Thursday, March 01, 2012

Does Chesterton Refute Dawkins

Compare these two quotes and see what you think.

12 comments:

unkleE said...

I don't think so. We can conclude from Chesterton that Dawkins' explanation means life has no ultimate purpose for humans. But I think Dawkins would agree with that - remember his quote about "blind pitiless indifference"?

Steve Lovell said...

There is a similar illogic in many pulpits. I've heard lots of sermons seeming to suggest that the main point of Christianity is evangelism. It makes me angry.

William said...

The fun part is where Chesterton and Dawkins agree: that life (and even DNA) has a purpose. This is NOT your reductive physicalist talking :) Dawkins is admitting that DNA has a type of purpose even if the blind pitiless universe around us as a whole does not care.

BenYachov said...

Technically is isn't a "refutation" per say.

It is merely a stark contrast. Chesterton's approach is deeper while Dawkins is a bit superficial.

PatrickH said...

Chesterton raises the question of ultimate purpose. Dawkins simply denies there is one. Dawkins refuses to admit the consequences of his position, nor that it is not justified by science. As usual with crypto-metaphysicians like Dawkins, it's the completness claim smuggled in, and never acknowledged, that's the problem. He's not refuted by Chesterton so much as he's transcended by him. Dawkins is just tone-deaf to the very music of the question.

Papalinton said...

This is simply a case of teleological intentionality gone rogue. "Ultimate purpose' is a theo-logically derived oxymoron.

A 'purpose in life' is a more honest and germane exploration than the contrived rhetoric of 'purpose of life'.

Victor Reppert said...

Using the Chesterton quote shows that Dawkins is indeed guilty... of sloppy talk. Dawkins doesn't really think that humans have a purpose, so saying that our purpose is to reproduce is confused. It ptobably should be read as Dawkins' denial that we have a purpose in any sense that Chesterton would recognize.

finney said...

Dawkins conflates "purpose" with "cause".

Papalinton said...

Victor
"It ptobably should be read as Dawkins' denial that we have a purpose in any sense that Chesterton would recognize.'

I think you are correct here. It would be fair to say that Chesterton [1874-19360] coined that adage in a time when little was known about the workings of the brain and human consciousness as we understand it now, together with his being informed by a quite different science to today's.

For Yachov to suggest Chesterton's approach as being 'deeper' than Dawkins is to introduce what Daniel Dennett so eloquently describes as 'the deepities'.
One might want to learn about 'deepities:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Deepity

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/11/meaningless-deepities/

http://www.bettermovement.org/2011/more-deepities-does-intention-have-power/

Nikk said...

It would be fair to say that Chesterton [1874-19360]


I'm happy to learn G.K. is still alive on this earth and will be so for thousands of years to come.

BenYachov said...

It would seem Dennett's philosophy itself is an exercise in Scientism "deepities".

That is why at their core Gnu'Atheists are so irrational.

They exempt themselves from their own standards and arguments.

Like Loftus does with his OTF. Which is why more rational Atheists like Jesse rejected it.

BenYachov said...

Yep! So much for deepities.


https://santitafarella.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/daniel-deepity-dennett-the-vanquisher-of-religion-and-poetry/