Monday, December 04, 2006

Christianity-bashing

Apparently Dawkins thinks theism can be laughed out of the intellectual marketplace. Sounds like the Horse Laugh fallacy to me.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's probably a good idea to read Dawkins' book first before commenting.

Anonymous said...

Dawkins calls Christianity 'barking' because we inherit original sin from Adam, a metpahorical character.

A bit like saying there is no such thing as fire, because Prometheus never existed.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Dawkins' book is to naturalists what Philip Johnson's books are to evangelicals. Clever, fun for those who agree, ineffective against their academic targets, but persuasive for those who aren't particularly invested either way and aren't used to engaging critically with such an argumentative style. E.g., myself at age 12.

Dawkin's book is clever, and I agree with most of his conclusions. His arguments for those conclusions, unfortunately, are pretty weak. For instance, his attempt to dismiss Aquinas' five arguments for God in a page or two....a little embarassing.

Regardless, some of his rhetorical points are very fun and clever (even if he didn't make them up himself). E.g., everyone is an atheist wrt Thor, Poseidon, etc.. I just believe in one god less than you.

There aren't enough secular types that are as combative and confident as their Christian counterparts. I'm glad Dawkins is out there going toe to toe.

Anonymous said...

BDK: I have a little trouble understanding two things you wrote. First, if you take Dawkins' book to be persuasive (only?) to those indifferent and those that are not critical of arguments (e.g. lacking philosophical sophisication, or intellectually compared to a twelve year old), then why do you take Dawkins' book to be all that clever? Second, if you take the arguments to be pretty weak, why are you glad that he is out there going toe-to-toe with theists? The reason I find the second point puzzling is that I personally find it annoying when philosophically unsophisticated theists do apologetics as if their arguments are representative of (e.g.) Christendom as a whole. It is often easy for intelligent reflective people to develop defeaters. Though, understandably, you might be thinking that it is nice to have a cheerleader for the team. If so, please, let's keep the cheerleading limited and not give Dawkins' any pom-poms or cheerleader apparel!

JD Walters said...

I think it would be pretty funny to see Dawkins in a mini-skirt with pom-poms yelling "Go Harris! Go Dennett! Hooray for the atheist all-stars!"

Victor Reppert said...

Does anyone know if anyone has tried to sponsor a William Lane Craig-Richard Dawkins debate? Thatone I would like to see!

Blue Devil Knight said...

Gibson: My whole atheist life I've sat through evangelicals peddling their cheesy wares on TV. It's refreshing to see someone vigorously arguing something I actually agree with, and not doing it indirectly by just saying how cool science is. And like I said, I agree with most of his conclusions, and just think each chapter of his book would require an entire book to get its due.

Matteo said...

bluedevilnight:why do you base your assessment of theology on the jackass evangelists on television? Shouldn't you be grappling with the best arguments, say from well-regarded academic thologians, or even C.S. Lewis (i.e. the book "Miracles") instead of skirting the issue by assuming that the low-rent televangelist stuff is the best argument Christianity has to offer? I don't get my knowledge of science from the National Enquirer, why are you satisfied to get your knowledge of theology from the antics of the televangelists?