Wednesday, 25 February 2015

THE THEORY OF NOTHING – Dawkins and company exposed

The success of the recent film “The Theory of Everything” has produced a rosy glow around the speculations of the New Atheists due to the power of the god “Oscar”.  

The hype mesmerizes secular society and confirms the public’s prevailing faith in fantasy Naturalism, Hollywood’s religion for those in the Western world who have rejected theism and specifically Christianity.

However, a voice of sanity rings out amidst the adulation for Dawkins, Hawking and Co.. 

David Bentley Hart, the noted philosopher and theologian, with razor exactitude exposes the basic rational and philosophical errors these celebrity scientists make when they tread beyond the circumscription of real physics, and science generally, into the world of fantasy Naturalism. 


In his recent book, THE EXPERIENCE OF GOD: BEING, CONSCIOUSNESS, BLISS, Hart skewers those who conveniently ignore the basics of logic in their pursuit of the fairy tale of a scientific “Theory of Everything”.

Hart points out the errors in reason that Dawkins and Hawking make while they criticize others for holding theistic views. Exposing their slick pop philosophy being foisted on the uninstructed public, Hart maintains:

“Naturalism is a picture of the whole of reality that cannot, according to its own intrinsic premises, address the whole; it is a metaphysics of the rejection of metaphysics, a transcendental certainty of the impossibility of transcendent truth, and so requires an act of pure credence logically immune to any verification.”

In his chapter ‘Pictures of the World’ Hart reveals that the whole project to make Naturalism the only acceptable worldview is itself outside of true science which is limited by its very nature and, though powerful within its limitations, utterly empty when individuals go beyond their expertise in the narrow mandate of science to describe, understand and adapt the physical world.

Hart: “[The sciences] yield only knowledge of certain aspects of things as seen from one very powerful but constricted perspective. If they attempt to go beyond their methodological commissions they cease to be sciences and immediately become fatuous occultisms.”

Pointing out “the fairly elementary philosophical errors”  in wildly popular books by the New Atheists, Hart relentlessly pursues the limits of a sham theory of knowledge which is being given to the public wholesale.

Exposing the confusion between actual scientific method and amateur philosophical speculation, Hart continues:

“Above all, we should not let ourselves forget precisely what method is and what it is not . . .[it is] a systematic set of limitations and constraints voluntarily assumed by a researcher in order to concentrate his or her investigations upon a strictly defined aspect of, or approach to, a clearly delineated object.”

The scientific method has been a phenomenally successful approach to understanding the world which has provided all sorts of natural advantages to the human race but, in the hands of Dawkins et. al., scientific method has been, in Hart’s words, “transformed into its perfect and irrepressibly wanton opposite: what began as a principled refusal of metaphysical speculation, for the sake of specific empirical inquiries, has now been mistaken for a comprehensive knowledge of the metaphysical shape of reality: the humble art of questioning has been mistaken for the sure possession of ultimate conclusions.”


Hart ends his work with a reflection upon the prevailing secular mentality which is based on a vapid Naturalism. The Naturalist worldview is now also at war with Islamic jihad while, at the same time, attacking traditional Western beliefs upon which our culture is founded.  

Despite this wanton assault of ego, a thoughtful, rational and yet faithful theism is still available to those who are prepared to look deeply beyond the Hollywood version of reality.

Hart recaps his basic points:
“. . . I suggested that atheism may really be only a failure to see something very obvious . . . . ours is a culture largely formed by an ideological unwillingness to see what is there to be seen.  The reason the very concept of God has become at once so impoverished, so thoroughly mythical, and ultimately so incredible for so many modern persons is not because of all the interesting things we have learned over the past few centuries, but because of all the vital things we have forgotten.  Above all we have forgotten being: the self-evident mystery of existence that only deep confusion could cause one to mistake for the sort of mystery that admits of a physical or natural or material solution . . . 

. . . Late modernity is, after all, a remarkably shrill and glaring reality, a dazzling chaos of the beguilingly trivial and the terrifyingly atrocious, a world of ubiquitous mass media and constant interruption, a ceaseless storm of artificial sensations and appetites, an interminable spectacle whose only unifying theme is the imperative to acquire and spend. It is scarcely surprising, in such a world, amid so many distractions . . . that we should have little time to reflect upon the mystery that manifests itself not as a thing among other things, but as the silent event of being itself.”


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