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Ayaan Hirsi Ali Abandons Atheism for Christianity

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Ben Bayer discuss Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s recent conversion to Christianity, which they argue is the result of tribalism and fear. They discuss the unconcern for truth of many alleged defenders of the West, their bogus claims about the positive role of Christianity, and the failure of secular atheists to complete the Enlightenment project.

Among the topics covered:

  • Hirsi Ali’s admirable story of emancipation from Islam;
  • The tribalism and fear behind her conversion to Christianity;
  • Her tribal disregard for the question of whether Christianity is true;
  • Christianity as the very source of the Western weakness that Hirsi Ali denounces;
  • The tribal emphasis on defeating one’s enemy regardless of the truth or falsehood of the ideas one accepts;
  • How most of her secular critics pragmatically embrace secularized versions of Christian ethics;
  • The failure of secular atheists to fulfill the Enlightenment promise of a rational ethics;
  • The secularists’ appeasement of Kant’s anti-Enlightenment philosophy;
  • Why a proper defense of Western values requires looking to and expanding on the Enlightenment, not Christianity.

Recommended in this podcast are Ghate’s article “Finding Morality and Happiness Without God” and Bayer’s “Debunking the Supernaturalism That Haunts Secular Ethics.”

The podcast was recorded on November 15, 2023. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Ricardo Pinto

Ricardo Pinto, BA in philosophy, is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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