Sunday, June 03, 2007

Irrational Rationalists

Most Christians will by now have noticed a growing militancy amongst atheists against religion, and Christianity in particular. See for example recent books by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and now Christopher Hitchens.

One of the interesting things about Dawkins is his unusual definition of faith:
Faith means blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence. (The Selfish Gene, 1976)
This is a definition of faith which many atheists will believe, repeat and argue from. Their assumption is that faith has no basis and, accordingly, Christians are completely irrational, unable to reasonably present the Christian faith to the world.

Therefore, it is interesting to see how atheists, when interacting with Christians, are sometimes so confident in this assumption that they themselves see no need to put together any reasonable, substantial argument. Why bother if the person you are arguing against is fundamentally irrational?

I have been following Doug Wilson's online debate with Christopher Hitchens hosted at Christianity Today. You can read about it at these posts: one, two, three, four, five and six. Hitchens is a very gifted polemical writer. However, as you will see as you read, it is clear that he simply does not understand the question which he is being asked: on what rational basis can a darwinist atheist chose one morality over another? (Hitchens , like other atheists, asserts that Christianity is immoral and therefore to be rejected.) He does not provide an answer.

It seems clear to me that most atheists are not able to argue their case. They simply assert it as self-evident, but are unable to see the logical inconsistency of the choices they make. To see this, read the Hitchens/Wilson debate. If you have to read only one, read part 6.

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