Eagleton on Dawkins
Terry Eagleton on The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
‘What, one wonders, are Dawkins’s views on the epistemological differences between Aquinas and Duns Scotus? Has he read Eriugena on subjectivity, Rahner on grace or Moltmann on hope? Has he even heard of them? Or does he imagine like a bumptious young barrister that you can defeat the opposition while being complacently ignorant of its toughest case? Dawkins, it appears, has sometimes been told by theologians that he sets up straw men only to bowl them over, a charge he rebuts in this book; but if The God Delusion is anything to go by, they are absolutely right.’The whole article, which can be read here, is (imo) a deserved slap around the chops of theologically illiteracy. I'm no Dawkins expert, let me make that clear, but I suspect the biggest refutation of his case is probably the thousands of Christians who have given their lives for wonderful and healing causes across the world. And by all accounts, his book does not seriously address this fact (nor, as Eagleton points out, many other important issues). That annoys me. Dawkins, it seems - though read the book for yourself to check -, evidences a reverse sort of Fundamantalism, and many Fundamentalists, whether they be of the theist or atheist variety, tend to wind me up the wrong way.