The Dawkins Confusion – Plantinga responds Dr. Alvin Plantinga my all time favorite philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, who I’ve mentioned. Alvin Plantinga is without question one of the great scholars in the world Alister McGrath & Joanna Collicutt McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion?. Christianity Today has published this lengthy review of The God Delusion. The review’s author is Alvin Plantinga, who is often described as.

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The only sense I dawkinx make of it is to suppose that by this view our beliefs are merely a side-effect of some neurophysiology that exists for some other purpose, and that the beliefs themselves have no effect on our behaviour. We all have a need to feel that we are important and useful to our society on a phenomenal level, this is driven by again a desire for reproductive success and the longevity to ensure reproductive success. And yet religion — and Plantinga’s arguments — rely on the idea that our instinctive feelings and “common sense” should be reliable guides, because they are “god-given.

Plantingaa the considerable length of the review just under words, not counting endnotesI figured that Plantinga must have put considerable effort into his arguments. Genuine platninga of thought is an insuperable problem for materialism.

Science or naturalism? The contradictions of Richard Dawkins

To begin with, is God complex? This worry is justified only if you imagine that organisms lpantinga genes that cause them to misperceive reality will consistently outreproduce those who perceive things accurately.

No one has ever enhanced his fitness by taking hallucinatory drugs. I’ve done my best to explain the philosophical problem that Plantinga is posing, and the difficulties involved with selection as a solution to it, that everyone else seems to at least comprehend.

I suppose that’s theoretically possible, but it’s a straw man. The real problem here, obviously, is Dawkins’s naturalism, his belief that there is no such person as God or anyone like God. It was a great article to help understand were Dawkins is coming from. It’s a neat – if transparent – way to avoid actually addressing my point, however.

And what would anyone gain from such a conversation other than feeling smugly superior to the opposing view point? But if evidence is needed, just consider that there are a variety of brain defects that can cause people to misperceive the world around them, and those people routinely have to be protected from themselves.

Ben Witherington: Alvin Plantinga’s Refutation of “The God Delusion”

Most religious people are also motivated to make sense of their beliefs — and will at least admit that discarding them if they’re wrong is a virtue.


If Dawkins ever gets tired of his day job, a promising future awaits him as a writer of political attack ads. Look at this, from the section following the quote above: Instead, he is arguing that the only way we can “know” that is if God gave us the proper equipment to do so That is why reliable perception and cognition is so important to our survival. It’s because, he says, the existence of God is monumentally improbable. Let’s say that the women consent, perhaps under the same influence, just to avoid a digression into the fitness of rapists.

Whilst Plantinga is a wonderful philosopher, CS Lewis was a better writer, so, perhaps you’d have more luck wrapping your head around this version:. Contrary to your hyposthesis are apparent counter-examples, such as religion itself again, see the article I gave the link to before.

I know he has written at length on this point, but his arguments in this regard are simply bad. There is also the problem of how you explain the plantimga and pervasiveness of religion.

That not everyone is a Christian believer?

Science or naturalism? The contradictions of Richard Dawkins – ABC Religion & Ethics

We’d be constantly running away from non-existent predators every time we heard rustling. John Pieret, So you agree with me that Jason’s argument, that “the idea that we evolved via an unguided mechanism that favors only immediate survival provides a sound basis indeed for assuming our cognitive faculties are reliable,” is not obviously true.

He appeals to “the anthropic principle,” the thought that the only sort of universe in which we could be discussing this question is one which is fine-tuned for life:.

I haven’t read that into the conversation yet but let us see if this is indeed what these authors believe. So is pointing out when Dawkins himself has chosen to attack imperial fashion, rather than stick to the topic of the emperor’s nudity, and done a botched job. From this point of view, our beliefs would be dependent on neurophysiology, and no doubt a belief would just be a neurological structure of some complex kind.

Alvin Plantinga Zings Richard Dawkins

Perhaps Plantinga is taking a similar view to this. It still seems striking that these constants should have just the values they do have; it is still monumentally improbable, given chance, that they should have just those values; and it is still much less improbable that they should have those values, if there is a God who wanted a life-friendly universe. What I hear here to paraphrase confsuion that you are saying that our confuskon ability plays little or no role in reproductive success true and that Jason R.


There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can’t be very satisfying as you are no doubt finding. I think you are misconstruing alvjn I have said here. Cancel reply Enter your comment here Instead, he is arguing that the only way we can “know” that is if Alvun gave us the proper plantnga to do so. And I am sure that our folks from the ICR would be glad to point out that the “God-Given Reality Spectacles” have been corrupted by the fall and can’t be trusted.

It is a good thing that Jason will fisk Platinga, because I would have stopped after Dawkins seems to have chosen God as his sworn enemy. I do not agree with him, but the argument he makes is not reliant on our CF’s to be anything near perfect, only reliable enough. On dawkiins other hand, in matters that are mostly irrelevant to survival, like an ability to understand quantum mechanics or partial differential equations, or in instances where false beliefs might actually be adaptive, such as a tendency to attribute agency to things that lack it, natural selection might lead to less reliable cognitive faculties.

Thursday 12 April 2: We tend to think the Earth is flat.

He just seems to find the complexity of the universe to be so spectacular that no being could be complex enough to make it. Oh, and by the way, the bacteria business is simply to show that, at one end of a spectrum, perception is utterly unneccessary for reproductive success. It sometimes strikes me that these people are really complaining that, absent magic, we cannot grasp TRVTH — a transcendent, quasi-Platonic ultimate.

I agree that Plantinga’s argument is poorly framed and entirely beyond credibility. He compares believing in God to believing that other people have minds. Furthermore, it’s formulated in a way that’s completely unfalsifiable by exploiting the fact that you can’t observe anything outside of your own subjective perception. The premise he argues for is something like this:. But how does that so much as begin to explain why it is that this universe is fine-tuned?

I remember a similar misuse of the Courtier’s Reply in the comments of the post “Do the more aggressive skeptics misunderstand religion?