The Case For Theism Is A “Fraud”

The Case For Theism Is A “Fraud” January 5, 2011

Somehow I missed this when it went viral in the blogosphere. University of Houston professor, Ken Parsons, announced on his blog that he was giving up philosophic research into religion.  He discussed his efforts to teach the case for theism:

I found the arguments so execrably awful and pointless that they bored and disgusted me…. I have to confess that I now regard “the case for theism” as a fraud and I can no longer take it seriously enough to present it to a class as a respectable philosophical position—no more than I could present intelligent design as a legitimate biological theory. BTW, in saying that I now consider the case for theism to be a fraud, I do not mean to charge that the people making that case are frauds who aim to fool us with claims they know to be empty. No, theistic philosophers and apologists are almost painfully earnest and honest; I don’t think there is a Bernie Madoff in the bunch. I just cannot take their arguments seriously any more, and if you cannot take something seriously, you should not try to devote serious academic attention to it.

Oh boy do I know how he feels.  When I have discussions with non-Orthodox rabbinical colleagues about the case for theism, I find myself thinking the same kind of things.  I simply can’t believe that otherwise bright and open people really believe in it.  And the more complicated their arguments become, the less I find them to be compelling.  Either there’s no logical consistency or there’s so much gobbledy-gook that I can’t get a handle on what they’re talking about.  I can tell that THEY believe in it, I just can’t for the life of me understand how or why.


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