Catholic Response to Atheism

I was wondering when I’d see a Catholic response to New Atheism. Most books I’ve seen have been by Protestant authors, though I know Dave Armstrong has done a continuing series on his blog addressing an atheist on YouTube, and recently detailed the Top 10 Atheist Arguments and exposed their fallacies.

Now, Patrick Madrid has released a new book, The Godless Delusion, with coauthor Ken Hensley. Madrid’s book tackles philosophical objections to atheism, and isn’t a defense of theism per se. Madrid took note of some atheists commenting on his book at Fascinatingly enough, none of them had actually read the book. User xwizbit seems the lone voice of reason:

I have to point out that when I was (an admittedly very wishy-washy and doubting) Christian I challenged myself to test my faith against a reading of The God Delusion, for various and sundry personal reasons. It hammered home what I was already secretly thinking about god, and turned me into the radical atheist I am today.

Nevertheless, had I merely mocked and jeered at the book, I’d still be wandering about in a fog of confusion instead of splashing in the waters of a clear-thinking oasis. Is it too much to ask that we might dare to challenge a book by reading it and then commenting?

After all, thankful as I am to Mr Dawkins, I at least read his book before wholeheartedly embracing it!

Which, of course, meets with invective of its own, despite the fact that xwizbt all but recanted this position in the very next comment (after having read the introduction). This one from user TrumpetPower!:

xwizbt, in this case the very description is more than ample to dismiss the whole thing as purest nonsense: “With remorseless logic, wit, skill, and boundless, joyful enthusiasm it lays waste that stronghold, routs the enemy, occupies the high ground for Christ their king, and dares anyone to retake it.”

Anybody who thinks it’s a good thing to occupy the high ground for an ancient zombie hero in a religious snuff porn anthology isn’t deserving of serious consideration.

Defending the indefensible: sharp critique of a book that one hasn’t read. And a statement that clearly shows this person doesn’t understand anything about the Christian faith.

And an anonymous commenter said this:

It’s astonishing. Believers come about their superstition via faith, which has nothing to do with reason. Then they pretend that they can defend their faith with reason. It just makes no sense to me. All they should do–all that they are entitled to do–is to stand there and say “I have faith”. That’s it.

While most atheists scream at us to defend our faith, this guy says that we aren’t even entitled to defend our faith. Obviously, he doesn’t actually understand what faith is. Actually, no atheist I know of knows what authentic faith is. Faith and reason are certainly not incompatible; where did this serious error in logical thought originate? That might make an interesting e-book some time in the future.

About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on July 18, 2010, in Apologetics, Book Review, Roman Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Just for the record:

    Scott Hahn has also written on the topic:

    Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God (2008)

    Peter Kreeft (a philosopher by trade) has written many books that deal indirectly with atheism, and relatively directly; e.g.,
    Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal’s Pensees (1993).

    I’ve had an atheism web page from almost the beginning of my own website (1997):

    I’ve been dealing with atheists on and off for years and am currently emphasizing it again in what I am writing about. My own book about atheism, Christian Worldview vs. Postmodernism, was completed in 2002.

    Probably there will be another book from me about atheism in the future. Books like that sell very few, but so what? It’s important to oppose the error.

    On the whole, though, you are correct. Most general Christian apologetics and dealing with atheism comes from Protestant circles. I rejoice in all the material. We Catholics agree with most of it. It isn’t like we disagree. What’s truth is truth.

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