Skip to comments.The Conflict Really Lies within New Atheism
Posted on 06/12/2012 5:44:12 PM PDT by rhema
In his new book Where the Conflict Really Lies, Alvin Plantinga levels a devastating critique against the new atheism espoused by thinkers such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.
Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens, collectively known as the new atheists, embody one of the most aggressive recent manifestations of both scientism and naturalism. This new atheism is characterized by extreme forms of both scientism, a view about knowledge that holds that only what can be demonstrated scientifically deserves to be considered knowledge, and naturalism, a view about reality that holds that only the material world is real. Hence it is hostile to religion in all forms, viewing it as merely a kind of superstition; it is likewise hostile to much folk understanding, including traditional claims about the nature and source of morality.
It is thus good news for everyone that Alvin Plantinga, one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, has addressed and, I should say, systematically dismantled, the claims of the new atheists in his recently published book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. Plantingas book, generally written at a level accessible to any educated person, is essential reading for anyone concerned not only with the claims of the new atheists and what can be said contrary to those claims, but also, as I shall discuss below, with their way of making those claims, for they have adopted a style hostile to the very idea of public discourse, a style that now threatens almost every area of contested moral and political discourse in our country.
Plantinga defends two claims throughout his book.
(Excerpt) Read more at thepublicdiscourse.com ...
Sounds like a very interesting book. The bottom line of the book seems to be that 1) perhaps God is behind Natural Selection and 2) the intellectual/scientific community is using Alinsky tactics to stop anyone from questioning the new atheism, Darwinism and Global Warming. I’m not sure any of this is new or original.
“scientism, a view about knowledge that holds that only what can be demonstrated scientifically deserves to be considered knowledge, and naturalism, a view about reality that holds that only the material world is real.”
The two ideologies contradict each other from the outset. You cannot demonstrate scientifically that only the material world is real, therefore naturalism is not valid knowledge. QED
i said the same thing when i read that...
That’s why I think “New Atheism” is, at its heart, a completely emotion-based belief system. Viewed logically and objectively, the contradiction is so obvious that I can think of no other explanation for so many people failing to see it. They’re just blinded by their emotional desire to rationalize away God and feel intellectually superior to people who believe in Him.
I absolutely agree! If these people were genuinely convinced that there is no God and we are mere accidents from chaos, then they shouldn't care less what other people choose to believe or not believe. After all, if there is nothing but nothingness behind anything, it makes no difference what anyone believes or denies - it doesn't matter! What I find interesting about Hitchens and Dawkins, I don't know about the other guy, is that they came from religious families. They had a start in at least a semblance of a belief in God but, for whatever reason, they rejected that belief. What I suspect is behind this "militancy" is, as you said, a blind emotional desire to rationalize away the idea of God and all that having a God above us all demands of us. They want to deny any accountability for whatever they desire to do with their lives and especially any consequences. Like Hitchens does now, they will find out that they are mortally wrong and it will be too late to avoid the eternal consequences.
Yes, and I also think, if they were genuinely convinced, then they would act like sociopaths, doing whatever they please, as long as they thought they could get away with it. After all, if there is no God, then morality is not sensible, and selfishness and hedonism would be the most logical ideals to subscribe to.
The fact that stars form through gravity and nuclear fusion in no way makes those stars not created by God.
The fact that living things change inevitably and inexorably from generation to generation in no way makes those living things not created by God.
The Bible tells me I was created “from dust” and “to dust” I will return. But I was also created through cellular processes involving DNA. Was my creation by God “from dust” less literal than the creation of Adam “from dust”?
The fact that science cannot deal with the spiritual world doesn't mean the spiritual world doesn't exist.
Rather than recognizing this as one of the limits of the scientific method, the believer in science-ism thinks it somehow demonstrates that anything else doesn't exist — abandoning one of the main precepts of the scientific method by so doing.
The “new atheism” groups that raise Earth up as a conscious, feeling deity are actually Gaia-worshipping pagans, but prefer to say they are atheists while seeking to impose their religious beliefs on the lives of others, whether mandating recycling that is actually wasteful, population control or resource rationing.
They refuse to admit they are pagan while seeking to force their vows of poverty on everyone else.