As I edit my response to Christian theologian and apologist Randal Rauser, I have come to the conclusion that ALL forms of apologetics are bankrupt.
When I first set out to read Randal Rauser’s book The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver, and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails, I was hoping that a theologian might offer something in the way of a more sophisticated, perhaps even original defense (or apology) for his faith.
As it turns out, the only main difference is that Randal Rauser can obfuscate twice as well because he has a wealth of theological terminology to pull from. But even so, that doesn’t change the fact that poor reasoning is still poor reasoning.
Consider these two examples from his book:
It seems Randal is confused about atheism. In his book The Swedish Atheist he has his fictional atheist say:
“Atheism is simpler than theism. We can explain everything in the world without positing the existence of a magic sky God.”
To which Randal responds, “I don’t accept that.”
How on Earth can anyone say that atheism is, in fact, NOT simpler than theism?
We can explain nearly everything in the world using science, hence we have no need to posit the existence of a magic sky God. But to say that positing a magic sky God is (somehow) as simple as not positing a magic sky God is just baffling.
Another example of Randal’s “stellar” reasoning. In his book The Swedish Atheist he states:
“Even though we know that perception is shaped by our culture and experience, we don’t thereby cast doubt on all our perception.”
Well, naturally. But he goes on, just a few lines later to ask:
“Couldn’t they [religious beliefs] be generally trustworthy even though they too are shaped by culture and environment?”
No! You see, doubting our perceptions and having confidence in the reliability, or trustworthiness, of religious belief are two different things.
Randal’s blog is far worse. I mean, with his books he at least stops to take time to think about what he’s saying–yet this is what we have come to expect from Randal Rauser.
Seriously, the dude isn’t fooling anyone but himself.
As for my own book, The Swedish Fish, Deflating the Scuba Diver, and Working the Rabbit’s Foot, I address many of Randal’s arguments head on and cut through the theological nonsense. But not being a theologian myself, I will be contacting a well known theologian to check over my arguments and point out where I might have blundered. Something I wish Randal would have had the foresight to do with respect to the areas where he talks about, and completely murders, science in his book.
If you’re interested in my book, it’s on schedule for a November (2014) release. Stay tuned for further updates!