Saturday, March 10, 2007

Denuding Dawkins

Our friend Gil Bailie tries to work up the heart to address Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion here.

Alvin Plantinga reviews/womps the philosophical argument (such as it is) here. (Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

However, one of the better take-downs has been by the secularist/Marxist Terry Eagleton here. (Hat tip: Dreadnought)

I've read loads of Dawkins and Dennett, but consider that period of my life over and that topical area pretty much exhausted. I've read it all before, from both, and there seems to be nothing new here except a reconfigured and redeployed snarl. I think I can safely give this one a miss!


Athos said...

A noteworthy post, Porthos. Thanks for bringing it up. What feels like an enormous number of years ago, I found the Christian apologetics of C. S. Lewis less helpful than the methodology of Reformed scholar Francis Schaeffer (The God Who is There, He is There and He is Not Silent).

There is also the Dawkins vs. Quinn debate that shows how easily the fellow can be befuddled by a good sparring partner.

Porthos said...

Thanks, Ath.

Schaeffer . . . boy that sure takes me back.

Do you have a link to the Quinn debate? I caught that on audio from Amy's, but then I lost track of it over intervening months. That was back in October?

Athos said...

It's coming as an attachment: Zenit.Dawk.

Porthos said...


Here's a relevant thread from Open Book:

Nice link to Stephen Barr, a great science/theology essayist at First Things. But everything at First Things is now behind a registration wall.

Dawkins is just plain ole scientism:
"Science works, therefore . . . there is no God!"

Uh, ooookkkkkkaaaaaaayyyyyyy.

But while Carl Sagan was gentle, huffy scientism, Dawkins and Dennett are like agitated, b****y scientism. They are Carl Sagan on cocaine.

Porthos said...

Lemme try that Open Book link again:

Porthos said...


Porthos said...

Audio of Dawkins/Quinn debate here

Porthos said...

Did you know that Schaeffer's boy Frankie eventually became Eastern Orthodox? But he dropped off the radar for me after that.

I was sent a bunch of Schaeffer by an uncle shortly after my Evangelical conversion in the 80s. At the time, I thought it was hot stuff. He was kind of hard on our dear ole Angelic Doctor though, wasn't he?

I have tended to think the following: Thomas Aquinas was to Francis Schaeffer as Anselm is to Girardians.

Schaeffer: "Ever since Aquinas, we have had the disastrous grace/nature split."

Girardians: "Ever since Anselm, we have had the disastrous atonement theology."

Rather similar charicatures, and both flawed.

Athos said...

Yes, flawed misreadings. Adolescent even; I mean, the need to see everything in absolutes and all middle ground as mere muddle, middle ground, or betrayal of the "true" view.

Compare to the thinking and writings of the finest Catholic minds: Benedict XVI, von Balthasar, Newman, even Chesterton and his ilk.

BTW, Amy Welborn recommended a book I've ordered, Why Matter Matters, by David Lang. This in response to an email I sent thanking her for the neat distinction between the ongoing Anglican acceptance and "normalization" of gnostic disdain for the Isness of human identity (Natural Law) and sacramental humility in a recent post at Open Book.