Saturday, December 25, 2010

Way Beyond Atheism // Paul Wallace on why Richard Dawkins is a fundamentalist, and most Atheists reject too little

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

by Paul Wallace, M. Div. candidate at Emory

Last week I read a remarkable essay [by Denys Turner, professor of Theology at Yale] called “Apophaticism, Idolatry, and the Claims of Reason.” In it he tells this story:

Some years ago, and in younger, more foolhardy days, finding myself in a tight spot in a public debate with a philosopher atheist at Bristol University, I made a wager with my audience: I would give anyone present five minutes to explain his or her reasons for atheism and if, after that, I could not guess correctly the Christian denomination in which that person had been brought up, I would buy her a pint of beer. As luck would have it I was not broke at the subsequent revels.

It turns out that he was not broke because no one took the bet. But the story points out a very interesting idea that Turner pursues in the course of his essay: The atheisms of most committed, principled atheists are often not more than mirror images—inversions—of the theisms they negate. In On Interpretation, Aristotle wrote, “Affirmations and their corresponding negations are one in the same knowledge”; therefore, one can discern from many atheisms their corresponding affirmative theologies. Read on...

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