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Friday, February 11, 2011

David Berlinski on the new atheism

I went to the library today and was browsing 200s and picked up The Devil's Delusion by David Berlinski. This is a real treat to read, so far. A secular Jew deconstructing the pseudo religion Scientism.  I now know what is new about the new atheism. I suspect that a careful reading of C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength might turn up several of the features that make the new atheism new. Anyway, I now see why these nasty pretentious super-secular narrow minded bigots need to be shut down by the intellectual brain trust of biblical theism. Berlinski's approach is a massive  reductio ad absurdum, my favorite form of argument and that coming from a confessional secularist.

I am just in the process of discovering what the shouting is all about. Four decades of totally ignoring popular culture has left me disconnected from all this. 

added later:

What I am liking most about David Berlinski's The Devil's Delusion is the humor; heaping scorn on these fellows. They do not deserve polite  deferential treatment. C. S. Lewis in his novel  That Hideous Strength followed a similar strategy against the  Scientism of his day, exposing it as incredibly evil, but also ridiculous. We need more of this sort of writing.


Anonymous MIke Gantt said...

I saw Berlinski in a debate with Christopher Hitchens on YouTube (I think if you just search on their two names you'll find it). Like you, I was very impressed with Berlinski's - especially his opening remarks. However, he did not fare well in the exchanges with Hitchens that followed. I don't know what exactly accounts for that, but it was a disappointment.

2:16 AM  
Blogger C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

Thanks Mike,

I will check it out. Writing books and stand up debate are different skills. Most of Berlinski's arguments in the fifty pages I have read are classics, same sort of things Francis Shaeffer, Elton Trueblood and C. S. Lewis were saying eons ago. I have Trueblood's A Place to Stand and Lewis' Abolition of Man here and I will probably post on them later.

8:19 AM  

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