to respond to the God hatred that Fry espoused, I found this piece by Christian philosopher Peter Kreeft to be a clear one.
And this tweet from blogger Archbishop Cranmer be an appropriate one:


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