By David Fergusson

Heralded because the exponents of a "new atheism," critics of faith are hugely obvious in today's media, and contain the loved ones names of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris. David Fergusson explains their paintings in its ancient point of view, drawing comparisons with prior sorts of atheism. Responding to the critics via conversations at the credibility of spiritual trust, Darwinism, morality, fundamentalism, and our method of interpreting sacred texts, he establishes a compelling case for the sensible and theoretical validity of religion within the modern world.

An invitation to interact in a wealthy discussion, Faith and Its Critics helps an educated and positive trade of principles instead of a competition among aspects of the controversy. Fergusson encourages religion groups to adopt sufferer engagement with their critics, to recognize where for switch and improvement of their self-understanding while resisting the reductive factors of the recent atheism.

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Extra resources for Faith and Its Critics: A Conversation (Gifford Lectures)

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The term ‘agnosticism’ is of course useful in designating a position in which belief in the existence or non-existence of God is suspended. We might reasonably reach the position that the evidence is inconclusive or that the reach of our intellects is far too limited to pronounce on such an issue. Nevertheless, the line between atheism and agnosticism is too blurred for this to be a sharp and useful distinction except in some restricted contexts. In stressing our inability to pronounce on such lofty matters, Hume might be described as an agnostic or sceptic rather than an atheist.

Yet for Al-Ghazali this was not an abstract piece of philosophizing, or an attempt to establish a foundational claim for the divine existence. It was prompted by the threat to Islamic theology posed by Aristotelian claims for the eternity of the universe. A cosmos created and governed by the personal will of God required a beginning, he believed. Hence Al-Ghazali advanced arguments that were intended to protect some of the most 40 The Credibility of Religious Belief cherished convictions of his religious community in the face of pagan incursions.

This is the claim that the intelligibility of the world as presupposed by the natural sciences is to be explained in terms of theological design. 10 It is not so much that the world exhibits one particular structure or shape that requires explanation. Instead its conformity to scientific description, whatever this may turn out to be, is what is to be explained by natural theology. This is a presupposition rather than a product of scientific activity, and in seeking to explain it the philosopher or theologian offers a complementary level of description that functions in a different way.

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