He who hears the shema drinks the shekar!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Alvin Plantinga on Richard Dawkins

My previous encounters with Alvin Plantinga (mainly on the topic of 'Reformed Epistemology') were interesting (in terms of reading) but largely uneventful (in terms of paradigm shaping). Perhaps it's the Van Til bias. Perhaps it's the Biblical Studies bias.

However, Plantinga (Dutch Calvinistic CRC man, formerly at Calvin College) recently reviewed in Christianity Today the latest book from the new, arch nemesis of the Christian faith, Richard Dawkins. Here's a small excerpt:

...Dawkins is perhaps the world's most popular science writer; he is also an extremely science writer. (For example, his account of bats and their ways in his earlier book The Blind Watchmaker is a brilliant and fascinating tour de force.) The God Delusion, however, contains little science; it is mainly philosophy and theology (perhaps "atheology" would be a better term) and evolutionary psychology, along with a substantial dash of social commentary decrying religion and its allegedly baneful effects. As the above quotation suggests, one shouldn't look to this book for evenhanded and thoughtful commentary. In fact the proportion of insult, ridicule, mockery, spleen, and vitriol is astounding. (Could it be that his mother, while carrying him, was frightened by an Anglican clergyman on the rampage?) If Dawkins ever gets tired of his day job, a promising future awaits him as a writer of political attack ads.

And in conclusion:

...The God Delusion
is full of bluster and bombast, but it really doesn't give even the slightest reason for thinking belief in God mistaken, let alone a "delusion."

The naturalism that Dawkins embraces, furthermore, in addition to its intrinsic unloveliness and its dispiriting conclusions about human beings and their place in the universe, is in deep self-referential trouble. There is no reason to believe it; and there is excellent reason to reject it.

His critique of Dawkins' self-refuting naturalism is very good.....almost VanTil-like! :)

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