Monday, October 29, 2007

Mailer, Desouza, and Flew on God

Linda and I went to Borders in Ann Arbor Friday night after eating the best prime rib we've ever had at Weber's. I picked up Norman Mailer's new book On God: An Uncommon Conversation. I doubt if I'll buy it because it seems extraordinarily common, and even (self-admittedly) ignorant re. philosophical and theological God-issues. For example, Mailer states the argument from evil against God and quickly brushes over it. I'm guessing he's unfamiliar with the actual intellectual discussion.

Then I looked at Dinesh Desouza's new book - What's So Great About Christianity. Note that there's no question mark here. Desouza argues for the greatness and the need for Christianity. What stunned me were the positive reviews, to include Dallas Willard, Francis Collins, atheist Michael Shermer, and even (!) Stanley Fish. Fish writes: Desouza "meets every anti-God argument head-on and defeats it on its own terms. He submits atheism and scientific materialism to sustained rigourous interrogation and shows that their claims are empty and incoherent. Infinitely more sophisticated than the rants of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, What's So Great About Christianity leaves those rants in the dust."

I got Antony Flew's There Is a God in the mail on Friday, and read a lot of it on Saturday. I'll probably make some posts on Flew. He admits now believing that, when you follow the evidence to where it leads, it leads to God. For those of us studying philosophy in the late 20th century Flew was the paradigmatic atheist.