St Thomas Aquinas believed that, to have an honest debate about ideas and beliefs, one must present the strongest arguments of your opponents. Since this website presents my view of God’s relationship with the world, I want to make space for those who have a contrary view. I will present the basic skeptical position, as Hans Kung presents it in his book Does God Exist?,
Hans Kung presents the best arguments against the existence of God in a survey of Philosophy, covering how man has eliminated ‘God’ as a necessary foundation for reality from the Greeks until modern times. Halfway through the book, he summarises all these positions, quoting Wolfgang Stegmuller ‘one of the leading logicians and epistemologists of our time.’
“The academic expert, concentrated on his special field (mathematics, history, natural science), does not like to be told that basic assumptions of his thinking are metaphysical in character; the metaphysician does not like to be told that his mental activity rests on a prerational, primordial decision; philosophers of all types — apart from skeptics — do not like to told that the kinds of skepticism that are to be take seriously are irrefutable; and skeptics themselves, of all shades, do not like to admit that they cannot prove their standpoint. Such a complex assessment more or less provokes the indignant protest: ‘This cannot possibly be your last word. One way or another, there must be a solution of some kind.’ To which I can only reply: ‘The solution is in your hands, at any time. Make up your mind. Decide.'”
So the ‘champions’ of the no God movement, Dawkins and Dennet and others, have made up their minds. And they seek to prove to the rest of us that they are right and our intimations and beliefs about God are wrong and even dangerous. Ultimately, our argument against their position can only be: ‘Look around. The world is filled with grace.’ That is the Good News that we Christians bring, even to the Skeptics!
© 2011 James Harlow Brown, All rights reserved.