In which various media outlets and bloggers prove that Dawkins

30 10 2008

makes for a very convenient strawman.

Dawkins responds: Read the rest of this entry »

The Bill Muehlenberg Trophy: Father Thomas Williams

19 06 2008

Okay, I’ll bite. The man is a liar and a blowhard. A strawman-builder from the get-go:

“Though the atheists claim to represent the side of reason,” he asserts in his book, “their arguments more often than not are ideological rather than rational.”

Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. Period. If that’s all it takes to constitute an ideology, then not collecting stamps is an ideology. (Aphilatelism?)

Williams has joined the ranks of fleas with an anti-atheist tome entitled Greater Than You Think: A Theologian Answers the Atheists About God. Why does the world need this book? (That is, in addition to the plethora of recent releases with the same Christian apologist/anti-atheist agenda?) Because there has been a “surge in neo-atheist literature” in recent times, with books by Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens making the best-seller list, and as a consequence:

most people only hear one side of the story. They become indoctrinated with the atheistic arguments without ever hearing a reasoned response.

You have to ask yourself what parallel universe this guy is inhabiting, because he’s certainly absent from this one if he can utter the phrase “most people only hear one side of the story” with a straight face, given that he means “the ‘atheist’ side.” Actually, the problem is that, regarding belief and especially regarding non-belief, most people do only hear one side: and that is precisely what is prompting individual atheists, prominent and not-so-prominent, to speak out. Williams’ ridiculous statement reminds me of British Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor’s call for Christianity to be given unopposed air time on the BBC–anything less would be “Christophobic,” according to the Cardinal. Both men are either completely disconnected from reality, or telling lies. Read the rest of this entry »

Kohn-descending: The Spirit of Things on secularism

16 12 2007

It strikes me that the most strident reaction to the recent work of atheism’s “Big Four” (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens) has come from so-called moderate or liberal theists. For example, Terry Eagleton produced a scathing critique of The God Delusion soon after its release, in the blog Stanley Fish writes for the New York Times he disparagingly refers to Harris, Dawkins and Hitchens as “The Three Atheists,” and earlier this year Archbishop Rowan Williams himself got stuck into Dawkins. Sean has already posted on Tom Frame’s attack on secularism in <i>The Australian</i>.

Closer to home, ABC Radio National’s Religion Report and Rachael Kohn of The Ark and The Spirit of Things have been quite hostile to atheism. Kohn demonstrates this admirably on a recent episode of The Spirit of Things, “Secular Alternative?,” which in spite of its title–yes, Rachael, “secular” and “atheist” have different meanings–turns out to be another vehicle for Kohn to bag (her strawman definition of) atheism, either directly or via those she interviews. Read the rest of this entry »