Thursday, 5 December 2013

Atheism and Magical Thinking

'I do not regard true philosophical atheism as an intellectually valid or even cogent position; in fact, I see it as a fundamentally irrational view of reality, which can be sustained only by a tragic absence of curiosity or a fervently resolute will to believe the absurd. More simply, I am convinced that the case for belief in God is inductively so much stronger than the case for unbelief that true philosophical atheism must be regarded as a superstition, often nurtured by an infantile wish to live in a world proportionate to one's hopes or conceptual limitations...

When I say atheism is a kind of obliviousness to the obvious, I mean that if one understands what the actual philosophical definition of "God" is...and if consequently one understands what is logically entailed in denying that there is any God so defined, then one cannot reject the reality of God...without embracing an ultimate absurdity...

The only fully
consistent alternative to belief in God, properly understood, is some version of "materialism"...the doctrine that there is nothing apart form the physical an incorrigibly incoherent concept, and on that is ultimately indistinguishable from pure magical thinking.'

David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God, p 16-17

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