Friday, August 16, 2013

"Not Even Ballpark": Berlinski on the New Atheist

From the inside flap of The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions by David Berlinski:

Militant atheism is on the rise. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have dominated bestseller lists with books denigrating religious belief as dangerous foolishness. And these authors are merely the leading edge of a far larger movement–one that now includes much of the scientific community.

“The attack on traditional religious thought,” writes David Berlinski in The Devil’s Delusion, “marks the consolidation in our time of science as the single system of belief in which rational men and women might place their faith, and if not their faith, then certainly their devotion.”

A secular Jew, Berlinski nonetheless delivers a biting defense of religious thought. An acclaimed author who has spent his career writing about mathematics and the sciences, he turns the scientific community’s cherished skepticism back on itself, daring to ask and answer some rather embarrassing questions:

Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence?
Not even close.

Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here?
Not even close.

Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life?
Not even close.

Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought?
Close enough.

Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral?
Not close enough.

Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good?
Not even close to being close.

Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences?
Close enough.

Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational?
Not even ballpark.

Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt?
Dead on
.


For more:
Meaning is Subjective: Trueman on Atheism & the Meaning of Everyhing
Justice and the Implications of Atheism: Doug Wilson Hits the Nail on Its Head
Collision:  An Important Documentary About Faith and Atheism  
Atheism and Moral Relativistic Parenting: Touchstone Takes on Harris
Harris on the Science of Morality:  Nice Try But No Cigar  
Natural Morality:  The Disconnect Between Darwinism and Morality
Freud's Wish Fulfillment: Why Atheism Can't Explain Atheism
The Atheist Debates
Atheism Is Not Great - The D'Souza and Hitchens Debate
John Lennox: The New Atheism and the Gospel
D'Souza: Are Atheists Cultural Christians
Survival of the Moral: Can Man Be Moral Without God?
Re: Survival of the Moral: Can Man Be Moral Without God?
"Atheism Remix" by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
"The Delusion of Disbelief" by David Aikman
"The End of Reason" by Ravi Zacharias
What's So Great About Christianity? by Dinesh D'Souza   
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