Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Excellent Review of "The God Delusion"

Kudos to Tom Gilson over at The Thinking Christian

Click here to read the full article - see below for some exerpts:

What's Going On In The God Delusion?

If his objective was to cause someone like me to reconsider my Christian faith, he has accomplished the opposite.


The question underlying his critique is: based on naturalist assumptions, does theism make sense? It's an illegitimate question, of course, akin to saying, from the standpoint of basketball rules, it makes no sense to kick a soccer ball. Of course theism will not live up to naturalist assumptions, if by naturalist we mean (as Dawkins does) that naturalism is the whole show. Theism doesn't have any desire or need to live up to this; it starts with the opposite belief. And I mean it really does start there. You can read the first three or so words of the Bible (in English) and not find it, but by the time you get to the fourth and fifth words, naturalism is ruled out.


...much of chapter two is taken up with a scientific study that failed to show that heart patients who were prayed for did better than others who did not. Dawkins casts aside with a sneer the altogether sensible response that God may not have wanted to play the researchers' game.


Here's the flaw, again: in the examples I've cited and in other places, Dawkins questions the sensibility of God in light of his nontheistic presumptions. He says in effect, "If there is a God, he doesn't fit my naturalistic conceptions, so there must not be a God." This is trivial. If there is a God, we can be well assured, without Dawkins's help, that he doesn't fit naturalistic conceptions. Theism has to be considered in its own right, on its own terms. If it is internally inconsistent it fails. If it is inconsistent with atheistic presuppositions, that's hardly worth writing a book about, is it?

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