Friday, January 21, 2011

A conversion to....agnosticism?

Robin Le Poidevin's book is an introduction to agnosticism, in which he defends agnosticism not only against theism, but against the New Atheism. What is interesting is that, a decade or so ago, he wrote a book entitled Arguing for Atheism, which is reviewed by Keith Parsons here.

So, in one more decade.......

HT: Steve Hays.

10 comments:

exapologist said...

I'm glad he came to his senses and adopted the most reasonable view, given the evidence. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yep, atheism is unreasonable.

unkleE said...

Is it clear from the book that le Poidevin has changed his views, or is simply writing a book on a topic he was asked to write on? I couldn't tell from reading some of it on Amazon, but perhaps I read the wrong bit?

At any rate, I found this quote (p53) interesting: ""It looks, then, as if theism and atheism start on pretty much the same footing. There should be no presumption of atheism, and no presumption of theism either. The initial position should be an agnostic one, which means that theists and atheists share the burden of proof."

Walter said...

It looks, then, as if theism and atheism start on pretty much the same footing. There should be no presumption of atheism, and no presumption of theism either. The initial position should be an agnostic one, which means that theists and atheists share the burden of proof.

I would agree with this.

steve said...

Chaps 3-4 are the best.

Anonymous said...

Any summary available, Steve? I'd be interested in hearing what goes on there if you found them interesting.

Edward T. Babinski said...

A reviewer at amazon.com wrote: "Even the most ardent believer or unbeliever is in fact agnostic about certain aspects of the ultimate reality."

So true. So if I may ask pro-damnationist Christians a question, what percentage of "agnosticism" will God conclude is worthy of damning someone eternally to hell?

(Or will pro-damnationist Christians go round proclaiming the warning, "Don't Agnosticize, Don't Apostasize!")

Walter said...

So if I may ask pro-damnationist Christians a question, what percentage of "agnosticism" will God conclude is worthy of damning someone eternally to hell?

The answer you will receive will be some form of "Holy Spirit epistemology."

Most of the pro-damnationists that I interact with claim they have absolute certainty on the Big Questions. They feel that Truth has been revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. Since historical evidence cannot lead an individual to absolute certainty, the zealous believer needs to subscribe to a belief in infallible revelation via supernatural means. Even an inerrant bible is of no use unless you have an infallible means of interpretation, such as the Holy Spirit. But there is no way for a believer to prove that they have had a true revelation without begging the question.

It is an excellent question, though: how much doubt is too much? And how many doctrinal beliefs are we allowed to get wrong before Yahweh hits the reject button? Every sect of Christianity will have a different answer.

Bob Prokop said...

I've never heard this term "pro-damnationist" before. What does it mean?

Walter said...

I've never heard this term "pro-damnationist" before. What does it mean?

A believer in eternal damnation versus annihilation for those not saved.