LINK: Colin McGinn on Atheism

The Spring 2012 issue of Theoretical and Applied Ethics contains a symposium on Ethics, Atheism, and Religion.  The lead essay is by Colin McGinn and is followed by responses from Edward Feser, Steve Fuller, Ted Peters, and Robert Sinclair.  All the essays can be read online, so go take a look.

HT: Edward Feser

Great Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics by a Christian
G&T Rebuttal, Part 6: Chapter 7
Religious Experience – Recognizing God
Geisler & Turek Rebuttal, Part 7: Chapter 8
About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • Andres Ruiz

    My goodness.

    McGinn's essay reads like he hasn't read anything other than Carl Sagan on the subject of the divine.

  • Rayndeon

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  • Rayndeon

    Actually, I cannot help but to be fairly sympathetic to McGinn's views in that article. Obviously, this is coming from an atheist, but I likewise see why theists like Feser wouldn't find McGinn's pronouncements to be particularly convincing – but that pretends that McGinn was trying to convince anyone. I didn't read it like that – I read it as someone who generally regards theistic philosophy to be bullshit, in the same vein that Keith Parsons eventually did when he left the field. And I think, at the end of the road, looking at what is actually done in theistic philosophy and what not, and how insular philosophy of religion is in general, I confess being not hostile to that position.

    I would also make a similar indictment however to a number of beliefs and positions across the philosophical spectrum. Thinking about metaphilosophy tends to depress about the "usefulness" and worthiness of philosophy in general, but I suppose entertaining such issues is itself philosophy. To wit: the power and value of philosophy is dubious, but in my even limited experience in philosophy of religion thus far, it is not just dubious, but perhaps bullshit.

    Maybe, maybe not.

  • Randall King

    Oddly enough (in his biography), at the age of 17 or 18 he was committed to doing “Divinity A-levels” (with Mr. Marsh) — and claims to know more than the average practicing Christian about Christianity. However, there was no lasting impact of his seeking, and by the time McGinn came across Betrand Russell’s corpus, the death blow to his faith was complete. Like Sam Harris’ treatment of Buddhism, McGinn chooses to scavenge the corpse of his Christian past, and cherry pick all the “good parts” and jettison the rest as a “load of rubbish”.