Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Alister McGrath III

Following on from previous posts, I found this discussion of Alister McGrath's Dawkins Delusion:
"My only concern is that some liberal theists may skip The God Delusion and go straight to the considerably slimmer volume, The Dawkins Delusion. The only way I could see McGrath’s illusion working is if his readers have not read The God Delusion, and continue not to read it afterwards. I urge anyone who has not read either book, not to bypass Dawkins and go straight to McGrath. And, if you have bypassed Dawkins for McGrath, please go and read The God Delusion. Of course, if you have read The God Delusion but not The Dawkins Delusion, read McGrath’s work, by all means. Personally, I did not find it compelling and cannot offer my recommendation. Not that any atheist has anything to fear from it, I simply think there are better things to do with your time and money."
And a couple more here:
"In DD, McGrath comments: “One obvious response [to GD] would be to write an equally aggressive, inaccurate book…” But to do so would be “pointless and counterproductive, not to mention intellectually dishonest”. (DD, p.xi). Unfortunately, DD is aggressive, inaccurate, and arguably intellectually dishonest. McGrath also notes that to publish a “litany of corrections” to Dawkins would be “catatonically boring” (DD, p.xii). I, however, unapologetically adopt the “litany of corrections” approach, simply because it is good to set McGrath’s scholarly pretensions against the reality, making the contrast as stark as possible. Early versions of this document were criticised for failing to distinguish between different kinds of faults: I had started at the beginning of the book and worked through to the end, noting the problems as I went, and some readers disliked that approach. I have now classified McGrath’s solecisms, giving this review something approaching a helpful structure."
And here and here:
"Alister McGrath (along with his wife and co-author Joanna Collicutt McGrath—but Alister says on page 117 that he did most of the work) has written a book that purports to rebut Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. McGrath’s book is called The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine. “This book, [he] suspect[s], will be read mainly by Christians who want to know what to say to their friends who have read The God Delusion and are wondering if believers really are as perverted, degenerate and unthinking as the book makes them out to be. But it is [his] hope that its readers may include atheists whose minds are not yet locked into a pattern of automatic Dawkinsian reflexes.” (McGrath 15.)"

1 comment:

Dark Sociologist said...

The moral of the story is to read the source. Many people hear a summary of a summary and then find holes in the argument without consulting the underlying source. I fall victim to this sometimes by reading wikipedia way too much. :)