About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Interview with Atheists for Liberty

I have a new interview online - this time with Thomas Sheedy from the American organization Atheists for Liberty. Check it out here on YouTube! 

Topics include the implosion of the New Atheist movement and why it happened, the phenomenon of cancel culture and whether anything can be done about it, differences between the political culture of the US and those of other Western liberal democracies, and much more. I enjoyed doing this interview, and found Thomas to be a pleasant and well-informed interviewer. I suspect that he and I would have found some political and philosophical differences if we'd dug down more deeply into this aspect. Although he's strongly opposed to the sort of theocratic thinking that is so dominant on the right wing of American politics, he supports the Republican Party, which suggests he may have some conservative values that I don't share.

But that's partly the point. We should be able to speak respectfully and seriously - and even form alliances on some issues - with people who may not share all of our values or all of our views over hot-button social, political, cultural, and philosophical issues. That is also what I suggest in the next-to-last chapter of The Tyranny of Opinion when trying to describe a path forward that accommodates non-conformity and dissent.