On 25 July, members of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum attended a special lecture at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, with American academic Dr. Edward Feser. The focus of the lecture, “The Last Superstition”, was to offer a proof of the existence of a Divine Being through the use of logic and philosophy. Dr. Feser challenged the ideological forces of what has come to be known as the “New Atheism” – that kind of atheism that is not content to simply not believe, but rather (and somewhat religiously) the kind that seeks to convert others to non-belief. The New Atheism regards logic as it’s tool alone, preferring to regard religion as a creation of the imagination or a construct to cater for a psychological need. For the uninitiated, Dr. Feser’s presentation could seem to be quite daunting as he worked through various logical and philosophical propositions (St. Thomas Aquinas being his main guide, but also ably assisted by Aristotle).
Dr. Feser, however, is young, dynamic, and well aware of the complexity of his own area of study. Through the use of practical examples and metaphor he was able develop an understanding in the untrained mind of how to examine ideas and argue about them as philosophers do. He provided some very specialised weapons for the Traditionalist’s arsenal. Among the academics, clergy and professionals it was heart-warming to see a solid group of young people and students, all keen to arm themselves with the tools of advanced argument. A number of the Sydney conservative activists were present along with members of the local paleoconservative scene. Despite the heavy going nature of the paper, everyone enjoyed themselves and they especially enjoyed being exposed to the congenial and warm personality of Dr. Feser, whose book The Last Superstition, is recommended reading for any Traditionalist interested in combating the ideological intrusion of the New Atheism on its own terms.
We are grateful for the University of Notre Dame for hosting this event and thank Dr. Feser for speaking to us here in Sydney.
– SydneyTrads Editors