August 13, 2010

Quote of the Day: Gutting on Dawkins

Religious believers often accuse argumentative atheists such as Dawkins of being excessively rationalistic, demanding standards of logical and evidential rigor that aren't appropriate in matters of faith. My criticism is just the opposite. Dawkins does not meet the standards of rationality that a topic as important as religion requires.

The basic problem is that meeting such standards requires coming to terms with the best available analyses and arguments. This need not mean being capable of contributing to the cutting-edge discussions of contemporary philosophers, but it does require following these discussions and applying them to one's own intellectual problems. Dawkins simply does not do this. He rightly criticizes religious critics of evolution for not being adequately informed about the science they are calling into question. But the same criticism applies to his own treatment of philosophical issues. (Notre Dame philosopher Gary Gutting, "On Dawkins' Atheism: A Response"; HT: Prosblogion)

The whole article is interesting, though it's mostly just an encouragement for Dawkins, his fans, and his detractors to go read some real philosophy.

Posted by Kenny at August 13, 2010 10:58 AM
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