Saturday, February 28, 2009

Plantinga vs. Dennett

Here is a blow by blow account of a quasi-philosophical debate on February 21, between Plantinga and Dennett over at The Prosblogion. Plantinga basically argues that naturalism and evolution are incompatible, and that theism and evolution are not. Dennett doesn't really disagree, but takes the opportunity to insult Christians. There's a surprise.

What struck me even more than Plantinga's argument, (which was well reasoned, by the way), was the anonymous writer's take on one of Plantinga's points. (Emphasis mine.)

2:55 pm - The really good possible worlds all involve divine incarnation and atonement and so all the best worlds have sin and suffering - an old view that many Christian philosophers resist today. He even mentions that outrageous (to the naturalist) idea that the demons are part of the errors in human development. Dennett is clearly stunned and amused. He probably thinks Plantinga's claims are insane or at least silly. Plantinga's orthodoxy is completely unabashed. It is commendable that he is wholly without embarrassment, something rare for a modern Christian. Perhaps it signals an attitude to come.

If you read the whole post, you will see that Plantinga was always gracious, always logical and thoughtful, yet he didn't apologize for his beliefs and understanding. I think too many times in an effort to not offend or to ingratiate ourselves to those with whom we disagree, we Christians cede our beliefs, or at least couch them in such terms as to render them null and void. I thank God for true intellects in the academy and in the world of ideas who will take a stand for truth in all graciousness, and I hope the anonymous writer is correct, that, "Perhaps it signals an attitude to come.".

H/T Jonah Goldberg

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