I’ve always been a rather sceptical chap but it’s only really been over the last few years that I’ve really started to consider the existence of God. I’ve thought about it before, obviously, but I’ve not really put any effort into my thought discussions on that particularly subject.
I know a few Atheist heathens at work and we’ve discussed the irrationality of God and all that Jazz. I’ve developed a thirst for knowledge on the whole thing and have started to consider myself a Humanist. I read a few Atheist blogs and these inevitably introduce a whole bunch of related (and often unrelated) science articles.
I’m finding all this very interesting and despite some particularly compelling arguments suggesting I should resolve to become an Atheist I remain an Agnostic.
You see, I’m still a curious soul and I want to see things from the other side of the fence. I want to better understand the arguments in favour of a Theistic belief rather than merely reading about why God is almost certainly a figment of our imagination.
So, I was pleased to see an article on RichardDawkins.net regarding an article from Publishers Weekly showing that the current crop of Atheist blockbusters has spawned a number of retaliatory tomes arguing against Atheism, or at least presenting the case in favour of God.
In the current cultural argument over God and faith, one thing is beyond doubt: as long as there are atheist bestsellers, there will be response books, and lots of them. The string of popular titles by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett has spawned a batch of response books across the faith spectrum.
While previous titles (Alister McGrath’s The Dawkins Delusion, InterVarsity, 2007) have responded to particular books, or, as in the case of Antony Flew (There Is a God, HarperOne, 2007), charted one person’s spiritual journey, now authors are beginning to respond to the “new atheists” as a group or movement.
Philip Law, academic editor and U.K./E.U. publishing director for Westminster John Knox, sought out John Haught, professor of science and religion at Georgetown University, to write God and the New Atheism, published in December. “As far as I know,” Law says, “there have not been any credible responses to all of these ‘new atheists.’ ”
I should probably make the effort to read some of these, or at the very least find some internet resources that provide a good, balanced view of these arguments. I’m not particularly interested in Creationism – the argument from Intelligent Design seems rather flawed to me, especially considering the level of understanding of the real science behind evolution and cosmology – but I would like to read the more philosophical and spiritual arguments.
You have to keep an open mind to these subjects after all, and even if/when I’m not converted I’ll have learned a few things along the way, and that’s always a good thing.