The Nose Questions God and Atheists; Judging the Morality of Athletes

Feb 14, 2014

I was still digesting some of the lessons of the play "Freud's Last Session" -- a 90 minute conversation between Freud and C.S. Lewis -- when I stumbled upon Adam Gopnik's New Yorker essay about rise of polemical atheism -- that is atheism that takes an openly contemptuous tone toward faith.

Gopnik begins with a quote from a Tom Stoppard play in which the protagonist muses about when and how the atheist got the upper hand over the believer:  “The tide is running his way, and it is a tide which has turned only once in human history. . .  There is presumably a calendar date—a moment—when the onus of proof passed from the atheist to the believer, when, quite suddenly, the noes had it.”

But do they really?  And who says?  On the Nose today, we're going to talk about the noes -- Stoppard's word for people who deny the existence of God and how it all turned into a gladiator sport. We'll also talk about our fascination with the morality and sexuality of athletes, why a zoo would kill a giraffe, and, as always, endorsements!

What do you think? Comment below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.


  • Jacques Lamarre is the director of communications at the Mark Twain House and Museum
  • Irene Papoulis is a principal lecturer in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Trinity College
  • Patty McQueen is a communications strategist for Communication Strategies