On the futility of arguing with atheists
Elizaphanian has been posting a series on atheism, and reading the comments on one of his posts has convinced me more strongly than ever of the futility of arguing with atheists.
An agnostic friend of mine came to the same conclusion, and I blogged about it in Militant atheism goes West. Since he puts the case much more convincingly than I can, I won’t repeat his arguments here.
But one thing I will repeat. A blogging friend wrote in his LiveJournal about the new brand of atheist TV evangelists. He has now deleted his LiveJournal, so links to it will no longer work, and I hope he won’t mind if I reproduce his post on That fool Dawkins
Rational debate about the existence/ non-existence of God, and the ethical implications thereof, is good. It belongs to human dignity to seek to discern what is true.
There is an academic discipline which studies questions such as what constitutes a warranted belief, what religious language ‘means’, whether it has a possible reference and what it means for our conceptions of the good life. That discipline is philosophy. There is also an academic discipline whose remit of study includes the atrocities committed in the name of religion. That discipline is history.
So why, when Channel Four want to air a programme about these issues do they give air-time to a biologist with no training whatsoever in either discipline? Moreover one whose previous pronouncements in this area have only been published because he has piggy-backed on his (justified) scientific reputation and which, considered in their own right, are unworthy of a moderately bright A-level student..
Yet another example of the ignoring of the humanities in mainstream culture and, in spite of the irrationalism of our age, the persistence of the Victorian cult of the polymath scientist. Boo, hiss.