EHRC Homepage | New Category | Your Questions
David Springer responds:
Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.
"Appears Dawkins broke a cardinal rule of philosophical naturalism [my emphasis] below:
Classical deism is a divine foot in the door. Once there the next big question is whether the creator of the universe is still engaged with the creation. If a deist can find a satisfying way around the problem of evil then it's an easy step to belief in a personal God. Dawkins has never been able to reconcile belief in a personal God with the problem of evil."