Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The God Delusion #29: The McGraths' Critique of Dawkins #1

Alister and Joanna McGrath's recent book The Dawkins Delusion: Atheistic Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine is a brilliant, coherent refutation of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion.

Alister has a Ph.D in molecular biophysics from Oxford and a doctoral degree in theology from Oxford. He teaches historical theology at Oxford. Joanna has a doctoral degree in psychology and teaches at the University of London, specializing in the psychology of religion, experimental psychology, and clinical neuropsychology.

Alister is a former atheist. He writes (DD, 9): "Although I was passionately and totally persuaded of the truth and relevance of atheism as a young man, I subsequently found myself persuaded that Christianity was a much more interesting and intellectually exciting worldview than atheism. I have always valued freethinking and being able to rebel against the orthodoxies of an age. Yet I never suspected where my freethinking would take me...

...I started out as an atheist who went on to become a Christian - precisely the reverse of Dawkins's intellectual journey. I had originally intended to spend my life in scientific research but found that my discovery of Christianity led me to study its history and ideas in great depth.

I gained my doctorate in molecular biology while working in the Oxford laboratories of Professor George Radda, but then gave up active scientific research to study theology."

I'll be making some posts from the McGraths' book that especially interest me.

The book is extremely well-put-together and readable.

The issue remains important, as we see atheists like Michael Shermer trying to uplift Dawkins's GD as something worthwhile and intelligent. But mostly, it is not. As one can see by reading DD.