Sunday, April 8, 2007

Klinghoffer examined

The Seattle Times had an interesting editorial by David Klinghoffer on the new atheists. I will enumerate a few points that are easily falsified and let the masters take a better shot at it.

1)"Yes, atheism begins with a faith, namely that only material and physical (not spiritual) causes make the world run."

Uninformed atheism can be a faith. However, someone with enough understanding of the natural world has no problem concluding that god is highly improbable and in Laplace fashion "an unnecessary hypothesis". True faith is religious because it creates a de novo hypothesis in the abscence of any evidence or observation.

2) "God-centered religion evolve in prehistoric man as a useful adaptation or as a surprising byproduct of other evolutionary processes? The possibility that it developed in response to a living God was not considered."

Yes it has the problem is that there is evidence for the former and none for the latter. The latter is a wish.

3) "Unfortunately, Dawkins does not grapple with the latest arguments for intelligent design as formulated by their chief proponents."

This problem has been solved ever since Darwin. Not to mention every word Dawkins type "grapples" and overcomes the arguments of IDsts.

4) "Dawkins, for his part, mocks the God of the Hebrew Bible as "arguably the most unpleasant character in fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

Such a wild caricature will be unrecognizable to any believer (like me) in the God of Israel. But Dawkins and Harris seem unfamiliar with religious tradition as biblical monotheists know it from personal experience and deep study. Frankly, the success of the new atheist faith would be hard to imagine without today's soaring levels of societal religious illiteracy."

I have explained before PIDs or points of intellectual dishonesty. This is one. Dawkins accurately describes the god of the old testament as described in its pages. What Klinghoffer wishes to see is another (delusional) matter.

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