Saturday, February 20, 2010

Response to the New Atheists

Bethel College philosopher Chad Meister and Biola University philosopher William Lane Craig recently published a co-edited a response to the challenges posed by the "New Atheists." Taking off on Christopher Hitchens' book titled God Is Not Great, Meister and Craig put together, God is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible.

Meister talks about the book in an interview with the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Here's an excerpt:

One of the objections to religious faith raised by the New Atheists and other critics of religion is that one must be both unreasonable and irresponsible to hold religious beliefs. This is often a criticism rooted in a reaction to fideism-a reliance on nonrational or irrational faith. In this book we attempt to demonstrate that faith need not be blind, unreasonable or irresponsible. Belief in God and Christ can be grounded on reason and solid evidence. Indeed, not only can one be warranted in holding Christian faith, but it may be much more intellectually honest and epistemically responsible -when taking into consideration the latest work in science, history, and philosophy-to be a believer than not.

I would add that not only is it more intellectually honest, it's more intellectually satisfying - for a host of reasons. I invite anyone who'd like to pursue that claim to read the argument outlined here.


Public Abasement

I guess I'm missing something, but I just don't understand why Tiger Woods owes a public apology to the whole world. Sure, he needs to apologize to his friends and family and others he's hurt or embarrassed, but that should be done in private. Why does anyone think he owes you and I an apology? How did he hurt any of us? What business is it of ours what he did in his personal life, anyway? He committed no crime, he's not a public official, he's not responsible to us any more than we are responsible to him for what we do. If my neighbor cheats on his wife he certainly doesn't owe me an apology, and it would be extraordinarily pretentious and self-righteous of me to think he does.

Some have asserted that Woods' case is different because he's a celebrity, but I fail to see why that should matter. Simply because he's in the public eye gives none of us any claim on his life. Nor does it give us the right to demand that he stand before us in sackcloth and ashes and flagellate himself.

Cable tv and print media personalities assiduously dissecting his mea culpa are acting either like officious prigs, characters straight out of The Scarlet Letter, or like salacious gossips who relish the flaws and debasement of others because it somehow makes them feel a little better about their own humble station in life and their own meager moral achievements.

It's all pretty tawdry. A less vulgar culture would simply avert its eyes from Mr. Woods' private life and perhaps offer a prayer for him and his family rather than seek to exploit his shortcomings to advance their own ratings.



In response to the post on the airborne laser system we featured last Monday, Kyle sent along a link to a video that explains another aspect of anti-missile defense.

The missile shield is a layered defense. The airborne laser system is designed to attack ICBMs in the boost phase of their trajectory, i.e. shortly after they've launched and before they've deployed whatever defense systems or multiple warheads they might be carrying.

The THAAD system that's explained at the link is a kinetic energy defense designed to operate against missiles in their final approach to their target.

Give it a look. RLC