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Are the "new atheists" attacking a "straw god"?

There's a post at Debunking Christianity that is worth a look. It's "The Straw God: Understanding The New Atheism" by Douglas Groothuis. On Monday I am debating the God Delusion with Marianne Talbot at a Fringe event at the Ox Lit Festival. Rewley House, 1 wellington Square. 7pm. Late bar. Entrance free.


Honestly Stephen, I'm surprised you'd link to something so sill. The bulk of the post consists of saying "There are too good arguments for God," without really providing the arguments. The only halfway-interesting part is the criticism of multiple universes theory, though it's a pretty lame criticism: God's existence is taken as proved because merely because he's a possible explanation, but other possible explanations are dismissed as unproven.
Gato said…
Dear Stephen, Im a 15 years old student from Chile (South America, america for contitent, not for country), I read your book "Philosophy Files", and i liked i already read it four times and I can't get sick of it. I really love it, jaja. Well, I only wanted to tell you that, and well, if you know your book names in spanish, i'd be glad to know them so i could read more! jaja, I hope you are ok, bye! (please mail me at if you want to respond my mail, I'd be very happy, thanks)
Larry Hamelin said…
I assume you've read my comments there and on John's other post referencing Groothuis' work.

I see no need to repeat myself, other than to note I'm not Groothuis' biggest fan.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen Law said…
Yes BB I did. I linked because I thought it interesting, and typical type of response in fact. But not a good response.

I have published stuff by Groothuis in THINK. This is not his best work. It's puzzling in fact, because he is capable of so much better.
Stephen Law said…
Thanks for the kind words Gato. I am pretty sure it is available in Spanish, somewhere. I could find out if you want...
Martin Freedman said…
Hi John W Loftus

Don't quit! Your site provides a wonderful service to naturalists- or atheists in this context - like me who are pretty unfamiliar with christianity.

IMV Goothius's piece is pretty appalling in terms of reason but publishing it on your site will give it the scrutiny and criticism that it deserves that otherwise might have gone amiss.

Stephen was right to bring attention to this as if this is the best that christians can offer then they don have a leg to stand on, certainly in terms of interfering with public policy and public morality.
Anonymous said…
Faithlessgod, I'm good to go now. That was a momentary lapse.
Stephen Law said…
Good to hear John.
After reading Groothuit's weak argument, I was left wondering if it is easier to become a "Christian Professor of Philosophy" than a conventional Professor of Philosophy.
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Steven Carr said…
Let's face it.

There is no god attacking atheists.

God used to strike people down dead for not giving all their money to the church.

Now Dawkins can get a million in royalties from a book attacking God, who does nothing, not even turning up to Dawkins debates to show Dawkins that he is wrong.
Mr. Carr, you have ironically laid out a compelling explanation for why Professor Dawkins should believe in God! It's like manna from heaven.
M. Tully said…
Oh my goodness,

I couldn't get past the beginning of his argument, "Historic Christianity, on the contrary, is well rooted in objective historical facts."

Oh really. Then I should be able to pick up any article or book written by an historical scholar of the ancient Levant, and the resurrection from death of an itinerant preacher is treated as a well established fact.

Show me that and the data that support it.

If his first argument is so not right that it can't even be considered wrong, why would I even keep reading (I didn't)?
Steven Carr said…
'"Historic Christianity, on the contrary, is well rooted in objective historical facts."

I think what Groothuis is saying is that there is no evidence for the existence of Arimathea, Joseph of Arimathea, Judas, Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, the Angel Moroni, Joanna , Salome, Nicodemus , Bartimaeus, Lazarus, Martha, Judas,Thomas etc etc

Does one Christian of the first century name himself as ever having seeing any of them?

As soon as there is a public church , in Acts 2, with the possibility of public records, almost the entire cast of Gospel characters disappear from Acts and early church letters as though they had never been.

I assume they went to wherever the Angel Moroni went to when Joseph Smith went public with his claims.

And the Gospels are full of the same sorts of frauds and lies as the Koran and the Book of Mormon are, as my article Miracles shows to all except the most deluded

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