Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What I'll Be Reading After I'm Done What I'm Currently Reading

2 comments:

Edward said...

I started, but never got around to finishing this book.

Here's the problem I found with it: it he seems to think that it is a major scandal that natural religion has natural causes. (BTW - he provides some interesting speculations here, but nothing like actual evidence. As I recall.) I can't see why I should be scandalized by this. I've always believed it to be true.

Also, he also seems to think that, if something is natural, then God necessarily has nothing to do with it. He seems to think that God's actions are limited to the supernatural. That just goes to show that we've lost track of the proper meaning of 'natural' and 'supernatural'.

Christopher said...

Edward,

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll watch for that feature of the book, and when I complete it, I'll let you know if he resolves that issue.

For my own part, I haven't been able to finish Dawkins' The God Delusion. He seems to think it sensible that theistic belief submit its claims to biological science for testing and sifting because theistic beliefs make statements about existence. And if you're of Dawkins' mind, 'existence' statements are exclusively within the purview of scientific experimentation. In effect, he's calling for the subsuming of theology to science.

My difficulty there is that Dawkins' brand of scientific inquiry has assumed exclusive interpretve rights on existence, and brushed aside in one arrogant swoop an enormous swath of history where 'existence' was the consideration almost exclusively of philosophers, theologians, and contemplatives of all sorts; there was really never a problem with people making observations and probable conclusions on existence until Dawkins decided he didn't like it.

Combine that with the intellectual pomp Mr. Oxfordian biologist trumpets, and you have a supremely snobbish book chalked full of a general tone of 'appeal to pity', and special pleading.

Dawkins' book, from the two goes I've had at it, is really just an awful book.